From Big Data to Big Impact:

From Big Data to Big Impact:

Part 1

Published November 2022

Where data-driven businesses go to grow

Part 2

Published February 2024

Starburst Data and RX – Connecting the AI community

Skip to part 2 

Part 3

Published May 2024

Data Universe - the next frontier for Data and AI

Skip to part 3

Part 1

Big Data LDN. Where data-driven businesses go to grow

Big Data LDN (London), the UK’s leading free-to-attend data and analytics conference and exhibition, attracted record attendance in September thanks to its open-door policy and exceptional content focused on how to build dynamic, data-driven enterprises. We share some insights into the event’s successful business model.

Walking the aisles at Big Data LDN last month, event founder and director Bill Hammond bumped into a highly respected figure on the global data science scene, who told him: “I love this event. It’s like Christmas for data people.” You only had to glance at the schedule to see what he meant.

Among the rockstar Keynotes were Zhamak Dehghani, Founder of the concept of Data Mesh, and Stand-up Mathematician and best-selling author Matt Parker whose YouTube videos on the world’s biggest spreadsheet disasters have amassed over 100 million views.  

High-profile organisations and blue-chip brands including Schroders, Google, Philips, Microsoft, Maclaren Racing, the NHS, the BBC, Channel 4 and the Bank of England shared best practice, ideas and real-world experiences across 12 conference stages – each one dedicated to delving deep into a specific hot topic or trend, including Data Driven Culture, Modern Analytics and DataOps.

And of the 170 exhibitors, more than 75 were first timers at the show, giving visitors the opportunity to discover a host of inventive start-ups, including Data Pipeliner, which aims to revolutionise how data lakes are built; IOblend, a disruptive advanced enterprise DataOps platform; and the Data Toolkit Company, a new initiative from Red Olive that develops ground-breaking new tools for data professionals.

“Big Data LDN 2022 was our biggest event yet exceedingly even our highest expectations,” said Bill.

“Attendance reached 10,026, up 10% up on our previous pre-pandemic peak of 9,150. And the record-breaking number of exhibitors – so many of which are new to the event – is testament to the incredible period of creativity in which the data market finds itself.”

“Visitors immersed themselves wholeheartedly in the conference programme, taking full advantage of the chance to learn from specialists on the frontline of the industry” continued Bill. “Session after session, our theatres were packed. From start-ups to industry giants, we’re thrilled to provide a platform for data teams to enhance their capabilities with best-of-breed tools and learn from the sector’s most experienced and interesting minds.”

“We are at BDL because London really is at the cutting edge of data analysis and technology” said Chris Gladwon, Co-founder and CEO of Ocient, one of many happy exhibitors.

“The scale, complexity and sophistication of the customers, the systems they are deploying, and the vendor activity here really is top tier. BDL London is the place to be. Everybody is here, the place is packed.” 

Content led, business driven

Unlike many tech summits, which charge significant sums to attend, Big Data LDN is free to all delegates. “In today’s data-driven world, where investment decisions have such huge consequences, decisions are increasingly taken by teams of business and technical specialists, from senior directors down to junior engineers” Bill explained. “To attract these teams we knew, right from the start, that we had to deliver exceptional content, and make the event as accessible as possible, which meant free to attend.”

Providing access to these procurement teams is what sets Big Data LDN apart and is one of the key reasons vendors and sponsors are willing to put their trust, and their money, into the event.  One leading UK bank sent over 30 people to BDL this year including data engineering, data science people, and executive management.

“The breadth and depth of the subject matters covered across our 12 conference theatres reflect the diversity and dynamism of the data industry today,” said Bill. “We owe it to our visitors to provide opportunities to learn about these topics from the sector’s most exceptional leaders and specialists.”

The Big Data LDN team took a bet at the beginning of the year that Data Mesh would be a big topic, and sure enough, it has become one of the most talked about trends in data. Zhamak Dehghani’s keynote created a huge buzz and sparked a great debate on why Data Mesh has gone mainstream, what businesses need to know before starting a project, and the potential benefits of adoption.

Securing the participation of Matt Parker, the Stand-Up Mathematician, as the closing keynote was another great call. “Matt shared the world’s biggest spreadsheet mistakes and data disasters, and it went down a storm with our audience,” said Bill.

“We always try to send people away from the event feeling that have been entertained. Scheduling Matt as the last keynote also helped to maintain energy levels on the final afternoon. Our exhibitors want to get a good return on investment, and we owe it them to keep the footfall high, right until the end.”

Well connected

Big Data LDN 2022 was the first edition of the event to be held since RX acquired the conference and exhibition in January 2022. In 2017, after just one event, Bill and his team was approached by the first in a long line of suitors. “Most of them wanted to fold Big Data LDN into a broader tech event, but we always felt that was the wrong answer” he explains. “The data community is pretty tribal, and we knew we had the potential to scale the brand up into something much bigger. RX’s approach was completely different. They wanted to preserve the identity of the show, put more resource behind it, and help us to build the event with support from their suite of technology platforms, global network and operations expertise.”

