The Women in Analytics Conference is one of the largest scientifically-oriented conferences operating in the United States to date. In 2019, the event sold out to attendees from all around the world.
We plan to exceed those numbers in 2020 with the arrival of professionally driven data scientists dedicated to the betterment of their positions and knowledge within scientific and data-focused industries.
Who are these attendees, though, and what, specifically, about the conference encourages them to flock to it from all around the world?
The History of the Women in Analytics Conference
The Women in Analytics Conference was originally created by Rehgan Avon in 2016. Avon hails from The Ohio State University and launched the Big Data and Analytics Association for students. Avon’s own experience within her field and position drove her to seek out a community of women seeking support while operating in male-dominated industries.
She was able to gather a coalition of other women in similar positions, including Lauren Burke and Katie Sasso-Schafer, to bring the Women in Analytics Conference to life.
Since the conference’s inception, this team has invited a number of influential professionals to the conference floor, including representatives from Figure Eight and Microsoft. These women are also joined by their peers in the academic community, including representatives from the University of Cincinnati and Stanford.
The Conference Experience
While named the “Women in Analytics” Conference, the event is open to attendees of any gender. The speaker lineup, however, is strictly women (using an inclusive definition and welcoming transwomen, as well as genderqueer and non-binary individuals).
The Women in Analytics Conference agenda includes workshops that attendees can participate in to better brainstorm workplace evolution and lectures where they can learn about the projects and work of other professionals in their industries.
People from all walks of life–student to seasoned professional–come to Columbus, Ohio a to attend this three-day conference on a yearly basis. Whether they appear in person during the conference or watch conference talks via YouTube after the conference, they’re able to curate connections with other professionals in the data and analytics industries for networking and professional development.
This platforming scope gives the attendees, be they digitally or personally present, greater opportunity to learn more about the following industries and topics:
- Data Storytelling
- Ethics in data and analytics
- Cloud Migration
- Machine Learning
- Data Strategy
- Internet of Things
- Data Ethics
- Career Paths in Analytics
- Use Cases
- Data Capture, Storage, and Management
- Enterprise Analytics
- Social Media Data Analysis
Speakers at the WIA Conference
One other aspect that makes WIA super unique is that administrators provide a ton of benefits for speakers.
Typically, practitioners (less than SVP or C-level) are overlooked for speaker positions at bigger analytics conferences, which unfortunately means that women are more overlooked simply because there are fewer SVP and C level women in general, but especially in analytics.
Women in Analytics Conference gives experience and coaching along with a professionally recorded asset for conference speakers, which helps to get amazing practitioners in the speaking field and provide support for them to effectively communicate what they are working on.
Benefits of Speaking at WIA include the following:
- Fully covered travel and accommodations are covered
- Complimentary speaker coaching sessions
- Full conference pass
- Exclusive speaker dinner to connect with other speakers
- Access to private speaker lounge throughout the event
- Professional video recording of talk
A Study of Conference Attendees
With all that in mind, it may seem straightforward to segment the Women in Analytics Conference’s target audience. Roughly half of the conference’s attendees are analytical professionals.
These women and men are data scientists and engineers. They work in the computer sciences, in mathematics, in data assessment, and even in social media.
Roughly another third of the attendees are academics who are looking to build their skills, teach others new findings in the study of analytics, and grow their understanding of real-world applications of data.
That final twelve percent of attendees is primarily made up of students. Students can take a number of lessons from a conference like this one, but there are two that immediately come to find.
Firstly, students who are on the verge of graduating can utilize the Women in Analytics Conference to network and build connections for next steps after college and graduate school.
The round tables and workshops allow ambitious students to connect with industry leaders and take a step into the doors of different businesses, and the 2020 conference will include a career fair.
Secondly, the Women in Analytics Conference encourages students to continue pursuing the work that interests them. It remains especially difficult for women operating in scientific fields not to succumb to feelings of isolation.
Women even report feeling driven out of these male-dominated fields due to their gender. When they have the opportunity to bond, though, Women in Analytics can be a safe space in which to operate and learn from other women in their fields.
In short, the faculty and industry professionals offer that final student percentage examples to look up to and a community to embrace.
The Appeal of an Analytics Community
It is the potential for community, in fact, that drives the Women in Analytics Conference. Upon its inception, Avon outlined the conference’s primary goals:
- Representation – The conference needed and needs to provide women with the chance to see themselves leading and speaking in male-dominated fields. This includes trans-women and non-binary individuals.
- Networking – The Women in Analytics Conference serves as a venue to connect students, data scientists, analysts, and more with their peers to better direct their career paths and to foster beneficial relationships that are both personal and professional.
- Education – WIA Conference encourages attendees to learn more about their industries, best practice techniques, and problems facing the field on a daily basis.
Avon, her peers, and the Women in Analytics Conference pull women speakers from a variety of professional and academic communities together with the goal of creating a powerful, well-rounded, and interesting speakers bureau.
Anyone whos attend this conference–be they active engineers or analytics students–will gain a network of others in the industry, learn about important topics of conversation in the field, and have a chance to showcase their work.