This was my third year up the mountain at Superweek and, despite the distortion that memory plays in the way you rate experiences, I'm pretty sure that on balance, it was the best one I've been to.
Assembled on a mountaintop was a line-up of the world's best thinkers and doers in the industry. And, somehow, me.
Superweek is an insanely fun experience, analytics folk from all around the world attending to exchange techniques, ideas and best practice. The unique setting -- a four-star resort up a mountain, 90 minutes from Budapest up roads that would be a lot of fun on Forza but can be less appealing in real life -- really makes it special.
Tim Wilson kicked off day one with a topic that was to come back several times throughout the week's sessions: data science. He's been learning R and shared his stories, and his suggestion that web analytics is nudging ever-closer to the domain of the data scientist was one that resonated strongly.
I spoke on The Missing Automation Layer (you can grab the slides here) and I had a great time. The automation I was focusing on was mostly connected to the collection of data from social network sites and piping it to Google Analytics, but there was also a nod to tools like Conductrics and Hub Scan's Tag Defender which make use of the other big buzzword of the week: machine learning.
Machine Learning made several appearances throughout the week, notably Petri Mertanen's session on predictive conversion modelling. At times Petri's stuff seemed like magic, but it's using an available tool from the Annalect guys and it really seemed like an impressive bit of kit.
That said, we all seem utopian rather than dystopian when it comes to the rise of the robots. It's exciting, not threatening.
A highlight for me of day three, and indeed of the whole conference, was Tim Leighton-Boyce's talk on Designing With Data On Gov UK. I really hope the video of this presentation makes it out into the wild soon as it resonated extremely strongly with the Australian government's digital transformation processes.
This is a really special part of Superweek. Being so isolated (outside is scary) means that the networking is a big part of the experience. Lunch is two hours, coffee is an hour, there's no rush like with other conferences around the world that (quite rightly) focus on mashing as much content as they can into the available timeslots.
A highlight is always the bonfire, which provides a natural warming space for evening banter. Coupled with powdery snow the likes of which I ain't never seen, it was a wonderful setting for really enjoyable analytics discussions.
Once again, I emerged from Superweek feeling more affinity with the industry, more excitement to try new things, and more flat-out in love with the work that we all do.
We were fortunate enough to have three staff from Data Runs Deep attending this year and we're all extremely excited to put what we've learned into practice.
A fantastic conference as always, and 2018 is definitely in my diary.