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The #GartnerCat’s Pajamas

by Svetlana Sicular  |  August 28, 2012  |  Comments Off on The #GartnerCat’s Pajamas

“Imagine a revolution from 80-character punch cards to 140-character tweets,” —  this Jack Santos punch line has been tweeted and re-tweeted on Day 1 of the Gartner Catalyst conference (#GartnerCat) last week.

Coming back from Catalyst was like returning from a whitewater trip: the same sense of excitement and learning about yourself under extreme conditions. And the same amount of adrenalin when you are constantly on, ready for the rapids of the attendees’ questions. Seeing fellow analysts was great too.

There are tons of events for IT professionals, but they are either around a particular vendor, or particular industry or particular technology. Catalyst is unique as the largest (to my knowledge) gathering of end users (over 90% of whom have an active role in technology purchases).  People come to Catalyst to hear about new trends, learn vendor-neutral solutions or just talk to others who face the same challenges.

Gartner specialty, one-on-ones, where attendees speak to analysts, was new to me.  The One-on-one room reminded me of Harry Potter’s moving pictures.  Or maybe of some surreal, non-HIPAA-compliant, doctor’s office where all doctors were in the same room, listening to patients’ pains and prescribing cures.  An old medical joke came to my mind: “Here is a pill for you: break it in halves and take one half for your headache and another half for your backache. Be careful to remember which half is for what.” The pill I offered was plain: talk to the business, and desirably, in their own language. I omit the rest because of HIPAA and my Hippocrates oath in accordance to which I really care to cure.

The One-on-One or rather, Many-to-Many, room

Data scientists are gaining traction – some people at our Information Everywhere track have never heard about them before, and loved the term. Expect more newly converted #datascientists in the near future (consider this a pseudo-tweet).

My personal non-representative statistics (well, statistics depends on data) showed that the attendees were mainly from insurance, public sector, healthcare, finance, manufacturing, legal and travel & entertainment industries.   People noticeably think more about metadata and data governance (to be blogged on in the near future). And my main surprise was that relatively few were interested in big data: two people out of 120+ raised their hands when I asked about who is in production with big data (plus, around 30% were running a big data proof of concept).  There is a chasm between Fortune X-Large companies and Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley has no doubt that the world lost sleep over big data, but the world still thinks that big data resides on mainframes – tweet about punch cards!

Maybe I overlooked big data interest because all big data lovers went to mobility sessions?  I admit that our Information track did not enjoy such popularity — below are top 10 Catalyst sessions. Note, session #8 was given by an artist who received a standing ovation from IT professionals!

  1. Keynote: Any Device, Any Service, Any Source
  2. Welcome Address
  3. Inside the Mobility Tornado
  4. Mobility Reference Architecture Part 1: Foundations
  5. Mobility Reference Architecture Part 3: Understanding Risks and Business Case
  6. Mobility Reference Architecture Part 2: Information and Apps
  7. Mobility and Consumerization
  8. Keynote: The Art of Leadership
  9. Mobility Reference Architecture Part 4: The End Game
  10. The Mobile Worker

 “Revolution will not be televised, it will be mobilized.” (Jack Santos, again. Punch another tweet.)

Additional Resources

Category: catalyst  catalyst-na  crossing-the-chasm  data  data-and-analytics-strategies  data-paprazzi  events  geospatial  information-everywhere  local-news  market-analysis  skills  

Tags: data-scientist  big-data  big-data-adoption  catalyst  crossing-the-chasm  data  data-paprazzi  end-users  experience  health  information-everywhere  innovation  market-analysis  phones  pseudo-tweets  silicon-valley  statistics  twitter  

Svetlana Sicular
Research VP
6 years at Gartner
23 years IT industry

Svetlana Sicular is passionate about bringing analytics to domain experts and helping organizations successfully compete by applying their business acumen in analytics and data science. She is convinced that domain expertise and high-value data are the greatest assets that companies should monetize in new analytics applications. Read Full Bio




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