The Data Symposium is my favorite time of the year!

Seriously. I look forward to summer vacation and the winter holiday as much as the next person, but as someone who lives and breathes data every day at Cisco, there is nothing I like better than watching the Data Symposium come together each fall.

I work in Cisco’s Data & Analytics organization, specifically on the Data Governance, Education and Community Success team. Partnering with Cisco’s data and analytics community is a core part of our strategy (so much so that we called it out in the name!) because data and analytics will never exist in a vacuum. Our community makes us successful and vice versa – for example, the best data science model is useless without the business resources to implement it and support its success. And before we get there, who would build that incredible model if they weren’t confident that it would bring major value and impact to our business?

I have the privilege of coordinating data and analytics community and educational initiatives around Cisco, and the Data Symposium is our flagship event: live in San Jose, broadcast on CiscoTV, and rebroadcast for satellite locations around the world. Cisco employees interact with prominent technical and thought leaders from inside and outside the company, connecting with one another, growing their skills, and ultimately enabling Cisco and our customers to compete and win with data. (They’ll also hear from me at one of the breakout sessions… but I wouldn’t call myself prominent just yet.)

This year features a stellar lineup: Cisco executives Irving Tan, Shanthi Iyer and Julia Chen; Ian Swanson, VP of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at Oracle; Jake Breeden, co-founder of Sapien Experience; Isaac Reyes, founder of DataSeer; and — drumroll please — the former first Chief Data Scientist of the United States DJ Patil, with the keynote.

DJ has an incredible story. I’ve had the privilege of hearing him speak once already, and I can’t wait to see him on Cisco ground. He’s famous for encouraging analysts not just to be clever but to use their passion and skills to change the world for the better. That’s what we do every day at Cisco — connect the unconnected — so from where I stand, it’s a perfect fit.

For Cisco employees, the Data Symposium is still open for registration at data-analytics.cisco.com, and I hope I’ll see you there. For everyone else, don’t despair! I couldn’t bear keeping everything I learn at the Data Symposium to myself, so you’ll be hearing from me soon.




Tori Hall

Data Science Evangelist

Data & Analytics