Creating your WoW Agenda – Samples Included

Dean Compher

30 September 2016

Updated 17 October 2016



Whether you are into Cloud Databases, DB2, Big Data, Informix, lectures or labs, it is now time to start building your agenda for the 2016 World of Watson (WoW) Conference (formerly Insight).  There are tons of great sessions and networking (fun) evening activities at the conference and by planning ahead you can squeeze the most value out of the conference.  If you like lab sessions then sign up early or you risk them filling with other people.  In this article I’ll share a few tips on building your agenda and even some sample agendas for various interests to help you get started.  If you’re not that familiar with the conference this may help your planning, but you should review all the choices on the conference web site.  Please browse the sessions on the agenda and pick the ones of most interest to you.  In this article I also provide information on using the agenda building web site. If you haven’t registered for the conference yet, make sure to select IBM Rep and type “Dean Compher” in the box where it asks you how you found out about this conference when you do register. 


There are several technical sessions again this year.  If you want to see what is available before you register you can browse the available sessions using the Sample Agenda Builder (Session Preview Tool) to see all of the great content.  With the sample agenda builder you can create different prototype agendas and e-mail or print them.  The sample agenda builder is rather rudimentary this year and does not allow you to filter by date or to save an agenda to work on later or import into your private agenda.  So don’t forget to e-mail or print what you create.  When you create your private agenda, you can just search for the session numbers you mailed to yourself. 


If you have not already done so, you will need to register for the conference to build your private agenda and attend.  You can then build your personal agenda in the World of Watson Session Expert.  Click the Sign in button near the top of the page and then enter your IBM ID.  This is the ID you use for most interactions with IBM, like downloading fix packs.  If you don’t already have one you can create an IBM ID on the sign in page.  You can create an agenda without signing in, but it will not let you save it.  Once signed in, you can either have Watson build an agenda for you by asking it questions, or click the “All Sessions” link near the top right of the screen where you can filter the types of sessions you want and search by key word.  DB2 sessions are under “Filter by Topics” >> “Data Management”.  As you choose sessions for your agenda, your choices are automatically saved for you if you signed it. 


When building a sample agenda on the website, you must not be logged in to your account.  If you are logged in you can only build your private session and you are not able to work with samples as far as I can tell. To build your sample agenda, go to the Sample Agenda Builder site and enter your search criteria or select the program and track to begin searching for sessions.  From your search results you can put sessions on your sample agenda by clicking the plus sign next to them.  When you are done you will notice that there is not a way to save your agenda.  To save, click the “My Sessions” link above your search results near the top of the page.  You then click either the “Email my sessions” or “Print my sessions” button.  It took me a few minutes to figure that out


Agenda Builder Tips 


There are so many tracks that we couldn’t come up with just one agenda, so Keith Redman and I have added a few sample agendas that you can use as a template for creating your own schedule.  Each time slot actually has many more sessions; these are just some of our favorites.  Make sure to examine other available sessions using the agenda builder or sample agenda builder.  One of the agendas below contains the networking and keynote sessions.  Don’t forget to put those on your schedule.  This year Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and CEO, will speaking at the main Keynote this year.


General DB2 DBA Lectures Agenda

If you want to get a lot of information about several topics, then attend as many sessions as you can.  This agenda shows the ones that db2Dean recommends for DB2 with some introductory cloud and hybrid database sessions as well since that is such a hot topic.  Some time slots show multiple sessions because I like them all, but you will need to cross off the ones you would not take. 


General DB2 DBA Labs Agenda

If you like to get more in depth on fewer topics then Labs are the way to go.  This agenda in this link is almost exclusively lab sessions, but you can mix and match labs and lectures.  At the time that this article is being written, there are not many labs available.  Labs fill fast, so sign up for them as soon as the private agenda builder is available.


Cloud Databases

There is a lot going on with cloud databases and the number of sessions in this agenda reflect that.  There are sessions on traditional relational databases in the cloud like DB2 and dashDB as will as NoSQL data stores like Cloudant, graph databases, and MongoDB on IBM Compose.  This agenda also includes sessions on hybrid clouds and how to copy and transform data into the cloud.   


Informix Sessions

If Informix is more you thing, then check out this agenda that includes both lectures and a lab. 


Big Data and Data Lakes

Big Data is more than just Hadoop and this agenda reflects that.  It does include purely Hadoop and Big Insights sessions as well as discussions of how to use all your data sources together as one big analytics platform.  Sessions also talk about cloud, on-premises and hybrid platforms, plus Spark and more. 


Receptions, Keynotes and Others

Don’t forget about the other interesting things you can do at the conference.  There are several after-hours receptions, but as of the writing of this article they are not on the schedule.  I’ll add when if they appear.  I’ve added the ones open to the general public to this agenda.  The main fun event is at the conference is Wednesday evening where Imagine Dragons will be playing.  Make sure to merge these sessions into your technical agenda.  There are also several events that are not widely announced, but you can ask your sales rep if you would like to be invited to them.  Also don’t forget to stop by the expo if you are interested in chatting about particular technologies or just want to get some cool toys for you or your kids.  Also Breakfast and Lunch are included in your conference registration and are normally held next to the Expo.  



Keith Redman has graciously provided additional Agendas that might be of interest to you.  


What’s this thing called Cognitive?