As well as a being a great portfolio fit (RX also owns the Infosecurity brand), RX is exactly the type of big data user BDL is aimed at. Over the past two years the company has been developing its own proprietary digital and data analysis tools to increase customer engagement, insights and leads at every stage of event participation. These include Emperia, a smart lead capture and analysis tool, and Exhibitor Dashboard, which is ushering in an exciting new era of data-driven event performance analysis.

RX is part of RELX which has undergone its own dramatic transformation over the past 10 years from a media group to a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.

“If anyone gets Big Data, it’s RELX. Active in the risk, scientific, technical and medical, legal and exhibition sectors, it is amongst the biggest investors in the UK market in this kind of technology. RELX has been sending large teams to Big Data LDN since the event began and being able to draw on their extraordinary expertise, insights and resources is a huge bonus”
Bill Hammond

Manca Vitorino is Director of Operations for ICIS, a division of RELX which provides global commodity intelligence for the energy, chemical and fertilizer industry. “I was delighted to see Big Data London come under the RELX umbrella as it fits in well with the overall data and analytics strategy of the business” she said. “BDL has been a “must-attend” conference for data professionals from its very beginnings, from a networking, learning and inspiration perspective.”

“This year, I found there were two main themes” she observed. “Data mesh, and what I felt was the most critical and refreshing change, people and data culture. I thought this was incredibly well timed but also a great indication that the data community is maturing and shifting some of its focus from technology solutions to people and change management. Aside from that, it was wonderful to connect with colleagues and data friends after Covid and rebuild some of those relationships, share experiences and explore new collaboration opportunities." 

Watch the full Big Data LDN 2022 seminar programme on demand on the Big Data LDN YouTube Channel.

Item 1 of 5

Part 2

Starburst Data and RX – Connecting the AI community 

Big Data LDN is the UK’s leading free to attend data, analytics and AI conference and exhibition. The 2023 event, held from 20-21 September, was the largest in its eight year history, featuring over 180 exhibiting technology providers and consultants, and 300 global data experts speaking across 15 theatre stages. A record 15,000+ delegates attended to discover the latest tools and techniques and hear from pioneers and industry leaders about the most effective data driven strategies.

Among the solutions on show was Starburst Data’s full featured data lake analytics platform which is focused on solving the pains of data access. Built on open source Trino, Starburst Data’s platform gives data-driven companies the capabilities they require to discover, organise, and consume data without the need for time-consuming and costly migrations.

Since it was founded in 2017 in Boston Massachusetts, Starburst Data has grown into an industry-leading data mesh enterprise, trusted by companies like Sky, EMIS Health and Société Générale. The company believes that Big Data LDN has been a key partner in its success.

Starburst Data’s partnership with Big Data LDN began in 2021 when the company participated as a Gold Sponsor to establish its presence in the UK and European market. It has since come to regard the event as a strategic point in the calendar, providing the perfect platform to introduce and showcase its solutions, amplify its voice, and position the company as the industry leader in data lake analytics.

“Big Data LDN never ceases to amaze us” said Matt Browning, VP Marketing, EMEA and APAC. “The rich content, diverse attendee profile, the sheer size and shape of the event, and the exceptional team behind its success make it an unrivalled platform for us to engage with our audience and drive our business goals. Big Data LDN really is a true barometer for the rapidly growing data and AI industry.”

As a Diamond Sponsor of Big Data LDN 2023, with the largest exhibiting footprint on the show floor, Starburst’s objectives were clear-cut. “We unveiled our partnership with Dell Technologies and used the platform to announce several pivotal updates for Starburst Galaxy” explained Matt. “We brought HSBC and 7Bridges to the event to share their data lake house customer journeys. And we shared our latest co-engineered solutions with Dell Technologies, Oakland Group, and Turin TechAI.”

Over the two days of Big Data LDN 2023, Starburst Data welcomed over 2,400 visitors to its stand and attracted 1,600 attendees to its plenary keynote. It also delivered approximately 200 demos, held 90 meetings, and generated more than 550 qualified leads for follow-up.

The event's content program was exceptionally well-aligned with our strategic announcements and customer stories, creating an engaged audience primed for our messages,” said Matt. “It provided the ideal backdrop for the formalization of our strategic partnership with Dell Technologies, garnering significant attention. Additionally, it served as a prominent stage for launching critical updates for Starburst Galaxy, effectively capturing the curiosity of our target audience.”

“The real magic of Big Data LDN lies in the connections we've formed” Matt continued. “It has been instrumental in fostering not only client relationships but also strategic partnerships, fuelling our growth. Furthermore, it's not just about us; it's about our customers. They've had the opportunity to showcase their data successes, creating a vibrant community of knowledge-sharing among data professionals. Our sponsorship evolution underscores its transformative influence on the business. It’s not just an event; it’s a catalyst for growth and collaboration in the world of data, analytics, and AI, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

All eyes on New York 

Now Starburst has now joined forces with RX once again as the Title Sponsor of Data Universe 2024, a ground-breaking new event taking place from 10-11 April at the Javits Centre in New York City.

