Quick Chat: 5 Minutes with Dennis Edwards

Dennis Edwards, President and CEO, Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau

Dennis Edwards, President and CEO, Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau

We recently sat down with Dennis Edwards, President of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, to hear his thoughts about Data4Decisions and why he thinks Raleigh is the ideal place to host the event.

Q: Why does Raleigh make sense for Data4Decisions?

A: Living in Raleigh, we have several top data and analytics companies right in our backyard—including SAS, Cisco, IBM, Citrix, RTI and Red Hat—plus world-class research institutions that are home to a lot of incredible talent. With all of this brainpower, it makes perfect sense to tap into this potential. Raleigh is a global leader in data and serves as a hub for bringing fresh ideas and solutions to life—it’s the perfect fit for Data4Decisions.

Q: What do you enjoy the most about Raleigh?

A: I’ve lived in Raleigh for 7+ years, and I’ve never run out of things to do. There’s such a wide variety of activities here—museums, sporting events, arts, live music, culture and a great culinary scene that’s growing all the time, with terrific new restaurants run by award-winning chefs. The choices are endless.

Q: What’s something that might surprise people about Raleigh?

A: There’s a strong “can do” collaborative spirit here—among the public and private sectors and academia, everyone works together to ensure that the quality of life is first class and that we’re progressive in our thinking about what we can do for the future.

Q: Where do you see Raleigh going in the future?

A: Raleigh is one of the fastest growing communities in the country, and it’s been named the #1 place for raising a family and for starting a business. Several major companies that rely on data—including Quintiles, MetLife and Fidelity—have relocated to Raleigh in the past few years to tap into all of the talent we have here. In fact, MetLife is currently looking for 1,800 data scientists to support its operations. Raleigh has a very bright future, and Data4Decisions fits right into our wheelhouse.

Q: What are Raleigh’s goals in supporting Data4Decisions?

A: We think it’s an ideal partnership, and we’re confident that hosting the event in Raleigh will accomplish several goals:

  1. Data4Decisions will provide a forum that’ll give companies an opportunity to collaborate and learn from each other about how to best use their data.
  2. It’ll help business recruitment by showcasing the area and letting people see the excellent lifestyle here and the top quality of our workforce.
  3. Because we have such great talent coming out of our universities, we see this as a great recruitment opportunity to keep top talent in the area.
  4. It lets us show off Raleigh’s strength as a leader in data and data analytics.
  5. After visiting Raleigh and experiencing the Raleigh Convention Center, we hope that many who attend will want to return with their own meetings and conventions.

We’re very much looking forward to Data4Decisions and to welcoming all of its participants in March 2015!

Click here for more information about the Data4Decisions Conference and Expo.