Big Data Week Kicks Off Today

Big Data Week begins today, a global event taking place in the UK, and also the US, Germany, Finland and Australia.

Big data is the term used for massive sets of unstructured (or semi-structured) data, often slurped off the likes of social networks and Google. The sheer quantities of such stuff make it a headache to deal with, but it contains valuable knowledge which can be of great benefit to companies.

Eddie Short, partner and head of business intelligence at KPMG Management Consulting, commented: "Getting data use right and tapping into trends it can reveal can have enormous benefits. But it's also easy to select the data that simply suits your own hypothesis, so ensuring other key members of the organisation support and validate your opinion is an important approach to using ‘big data'. The speed of change is massive and it's easy to become mesmerised by the data itself and miss the need for a quick business decision or fast response to feedback."

Big Data Week is all about the explosion in such data, the opportunities it presents, as well as looking at how best to manage and analyse such data sets. Issues are being explored by a series of community-led events, which kicked off in London today with a session entitled: What Enterprises can Learn from Startups.

According to the official blurb, this focuses on "new developments in statistical computing, machine learning, and predictive analytics, combined with massive parallel computing at low cost," and how these are "transforming the way startups and enterprises are analysing and extracting business value from Big Data."

Further events are being held in London through to Friday, including the Big Data Week Community Meetup, and sessions based around MongoDB and Hadoop.

A Global Data Science Hackathon will also take place across eight cities on Saturday, with teams attempting to solve big data challenges.

Nick Halstead, Founder of the organising company DataSift, said: "The vision behind Big Data Week is to bring together the best and brightest people from across the Big Data industry and deliver an opportunity for all to increase knowledge and develop a greater understanding of the different aspects of Big Data."

"We're extremely excited about the events that will be taking place around the world and the amazing people who have agreed to be a part of this inaugural event."