The Masters of Big Data 2015 was held at the Maritime Room in Auckland and the Mac’s Function Centre in Wellington last month with over 200 attendees across the two days of the conference.

Keynote Speaker Dr Barry Devlin, one of the founders of Data Warehousing worldwide, kick-started proceedings with his presentation “Big Data: The bold, the beautiful and the downright dangerous.” He discussed the opportunities the new world of data collection brings to business, and also the pitfalls that can occur while adopting new technologies, or potentially misusing or misinterpreting data.

Belinda Johnson from Mindfull shared her insights on the concept of marginal gains which are being used successfully by top athletes, the learnings from which can be translated into business outcomes. We then heard from Andy Ruckley from Tesco, one of the largest retailers worldwide, on how he has successfully rationalised multiple aging technologies into a new hybrid platform with only a minimal disruption to the business.

Several speakers covered the domain of finance from different perspectives: Dr Heng Chu shared his insights from Fidelity Investments (US) and how he is using technologies such as Hadoop to manage large volumes of data and process actionable outcomes in real time. Sam Daish from KiwiBank and Peter Gavin from ASB talked about the collection and use of data in the banking industry and Jim Swanson from Xero discussed the use of data and technologies to enable financial transactions in new ways.

Rounding out the line-up of speakers we heard from Roger Jones at Auckland Transport on how sensor information can be used to route traffic, and Myles Matheson from Microsoft on the new cloud technologies such as Cortana that will enable Big Data to manage more aspects of daily life at a personal level. Each day finished with a panel discussion led by WhereScape’s CEO Michael Whitehead, where audience members posed their questions about Big Data and technology and had them answered by the international panel.

The feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive, particularly regarding access to the international knowledge and expertise rarely accessible down under. WhereScape would like to thank the speakers as well as sponsors Mindfull, IBM, Microsoft, Intergen, MIP, Intech Solutions and AbsoluteIT, without whom the event would not have been possible.

Missed out on Masters of Big Data? Download the presentation slides below.