Big Data London 2023, was a whirlwind experience for me, being my first time attending this conference.
I had planned to attend numerous talks and visit different vendors but as soon as I had arrived, I realised how busy and even overbooked the event was. There were queues forming in front of the stages 30 minutes before talks began, which is not rare to see, but unfortunately I missed some talks due to this.
However, despite the queues, everything else was great. The talks I did manage to attend were incredibly insightful, and the vendors I spoke with had great products. Being surrounded by so many people who shared my passion for data in one massive hall felt like a homecoming. While I could share a lengthy list of everything that I had took away from Big Data London, I’ll focus on my top three key takeaways:
During Mat Richardson’s talk titled “Do you remember the first time? Tips and tricks for a successful data strategy from scratch”, he briefly discussed the concept of analytics maturity. He highlighted the stages of descriptive (understanding past events), diagnostic (explaining past events), predictive (predicting the future), and prescriptive analytics (offering solutions to optimise future outcomes). This idea fits in really well with data maturity analysis and gives you some essential steps to plan and develop the analysis conducted in your business. Although this topic was mentioned briefly, I found the entire talk fantastic. I hope it gets published to YouTube so that others can benefit from it, I’d highly recommend giving it a listen if it ever does!
Being a supporter for your team
The next takeaway comes from Antje Bustamante’s talk on “Data Leadership: 5 Lessons Learnt on How to Attract, Build, and Retain, The Most Amazing Data Team You Will Ever Manage”. Among the many valuable lessons she shared, one lesson stood out to me – the importance of being a supporter for your team. In short, it is about acknowledging and crediting your team members during significant meetings to boost team morale and recognition. It’s about shining a spotlight on your team, ensuring they receive the credit they deserve. This approach not only motivates the team but also builds their credibility for future opportunities.
The final take away came from Susan Walsh, also known as The Classification Guru in her talk “Check Before Tech: Beware of Dirty Data!”. While data cleaning and classification may not be revolutionary topics, Susan provided practical insights into common issues, such as misspellings, inaccurate descriptions, currency problems, time/date formatting issues, and more. Susan introduced the COAT framework – Consistency, Organised, Accurate, and Trustworthy – to guide effective data maintenance. This simple yet powerful framework really emphasises the importance of consistent, organised, accurate, and trustworthy data.
To conclude, the Big Data London 2023 conference was a rollercoaster of queues and exhilarating talks. Despite playing musical chairs for sessions, the insights were truly valuable. Overall, the conference was fantastic and I would highly recommend attending next year. The data team at Signable are already marking their calendars for next year!
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Let’s continue our journey in the exciting realm of data analytics and keep striving for excellence in our respective fields!
By Marijn Quartel Business Data Analyst at Signable.