TIBCO NOW Day 3: The Limitless Potential of Diversity and Data
Blog: The Tibco Blog
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“Yesterday was all about the technology. Today is all about solving the impossible.” –Dan Streetman
Day three of TIBCO NOW left attendees feeling inspired to innovate, encourage diversity and inclusion, and fuel data-driven decision-making across digital businesses. TIBCO CEO Dan Streetman kicked the day off with his keynote address, speaking on the importance of data in solving the world’s most pressing challenges. “Creating limitless opportunity requires incredible effort, and getting started is often the hardest part. But together, we make it possible to solve the world’s toughest data problems.”
It Always Comes Back to the Data
Renowned financial journalist and bestselling author of Moneyball and The Big Short, Michael Lewis joined the virtual stage with Streetman, where he delved into his experiences using data to unveil some of the world’s most intriguing anomalies.
Streetman noted the common thread that can be found within all of Lewis’s books, and that’s the use of data to solve problems. “I find myself drawn to characters that see the world a different way because they have access to different information,” Lewis agreed. “I always start with a question, which leads me to who is able to answer that question, and it almost always comes back to data.”
While Lewis’s books may seem like they’re about baseball teams, football players, or public health officials on the surface, they can all be viewed as a metaphor for some of society’s larger organizational problems, if only we look at the data. “The human mind can make a lot of mistakes, which is where the inefficiencies in the marketplace come from. If we look past surface appearances, human intuition mistakes can be corrected with good data,” Lewis explained.
Customers Share their Data Successes
Streetman made sure to give thanks to all of TIBCO’s customers for sharing their stories with attendees, as well as sponsors for making the event possible. Energy firm Schlumberger was one such customer, with Ashok Belani, Executive Vice President, New Energy, speaking about the complex transitions anticipated within the energy industry and how data can be used to prepare for the opportunities that arise. “Energy is so fundamental,” Belani explained. “It affects everything, and it has changed so quickly over the past 30 years… There is going to be a big shift that will require a big investment in the energy mix of the future.”
Allan Newburn, VP of Data Architecture and Integration, and Nikitas T. Gogos, Global AVP of Data Architecture, from customer GM Financial, sat down with TIBCO SVP and General Manager of Analytics, Mark Palmer, to share their journey partnering with TIBCO. As the finance subsidiary of General Motors, GM Finance wanted to become more agile. “We used to be able to keep up with the data coming at us with only a handful of systems. But when we became GM’s main finance company, we ended up with a backlog a mile long.” Newburn shared. “There was a lot of data sprawl, and as a data scientist, it was tough to access all the data from different sources.”
“We have a much more agile process now,” Gogos added. “Having easier access to data has eliminated the need for basic data engineering, and now our data scientists can do analysis and business intelligence work instead.”
The final customer to join today’s keynote was NASA, as Ron Thompson, Agency Chief Data Officer and Deputy Digital Transformation Officer, took the stage with TIBCO CIO Rani Johnson to discuss the limitless potential for data in space. Thompson spoke about NASA’s current missions using autonomous artificial intelligence (AI) on the moon and on Mars, and how robots can be programmed with machine learning capabilities to help with predictive insights.
Thompson and Johnson also talked about hindsight, insight, and foresight with data, and what that means at NASA. “We’re very good—not only at NASA but all organizations—at understanding things after they happen, collecting the insight of how we’re operating currently. The foresight, though, the predictive analytics, there’s really a lot of opportunity there,” Thompson said, touching on the need to improve predictive modeling, such as how to tap into data sets to predict sunspots and flares, for example.
Also, since we know you’re wondering, Thompson did confirm that if the opportunity ever presents itself, he would absolutely launch into outer space tomorrow—with Fred Studer volunteering to be his plus one.
The Potential Impact of Diversity in the Industry
Conference sponsor Microsoft is putting a huge emphasis on challenging the status quo, and Gretchen O’Hara, VP of AI and Sustainability Strategy, stopped by to share more on this initiative. To Microsoft, challenging the status quo means a focus on diversity and inclusion.
“Technology is changing our lives and shaping our future, and with this change comes enormous opportunity. But without diversity of thought and development, we have the potential to really miss out on the full benefits involved,” O’Hara explained. Placing an emphasis on gender and race equality, especially in STEM roles, drives disruption and innovation, and in doing so, digital businesses can add billions to the economy over the next several years.
O’Hara wasn’t the only speaker to focus on the importance of diversity and bringing awareness to the challenges faced by underrepresented individuals and communities. Following their brief chat in yesterday’s keynote, Lewis Hamilton joined Dan Streetman today for a breakout session, We Thrive as One, where he spoke about his experience as a marginalized voice in motorsports.
Hamilton, the Mercedes AMG-Petronas Team Driver and seven-time FIA Formula One World Drivers Champion, is currently the only black driver in the history of Formula One. He shared his journey to becoming one of the most decorated drivers in F1, including the extra challenges he faced as the only black kid at the track growing up, and one of few drivers coming from a working-class background. Today, Hamilton is using his platform to speak up on diversity issues, both on and off the racetrack.
“I’ve always wondered, why me? Why am I only the black driver here? What am I going to do with this platform? Last year, I realized that every room I go into, I’m still the only person of color there. I’ve been on this journey of challenging leaders and sparking conversations, which is uncomfortable at the beginning, but still beautiful.”
“When I was young, I just wanted to be a racecar driver. But now, if I can look back and see that F1 represents outer society, I will know that I have been a part of that. That, for me, trumps all the championships I have won. Helping people is such a beautiful thing,” Hamilton explained.
It’s Not Over Yet: One More Day of Content
The rest of the day was filled with breakout sessions to sate every data-curious mind in attendance, as well as a virtual networking space that allowed participants to chat with peers, industry experts, and TIBCO executives. All of today’s sessions will be available on-demand starting tomorrow.
Stay tuned for more updates from TIBCO NOW and follow along on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram for real-time updates. And, you can still register for TIBCO NOW to watch all of the content on-demand through October 30.
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