Happy Thanksgiving to all you U.S. readers and ex-pats and thanks to the rest of you for indulging me in our long weekend holiday as I express my thanks.

While you would be pleased to see your name here and I would be pleased to tell you just how much I appreciate your unique contribution, the list of people to whom I am beholden is far too long for this space. Please know that you are appreciated.

As for the rest…. Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle, 2013

Big Data Denigration Denouement

I’m thankful that the hype about Big Data being hype is starting to fade. Enough stories have been published about big data is making a difference that the rabble is less roused these days and we can focus on the real value that is being created from this new force of nature technology.

The Gartner Hype Cycle may still show Big Data nearing the crest and still five years away from the Plateau of Productivity, but it also shows Predictive Analytics as fully operational. That, alone, will draw Big Data forward. I’m thankful that I no longer have to argue with people about whether Big Data is real or not.

Sort of like talking about the Internet back in the early 90’s. At least Time magazine was kind enough to correct their 1993 error, “Coming Soon to Your TV Screen” with their 1994 version, “Battles on the Frontiers of Cyberspace.

Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle, 2013 Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle, 2013

Start-Ups and VC’s

I’m not a high-flier investor. I didn’t cash in on Salesforce.com’s climb, snatch up Twitter, or even ride the Facebook wave since the Summer. But I am grateful for the red hot start-up sector and the VC’s who fund it. There are some wonderful new analytics toys popping up and I can’t wait to see what happens next. I love this industry because I learn something new every day and I am thankful that the pace does not seem to be slackening soon.

More Senior Executives Getting It

eMetrics SummitThis point was hammered home at the eMetrics Summit in Boston where Coke, Unilever, Hyatt, Ricoh and even the Boston Red Sox took the stage to talk about how they are using digital analytics to mold their products, set marketing strategy, deliver better customer service, manage their social presence and drive their company mission.

But the kicker was Steve Petitpas, general manager of Microsoft.com and of production studios & event marketing at Microsoft. From his lofty position, Steve was able to clearly explain how to package analytical insights for consumption by top tier executives. Extremely useful. Oh, and Steve is also
on the Board of Directors of the Digital Analytics Association. Now that’s what I call taking an interest.

Digital Analytics Reaches Critical Mass in Europe

MapI was surprised this Fall when I went to Berlin for the eMetrics Summit in Germany. No, I did not spontaneously develop superior language skills. But Germany it seems, has developed superior analytics skills, capabilities and interests in the profession.

The eMetrics audience had swelled. Germans were coming from farther afield. The presentations were far more advanced than even one year earlier.

Perhaps my favorite moment was after the CTO of a retargeting company presented a chart showing how their algorithm accounted for attribution over time. Several members of the audience sought him out to better understand his approach and the ensuing conversation caused the vendor to rethink his slide. This is where learning happens!

Yes, I’ll be showing up in Germany a bit more often in 2014 than in previous years and for that, I am grateful.

Stellar Line Up for the eMetrics Summit in San Francisco

It’s my job to put the program together for the eMetrics Summit and I am very much looking forward to welcoming Avinash Kaushik back to the eMetrics stage where he made his first public appearance in 2005.

eMetrics San Fran KeynotesHe’ll be joined by the likes of Caesar’s, Deloitte, Macy’s and Motorola on the main stage and by Allstate Insurance, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Ernst & Young, FedEx, General Mills, Intuit, Microsoft (yes, Steve’s coming back!), NBCUniversal, UpWorthy, Viacom Entertainment, the Walt Disney Company and a whole slew of very experienced consultants and agencies delivering breakout sessions.

I have very high expectations of the eMetrics Summit in San Francisco, March 16-20.

I will learn more.
I will make new networking connections.
I will become more valuable as a community member.

For all of that and more, I give thanks.

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