Trip Report from Gartner's BI and MDM Summits

April 07, 2014 --

After the European editions last month, Gartner ran last week their North American Business Intelligence & Analytics Summit and Enterprise Information & Master Data Management Summit, both at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas (a welcome change from Caesars Palace!) Both were extremely well attended: over 2000 attendees for the former and 800 for the latter. From what I hear, these were all-times records. European numbers were also impressive, maxing out the capacity of the London venue - I understand Gartner is now planning to add a Fall event (in Germany).

Compared to last year, there was a shift in the theme of the MDM Summit. The change of name actually says it all: it’s no longer just MDM, it’s now Enterprise Information and MDM. This is a very logical move, since MDM is not an end in itself, but a means to achieve proper governance of enterprise information. Similarly, Gartner is considering refocusing the BI summit on analytics, as a question in the evaluation form suggested.

Beyond the usual content of these summits, meant to help practitioners get a proper head start with their projects and programs, some fairly interesting new content was presented. The ones I enjoyed the most featured Frank Buytendijk’s research on the future of information and on digital ethics, and Doug Laney’s work on Infonomics – the economics of information. Both analysts are performing what Gartner calls Maverick Research, disruptive and edgy research into future scenarios.

During one of this presentations, Frank Buytendijk introduced the Datatopia project: “Future Scenarios On The Role of Information and Technology in Society, Business and Personal Life”. This is a project I have personally tracked for a few months, when Frank invited anyone to contribute their vision, and was kind enough to include my contribution in his report (that can be downloaded here).

In the coming weeks, I will be posting on this blog more thoughts of these subjects and how they impact our market.

Finally, the show floor was abuzz with vendors pitching their wares, and attendees exploring the technology options. From that standpoint too, it was a very good event for Talend. Congratulations to our US field team for handling a successful event!