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Home » Learning Zone » Business Alchemists Blog » BA Conference Europe 2020: the one where we went virtual!
BA Conference Europe 2020: the one where we went virtual!

This year’s BA Conference Europe was certainly different as we all learned to navigate the online environment. However, everyone we ‘spoke’ to via chat, Teams, Zoom, email, WhatsApp, Instagram, LinkedIn or <<insert social media platform of choice>> was enthusiastic about so many aspects of the event. There was a lot to celebrate about business analysis and the great community of BAs.  

Within AssistKD, we always like to talk over what we enjoyed about the BA Conference. Here, in no particular order, are our highlights: 

  • Nigel Owen’s keynote speech. Declared to be ‘poignant’ and ‘inspirational’ (even by those not known to use this word lightly). Absolutely tremendous! 

  • Rene Carayol’s keynote speech. Declared to be inspirational and insightful. A lot of leadership ideas to take away and use including the watchwords of Clarity, Certainty and Hope.  

  • The discussion and chat forums. It was great to move between the track chat, chat lounge and lunchtime online sessions. These all contributed to a great sense of community and helped everyone to share recommendations and ideas. 

  • The presentations. Some highlights were: Kay Hardy’s talk Demystifying the Dark Arts of Data Science “an excellent explanation of this area”; Steve Whitla on Bringing Systems to Life “great on how to make models meaningful and useful”; Martin Langlands’ discussion about Use Cases and User Stories “very practical, visual session”. There were many other terrific talks – far too many to mention. 

  • BA Extra was an exciting new initiative from Adrian Reed and proved a great way of promoting and linking up the conference sessions. 

  • Dave Snowden’s keynote speech divided the audience somewhat but most of us found a lot of well-founded insights here and felt there was much to think about. We possibly need to watch the recording a few times to understand the numerous concepts and explanations. 

  • Having 9 months access to every session that we haven’t viewed yet plus those that we want to watch again. This promises to be an excellent resource and an opportunity for ongoing learning. 

  • The launch of the Young Business Analysts group. Congratulations to Lauren Howes, Kay Hardy and Emma Myers - you did a great job. Online charades though? Hmmm, definitely one for YBAs only! 

  • Diego and the drinks reception. Not a well-known rock combo but a marvellous introduction to the wonders of Argentinian wine. He even covered wine from Patagonia, which was guaranteed to impress our Welsh representatives. 

So, that’s our top nine and you may be wondering what the 10th highlight was. Well, the AssistKD team thought the ‘Debbie and the envelope’ incident that threatened to derail BA of the Year 2020 was a key highlight. It is definitely one that is likely to go down in AssistKD folklore.  

BTW, we also loved our stand but thought it might be a bit much to mention it as a highlight…… 

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