The 2018 Strata Data Conference and the year of machine learning
Recently, I represented SnapLogic at the September 2018 Strata Data Conference at the Javits Center in New York City. This annual event is a good indication of trends in data – big and otherwise. If 2017 was the year of Digital Transformation, 2018 is the year of machine learning. Many of the exhibitor’s booth themes and topics for the presentations had to do with artificial intelligence and machine learning. Some of the established or legacy vendors were touting their ability to support artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) while some new companies were pure machine learning plays. Since SnapLogic customers have been benefiting from our machine learning efforts for several years now, it was nice to see how our early initiatives have been validated. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Walking the tradeshow floor is a good way to identify trends and take the temperature of established players and emerging companies. If you want to know where the industry is going, walk the outside rim of the show floor – this is where emerging companies have their booths. While some technologies will never get beyond that one small booth on the edge of the show floor, the successful ones will move slowly from the edge toward the center. There were some interesting new technologies and businesses that will be worth watching. Ethical machine learning models, blockchain, and metadata management for big data were some of the more interesting technologies on my radar.
This year’s conference was well attended and the show floor seemed to be about the same size as the last few years. People came from all around the world, I met someone from Singapore, people from South America, Europe, and Australia. Attendees were a who’s who of professions, ranging from students, independent consultants, data scientists, developers, and directors to executives.
Data can be everywhere might be the underlying theme for the show. While the cloud and all of its capabilities were well represented in solutions at the show, it was clear that not everyone believes their data and processing are going to be in the cloud tomorrow. From network vendors like Cisco to cloud vendors like Amazon. It seemed the entire OSI stack from layer 1 to layer 7 was represented. There were vendors offering high-density local storage to managing the data catalogs in the cloud. Whether you were ready to leverage cloud technology for storage and processing or whether you needed to keep your data on-premise, there was someone at the conference offering you services and products to help you with your data.
What’s to come
The first generation of big data was focused around “customer 360” and learning as much as possible about customers using “traditional market analytics.” The second-generation of big data will be driven by the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze of all of this data.
I’m looking forward to seeing how AI/ML continues to improve all-things data. Can’t wait until next year’s conference!