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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

It was a hectic SAPPHIRE NOW event in Orlando last week! In this series of posts, I’d like to give you a flavor of what it’s like to attend the event from an analytics point of view -- and I’ve included links to some of the great analytics content that came out of the show.  Here’s part one: the run up to the show…

I was a “social media ambassador” for analytics for the conference – my job was to keep track of everything about business intelligence, analytics, and big data at the event. After entertaining myself with my introductory animated gif above, I prepared a pre-show reading list of the useful blogs and links.

I set about preparing my SAPPHIRE NOW survival gear – mostly lots of camera gear and electronics but also a dose of “HANA HANA HANA!”…

IMG_4081 HANA t-shirt white

Unfortunately, just before I was due to leave, I managed smash the screen of my iPhone screen – no phone, email or instagram during the show? Gulp…  Luckily, I managed to find a place that offered an (expensively) same-day screen replacement service, and I was back in action (phone shown here with an appropriate “cloud” reflection):

cracked iphone IMG_1751

On the Friday before the conference, SAP announced the new SAP Lumira Cloud product, which had me busy explaining the renaming of SAP Visual Intelligence.


Early on Monday morning, I started the 15+ hours of travel it took to get to Orlando – hey! what’s that view from my airline window?!

sap in the cloud

I arrived and had time for a quick shower before heading off to the Human Face of Big Data networking evening event sponsored by Intel.


The inimitable Steve Lucas (now in charge of both big data and analytics at SAP) opened up the evening with some personal thoughts on how big data affects his life as a type 1 diabetic.


And author Rick Smolen gave some great examples of how big data will affect all of our lives in the future.

rick smolan

And Intel were on hand to explain their vision and the SAP partnership around Intel’s Hadoop distribution. Lucky attendees walked away with a signed copy of Rick’s book, which is suitably… big! I strongly recommend it for anybody who wants to get a feel for what is becoming possible with analytics (or get the iPad app: it’s a selection of the better stories, and it’s much cheaper and easier to lift!)


Here’s a Vine recording of some of the pages:


In between networking and catching up with old friends, I had the opportunity to interview several attendees on camera to get their thoughts on what big data means to them (video in preparation!):


Then it was time to head back to the hotel through the walkways that snake around the conference center and the closest hotels:


…and that was the end of Day 0! More soon.