South by Southwest celebrated its 30th edition in March with more than 30,000 attendees attending the premier global tech, film and music festival in the world. Among the attendee and speakers were President Barack Obama, who is the first sitting president to speak during the festival’s history.
Every year at SXSW, new tech trends and startups from all over the world vie for the attention of the press and early adopters. Previously, successful tech startups such as Twitter and Foursquare broke out at SXSW, and the festival remains one of the best places to learn, discuss and test out the next wave of dazzling technology.
One of this year’s focus was on the use of data. In his keynote speech, President Obama inspired the tech community to action proclaiming "If we use technology, data, social media in order to join forces around problems, then there's no problem that we face in this country that's not soluble.” Business leaders in retail and ecommerce echoed these sentiments as they discussed the power of using data to better understand customer changing preferences, sentiments and values. It seems the consensus on how to achieve business success was the integration of analytics of data-sets to help companies to better serve the customer. As founder and CEO of Under Armour, Kevin Plank, stated “Data is the new oil, the companies that will win are using math.”