By Melissa Demsak
Leader, PASS Business Analytics Virtual Chapter

When I was growing up in the ‘70s, I desperately wanted my own rotary-style desk phone (preferably in pink) so I could call my best friend next door. Money was tight, and I was too lazy to walk over every time I wanted to chat. So I decided to raid my father’s workshop and make a pulley system out of wood and twine between our bedroom windows to pass notes attached to clothes pins. Obviously, this solution didn’t scale!

Fast forward to today, and the variety of technologies used to harness data – and the sheer volume of data – has exploded. Just a few years back, there was minimal demand for advanced business analytics to derive more business value from data, but with current trends, such analytics are imperative.

So as a data professional, what are you doing to adapt to the fast-changing world of data, which shows no sign of slowing down? As part of my career plan, I will be attending the PASS Business Analytics Conference in Chicago next week. Here are my top 10 reasons why.

SQLDiva's Top 10 Reasons for Attending the PASS BA Conference

  1. To experience the new “Business Analytics Frontier” – Immersing yourself in the technology and culture of anything new is a sure-fire way to propel yourself to the next level.
  2. To be the First Kid on the Block – Many of the most innovative discussions occur between the first people who embark on a new technology path.
  3. To welcome new speakers into the PASS family – This conference will include bestselling author of Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics Steven Levitt and others from academia and the data science domains. The exposure to others outside your own experiences is critical for career growth.
  4. To gather real-world use cases and stories – Technology and tools can be somewhat dull, but when you add some great business use cases and stories, the technology comes alive and the creation process is kick-started. 
  5. To grow with PASS – Being involved in PASS has been pivotal to my career and personal growth, and I know PASS can help me continue to grow.
  6. To experience Chicago – I’m excited to explore a new city and dive into Chicago-style deep-dish pizza!
  7. To see old friends and make new ones – When you meet someone who has the same interests and goals as you do, there is a deep bond created that can span years. Many of my more memorable moments have included PASS Friends.
  8. To expand my network – Ever search for days to find the solution to an issue? What if you knew someone you could ask who already had the answer or who knew someone else who did? This and future career opportunities are key reasons for networking. If you are looking for more business analytics professionals to add to your network, this is the place to find them.
  9. To find inspiration for the future – As I leave any PASS conference, I’m filled with a wealth of new knowledge and a sense of urgency to try out new techniques and play with new tools. Even during my most stressful days at work, I daydream back to the inspirational moments at these events.
  10. Why Not?! – I can’t think of a better way to spend a few days than connecting, sharing, and learning with fellow professionals as passionate about data as I am. I hope I see you there!