If you haven’t signed up yet, don’t miss out on PASS Business Analytics 2015 from April 20 – 22 in sunny Santa Clara, California. This year the program committee, myself included, lined up a stellar group of famous analytics trainers and speakers from Excel, R, data visualization, business analytics and predictive analytics communities across industry vendors. If you are looking to improve real-world, employable, analytics skills or merely add a few more useful tricks to your current analytical toolkit, then PASS Business Analytics 2015 might just be the perfect event for you.

Why PASS Business Analytics? My Top 10 Reasons

I know there are a zillion analytics conferences. It can be impossible trying to decipher where you will get the most value for your time and financial investment. When I think about what makes PASS Business Analytics 2015 attractive to me, the following reasons are top of mind:

  1. Practical content, best practices, tips, tricks and analytical project skills training that you will actually use in your day-to-day work.
  2. Learning predictive analytics from Dean Abbott. I paid more personally in 2007 for two days of Dean Abbott’s predictive analytics training and it was one of the best career investments that I ever made! My employer at the time would not invest in me, a military spouse that moved around from duty station to duty station. Since I have always believed that my destiny is primarily a result of my own choices and decisions, I decided to pay for training myself. Dean’s short program did not disappoint. He actually far exceeded my high brain food expectations. In Dean’s class I learned the importance of data quality, sampling, preparation, choosing appropriate algorithms, evaluating predictive models and techniques for embedding predictive analytics. He openly shared what the CRISP-DM process was really like in real-world projects, the challenges and the opportunities. To this day I still have Dean’s useful training manual on my desk that is jam packed with excellent resources.
  3. Getting the most out of Power BI and modern Excel – the analytical tools that can analyze structured and unstructured data sources with powerful data preparation and in-memory analytical modeling. If you use Excel, I am sure you have heard of and used tips from Mr. Excel and other Excel MVPs speaking this year. If you build Excel dashboards you have probably visited infamous Chandoo’s awesome web site. For Power Pivot fans, the one and only Rob Collie will be there along with the marvelous Marco Russo. For Power Query, mega-talented Chris Webb will be giving a session. For advanced analytic modelers, genius Dan Fylstra the founder and President of Frontline Systems Inc will be teaching attendees how to model complex business problems. Where else can you meet these world-famous Excel gurus all at once?
  4. For R enthusiasts or wannabe’s like me, David Smith the Chief Community Officer at Revolution Analytics will be giving a session. There are also a few other sessions on R = one of the most popular analytics languages right now. If you are in analytics or want to be, then you’d better be embracing R. All of the major BI and Analytics industry vendors have been cooking R into their applications and databases.
  5. For data visualization and storytelling, popular Jen Stirrup and Mico Yuk the founder of BI Brainz and co-author Data Visualization for Dummies will be speaking. I will also be sharing best practices with mobile data visualization if you want to come and heckle me during my gadget session.
  6. Keeping a pulse on the industry. Amazing industry experts Hyoun Park, James Kobielus, James Haight, James Taylor and Andrew Brust will be there. I don’t know about you but I get the most out of side conversations when I go to conferences. I’ll be looking for these folks and a few others already mentioned to chat with while I am there.
  7. Hearing from the Microsoft engineering teams. Yes I am biased but truthfully I do learn a lot from my peers at these events. Folks from my team that are giving sessions this year include Kasper de Jonge, Sandy Rivas, Theresa Palmer-Boroski, Miguel Martinez and Miguel Llopis.
  8. Networking…maintaining a solid business network is truly invaluable.
  9. Keeping skills up to date.
  10. Last but not least, enjoying intelligent conversations and random sassy banter with genuinely brilliant people.