Servers in a warehouse

Data and the technologies that gather it are at the heart of the digital lives we live. Vast tranches of information can now be stored, processed and analysed in seconds - from the e-mails we send to the groceries we buy to the random subjects we choose to browse online.

It may seem like a Big Brother world in which our privacy is being sacrificed, but the sheer power and speed of computers means that we can now process information in a way that has begun to give up insights previously hidden from view. New correlations are revealed and business trends spotted. Data sets which appeared to have little value are suddenly the key to preventing disease and predicting crime.

Viktor Mayer-Schonberger is the co-author of the book, Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think - which the Financial Times believes to be one of the business books of the decade.

He says;

“Big Data is gaining traction. A year ago, this was the topic of a small group of interested folks, now it is becoming more mainstream. And it is obvious to me why: at its core Big Data promises to improve human decision making. That must be of particular interest to everyone in leadership positions.”

Viktor believes that these wonderful opportunities go hand in hand with a responsibility to protect privacy and to take active decisions about how we handle the issues surrounding Big Data – for example; he champions the right to be forgotten online.

Digital Marketing Evangelist and speaker Avinash Kaushik is equally excited by Big Data and its possibilities but he also knows that its usefulness to business lies in unlocking its potential;

“My interest is deeply and passionately rooted in trying to figure out how to ride big data all the way to the bank (or world peace). How to find insights? How to structure organizations that will use this data to ensure that they get timely value from it? How to drive action? How to find frameworks that force a different type of thinking so we don't make the mistakes we so brilliantly have made in the world of small data? “

Keynote speaker Mike Walsh believes an understanding of the potential of Big Data is vital to anyone running a business in the 21st Century. He advises business leaders to set up a business intelligence unit taking data out of the realm of IT and into the arena of business strategy. He believes that by analysing data you could for example, really start to understand your customers and their purchasing decisions. With Big Data hidden gems can be revealed!

All the speakers mentioned here can be booked via Speakers Associates. Other speakers with insights into how you can use Big Data to improve your business include; Peter Cochrane, Tim ColeDavid Rowan and Hans Rosling.

Jul 18, 2015 By Lucy Thorpe