I’ve been fortunate in my role as an ESG Lab Analyst in that I’ve been able to be hands-on with a mix of companies that range from new, emerging startups to mature, proven companies. Specifically in the “Big Data” space, the exposure to the new products and technology has been just enough that I really want to wrap my head around everything there is to know. My ultimate goal at a high-level is to provide clarity where it’s needed - clarity in a cloudy (pun intended), confusing big data ecosystem. What do I need to fix my problem? Who does what? How do they do it? And the big question for me right now: Who really does what they say they do?
I’m finding this last question to be important. With all the confusion of all the big data technology that’s out there, companies can pretty much get away with saying they do X, Y, and Z, when in actuality they do X, they kind of do Y, and they don’t do Z. But before I get too deep into specifics of technologies, companies, and approaches to solving big data problems, I’m trying to stay as high-level as possible.
With that high-level view in mind, I recently attended a local event in Cambridge, MA with my colleague and Big Data Senior Analyst Nik Rouda (check out his blog here) called Big Data TechCon. The event is comprised of a few different things that meet different levels of big data expertise. There are the high-level sessions that worked well for me being somewhat new to the space. There are the intermediate sessions, which work well for casual practitioners and project managers, who care about the technology, but don’t necessarily need the details 5 layers deep. And finally there are the advanced, hands-on sessions for the developers, architects, and data scientists. Let’s not forget about the show floor, which was pleasantly intimate with around 20 vendors.
Overall I was very happy with the event, but I do have one complaint. There was just not enough time to get to everything I wanted to get to! The first day was filled with sessions that lasted a half day to a full day and I honestly wanted to sit in on all of them! Fortunately for me, this isn’t the only Big Data TechCon this year. I’m hoping to book my tickets for the next one in San Francisco this fall.