Big Data Forum in Virginia

Posted by Kim May on March 11, 2013 under Big Data, Frank Fillmore, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IBM Pure Systems, Netezza, Optim, TFG Blog. Tags: , , , , , , .

I had the pleasure of attending and participating as a Business Partner in the IBM Big Data and Governance Forum road show event in Reston, Virginia, last week.  Many of the attendees were from Federal government agencies – no surprise – and most of the attendees, at least in my opinion, seemed to be trying to satisfy their curiosity about  Big Data. 

The first session presenter was Tracey Mustacchio, the Director of Marketing for Big Data.  Tracey came to IBM from Vivisimo, one of the latest IBM Information Management acquisitions.  She started her session with a standard show of hands opening.  The amazing thing was, with about 100 people in the room, only THREE were actually using any Big Data solutions in their IT shops.  3%!!  That meant – with the simplistic way I do math –  the other 97% of the attendees were, like me, still trying to figure out how to apply this new technology.  And of course, overcome the skepticism that comes from hearing a solution referred to as a “game changer” a few too many times.

The information delivered was excellent, with the presenters using clear, understandable business use case examples to demonstrate the Big Data solutions at work.  I thought it was great. 

As a Business Partner The Fillmore Group raffled off the gorgeous, huge coffee table book, “The Human Side of Big Data”, by Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt.  After reading a glowing review I bought the book about a month ago for myself, and while I am bit overwhelmed by the book’s size (did I mention it’s huge?) which made it impossible to stuff in my laptop bag like my Kindle, it is simply beautiful and the perfect way to get excited about the potential of Big Data.  Each article is short – maximum length 2 pages – and tells about how Big Data has changed the way people are doing something.  And yes IBM fans, page 208 features Jeff Jonas.  Because what book about Big Data could leave out Jeff Jonas and his fascinating life and experience developing the IBM Entity Analytics solutions.

The forum delivered lots of great ideas and use cases.  It’s time to start moving beyond the ideas.  We all need to figure out how to apply this amazing technology and reap the benefits!  The next step, recommended by IBM’s Crysta Anderson, is to attend the IBM Big Data announcement on April 30th:   http://ibm.co/BigDataEvent to hear more about how you can move from theory to practice with Big Data.