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New month, new debate, new panel talking some serious #DataProblems. The big difference? This was our first Big Data Debate (BDD) as sole organisers of the event.
Cue the panic and excitement!
We first got involved in the BDD to meet people equally as interested in harnessing the power of data on the web as we all are at import.io! From day one we loved co-organising this event. Creating a relaxed environment for everyone to gather and discuss common issues and, most importantly, indulge in beer and pizza proved a pretty great way to spend the evening.
During our time as co-organisers the majority of our talks focussed on the theoretical issues surrounding the Big Data conversation – ‘Is Data the New Oil?’ or ‘Does Privacy exist in a Big Data World?’ So we figured that now would be the perfect time to shift the focus onto the consumer and understand how exactly entrepreneurs, data scientists and developers can begin to use Big Data Analytics to inform insights and help decision making.
Big Data in Media
First stop: Media. Why, you ask? I actually stumbled across Musicmetric at a conference last year and loved what they were doing: actionable analytics for the music industry created by tracking social media, sales, BitTorrent and events.
That. Is. Cool. So we figured this would be a fun and exciting topic to kick off the new era of the BDD!
Shoreditch Village Hall was home to the event for a second time and we were packed to the maximum capacity. Everyone was a trooper. Let me tell you, it’s not easy to have that many people in one space, shoulder-to-shoulder, with no air-conditioning, on a hot evening in London.
We kicked off the night with some flash presentations from Tom Weiss (CEO, Genius Digital), Carl Holmquist (CEO, Freespee) and Marie-Alicia Chang (Co-Founder, Musicmetric) who discussed Big Data in TV and music. They managed to grab the crowd’s attention with pictures of ‘Game of Thrones’ and mentions of Carly Rae Jepsen and Taylor Swift.
Called in to moderate our panel discussion was none other than Charles Arthur, The Guardian’s Technology Editor. Joining him on stage was Marie-Alicia Chang, Rob Symes (CEO, The Outside View), Duncan Ross (Director of Data Science, Teradata) and Alistair Jones (Software Engineer, Neo4j). Charles kept our speakers on their toes with this tough opening question: ‘So, everyone, can you explain why exactly you deserve to be on this panel?’ Oh, I do love a bit of drama!
[NOTE: this is the part where I break to highlight the terrifying moment that we ran out of beer. I have never seen the import.io team hustle so quickly. #TeamPride]
Back to the main topic at hand: Big Data in Media. The panel discussion was brilliant. Twitter was a hot topic, with Duncan highlighting that people rely too much on the analytics it provides when, actually, many parts of the world don’t even use the social platform. Rob was quick to point out that a lot of companies cannot believe that big data can help improve statistics in everything from sales, through to company fitness and well-being. They went on to discuss the importance of using big data to predict success, failure and recommendations as well as accurately assess how your audience uses your product.
Thanks to our wonderful sponsors, Teradata and Genius Digital TV, 2 beer trips later and 40 pizzas down, the networking session was in full force. By the time we had to vacate the premises, I made sure that everyone had a beer for the road – or a rucksack!
Overall, I had an amazing night, full of great conversation and I learned a lot about how Big Data can be incorporated into the media. I can’t wait to host our next event in May where our panel of professionals will delve into the world of Big Data in Finance! I’ll be announcing more details soon so keep an eye on our twitter accounts @bigdatadebate and @sally_hadidi.
If you missed the event, don’t forget to catch up on YouTube!