Here is my year, presented in word cloud format from my three feeds.
There’s a lot of overlap, as you’d expect, but each platform presents its own slice of my life.
Master Data Management (MDM) is a way of keeping your data accurate.
I’ve spoken about MDM at companies, technology groups, business groups, database groups, conferences, college classes, and more.
Here’s the general overview that I typically give (download the PowerPoint file).
“Too much information is driving me insane.” (Too Much Information, The Police, 1981)
“Two men say they’re Jesus. One of them must be wrong.” (Industrial Disease, Dire Straits, 1982)
“A man with one watch always knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.” (San Diego Union, Lee Segall, 9/30/1930)
To master your data, take these steps:
When this is done, it opens up many possibilities for improvement.
When you know that your data is correct, you can:
Once it’s all running smoothly, you could also:
Many organizations have get-togethers in December. It’s a good chance to catch up with friends and colleagues, and find new connections.
If you’re in the Louisville area, here are some of the social gatherings that I’m quite likely to attend.
And here are some more focused events.
And shopping/entertainment opportunities.
You can keep up with all the events I’m part of or interested in on my calendar.
Thursday was the annual XlterateHealth’s Demo Day. The healthcare startups involved all showed off their latest and greatest ideas and achievements. I love checking out the new ideas that inventors and creators come up with.
Here are the companies that were there showing their wares:
This year, the event was held at the Play Dance Bar, which I hadn’t been to yet. (Me not frequenting dance clubs; go figure.) The place was decorated for Halloween. Very nicely done, too.
Here’s the Business First article about the event.
Thursday was also the “Data! Fostering Health Innovation in Kentucky and Ohio 2015” event, that I didn’t hear about early enough to get involved with. But a friend who went told me that even thought “data” was the first word in the event, it was mostly Department of Health officials talking about policy. Bullet dodged.
The REC Foundation (Robotics Education and Competition Foundation) hosts the VEX Robotics Competition each year. This is a competition for middle schoolers, high schoolers, and collegians. The worldwide championship came to Louisville in 2015, and will stay here for at least four more years. That’s a whole lotta flights, hotels, restaurants, and shuttling — about $5 Million worth.
At this year’s event, I volunteered for all four days of the event (Wednesday through Saturday). I was at the registration table for the first two days, which was an amazing experience. With over 800 teams from around the world, there were volunteers at the desk who could speak Portuguese, Mandarin, and a host of other languages. Each team had several students, plus their coaches, meaning that there were roughly 10,000 participants all told. For the next two days, I manned (i.e. “commandeered”) the booth for FirstBuild. They were one of the event sponsors, but didn’t realize that they’d also be getting a booth out of the deal. Since the booth would have been empty otherwise (which would disappoint me), and since I had a FirstBuild t-shirt, I sat at the booth and told people what FirstBuild is, how it came to be, what they do, and how jealous they should be because they haven’t been there yet.
The event is huge. It takes over the entire Fairgrounds and Expo Center — all four wings, and both stadiums.
You can volunteer here. (You don’t have to commit for the entire event like I did.) You don’t need to know anything about robots — they need all sorts of volunteers: registration, coordination, setup, scoring, etc. Kids can also help out, so this is a great family activity.
This week, the REC met with the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and dozens of leaders from business, technology, government, and education. (And somehow, also me.) They let us know some pretty cool things:
• the State Championship might be happening at U of L
• NASA has given them a grant to get at least one robot into every school in the county
• they’ll be offering “combo” exhibitor space in a Louisville Showcase for local business and tech, to make the sponsorship rates more affordable
• the event will once again coincide with the Thunder Over Louisville celebration
• they’ll once again rent out the entire Kentucky Kingdom amusement park for the kids Saturday night
• there are many scholarships for entry, including one from U of L
Here are some other cool robotic groups around town, if you’d like to find out more or get involved:
• The U of L Robotics Team
• The U of L Engineering Outreach
• Advanced Solutions
• DUG, the Drone Users Group
• The First Robotics competition
Louisville’s seventh Startup Weekend was October 9-11, 2015. The event gives participants the chance to pitch ideas to each other, form teams, research their topic, speak with customers, create a thing (a gadget, an app, a website, a process, etc.), and present their findings before a panel of judges. Eight teams made it to the Sunday evening judging rounds.
This was the first time that the first, second, and third-place teams were all led by women.
Third place went to artiFACTS, led by artist/photographer/designer/coder Lea Ingold. The artiFACTS phone app will make it faster and easier to ship artwork or other valuables that need their conditions to be photographed and documented vigorously along the way.
Second place went to Bodyguard, led by Berea College student Raunak Thakur. Bodyguard is a phone app that will silently alert campus police and up to five friends in case of danger. It can optionally sound an alert and flash the camera light.
I’ll say that again — led by high school student Abigail Griggs.
Foodinary is a phone app that will explain the ingredients on food labels in plain language, including how it is likely to affect our bodies. Each user could set up a list of food allergies, dietary restrictions, religious prohibitions, and other “food no-nos” to get alerted before eating something they shouldn’t.
Future enhancements to Foodinary could include logging nutrition intake, searching for foods that will affect our bodies in the particular way we want, image recognition for prepared food (“This looks looks like a plate of fettuccine alfredo, is that correct?”), user feedback and community interaction, and more.
I love being a part of Startup Weekend. It’s a chance to meet new people, hear new ideas, unite for a common cause, explore new processes and technologies, spend time with excited entrepreneurs, learn from experienced business mentors — in short — to get out of our own comfort zones.
And find an association or two to meet people in your field.
Some of the groups I’m involved in are:
• Technology Association of Louisville Kentucky (TALK)
• SQL Louisville
• Civic Data Alliance
• .NET Meetup
• Society for Technical Communication
• Louisville Digital Association
• Keep Louisville Weird
• Improv Comedy Workshop
• Louisville Mastermind
• No Rules Networking
…and plenty more. Find your own ways to get involved.
Startup Weekend Louisville, #SWLou
The Lane Report put out a great article about Louisville technology, in which Susan Gosselin covered many aspects of the local tech scene:
• TechFest, Louisville’s recent conference combining biotech, hardware, software, and emerging tech
• TALK, Louisville’s technology council
• Google Fiber announcing Louisville as its fourth city
• The Louisville Digital Association
• TechTown, the makerspace + creative studio for kids
• government support (Economic Development, KY Innovation Network, grant matching)
• makers (LVL1)
• coders (Code Louisville, Cocoaheads)
• accelerators/incubators (iHub)
• local tech companies (Silica Nexus, RedeApp, Deyta, Stonestreet One, Indatus, and more)
• events (Startup Weekend, CIO Practicum, XR Festival)
She covers even more in her article, but it would take a hundred times as much space to mention our other cool tech companies, opportunities, events, and talent in Louisville. Healthcare/biotech, robotics, STEM, security, innovation, manufacturing, data, and many other elements come together to make the tech sector an “exploding area of development.”
This morning, I spoke for the ladies at Dress For Success about finding and getting the right career.
Desiree Thayer, who sits with me on the board of TALK (the Technology Association of Louisville Kentucky), invited me. Besides being a techie and business leader, Desiree is also the singer for Front Porch Prophets and founder of the recording label Earthtone Analog Recording Company.
My own career has been an odd one, including space shuttling, virtualizing, radioing, graphic designing, writing, publishing, preaching, teaching, programming, databasing, conferencing, scrumming, gaming, hacking, and more. My degree in engineering math and computer science was counterbalanced by minors in psychology and philosophy; I like using both halves of my brain.
• know yourself
• know your community
• know your company
• know how to approach