Think Bigger: How to Harness the Power of Big Data


What’s the promise of Big Data? And the perils? How can it be used to drive growth? Improve efficiency? Create competitive advantage? How are effective data science teams built?

These were just some of the burning Big Data questions addressed by the first briefing in the EMC Greenplum Data Science series, held in London on February 8th. Think Bigger: Harnessing the Power of Big Data to Reinvent Markets and Create Growth was the first in a series of one-day events bringing together thought leaders in analytics – drawn from industry and academia – and business leaders looking for current, and future, insights into Big Data.

Presentations were designed to provide real food for thought on Big Data: to stimulate conversations, generate ideas and provide concrete examples of how Big Data is delivering real business value today. Now we are at a point where we can compare disparate data sets – databases, audio, video, social media feeds, open data etc. The opportunities to transform all areas of the business are boundless. And in recognition of this fact, the senior level audience that came to explore the big data opportunity for themselves not only included CEOs and CIOs but also CMOs, CFOs, CTOs, COOs and representatives from across other business functions.

Big DataMarcus du Sautoy, OBE, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, gave the keynote, explaining how math is a powerful language to interpret and navigate Big Data. Sean Gourley, CTO of Quid, spoke about how data can shift strategies and change markets; while Nigel Shadbolt, Professor of Artificial Intelligence, University of Southampton, explored the opportunities and challenges of open data. Steven Hillion, Chief Product Officer, Alpine Data Labs, discussed the problems of finding a single person with all the skills a data scientist needs, and issues around building effective data science teams; and Matt Bagwell from EMC Consulting discussed the importance of visualisation in the Big Data story.

The program also featured examples of data science in action: the tools and strategies that companies are using today to extract incredible value from Big Data. Mike Ferguson, Industry Analyst, Intelligent Business Strategies, and Jameel Syed, CTO, Musicmetric debated the best tools available. Mark Sear from EMC Greenplum discussed real world applications of data science, and introduced speakers from Black Swan and VLDB Solutions, who shared their insights into Big Data analytics and how it is transforming their businesses.

Peter Hinssen, Lecturer at London Business School and Cofounder of the Across Group, gave the closing keynote ‘Data is the New Oil’ which described how, in a world flooded with data, refining it will become the biggest challenge.

To paraphrase John Naisbitt, we are living in an era when we are drowning in information but starved for knowledge. We need to think bigger. And the EMC Greenplum Data Science Series, with its ability to help us explore the way we think about Big Data, helps business leaders do just that.

Find out more details about the Data Science series, including dates and venues for other briefings.

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