BigDataMN and Minnesota's Impressive Data Community

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak at a Data conference in Minnesota and was incredibly impressed with the data community that they've developed there. The community has been organized by a non-profit called Minneanalytics for the past 15 years. Over 800 people, all local, attended the event.

While working on Chartio I've been to a number of data focused conferences and meetups and I've never seen or heard of a grass roots data community that large and active. Being from Minnesota I was quite proud to see such activity coming from my home state.

Most conferences tend to be industry driven and reflect that greatly in who speaks, what is spoken about, and the massive amount of booths. This community driven conference had a much different atmosphere and focus that I found incredibly refreshing.

With that in mind, I skipped the product demo and instead discussed Charting Best Practices based largely on the advice and work of Stephen Few. Data and visualization is increasingly becoming a part of the workplace, and I enjoy spreading the word about how to best display information.

You can view the whole video of the presentation on the event site.

After the speech I was asked to do the following interview with Mike Ballinger of TechMN. I talked a bit about my background, Chartio, and what I thought of the event going on.

All around it was a really great event. I'm happy to have flown back to speak and excited to see such a large and active community around Data.

I'd like to add a special thanks to Donnie Berkholz for letting me know about the event and Dan Atkins for putting it all together. Thanks guys!

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