Quick Recap: SAS Premier Leadership Series Conference

I’m back from the SAS conference in Las Vegas and though I’d jot down some notes:

First, totally worth going to. I was initially skeptical, but meeting with fellow data wonks for 3 days turned out to be a good idea.  What was interesting to me is less that there was good analysis going in at the user level (and there is…), but that so many of the sessions were aspirational vs. a report of work completed. We are still in a steep upward slope in many of the aspects of leveraging data for competitive advantage.

The panel of Malcolm Gladwell, Thornton May, and Tom Davenport easily was the highlight of the conference. There was also a wickedly good session with the head of Disney’s formidable Insight team, Cameron Davies.   And, Yan Chow from Kaiser Permanente has a permanent place in my index of amazing people in BI. His team is doing things with health care analytics most won’t be able to do for years… I should move to a place where Kaiser has a hospital – I’ve live longer I suspect…

I drew during many of the sessions, including one with Malcolm Gladwell (author of Blink, and Outliers). Honestly, I hadn’t dug in too deep into his work until recently, but I get his appeal. I drew the sketch below , which probably won’t come out too clearly, but basically has this point in mind: Sometimes, condensing data into what “matters” will help people make better decisions in 2 ways: It gives you focus, and it helps to put your subconscious bias in a box…  Using the example of heart patients in an ER: until recently, doctors took any data from the patient and used that to diagnose a heart attack. Apparently, that doesn’t work too well. But taking 4 key indicators have a much higher likelihood of correctly diagnosing a heart attack, and saving someone’s life. I vote for the 4 fact version please…



Jeremy Shapiro is an executive in HR at a leading financial services firm, working on talent analytics. Formerly a Senior Vice President of the Hodes iQ Talent Management Suite at Bernard Hodes Group and is a co-author of the HR metrics book Ultimate Performance. Jeremy has coached hundreds of companies in recruiting and HR technology solutions across industries and sizes. Jeremy is a frequent speaker and author on HR technology topics and HR Business Intelligence topics, such as SHRM, IHRIM, the Human Capital Institute, HR.com and more. He is a frequent contributor to articles and whitepapers on HR Business Intelligence. Jeremy holds a Masters of Science in Information Systems from NYU and a B.A in Economics from Rutgers University. Specific topics of research include HR metrics, talent management technology, and next generation recruiting technologies.

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2 comments on “Quick Recap: SAS Premier Leadership Series Conference
  1. Loved seeing you apply a simple sketch to Malcolm’s talk. It helped me focus and pulled my subconscious bias for using drawings to say things, in this case, out-of-the-box!

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Talent metrics and human capital analytics galore.                                                                        

Upcoming Presentations
Cornell ILR, Metrics that Matter: How HR Analytics Impact the Bottom Line, June 3-4, 2014 or November 13-14, New York, NY

HBR Webinar (Recording) - Competing on Talent Analytics November, 2011

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