Coming to understand a painting or a symphony in an unfamiliar style, to recognize the work of an artist or school, to see or hear in new ways, is as cognitive an achievement as learning to read or write or add. – Nelson Goodman


In a nutshell Cognitive is about natural human interaction, and learning.  IBM Watson is the first computing system that can relate to Human Beings naturally, and is capable of learning.  Check out these sessions to see what Watson has already learned, what it’s learning now, and how it’s helping businesses and humanity address the most pressing needs.


Watson Analytics

 “Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is.” – Yoda


Internally at IBM we often draw the distinction between Watson and Watson Analytics by referring to them as Big Watson & Little Watson.  As Yoda admonishes, don’t judge by size as Watson Analytics is a powerful ally for all Analytics Driven businesses.  These sessions will educate you on what is being done, and can be done with Watson Analytics!


Data Lake or Data Swamp?

All impoundments of water need flowing, mostly pollution free water constantly coming in or they become stagnant.  The Data Lake is no different.  IBM views the difference between the Data Lake and the Data Swap and the constant flow of mostly pollution-free information that is Governed and is Lifecycle managed.  Check out these session on Information Governance to see how you can keep your Data Lake Crystal Clean.


Data Science…

Wikipedia defines Data science as an interdisciplinary field about processes and systems to extract knowledge or insights from data in various forms, either structured or unstructured, which is a continuation of some of the data analysis fields such as statistics, machine learning, data mining, and predictive analytics…  It then goes on to say Data Science is not to be confused with Information Science which is not to be confused with Library Science which is not to be confused with…..   I think you get the point.  Are you confused about the benefits of Data Science, or have you embraced Data Science and are now struggling to enable your Scientists?  Check out the sessions on Data Science and especially take a look at the new Data Science Experience.


Internet of (Things) Tomorrow

According to Forbes Magazine, in 2008 the number of devices connected to the internet first exceeded the number of Humans connect to the internet.  Since then, the Internet has exploded with the number of Things connected to it and communicating across it.  That data is a treasure for those who know how to mine it.  Check out these sessions on Analytics in the Internet of Tomorrow.


Put your Analytics on Cloud 9

Wikipedia defines Cloud 9 as the state of euphoria.  Wouldn’t we all like to experience euphoria more often?  IBM analytics in the cloud is making that a possibility.  Check out these sessions to learn how to put your business on Cloud 9.


Information Insecurity

We call it security, however we’re really dealing with our insecurities, especially around our information.

The recent Yahoo announcement is astonishing, not because it happened or the number of people potentially exposed, but for the time it took to realize it had happened – approximately 2 years(?)!   Information is the lifeblood of analytics.  We need it and we need to protect it.  Check out these sessions to see what’s new in addressing our Insecurities about our Information.


Architecting your Analytics House

Four years ago my wife & I set out to build our first custom home.  I initially drove our General Contractor NUTS with my incessant reviews of the plans before I would sign the contract allowing him to start construction.  I’d learned in my work, the more issues you can identify and fix before construction; the closer you stay to on time and on budget.  Building the Analytics house is just the same.  Check out these sessions for suggestions and best practices for architecting and building your Analytics House.  (By the way…  Any relationship that can survive building a custom home – can survive anything!)


Managing Content

It’s been said billions of times: “The job’s not done until the paperwork is done.”

The paperwork, Content, is the lifeblood of every organization.  Capturing that content, building business processes around it, governing the lifecycle of that content, and disseminating it to those who have a legitimate need for it, consumes more & more business resources every day.  If your struggling with your content, check out these sessions to help you ‘get the paperwork done!’


Artificial Intelligence

Have you ever noticed that all the movies made about the topic of Artificial Intelligence portray the doom of human kind and the hero or heroine’s success at averting it?  Hopefully we never truly get to that point.  However, if the inner geek in you is interested in checking out what IBM research is working on today, check out these sessions.


For your Boss – Executive Panel Discussions, Executive Trends & Directions

Are you overworked?  Do you need a vacation, or a Staycation?  Send your boss to the World of Watson!

The World of Watson has a number of sessions geared specifically to that Cat who manages your professional life.  There is also the benefit of one-on-one conversations with IBM executives that can be scheduled with the assistance of your IBM representative.  So if you can’t go to the World of Watson, send your boss!  After all; when the cat’s away, the mice can play…  (If you can’t go, don’t fret it too hard.  Many of the major sessions will be streamed on



Special interest Sessions

There are a number of sessions that I did not include on the above agendas because of their specialized nature.  However, if that specialty appeals to you then you may want to attend them instead of some of the sessions on the above agendas.  Here are some that tickled my fancy:



IBM and SAP are still very strong partners and DB2 is the best database for your SAP applications.  This agenda shows the sessions where you can learn more about how to run SAP on our DB2 systems.   


Talk to the Experts

Go to the “Ask the Experts” or “Birds of a Feather” sessions to talk in small groups about how to do something that interests you.  There is no other forum where it is this easy to corner someone from the lab.  All that you have to do is to go to these sessions and bring up your topic




There’s a lot more to the Agenda Builder than what I’ve listed in this article.  I encourage you to explore that site and use all of those features, but if you run out of time, then using one of these agendas is better than showing up with nothing and wondering aimlessly!  Also don’t forget to make sure to select IBM Rep and type “Dean Compher” in the box where it asks you how you found out about this conference when you register for the conference!


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