I reached Las Vegas on Monday afternoon. As I exited the terminal there was a long line for taxi cab with more than 100 people in the serpentine line. The line was moving fast and I got a cab after 30 mins wait. When I asked the cab driver the reason he indicated it was due to multiple flight delays and couple of conventions going on in the city including SAP TechEd and aviation convention. Whenever I visited Las Vegas it always appeared to me as very lively and full of visitors. So, i believed that the business may be good here until the cab driver told me that it is not so. October and November months are good as many conventions happen during this time but the numbers of conventions being scheduled here have gone down compared to few years back. Most of the people working in Las Vegas are working in service industry and their livelihood depends on the visitor traffic. I paid a good tips tot he cab driver (in fact he insisted that the minimum tips for a cab driver is 20%) and checked into my hotel room in Palazzo hotel and casino.
later in the evening I registered at SAP TechEd booth and collected my water bottle and thumb drive with all session material. I was eagerly waiting to listen ot he the guest speaker Nate Silver. I first learnt about him during 2012 presidential election when he became famous for his accurate prediction of election results.
During 2012 US presidential election his prediction was correct in 49 out of 51 states. The guest speaker session started with the electrifying speech my Maggie fox, the senior VP of SAP digital marketing. The theme of this year’s SAP TechEd is get into the game with a 5K run being organized on the third day of this event. I am glad that I enrolled for the 5K race as it has been sold out before the TechEd started. The next speaker was Steve Lucas, president of platform solutions at SAP. Steve gave a brief introduction of Nate Silver and highlighted the fact that the amount of online data we are dealing with today can be measured in zeta bytes. We don’t know the definition of the zeta bytes but if you put that many i dollar bills on top of each other and create a stack of 1 dollar bill then you can stretch this tack from Sun to Pluto 18,000 times. This will give you an idea of the number of bytes in a zeta bytes.
The last the final speaker of the evening was Nate Silver. Nate talked about the signal to noise ratio …it goes up with the number of variables. He talked about the big data and big bias. How humane are biased when they create data and how technology can play the role to filter the signal from the noise. But in order to do this you need data scientists who have entrepreneurial spirit and have a good intuition. When questioned by Steve Nate mentioned that Healthcare industry has been cordoned off from the technology for a while and it will open up new opportunities for data analytic in the near future.