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How Analyst Days/14 went for us

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Original author: Anastasia Kochetova

Analyst Days/14 is the International Conference on System and Business Analytics. The Conference was held in a mixed format letting experts meet and mingle, talk face-to-face, and those who could not attend — listen to presentations and ask questions online.

I first participated in Analyst Days last November. I was mightily impressed by the concentration of useful presentations so I thought to myself that the next conference is a “must-attend”.

Conference program

The 14th International Conference “Analyst Days” focuses on a wide range of issues related to systems and business analytics. The Conference provided an opportunity to discuss requirements and managing the process of their collection and change. The topics of discussion also included systems and enterprise architecture, presentation of results to customers, investors, developers.

There were four big sections, with 350 registered participants in them. There were over a thousand active listeners at the Conference, some of them were not afraid to question the speakers and give their personal opinions on the topics of the presentations.

Presentations by Innotech

The colleagues participated in Analyst Days/14 with several presentations.

Chief analyst Alexander Proshunin made a presentation on “Atypical tasks in big data.”

When dealing with big data, having an understanding of what tasks they can perform is required for good communication with colleagues. However, recent breakthroughs and out-of-the-box approaches in the BigData domain make it possible to extend the application of machine learning (ML) to business tasks. Alexander explained ML approaches in plain language and where and how artificial intelligence can be used in unexpected places.

Lead architect Alexander Solyar presented “Building modern master systems in the corporate sector.”

He spoke on the transition to asynchronous interaction and the transition to event-based models when building master systems in large banking institutions. He told about the nuances of the process, the role and tasks of system analysts when working with such systems, about the main difficulties that may be encountered, as well as ways to overcome them. He shared various applied aspects of building modern master systems in large banks, including cases on various usage of Kafka. 

Lead analyst Mariya Vasyura delivered a presentation on “How to Conduct a Brilliant Discovery.”

Discovery is the first phase of the project when the customer’s business goals are analysed to propose a solution for the product delivery that best meets the requirements and expectations of stakeholders. Sometimes even experienced analysts can make mistakes that lead to serious consequences and problems in the subsequent stages. Mariya told how to build the work in such a way that there are as few unexpected turns and difficulties as possible. In the course of the presentation, the participants learned about the main parameters affecting the Discovery process and looked at the scope and depth of influence of each of them.

Head of analytics at the Prospective Projects Startup Center Anna Khramtsova submitted her presentation entitled “Complicated clients. Who are they? What is the best way to work with them?”

The presentation was devoted to classification of “complicated” clients. The participants learned about:

  1. Types of clients.

  2. Specific traits that help identify them.

  3. How to work with representatives of “complicated” clients.1

Of course, the participants looked at some fun pictures and asked witty questions at the end.

Chief analyst Vladimir Lovtsov introduced his presentation “Don't paint the grass or the truth about the value and risks of data in the BANI world.

Vladimir addressed the issue of preserving budgets by companies when managing data based on the cases from his professional experience. He shared the solutions of real cases related to data management. He highlighted a vital issue — the necessity to transfer data from a dark spot to the category of risk management, as well as an issue of the asset status.

Senior technical writer Olga Petrosova presented a report “Pains of analytics and emotional intelligence as a way of treatment” to participants of Bar Camp held in parallel.

She told about typical problems analysts have to deal with on a daily basis, and gave recipes how to eliminate them with the help of emotional intelligence. This is a useful practical presentation for those who works in analytics and needs to prevent professional burnout.

Some other interesting presentations

The Innotech team was not limited to supporting their colleagues. We actively listened to presentations delivered at various sections of Analyst Days/14.

For myself, I have identified a number of interesting presentations that I recommend to listen to if they are to be given at other conferences:

  • “Delegation as a key tool of leadership, effectiveness, motivation and professional development” — offers methods and approaches for effective delegation. The presentation touches upon such topics as leadership and management, effectiveness and motivation. It answers the questions how to delegate, where the boundary between delegating and completing tasks lies, which tasks can be delegated to make the staff motivated to perform them.

  • “Must have soft skills for an analyst” — gets participants acquainted with the basic competencies of communication skills, performance indicators, development methods and real cases of interaction with a team and a customer.

  • “How we have been implementing the analyst professional development framework” — describes the experience of creation and implementation of a professional development framework.

  • “How to grow and develop an analyst team in a matrix organisation” — explains the pros and cons of a matrix organisation and how to form a strong team of analysts in the context of the matrix.

  • “Conflict management in information system implementation and maintenance” — describes typical conflicts in an analyst's work and how these should be managed, as well as how to work with customers without conflicts.

Activities at the site

In addition to presentations, Analyst Days/14 featured many external activities. For example, you could take part in master classes on orchestration and choreography, as well as learn how to sell a project idea to management or an investor using zero coding skills.

There was entertainment, too. For example, there was a VR-zone for those who is tired of reality and wants to go into virtual worlds. For those who wanted to exercise their brain, there were several brain-twisters with prizes: puzzles, anagrams and so on

The organisers also provided a room for a coffee break. You could have a sit in the cosy room with new acquaintances or discuss the presentations with your colleagues. In the evening, live music was offered at dinner — beautiful girls in red evening dresses were playing the harp and the cello.

A few words on the benefits

I became an IT leader in the analyst team in January. So it was important for me to find opportunities to improve my soft skills, to see how other teams build communications and address problems. The Conference offered quite a few presentations on this theme. In the nearest future, I plan to apply the new skills I have acquired to increase the efficiency of teams and reduce stress among employees.

Analyst Days/14 is a place where ideas emerge. If you are an analyst, this conference is a must-attend. This is an excellent platform for exchanging expertise, expanding networking, learning about best practices and addressing real issues together with representatives of the leading IT companies. It is great that the organisers have started a nice tradition of communication and discussion.

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