enterpriseirregulars.com, By Denis Pombriant on October 28, 2010
... Where the trade show has been a great place to learn about new products and the reasons for their existence, the vendor conference has increasingly become a place where the vendors saturate their customers with marketing messages. Some learning may go on too but very often it involves learning how to use a vendor's products. So it was a pleasure this week to encounter the SAS Premier Business Leadership Series (PBLS) in Las Vegas.
PBLS is certainly a vendor show complete with partner exhibit floor, keynotes and breakout sessions but there are the similarity ends. Unlike most vendor and conventional trade shows, the SAS event was by invitation and rather than devolving into a standard vendor performance, the SAS show's explicit mission was to provoke thinking and idea exchange.
It was refreshing to hear from so many people who believe, like me that there is so much data generated in business today that old ways of using gut instinct are going by the boards and that analytics may be the only way to get an appreciation for what the customer thinks en mass. And the meeting was a clear indication that global businesses increasingly "get it" when it comes to collecting huge amounts of customer data through transactions as well as through social media.
Nuggets from some memorable ideas and interviews
Jim Goodnight, CEO and Founder of SAS said that education is one of the most important issues facing both our industry and country. His specific interest is in analytics, of course, but he makes a strong case for educating kids on using information derived from all the data we collect to make better, informed, decisions.
Gary King, CIO of Chico's, White house/Black Market and Soma Intimates told me that analytics "Helps us maintain customer loyalty in a down economy."