After each Data Day, I am asked “How can I become a speaker?”

Interesting question, and one worthy to write a blog about. Abstracts are due for Digital Built Week 2020 (which includes Data Day 2020) on January 19, 2020 (11:59pm PST)

Digital Built Week will be August 11-15, 2020 in San Diego, CA. Data Day will be August 12-13, 2020.

As Chairperson of Data Day 2020, let me provide some guidance on how to be selected to speak at Data Day:

  • This may seem obvious, but you must submit an abstract to speak. The Data Day Committee is committed to providing the widest range/diversity of experts in how data answers business questions in the AECO (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Owner) industry.
  • Please note there is not a separate abstract process for Data Day. Please make sure your abstract topic tag includes “Data Management”. This will make sure your abstract is priority for the Data Day Committee to review.
  • IMPORTANT:  Focus on the business outcome of the data, not the software used to collect the data. The Data Day Committee is software agnostic, we are interested in what is done with the data after it is collected by the authoring (e.g. Revit) software.
  • The first thing that is evaluated is not the title. The first thing to focus on is the Abstract Synopsis. Keep it precise. Focus on why an attendee would want to fly to San Diego and see this presentation. Data Day strives to provide insight and strategies that attendees can use when they return to their work.
  • Data Day Labs:  The Data Day Committee is focusing on data collection/visualization training. The labs should not include visual programming. Focus on how to use programs such as Power BI, Tableau, Mandril, or similar programs. Remember the labs are 75 minutes so focus on not speeding through what you know so well but provide not much value/instruction/learning for the attendees. Training is not the same as telling. The labs are meant for attendees to learn.


  • Speakers must be able to show the data, not necessarily the client/project information.
  • You must be able to show the ‘how’ of your process. If that process is confidential, modify/adjust it in a way to provide maximum value to the attendee while maintaining client requirements.

The Data Day Committee would encourage Owner/AEC firms to speak together as a team. The value of data to Owners is always a hot topic at Data Day each year. Bringing your Owner is a great way to show that you are a leader in your field.

The 2020 Data Day Committee looks forward to selecting the abstracts and having a fantastic Data Day 2020.

David Haynes

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