Data Jawn, the Philly-centric analytics event, is making a comeback -

Software Development

Data Jawn, the Philly-centric analytics event, is making a comeback

On June 13 at the Science History Museum, three Philly data analytics companies are banding together to bring back the conference, which was last held in 2015. “Philly’s data community is something special that we need to promote and foster,” said one of the organizers.

RJMetrics' Data Jawn event ended with a panel discussion between Azavea's Robert Cheetham, Textizen's Michelle Lee and's Eric Ulken.

(Photo by Juliana Reyes)

A podcast convo and nostalgia of simpler times conspired to ring in the return of a data analytics event.

Origins of the revival of Data Jawn, a data analytics–focused event last held in 2015, can be traced back to a tweet from Dan Larson, associate director of institutional research at Drexel University and host of Data Lab Podcast alongside CompassRed founder Patrick Callahan and (former Delaware reporter) Joey Davidson.

The last Data Jawn took place in 2015 as an initiative of RJMetrics to organize the Philly data community. Now data scientists from a handful of Philly companies like CompassRed, Stitch, Fishtown Analytics and others are bringing it back.

(Of note: The latter two have ties to RJMetrics. Stitch is a spinout company born after RJMetrics’ 2016 acquisition and Fishtown Analytics was founded by RJMetrics alum Tristan Handy.)

“I attended the Data Jawn a few years back, and I loved it,” said Callahan. “This event that Philly and the data companies in it formed encapsulated this wild community, and it was really exciting. Fast-forward to late last year when I spoke with Ben Garvey (formerly of RJMetrics, now with Magento’s Analytics division on the Data Lab Podcast.) We half-joked about bringing it back. The joke part faded, and we got really excited about this possibility.”


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The event is happening June 13 at the same venue where the original event took place: the former Chemical Heritage Foundation, now known as the Science History Institute. The group nabbed sponsorship from the Drexel LeBow Business Analytics Solutions Center.

Larson said he was mostly excited about creating an event that would bring together the data nerds of Philly. But it’s also about stumping for the data work happening in Philly.

Ted Coyle, a data consultant in Philly who came to own the domain, said the event’s return is timely and necessary avenue for to community building.

“We’re at an inflection point for data privacy, data mining, and critical mass within and beyond the data community,” said Coyle, formerly with OracleCloudera and, most recently, the Mythics Emergent Group. “I’ve been all over the country and know that Philly’s data community is something special that we need to promote and foster. The focus on big data is really a focus on hyper-local insight. This is the next paradigm that conferences like this can help make reality.”

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