One of the things that I like about going to conferences is the opportunity
to hear the great speakers who are invited to inspire and wow us. This year,
the speaker on Wednesday, October 24th in the General Session is Nate
Silver. Called a "spreadsheet psychic" and "number-crunching prodigy,"
Nate will explain how to distinguish real signals from noisy data as well as how
predictive analytics is used in politics.
Immediately following this session (Wednesday 10:15 -
11:15), attend the book signing we have planned at the IOD bookstore
for Nate's latest book: The
Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don't. At the
bookstore, you'll be able to purchase a copy of this book (at a 20% discount, of
course), meet Nate, and have your book personally signed.Â Remember that we have
a limited quantity of his book available so be sure to buy your book as soon as
More about Nate & his book:
Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance,
predicted the 2008 election within a hair's breadth, and became a national
sensation as a blogger all by the time he was thirty. The New York Times
now publishes FiveThirtyEight.com, where Silver is one of the nation's
most influential political forecasters.
Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of
prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe
of noisy data. Most predictions fail, often at great cost to society, because
most of us have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty. Both
experts and laypeople mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones.
But overconfidence is often the reason for failure. If our appreciation of
uncertainty improves, our predictions can get better too. This is the
"prediction paradox": The more humility we have about our ability to make
predictions, the more successful we can be in planning for the future.
keeping with his own aim to seek truth from data, Silver visits the most
successful forecasters in a range of areas, from hurricanes to baseball, from
the poker table to the stock market, from Capitol Hill to the NBA. He explains
and evaluates how these forecasters think and what bonds they share. What lies
behind their success? Are they good or just lucky? What patterns have they
unraveled? And are their forecasts really right? He explores unanticipated
commonalities and exposes unexpected juxtapositions. And sometimes, it is not so
much how good a prediction is in an absolute sense that matters but how good it
is relative to the competition. In other cases, prediction is still a very
rudimentary "and dangerous" science.
Silver observes that the most accurate forecasters tend to have a superior
command of probability, and they tend to be both humble and hardworking. They
distinguish the predictable from the unpredictable, and they notice a thousand
little details that lead them closer to the truth. Because of their appreciation
of probability, they can distinguish the signal from the noise.
With everything from the health of the global economy to our ability to fight
terrorism dependent on the quality of our predictions, Nate Silver's insights
are an essential read.
Nate Silver is a statistician, writer, and founder of The New York Times
political blog FiveThirtyEight.com. Silver also developed PECOTA, a
system for forecasting baseball performance that was bought by Baseball
Prospectus. He was named one of the world's 100 Most Influential People by
Time magazine. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
More about the General Session:
Wednesday, October 24
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
Technology is rapidly changing the world and affecting the way we live and
conduct business. Think of some of the daily things you do that just five years
ago were not imaginable. In this new era of computing, the possibilities that
lie ahead are endless, but succeeding in the future requires that you think
In Wednesday's session, top technology thought leaders will discuss the
exciting possibilities that lie ahead and how you can stay ahead of your
competition by positioning yourself for success. With their insight, you'll
begin to see opportunities instead of challenges and view the possibilities in a
different way. You'll leave the session ready to return to your organization
with a new vision for the future.
I'm looking forward to hearing from Nate and reading his book.