ISM2018 is being held in Nashville, TN. As conveyed on their website, this is what you can expect:

ISM2018 is the must-attend professional development conference of the year. C-suite-level practitioners have developed content focused on supplying you with actionable ideas, standards and best practices for your career and company.

My role in procurement is predominantly to serve in a support capacity, helping to manipulate data, analyze the results, and ultimately present them in an effective manner. That is to say that I serve in a support capacity. Not an executable one. Despite this fact, having attended this conference last year I can say with certainty that it’s worth every single penny.

For other technical analysts that may be debating whether or not to attend ISM2018 I would like to draw your attention to the “Digitization” track:
This track focuses on today’s game changers in the digital world and what they mean for your operations and communications planning. Increasingly, procurement professionals are leading the conversations in their organizations around digital strategy, big data, and innovative technologies. Leave these sessions understanding how to leverage digitization to enable business success.
Of course, understanding where procurement is likely to head only serves so much value. Ideas don’t generate ROI. Execution of those ideas does. Sadly, over the course of the past year I have found that there is a ton of content available discussing the impact of AI, machine learning, big data analytics, and other applications on procurement but little on how to go about actually implementing or using them. A quick search of most of the well-known data-centric sites such as UdacityDatacampDataquestUdemyCoursera, and EdX quickly shows a dearth of procurement oriented content.

Am I excited out the future of procurement? Absolutely. Technology and analytics are going to play a big part in its future.  This is made very clear when one reviews all of the content on the agenda for the Digitization track which may be found here found here. Do I personally think that the community could be served better by adding more visibility into how to go about achieving this integration? Absolutely. Hopefully ISM2018 can serve as a starting point for developing a unified community.

If you have suggestions about content that you'd like to see published as part of a procurement analytics execution series, or training resources worth aggregating and publishing as a reference guide, feel free to email me directly at

Disclaimer: Source One is a diamond sponsor for ISM2018.

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James Patounas

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