Whether you’re a giant multinational firm or a tiny startup, companies of all sizes and industries agree that business intelligence tools are essential. BI and analytics provide users with the incisive data-driven insights that they need to make smarter business decisions and better serve their customers.
Unfortunately, far too many companies fail to achieve their BI and analytics ideals. IT research and advisory firm Gartner has found in a 2018 survey that 87% of organizations have “low business intelligence and analytics maturity.” Reasons for the lack of BI maturity include aging legacy IT infrastructure, poor collaboration between business and IT, and inefficient processes prone to bottlenecks.
Related Reading: How to Build a Business Intelligence Strategy
What better way to learn how to fix these and other issues than by attending a BI conference? For companies who’ve resolved to do better with their BI and analytics workflows, we've assembled a list of the top conferences to learn and practice.
Owing to global health concerns, many of these events have now gone virtual (or a hybrid of virtual and live), and some have been rescheduled for later in the year. We recommend checking on any events still scheduled at live regularly, just in case they are moved, canceled, or ported over into the virtual space.
1. QlikWorld 2020
Date: June 24-25, 2020
Qlik is a powerful BI and analytics platform used by more than 24,000 organizations worldwide to uncover valuable business insights. The annual QlikWorld (formerly Qonnections) conference brings together Qlik users around the globe, educating attendees about the hottest trends and best practices for data integration, analytics and AI.
The QlikWorld 2020 virtual event will feature 100+ unique breakouts with "hours of essential knowledge," along with an online "Data Discovery Zone" that allows you to explore interactive boots and learn about new innovations in data and analytics.
Registration for this virtual event is free.
2. Competitive and Market Intelligence
Date: May 12-13
Location: Bad Nauheim, Germany / Virtual
"Advances in the art and science of competitive / market intelligence" is the tag line for this celebrated annual conference, which this year offers a hybrid of virtual and live attendance options. The Competitive and Market Intelligence Conference features an engaging agenda of speakers, workshops, and much more. Keynote addresses come from Dirk Kansky of SAP and Alexandre Del Rey, the co-founder and partner of the International Association of Artificial Intelligence. Other speakers include representatives from Siemens, Afga Healthcare, Microsoft, and the Center for Intelligence and Security.
The conference also features an "Academic Track," with talks focusing on topics like "Technological Innovation System: A Powerful Framework for Technology Intelligence."
Prices for the Competitive and Market Intelligence Conference range from 590.00 € (for the remote conference) and 1,190.00 € (for the on-site conference) to 250.00 € (for the academic conference).
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3. Spark + AI Summit 2020
Date: June 22-26
Now an all-virtual summit, the Spark + AI Summit delivers insights on business intelligence, artificial intelligence, data and machine learning, and much more. The summit features a fascinating group of keynote speakers, among them Nate Silver (the founder of fivethirtyeight.com), Adam Paszke (PyTorch), Francois Chollet (Google and the creator of Keras), and Kim Hazlewood (Facebook). The Spark + AI Summit also features over 200 sessions and high-impact training on a number of different platforms and software programs.
Registration for the Spark + AI Summit is free.
4. AI & Big Data Expo North America 2020
Date: November 4-5, 2020
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are essential tools for BI and analytics practitioners. For example, 70 percent of enterprise data is unstructured, existing in quantities too great for any human to process by hand. AI tools can help automatically extract valuable information from these unstructured sources, giving you greater clarity and a massive productivity boost.
It’s for reasons like these that the AI & Big Data Expo 2020 will be convened. With 12,000 expected attendees and more than 500 speakers, the conference is an enormous opportunity for BI practitioners to meet like-minded colleagues and learn about the future of the field. The 2019 event featured a wide variety of topics, including predictive analytics, business intelligence, and AI-enabled digital transformation.
With the 2019 conference barely wrapped up, registration is already open for the AI & Big Data Expo 2020. The “Ultimate Pass” costs $949 for early birds, which steadily rises in price to a $1499 ticket on the day of the conference.
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5. Tableau Conference 2020
Date: October 5th - 8th 2020
Location: Las Vegas
Tableau is one of the most popular tools for enterprise data visualization, BI, and analytics (and a competitor of Qlik). The platform makes it easy for even non-technical users to discover valuable insights. In support of this goal, the company hosts the annual Tableau Conference, which aims to “help people see and understand data.”
In 2019, the conference featured a keynote speech from Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky. Other events included hands-on training sessions, live demos of new features in Tableau, as well as an “Iron Viz Championship” in which three contestants competed to create the best data visualization.
The price of the full conference pass is $1,895, with an additional cost of $695 for the event’s training workshops if you so choose.
6. Bio-IT World
Date: October 6-8
Location: Boston, MA
Focused on the application of Business Intelligence in the "precision medicine" world, the Bio-IT World conference features experts from a wide range of fields - including pharmaceutical, clinical, informatics, and technology experts worldwide. Workshop topics feature information on data management for biologics, "the human side of collaboration," and driving better-informed decisions using data science.
Keynote addresses come from members of the National Institute of Health, Deloitte, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Human Computation Institute, and many others.
The main conference pricing runs from $2,249 (commercial) and $1,099 (academic, government, and hospital-affiliated) to $329 (student). There are also pre-conference workshops, with different prices from $899-$149 for those same groups.
There's plenty of opportunity at all of these conferences for every business professional to learn, network, and discover. With technology and data analytic platforms constantly changing, it's important to do continued research and attend conferences to keep up-to-date.
You may also be interested in attending these other events:
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