O'Reilly Strata Online Conference
Moving to Big Data

This Strata Online Conference has ended.

Agenda/Schedule | Program Chair

Everyone buys in to the mantra of the data-driven enterprise. Companies that put data to work make smarter decisions than their competitors. They can engage customers, employees, and partners more effectively. And they can adapt faster to changing market conditions. It's not just internal data, either: a social, connected web has given us new firehoses to drink from, and combining public and private data yields valuable new insights.

Unfortunately for many businesses, the information they need is languishing in data warehouses. It's accessible only to Business Intelligence experts and database experts. It's encased in legacy databases with arcane interfaces.

Big Data promises to unlock this data for the entire company. But getting there will be hard: replacing decades-old platforms and entire skill sets doesn't happen overnight. In this online event, we'll look at how Big Data stacks and analytical approaches are gradually finding their way into organizations, as well as the roadblocks that can thwart efforts to become more data-driven.

Agenda/Schedule

Speaker: Alistair Croll (Solve For Interesting)

These days, invention happens with consumers, and then gradually infiltrates corporations. Change is hard to resist, but companies will try. They’ll fail, mainly because every employee is also a digital citizen, dragging their expectations into the boardroom and the shop floor. Why do we know more about what our friends had for lunch than about the health of our sales pipeline, or where our trucks are?

In this opening presentation, Strata chair Alistair Croll will set the stage for today’s discussion, looking at modern expectations of visualization, data analysis, and realtime information and how these will force a sea change within enterprises.

Diego Saenz Speakers: Diego Saenz (Data Driven CEO), Jon Bruner Jon Bruner (O'Reilly Media)

By putting data to work, companies can outmaneuver their markets. Doing so is as much a cultural change as it is a technical one. In this session, Jonathan Bruner of Forbes talks with Diego Saenz, a veteran of Fortune 500 companies and startups—and the founder of the Data-Driven CEO—to understand how the irresistible force of Big Data meets the immovable mountain of Big Enterprise.

Justin Cutroni Speaker: Justin Cutroni (Cardinal Path)

Many organizations are already using powerful Big Data analysis tools, which collect information from thousands of sources and store them in shared, NoSQL-based data systems. They just don’t realize it.

Web Analytics tools have come a long way since their early days counting page views and visits. Today, nearly any event, regardless of what device it happens on, can be collected and analyzed with speed and precision. While analytics is still predominantly the domain of web analysts and the marketing team, there’s no reason these tools can’t also be used to track call center times, retail store traffic, social media mentions, and more.

In this session, Analytics expert and O’Reilly Author Justin Cutroni will look at how analytics tools have changed. Using the example of Google Analytics, which can collect information from almost any device or program that can generate an HTTP request. He’ll show how, with a well-defined data extraction API, the information can easily be ported to other tools for integration and analysis. He’ll look at how analytics tools can be put to work beyond the website, in effect becoming many companies’ first taste of Data Warehousing and BI, and address some of the challenges associated with using a traditional web analytics tool as a massive data collection platform.

Kaitlin Thaney Speaker: Kaitlin Thaney (Digital Science)

The Web has transformed not only the way we approach modern day science, but a number of other facets of the research cycle: tools for analysis, mediums which now serve as “information inputs”, how we exchange ideas and even discover knowledge. This shift in practice, understanding and resources is happening at a broader scale, extending beyond the traditional research environment on the institutional level to big business and industry. But the machine is not nearly as well-oiled as we’d like to think, and there are still breaks in the system keeping us from doing more efficient work.

In this talk, Kaitlin will posit that we’re not only “getting this wrong” in the academic research context, but that these problems are also finding their way in to the broader research enterprise. She’ll look at how financial, social and technical constraints are affecting the way we perceive and handle information, and what the best means forward to fixing the breaks in the system is.

Dave Campbell Speaker: Dave Campbell (Microsoft)

Big Data is all the rage. While the big data systems, patterns, and value were initially demonstrated at Petabyte scale with large scale Internet services, Big Data is applicable in any organization, regardless of organization size or volume of data. In fact, many early adopters of Big Data technologies in the commercial space are seeing significant top and bottom line enhancements through their use of these emerging technologies. The ultimate question is around new business value gets created out of the abundant “ambient data” produced by existing and emerging IT systems. How do we transform these raw data into new knowledge that matters for the business in an efficient fashion?

Microsoft Fellow David Campbell has spent time over the last several years trying to answer many of these questions to his own satisfaction, particularly determining how “data finds data” and how to turn data into knowledge in new ways. As part of the journey he’s witnessed a number of natural patterns that emerge in big data processing as well as encountered many companies that are understanding how to think differently about their data influx and use technology as a key differentiator in this strategy. In this short talk he will present examples of success from several industries and describe several Big Data patterns and illustrate them across a scale spectrum from megabytes to 100s of petabytes. Finally, he will offer some thoughts around how the market may evolve in response to these opportunities.

Christer Johnson Speaker: Christer Johnson (IBM)

What if you could ask your business a question? In February 2011, a computer named Watson beat two all-time Jeopardy champions. Watson included many innovative artificial intelligence breakthroughs in deep question and answer technology.
How will this kind of technology change the way businesses work? If we can apply algorithms and natural language processing to the entire body of an organization’s data—emails, documents, calendars, and more—we can perform “deep Q&A” and change how companies think.
In this session, Christer Johnson, who leads advanced analytics and optimization services, will look at how systems like Watson can transform enterprise use of Big Data.

Lynn Langit Speaker: Lynn Langit (Teaching Kids Programming)

How will companies familiar with BI and SQL gradually embrace unstructured data and noSQL models? Will this be through a “layer” of SQL emulation? Through an Excel plug-in that generates Hadoop workloads? A rethinking on the part of database vendors? Or something else entirely?

In this session, cloud and data expert Lynn Langit explores the roadmap to Big Data adoption by traditional enterprise IT and corporate software developers.

Speaker: Alistair Croll (Solve For Interesting)

Closing Remarks

Program subject to change. The entire conference will be recorded and made available to attendees free of charge afterwards.

Sponsorship Opportunities

A limited number of sponsorship opportunities are available for Strata Online Conference. To sponsor Strata Online Conference and for general sponsorship information, contact Susan Young at syoung@oreilly.com.

Strata Online Program Chair

Alistair Croll Alistair Croll
has been an entrepreneur, author, and public speaker for nearly 20 years. He’s worked on a variety of topics, from web performance, to big data, to cloud computing, to startups, in that time. In 2001, he co-founded web performance startup Coradiant (acquired by BMC in 2011), and since that time has also launched Rednod, CloudOps, Bitcurrent, Year One Labs, the Bitnorth conference, the International Startup Festival and several other early-stage companies.

Alistair is the chair of O’Reilly’s Strata conference; Techweb's Cloud Connect; and the International Startup Festival. He's written four books on analytics, technology, and entrepreneurship, including the best-selling Lean Analytics which is being translated into eight languages. He lives in Montreal, Canada and tries to mitigate chronic ADD by writing about far too many things at Solve For Interesting.

Questions? Please send an email to conf-online@oreilly.com