Data is the new currency for forward-thinking organizations of the future. This was just one of the themes that came out at this year’s Big Data & Analytics Summit Canada held on February 7 – 8 in Toronto, ON.
A few members of the Indellient team joined over 300 thought leaders from the top telecommunication, financial, entertainment, retail, government, and other industries at the most diverse data conference in Canada. Over the two-day workshop, the crowd heard each other speak about their journeys and experiences with Big data, AI, analytics and more – and together deciphered how to solve today’s complex business problems with some guidance from the experts.
As sponsors, exhibitors and presenters, we wanted to inform attendees that becoming a data-driven organization from top to bottom is an on-going process and one that doesn’t happen overnight. Talking about the importance and relevance of these themes in relation to the digital transformation is the first step. Our goal was simple: to have an honest, two-way communication stream where organizations could share their biggest reservations and uncertainties about their data projects and journey.
To get a better understanding of where attendees stood in their analytics journey, we thought we’d just ask them – leaving the marketing gimmicks and “get rich quick” schemes behind. Attendees graciously pointed out where they believed their organization stood in today’s data and analytics journey (the results can be seen in the photo below). Understandably, many businesses had not reached their ideal analytics goals, yet a few weren’t too far behind either.
Key Discussions at the Show
- Gaining organizational support for big data is imperative and there are many ways to get support along the way.
- Many organizations struggle with getting the right start and maneuvering through the many technologies and methodologies.
- Delegates were most keen to learn how to implement practical solutions in a timely and cost-effective manner.
- Security and privacy was a key theme this year; after all, what’s the point of acquiring data if you can’t protect it?
- 2018 will be a year of growth for real use-cases involving big data in business and beyond!
Our Speaking Session: The Learning Before Machine Learning
On day 1 of the summit, Indellient’s Director of Risk, Analytics Gordon Uszkay and IBM’s Senior Strategy Consultant from the Chief Analytics Office, Christopher Buchholz, took the stage to talk to a crowd of 120 people about Machine Learning. They discussed the journey involved in creating powerful data and analytics applications to eventually support Machine Learning and our experiences. Specifically, we discussed our work detecting expense fraud. By leveraging our analytics platform, IBM was able to place more control over their processes. They were able to move away from traditional analytics models and build a more sophisticated and advanced solution.
“The main comment people made was that it was refreshing to hear what someone had actually done, instead of all of the talk about what one should and could do. I think that is a great take away for these conferences – the keynotes can and should be about the big picture and future, but people are hungry to hear about real-life experiences, whether good, bad or ugly,” says Uszkay. “I am looking forward to this conference next year, and hopefully a few more that will let us show people that we can walk the walk.”