More than 700 attendees predicted to attend the upcoming Big Data MN conference on January 21.

More than 700 attendees are predicted to attend the upcoming Big Data MN conference at the Carlson School on January 21. The conference, hosted by MinneAnalytics, takes a closer look at the juncture of data with business, technology, and math; and has an assorted set of speakers including the Carlson School's own Ravi Bapna, founding academic director of the Social Media and Business Analytics Collaborative (SOBACO) program.

"People are clearly quite thirsty for this subject matter," says conference organizer Dan Atkins, which can be seen in the steady increase in attendees over the past three years, from 200 in September 2009 to more than 700 for this month's conference.

"The audience is eclectic, ranging from data analysts to account managers, with attendees from Best Buy, Anderson Windows, 3M, IBM, Mayo Clinic, Medtronic, Target, and more."

Not only will there be a wide variety in attendees, the conference organizers were intentional in finding a speaker demographic that represented a variety of areas and topics.

"You can see from the speaker list there is a mix of academics, enterprises, small business, and some from the public sector," says Atkins. "We chose a diverse set of speakers deliberately."

Bapna worked closely with Atkins in developing the speaker list which includes a handful of other University of Minnesota faculty: