Welcome back! After a nice winter break with frenzied content selection, we are now happy to get back to a normal state, which means...it's time for a conference update!
In this second post, I’m proud to talk about the amazing content selected for ODTUG Kscope19. Speakers were just announced last week, and although the content will continue to shift slightly between now and June, it’s interesting to see how things are shaping up.
Note that the preparation work for the analytics in this blog post are not an easy task by any means and many, many, many hours have been spent working on this. ODTUG has the same issues that many customers do—we often have to massage our master data to do true analytics. It takes a lot of manual power to shore up company and presenter names. A huge thank you to Kevin McGinley, this year’s assistant conference chair, for his efforts on content analysis, which contributed to most of these statistics.
First of all, let’s ensure that we’re speaking the same language. The analysis done for this post’s content includes only the Mon–Wed one-hour sessions. Therefore, Sunday Symposiums, Hands-on Labs, Thursday Deep Dives, Lunch & Learns, etc. are not included in these counts. This content is excluded because it’s still being worked through and is not actually due until later in the planning year. Additionally, panels are excluded, as those sessions are not all fully closed at this time. And, side note: panels in general are hard for us to track as not all panelist speakers can be stored in the backend system, and the panelists can change at the last minute. Finally, the term “speaker” includes both primary presenters and co-presenters of the Mon–Wed one-hour sessions.
Now that the terminology lesson is out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff. It was another banner year with 1,000 abstracts again! This makes the competition super tough, and you may have felt that if you were not accepted this year. Overall, 28% of submitted abstracts were selected.
When slicing and dicing the demographics of the sessions accepted, 21% include customer speakers, 22% include Oracle ACE Directors, ACEs, ACE Associates, or Groundbreaker Ambassadors speakers. 42% of speakers are “new” speakers. Note that “new speaker” is a relative term here and a little bit of an inflated figure. We went back four years and could verify only against those speakers physically listed in the previous years’ abstracts (which would exclude panels, Lunch & Learns, Sunday Symposiums, etc.). An example of how this was realized: I had to reach out to my gal Becky Wagner to find out why she was flagged as a new speaker this year. This was because in years past, she served only on panels. In addition, when someone has multiple registrations and changes their name (e.g., shortens their first name, etc.), it can be hard to shore up without human intervention. Therefore, I expect the “new” speaker number to be inflated by a couple of percentage points.
Some demographics are much more challenging to track. For instance, we don’t track customers vs. vendors in our abstract submissions, nor basic demographic information for speakers like gender, age range, and ethnicity. Finding the number of customer sessions and female vs. male speakers took hours and many cross-references to LinkedIn, so the statistics there are truly our best guesses. Once you do finally do the analysis, you can’t help but respond to the result. The conference committee paused when the male to female speaker ratio was revealed. This kind of analysis has not been done in the past, so we are breaking new ground here. Is the number too high, too low? How many women speakers were actually submitted compared to accepted? Honestly, we feel that we have some work to do and some potential improvements in this area and other demographic areas. Stay tuned!
Current session tags (note that everyone’s interpretation of these tags can be misleading, so we intend to go through and clean them up for standardization purposes):
- 56% of sessions are tagged as having at least one cloud technology.
- 34% of sessions are tagged as having at least one on-prem technology.
- 17% of sessions are tagged as having at least one emerging technology product.
- 9% of sessions are tagged as representing the NOP (New Oracle Professional) audience, which are the folks who are brand new to Oracle technology in general.
So those are the overall content stats. What do you think? This is the first time (at least in the seven years that I’ve been involved with the conference) that we’ve deliberately taken time to look into these particular analytics and publish them. For those of you who don’t wish to pore over every session (which will be posted soon to the Kscope19 website), there will be highlights of our content in the coming weeks as we wind down the speaker acceptances and the teams have a chance to absorb the full list of sessions within each track and community.
One final note: year-over-year analysis is challenging for us and that is why it was not published in this post. Since our conference location and venue change every year, we don’t always have the same number of rooms and sessions. We also refine and update our tracks to keep up with technology, which makes the like-for-like comparison difficult. Now that we have a percentage baseline for some of the newer statistics, we can look at those year over years starting with ODTUG Kscope20.
Content is queen at ODTUG Kscope, and we are proud of our efforts to pick the very best educational content for you! Many thanks to the track selection teams, track leads, and content chairs for the hundreds of hours spent on this amazing feat. We look forward to seeing you at ODTUG Kscope19 in beautiful Seattle this year!
Opal Alapat, Oracle ACE Director
ODTUG Kscope19 Conference Chair
P.S. Don’t forget that the special early bird registration rate expires at the end of March! Lock in this year’s best rate for ODTUG Kscope19 before the month is over!