Big Data, Better Decisions, Brighter Future

We attended the 1st Data Savvy Practitioner Forum in Cork, Ireland on June 23rd and 24th last. The theme of the conference was “Big Data, Better Decisions, Brighter Future”.

It was an excellent event attended by a host of local and overseas data practitioners and academics.

The event was opened by Dr Tom Davenport, Babson College, an American academic and author specializing in analytics, business process innovation and knowledge management.

In his keynote, Davenport explored a number of issues including an assessment of the impact data is going to have on a number of professions ranging from landscaping to academia.

He also explored whether knowledge work was next to go concluding that it depends:

  • Many knowledge work job tasks are at risk of being automated
  • Some knowledge workers will lose their jobs but it will be on the margins
  • We’ll need 8 lawyers instead of 10
  • There are going to be a lot of jobs working alongside smart machines
  • We’ll have plenty of productivity gains, so we can afford to retrain and redeploy people if we want to
  • But there is no room for complacency

“The first Data Savvy Practitioner Forum was designed to showcase the business value of data-driven initiatives. It also promoted the impact of the practitioner-researcher as an effective way to repurpose organisational capabilities.”
Dr David Sammon, UCC, Ireland

The keynote was followed by a number of lightning talks primarily from local practitioners including: Kieran O’Driscoll (Heineken), Barry Magee (IBM) and Jim Costello (SWS).

After lunch Texuna CEO, Patrick Lynch participated on a panel with Kevin Flanagan, Pivotal Ireland and Andrew Grannell, PX Analytics.

“We were pleasantly surprised with the depth of knowledge and experience from the real world practitioners we met at the forum”. Patrick Lynch, CEO, Texuna

The day concluded with two workshops hosted by Barry Magee, IBM and Dr Tadhg Nagle, UCC.