Happy New Year! It is 2022, and here we are - ringing in the new year and taking a few minutes to reflect on the old.
At this time last year, with the release of vaccines and reopening of businesses, we thought 2021 would be a return to something close to normal. But the virus would not cooperate with our plans. Instead, we learned a few new Greek letters and about vaccination/booster/infection ratios. It has been a strange year to say the least.
The only ‘normal’ of 2021 was digital. We are more connected through digital experiences than ever. We have developed an acceptance - an uneasy comfort - with digital connections for business and personal use. Even my 88-year-old mother-in-law knows how to talk to the grandkids on Zoom. The tools and spaces of personal and business have blurred into one, and we use digital to connect for both.
While our access to physical spaces is hindered, our digital world is expanding, which has allowed us to be more connected across large physical distances. It has allowed us to collaborate with colleagues across the country and the globe and continue to pursue our big, hairy, audacious goals.
Some of DAA’s goals for 2021 that were accomplished:
- We successfully held OneConference and Quanties in Chicago and online. We had over 200 in-person and online attendees, and the Quanties party was a blast with both in-person and video presentations by the finalists.
- The long-awaited Competency Framework update was unveiled at OneConference with newly identified skills and knowledge. Watch your inboxes for new and exciting products and services to come from that great work.
- We hosted a Digital Exchange. A half-day event focused on sharing the message of using data as a force for good with keynoter Bret Hurt.
- We hosted six Digital backyard events with several chapters collaborating to bring great content to their communities.
- The Essential Series was changed to include fundamentals and advanced SQL courses, and we partnered with Lea Pica on her Storytelling Academy.
- We shared 76 events in 2021, including 14 chapter events.
- The anti-Racism task force completed some great work. We hosted several webinars to inform our community on bias in algorithms and the BIPOC experience in our industry. We have set up forms for collecting DAA member demographic information. Because as we all know, what gets measured gets improved. We’ve also shared research on inclusive ways to gather demographic information. And we established a book club to review and discuss anti-racism writings.
- We implemented the WiTMM Maturity Model with a survey tool that lets organizations assess their progress on gender fairness.
Each year is an opportunity to serve our members in new and better ways.
Our plans for 2022 include:
- We will be continuing our deep study of members’ journeys to provide the best possible resources to meet the needs of our members with a renewed focus on engaging practitioners and senior leaders in practitioner organizations.
- In response to the great resignation, DAA is again hosting a virtual Career Fair on Jan 26. Use this for your hiring needs or to just fill the talent pipeline.
- We will again host the Digital Exchange in April. A virtual event to enable knowledge sharing and connections.
- We will be expanding our chapters to include global chapters.
- We continue in our dedicated efforts to eradicate racism with more than ten projects aimed at building more diversity in the digital analytics profession.
- We will shift gears to implement new programs and update existing programs based on the updated Competency Framework.
- The DAA OneConference and Quanties, scheduled for Oct 18 - 20, has plans for an in-person gathering in Chicago, and we will again provide an online option to accommodate our member’s needs.
- We will be undertaking the work of updating the DAA compensation study.
- The Women in Analytics group will continue their work on the Women in Tech Maturity Model, pursuing a summary report that guides organizations to improve gender fairness.
- An updated online community to better serve our members with an improved user interface and tighter integration with your user profile.
But First a few Thank Yous!
Thank you to the entire DAA community for welcoming me to the DAA. I have received so many well-wishes. I started my service to this community feeling supported and encouraged.
I would also like to thank our volunteers for their dedication and hard work on committees and task forces over the past year. We couldn’t have done it without you. Your commitment and enthusiasm make it possible to do the things we do.
Lastly, a big thank you to the DAA board. These leaders have provided hours of dedication and hard work over the past year with an unwavering commitment to moving the organization forward.
Well Maybe . .
Maybe, with millions of people vaccinated across the globe, we are closer to the ‘normal’ we seek. Maybe? But no matter what happens in 2022, I know we will persevere because we are a community of professionals dedicated to advancing the use of data to improve the world. We can't miss!
A very Happy New Year to the DAA community. May your upcoming year be successful with loads of hard work, dedication, and sweet achievements!