There may be no person in the world better suited to being a keynote speaker at New Relic’s FutureStack16 conference than Nate Silver. After all, New Relic is all about using data and analytics to optimize your digital business, and Nate Silver is pretty much the world’s go-to guy for applying modern analytic and statistical techniques to politics, sports, and everything else.

futurestack speaker nate silverIf you don’t know Nate Silver, he’s the founder and editor-in-chief of FiveThirtyEight—named after the number of votes in the Electoral College—who won fame for correctly predicting the outcome of the 2008 presidential election in 49 out of 50 states. And he followed that up in 2012 by nailing the results in all 50 states. Intriguingly, Silver will be speaking at FutureStack just about a week after the 2016 election—he’ll likely have much to say about the results of that contest, and how and why forecasters got their predictions right or wrong.

From politics to sports

Nate Silver began his rise to fame as a baseball analyst, creating the PECOTA—a new approach to predicting player performance—and writing for Baseball Prospectus, as well and Sports Illustrated. Heck, in 2013-2104 he moved FiveThirtyEight from the New York Times to ESPN, where its data-journalism approach focuses on sports as well as politics, economics, science, and more.

Best-selling author and in-demand speaker

In addition to his work on FiveThirtyEight, Silver is the best-selling author of 2012’s The Signal and the Noise, Why So Many Predictions Fail—But Some Don’t, a big-picture look at how statistics are used, and abused, in the real world.

He’s also a well-regarded speaker, having delivered a TED Talk on Does racism affect how you vote? as well as a fascinating 2015 SXSW keynote address:

He’s even a frequent guest on TV talk shows. Here he is earlier this month on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert:

Finally, Bay Area residents may also know Silver from FiveThirtyEight’s quest to determine America’s Best Burrito (he had formerly run a blog called The Burrito Bracket). The winner? San Francisco’s La Taqueria. A deserving choice, to be sure, but the recognition has led to longer lines and higher prices as throngs of culinary tourists descended on the humble Mission eatery. Consider this more proof of a trend he’ll no doubt be emphasizing from the FutureStack16 keynote stage: the impressive and ever-growing power of data.

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Note: Event dates, participants, and topics are subject to change without notice.'

Fredric Paul (aka The Freditor) is Editor in Chief for New Relic. He's an award-winning writer, editor, and content strategist who has held senior editorial positions at ReadWrite,, InformationWeek, CNET, Electronic Entertainment, PC World, and PC|Computing. His writing has appeared in MIT Technology Review, Omni, Conde Nast Traveler, and Newsweek, among other places. View posts by .

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