Discovery Summit

Exploring Data | Inspiring Innovation

Event Highlights

Inspiration shared among authors, innovators and data analysts

For the third annual Discovery Summit Japan, many of the nation’s top data analysts and curious academics traveled to Tokyo to meet with business experts and thought leaders from Asia, the United States and Europe. The Nov. 17-18 event is part of a series of analytic conferences hosted by the US-based SAS for the purpose of inspiring innovation through the use of interactive and visual data analysis.

The event opened with a tribute to the recently deceased Professor Toshiro Haga from Tokyo University; it closed with an equally heartfelt thank you to the conference’s Steering Committee, which selected the event’s papers and posters.

In his toast at the opening reception on Thursday, Nov. 17, John Sall -- SAS co-founder and the principal architect of JMP -- said Professor Haga had been a great mentor to many people, including quite a few of the people in that very room. Sall and Professor Haga met at a SAS users event in San Francisco when JMP was newly introduced some 27 years ago. In the years since, Sall said, “Professor Haga gave us many good ideas that are part of JMP today.”

Sall showcased his favorite JMP 13 features during the opening plenary session entitled “Triskaidekaphilia.” In the question-and-answer session following the talk, Yukio Takahashi, President of BioStat Institute, called the superstitious release “eerie,” but said that Sall was “quite clever” to focus on the love of the number 13. Takahashi also said that the new version was very full: “We statisticians need to catch up with you so we won’t be left behind.” He said he looked forward to learning more about these new features.

The 300-some attendees explored the latest releases of JMP, JMP Pro and JMP Clinical in Ask the Expert sessions. They also heard case studies from current users from industry and academia, and learned about a variety of JMP applications by interacting with paper and poster presenters.

In the final talk that included magic tricks, visualization illusions, and stories about psychological research, author Richard Wiseman had audience members laughing and contemplating how they take in information. Like all Summit closing sessions, this one was designed to entertain as well as inform, leaving the audience feeling lucky to have had the opportunity to experience a Discovery Summit. “We can all learn to be lucky,” said Wiseman, whose recent book is called The Luck Factor.

A hallmark of the Discovery Summit series, networking was made easy at the wrap-up party, which featured a sake sommelier and expert-staffed demo stations.

New to Discovery Summit Japan was the Steering Committee’s role in paper and poster selection. Said JMP Marketing Manager Atsuko Iono, “This is the first year the conference has been steered by a committee.” She extended gratitude to the committee for its diligence, and invited attendees to think ahead and consider submitting abstracts for the following year’s Summit.