Data Universe will convene a global community of data, analytics, and AI experts to share their insights and expertise across a broad range of industries. The two-day event will showcase 250 of the brightest minds in data and AI from around the world presenting their latest discoveries, case studies, solutions and more. With a goal of hosting over 8,000 data practitioners, business leaders, and executives, Data Universe 2024 will provide exceptional content experiences for all attendees.

In addition to a premier presence on the experiential expo floor, Starburst will deliver content curation for a dedicated data lake theatre, offering use cases, presentations, and hands on workshops over the two days.

“Starburst is thrilled to support the inaugural Data Universe conference. We’ve been long-time supporters of Big Data LDN and know RX will deliver the same high value content and connections for US-based data professionals,” said Jess Iandiorio, CMO, Starburst.

Expanding RX’s data universe

RX’s universe of Data & AI events continues to expand. In July 2023, we announced the acquisition of Corp Events, owner and organiser of Big Data & AI Paris and Big Data & AI Toronto and organiser on behalf of the EuropIA Institute and SEMEC of the World AI Cannes Festival (WAICF).

Launched in 2012, Big Data & AI Paris is one of the leading Data and AI events in France. The 2023 edition brought together more than 200 brands and 16,500 professionals and experts across the Data and AI sectors. The event returns from 15-16 October 2024 at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, and will be followed by Big Data & AI Toronto in October.

The first World Artificial Intelligence Cannes Festival (WAICF) was held in 2022 in partnership with the EuropIA Institute, the city of Cannes and the Palais des Festivals. The 2024 edition, which has just closed its doors, brought together over 230 top AI players, 300 international speakers, 50VCs investors specialised in tech investment and over 14,000 decision-makers to explore how AI will shape the future of business and our society.  


Part 3

Data Universe - the next frontier for Data and AI

Data Universe opened up an influential new gateway to the future of technology and innovation in New York City from 10-11th April, offering a wealth of diverse perspectives to help businesses thrive in the fast-evolving new data and AI space. 

 The latest addition to RX’s powerful portfolio of data and AI events, which also includes Big Data LDN, Big Data and AI Paris, and World AI Cannes Festival, the education-led event delivered 150 expert-led sessions across six themed stages and 19 tracks.

World-class data and AI leaders took the stage at the North Javits Center to share their strategies, case studies, and road-tested solutions, while event sponsors Starburst and Dremio offered demos, workshops, and hand-on training concurrently throughout the two days. 

“Our comprehensive content provided a full scope of the data and AI industry” explained Event Director, Pegg Diab. “We connect the data & AI ecosystem, creating synergies that only happen when you bring a broad audience together, rather than niche players doing siloed work.”


A worldwide gathering 

Data Universe welcomed data and business professionals, C-suite leaders, and ecosystem partners from around the world to share their expertise, grow their skills and perspectives, and shape outcomes, policy, and innovation. 

The speaker lineup of enterprise Chief Data and Analytics Officers (CDAOs), leading consultants, seasoned innovators, and cutting-edge AI entrepreneurs, included Doug Laney, Data & Analytics Strategy Advisor, Speaker and Author; Rob Thomas, Senior Vice President, Software & Chief Commercial Officer, IBM; Jack Philips, CEO & Founder, International Institute of Analytics; David McRaney, Bestselling Author; Shingai Manjengwa, Head of AI Education, Chain; and Peggy Tsai - Chief Data Officer, BigID. 

Together, they challenged and inspired the audience to think in new ways while questioning old assumptions about all things data and the future impact of AI. And what an audience, with representatives from IBM, Instagram, NYC Health & Hospital, Snowflake, Databricks, PepsiCo, Netflix, Bank of America, Amazon, Pfizer, Mastercard, Sephora, Bloomberg, Blackrock, Aetna, Yale, Capgemini, BBC, Paramount, amongst the leading corporations in attendance.


Navigating the extraordinary

Data Universe 2024 introduced new dimensions of interaction and learning, emphasizing the practical applications of AI and big data in driving forward business and societal progress.

From keynote sessions that traced the journey from Big Data to the modern AI landscape, to workshops and sessions that provided the most current and relevant insights across industries, the content met the needs and curiosities of a diverse audience.

At the heart of the interaction was the expo, where attendees could meet with solutions providers,  experience demos hands-on, discuss unique use cases, and familiarize themselves with the latest technologies and teams driving progress in infrastructure and analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, applications, and much more. A busy programme of networking opportunities throughout the day and evening offered additional opportunities to make productive contacts, while the Data Connect Networking Lounge offered the perfect setting for casual networking in a comfortable and inviting setting.

“Whether it is through learning from leading experts, engaging with exhibitors to explore the latest technologies and solutions, or participating in networking opportunities designed to foster meaningful connections, attendees left with a deeper understanding of the trends shaping the future of data and AI, as well as the tools and strategies necessary to thrive in this dynamic environment,” said Pegg. “We can’t wait to reconvene at Data Universe 2025.”

Mark your calendar for Data Universe 2025 on April 30 – May 1, 2025, and join the mailing list for the latest updates.