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Hot Takes from the Year’s Biggest Data Events

A data enthusiast based in London would’ve had to travel 17,844 total miles to attend three of the biggest data events over the last few months. That’s over 37 hours of flight time. If you didn’t manage to make it to some or all of these events, don’t worry! Our team has been in attendance at events in Chicago, Verbier, and Orlando, and they’ve brought back the hottest takes from the year’s best data events so far. You’ll find them below.

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference (HIMSS23)

Attended by 35,000 healthcare professionals from 90 countries, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference, or HIMSS23, took place in Chicago this year, with health IT a key theme. 

Hot take: Healthcare outcomes are moving backward, not forward. AI might be the answer.

The headline takeaway from this international conference was the need for healthcare providers to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to improve patient outcomes, which are declining worldwide. Still reeling from a pandemic, healthcare systems from around the world are suffering patient backlogs and burned-out staff. HIMMS23 discussed how AI and ML can be integrated to relieve some of this strain. 

On this theme, Astrato presented its AI-powered Insights feature, which produces AI-generated data analysis and visualization, revealing trends, detecting anomalies, assisting with forecasting and causality analysis, and offering recommendations. Implementing AI allows less data-skilled business users to produce and share information quickly and easily. The presentation comprised a dashboard which surfaced key metrics about a hospital’s performance: things like number of inpatients, how long they stay, average cost, and average charge. There were dedicated pages for staffing, supply management, and other dedicated spaces for users seeking more in-depth analyses. 

Astrato is cloud-native, providing real-time insights that update with the data, something which ties well with the concept of interoperability and the need for greater data sharing, other significant themes from HIMSS23. Additional benefits of cloud-based data analysis for healthcare analytics are improved data security and improved handling of big data sets. 

Team Astrato at HIMMSS 2023

Skiers in Data (SKID)

The concept of Skiers in Data (SKID) was born out of founder Chris Tabb’s (LEIT Data) frustration with standard data events: they lacked a focus on business value and they were (largely) boring. To address this, Chris and the LEIT Data team decided to host an event 1,500m up in the Swiss alpine village of Verbier. Attendees emjoyed a day of talks from industry leaders on a host of data management-related topics, followed by a day of networking across Verbier’s 400 km of pistes. 

Hot take: Dashboards may not be dead, but Data Apps are the future of Analytics.

At this unique event, Serge Gershkovich of SqlDBM, spoke on the importance of data modeling for business intelligence (BI), and our very own Martin Mahler, provided insight into the future of low-code data apps and the incredible business opportunities they provide. Low-code data apps are especially relevant in the context of the ‘death of the dashboard’ proclaimed by Taylor Brownlow, who argues that dashboards have become overused, and that data notebooks, or apps – like those built in Astrato – often provide more actionable insights. 

As shown in Martin’s presentation, Astrato allows users to combine aesthetic dashboards with customized data applications, so users benefit from the efficiency of a dashboard and the detail of a data app. The day closed with a panel discussion hosted by Tabb and a talk from professional snowboarder and Swiss freeride champion Emilien Badoux, who spoke on his approach to high performance.


Astrato CEO Martin Mahler at SKID 2023

Gartner Data and Analytics Summit

The Gartner Data and Analytics Summit kicked off in Orlando, and focused on synthesizing business operations and data to facilitate better informed and more accurately monitored strategy. Sessions spanned a broad knowledge base, with industry experts covering trends and innovation in data science, compliance, big data, and more. One of the key themes of the summit was dispelling myths around AI. On this theme, Astrato demonstrated our AI-Insights feature. As shown in the gif below, AI-generated business insights can be generated quickly and intuitively, providing both visual and written information. 


A gif demonstrating how Astrato's AI Insights feature can generate data visualizations and text.

There were also some industry-disrupting, hot takes reported by our team on the ground. Here are some of the hottest:

Hot take #1: Less than half of data analytics teams provide value for the organization
We think this comes from a lack of adoption of BI products. Business users become numb to seeing the same dashboard every day; Astrato’s AI-Insights feature addresses this. Automated AI-generated analyses mean users can log-in and learn something new each time, and share both visualizations and explanatory text quickly and easily.  

Hot take #2: Culture is the key to success
And it should be more data-driven! Admittedly, this isn’t a hot take – the democratization of data has been spoken about at volume for years – but it’s worth repeating, because the benefits are huge. Improving data literacy, and lowering the barrier through NLP AI systems, means all members of an organization can benefit from data-based insights and common goals are easier to identify and achieve. 

Hot take #3: Cloud computing helps combat the climate crisis
The climate crisis pervades all aspects of our lives and BI is no exception. The cloud benefits from smart servers, scalability, and reduced maintenance costs, all of which improve computational efficiency and therefore reduce energy consumption. Gartner also stresses the importance of avoiding the replication of data, which is both financially and environmentally costly. 

Team Astrato at Gartner 2023

So, what’s next?

The year’s biggest data event is the Snowflake Summit in Las Vegas from 26 to 29 June. Without giving too much away, the Astrato team will be presenting our latest generative insights and generative contextual titles for charts features. Our Astrato project manager – and Snowflake Data Superhero –  Piers Batchelor is also part of a panel session on “Rapid Fire Use Cases and Overview of Snowpark: A Data Superhero“, alongside Chris Hastie, Christopher Marland, and Stewart Bryson, on the Tuesday (27 June) of the Snowflake Summit. 

You can stay up to date with upcoming data events and the latest Astrato news by following us on Linkedin