Visualizing Big Data: BDIG Forum in Pictures

Program Director, Marketing, IBM Analytics

After attending several IBM Big Data, Integration & Governance Forums over the past year, I am continually impressed with the presentations, conversations and questions posed during the sessions. I would venture to guess that attendees find themselves learning from each other as well as from the IBM and analyst presenters. 

The most surprising element at the NYC event last week was the artist who, in real time, captured key points and images from each presentation on a huge whiteboard. Not only did she spell (almost) everything correctly without needing whiteout, but she was able to highlight key points that all of us want to remember from the sessions. I kept looking around the room to see if others were trying their hand at this artistic form of note taking.

Over the past year, the main focus of the event has evolved to feature big data. Eric Sall, VP of Product Marketing for Information Management, kicked off the NYC forum with a quote from Clive Humby that seems to be used across the industry to depict the shift that is going on right now: “Data is the new oil.” 

This was an easy image for the whiteboard artist to capture – an oil rig, a drop of oil. Eric went on to clarify this quote with the message that just as with oil, data will be of no use unless it is refined. This got me thinking that no matter how much data you have, no matter how big it is, unless you can access it, understand it and ultimately trust it – no one is going to use it.

Eric also presented five key use cases for big data. The whiteboard artist followed right along and depicted the use cases with bags of money, old PC terminals and a depiction of Smarter Cities. These use cases can help organize and prioritize big data initiatives. (Eric also recorded a podcast about these five use cases – listen to it here.)

5 Key Big Data Use Cases

  1. Big Data Exploration
  2. Complete View of Customer
  3. Security/Intelligence
  4. IT Operations Analytics
  5. Data Warehouse Augmentation

Other presenters echoed Eric’s messages around how to address big data both from a strategic standpoint as well as with IBM’s Big Data, Integration & Governance portfolio. I look forward to attending additional forums in cities across the country to see how other whiteboard artists interpret just how big big data actually is.

Join us at a forum in a city near you, or follow the discussion on Twitter with the #BDIGForum hashtag.

Seattle - February 19
Los Angeles – February 21
Washington, DC – Mar 5
Kansas City, KS – Mar 19
Dallas – Mar 21