Record turn out at Big Data Belfast conference

Life Less Complicated – An Executive Collaboration

A huge and heartfelt thank you to all involved in Northern Ireland’s premier data analytics event, from our sponsors to our technical showcases and our stand holders, our speakers and our panellists, but also our attendees! You are what makes a conference, and this year you turned up in record numbers. While the speakers had some excellent content, the conversations to be had on the day were also full of potential, here is what some attendees had to say about the day:

“Great representation of women on stage and in the audience. LOVED Austin’s live demo”Victoria McCallum, Women in Tech

“Excellent opportunity to get to see how other businesses are using data, good range of speakers, good engagement with the audience”Caitriona Mulhelm, Liberty Insurance

“Very informative; the correct balance between presentations, panels and Q&A”Maria McDonnell, KPMG

“I learned a lot about how companies go about using data. I liked networking and the structure of the day”Jade Dean, RBS

“Liked the range of speakers and examples of business and technology Sinead Dillon, Fujitsu

The underlying theme was how to use data to make life less complicated. In essence, how can we get data to work for us, rather than against us, or not at all. Whether that’s through open data in healthcare, analytics for a smarter city, making you breath easier or your commute shorter, or to improve our business decision making.

New legislation around GDPR was discussed, which might not seem to make our lives easier at first glance, but as people, consumers and data creators, it does give us more power and make it clearer where we stand with our own data. A challenge for business, certainly, but also an opportunity to demonstrate some client focus and end-user dedication, not to mention technical expertise.

One topic that was discussed on a break out panel session, Data for Good, also came up in a panel event at Queen’s University the day before on Artificial Intelligence as well as a Meetup the previous evening on Smart Cities. It shows how this is a hot topic at present, that comes up where ever data is discussed. Questions such as, How should we be using data? What are the moral and ethical implications of who owns the data? How it is shared? Who benefits and how? This was discussed in depth at the event but will require much more thought to get anywhere near solving that particular conundrum. Do get in touch if it is a topic you are interested in.

Some stakeholders for the day have expressed an interest in continuing to discuss these and other themes over the coming year, so we would like to mention that we will be starting an action group to develop and build out practical and commercial solutions to some of the aforementioned issues. It will be dedicated to doing things, solving issues as effectively and efficiently as possible, not merely a forum for networking and discussion. The outcomes will align with the “Belfast Agenda” as well as Belfast Council’s Smart City Challenges. If you would like to find out more, please do get in touch with on 028 9066 9022 or by emailing .

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