There’s a rumble in big data

Mammoth BI is coming in November

Our last article spoke about the power of data visualisation as a communication tool. With the news of the launch of Mammoth BI in November, we’d like to consider big data and what it means for you.

By Rebecca Maserow

There is a stir in the business intelligence community and it’s a giant sized conference on big data and analytics. Mammoth BI’s mission brings together two of our favourite things − big data and education. With the exciting changes in big data and analytics, both locally and globally, let’s address the mammoth in the room: there is nothing boring about big data, and it is by no means an empty buzzword.

The story behind mammoth

People love information, but don’t always know what to do with it when they have it; we all collect data, store it, skim it, toss it, every now and then use it to implement some major changes within a company, celebrate, then go back to collecting data. The problem is, while many of us have accepted that big data is the way forward, there isn’t a lot of guidance on how to use it. That’s where Mammoth BI comes in.

Mammoth BI founder, Jason Haddock, says: “Mammoth is not an event for profit, it’s all about building a community, getting really awesome speakers together and turning insight into action.”

With traditional conference prices being upwards of R6 000, they’ve set the ticket price at R700, in addition to allocating passes for students. Love of the community is what drives Haddock, making Mammoth BI accessible, bringing people together in “an environment more intimate, where the conference and workshops provide closer interaction with the industry giants speaking at the event”.

You know what they say about a man with big data?

While the conference is largely for business intelligence practitioners and executives, one thing Mammoth BI wants to prove is how big data affects everyone.
“What stands out the most about mammoth BI is how accessible it is to people sitting on the periphery of BI,” said Tracy Gander, Creative Director of Saratoga. “Humans love tools and, as we evolve as a species, these tools are becoming increasingly digital. Big data is the new tool for progressive businesses.”
People have been talking about big data for a while, there are sceptics, believers and, of course, the fence sitters − because they’re not sure what to believe. Concerns include accuracy of findings and lack of allowance for variables as well as myth creation. Fortunately, most of us do see the value in improved understanding, execution, and results − in short, better education on big data.

“One man’s trash is another man’s big data.” − Theo Priestley

Saratoga actively promotes education initiatives, as they believe in empowerment through learning. Whether the drive is for freedom of information or turning data into action, it is no surprise that our everyday lives will be affected. On a local level we are seeing big changes, such as Cape Town’s new open data policy giving residents access to metro data to drive economic growth by way of “personal agency, creativity and innovation” (News24). It’s an opportunity for improved services, streamlined operations and new products that we actually need. This is all in a day’s work for big data.

We’re looking forward to reaping the benefits that an event such as Mammoth BI will have on our community, local industry, and students alike. When it comes to causes to support, there are charities, when it comes to causing a support network, there’s Mammoth BI.

Keep an eye on the website and follow Mammoth BI on Twitter.

Mammoth BI confirms international speakers Marc Smith of NodeXL and Theo Priestley of Redux who coined the term “one man’s trash is another man’s big data” to whispers of Eric Siegel author of the best seller Predictive Analytics.

Some of the local speakers include Barry Devlin, Samantha Perry and Jasper Horrell. Watch the videos from the 2014 conference.