The 2020 Analytics Summit Embraces The Virtual Experience

Sep 24, 2020
Mandy Arola

Cristina Attfield's view of The Analytics Summit on her laptopThe buzz from this year’s Analytics Summit is still lingering in the virtual halls of NSS. On Monday and Tuesday many of our Analytics + Data Science students had the opportunity to attend The Analytics Summit and learn more about data and the career paths they have chosen.

Highlights from students and staff included Hilary Mason’s keynote address, Tim Wilson’s talk on simplifying data visualizations, Nathaniel Tucker and Paul Harnagel’s Opinionated Guide to pandas for Data Analysis/Science, and the virtual networking happy hour.

In her keynote address, Narrative Algorithms in 2020, Hilary Mason spoke about the opportunities and concerns with narrative machine learning and advances in Natural Language Processing. Starting with the rules-based NLP that was dominant until the 1950s, she elaborated on the evolution of algorithms from the Turing Test (1950) through probabilistic methods to neural networks and then Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPT-3) which use deep learning to provide narrative text.

Tim Wilson of Search Discovery shared best practices on delivering results through data visualization in his talk, Data Visualization, Neuroscience, and Why It Matters to the Analyst. Tim focused on how neuroscience and psychology of the audience should influence your visualizations. He encouraged attendees to simplify their visualizations so that the audience can focus on the results. By stripping away the clutter, they draw their attention to the data.

Tim Wilson Presents at The Analytics Summit

What our students had to say...

Maureen Caballero, Part-time Data Analytics Cohort 3

“My favorite session was Neuroscience, Data Visualization, and Why It Matters to the Analyst by Tim Wilson. My key takeaway is that it's my job as a data analyst to reduce cognitive load in a presentation so that key information is pushed into long-term memory, and I can do this by "maximizing the Data-Pixel Ratio.”

Maeva Ralafiarindaza, Data Science Cohort 4

“My favorite session was the Opinionated Guide to pandas for Data Analysis/Science. As a beginner into data science, it was very helpful to better understand how the experienced data scientists are actually using the tools and techniques in the industry. The tips and opinions also helped me to know what to focus on in terms of techniques. Finally, the presenters were very beginner-friendly and the content was delivered clearly. I really enjoyed the conference overall. The Remo virtual lounge [for happy hour] was a great way to connect with others!”

Lydia Tsang, Part-time Data Analytics Cohort 3

“The presenters provide excellent industry knowledge and I also feel their passion [for] the industry. I enjoyed talking to Jesse Smith from Vanderbilt University and Charlie Ap from MTSU [who gave] their free time in the virtual coffee break sessions to provide career insights. It was a great conference with a lot of takeaways. I appreciate [NSS] introducing this amazing conference to us.”


We’re already counting down the days until the 2021 Analytics Summit. And hopefully we’ll be able to be in person again.

Topics: News, Community, Analytics + Data Science