Big data connects the world through information and by generating higher levels of access to knowledge. But it’s not the amount of data that’s important. It’s what organizations do with it that matters.
“There’s an increasing demand for professionals who can not only gather and curate data, but also proficiently analyze it and communicate results in a clear and business relevant manner,” said Chris Dyck, Program Co-ordinator for Big Data Analytics at Georgian College.
You can learn more at the Big Data Insights Conference held at the Georgian College Barrie Campus on April 5.
It’s a student-driven conference that links current students and graduates from the Big Data Analytics program and other Computer Studies programs with industry professionals, academics and data-driven organizations.
The format this year features four different panel discussions with a number of experts on each panel from organizations such as Microsoft, TD, RBC, The Bank of Montreal, Pepsico and the Government of Ontario.
“We reached out to people who would have a decision-making role within their organization who also are heavily involved with data management,” said Alex Fajardo, student communications lead for the conference. “All the panel speakers are in senior management within their organizations.”
There will also be opportunities for the students to network and interact with the panelists between sessions. Industry partners will be there along with 250 to 300 students from a variety of programs, including Big Data Analytics, Research Analyst and some business programs.
Fajardo hopes to learn about current trends within the different industries and how others manage data and learn from it to make business decisions for their organization. He’s also looking forward to hearing the panelists who will speak to artificial intelligence (AI) and data science.
“I’m interested in learning about the internet of things (IoT) with respect to data technology and AI,” said Fajardo. “One of the panelists is a vice president at TD. He has a unique role in that few people work with that level of information in their organization.”
Fajardo, who has a double undergrad degree in mathematics and economics, wants to work in the information technology (IT) world when he graduates from Georgian.
He worked for two IT companies in Germany previously and has a business background as well. He and his brother run a real estate development company in Mexico.
“I would like to one day be the liaison between the business and technology sides of the house in an organization,” said Fajardo.
Some of the trends Fajardo has seen is around AI and the IoT and how organizations can align big data thinking to all their processes. “This is not only true for organizations who want to connect to their individual customers better, but also for health and environmental organizations who now can better provide care for us and a sustainable future,” said Fajardo. He added that Georgian’s program is currently involved in some of those kind of projects.
Fajardo added there’s a lot of potential for Canada to take more of a leading role when it comes to big data technology.
When it comes to protecting the privacy of his own data Fajardo said it depends on the situation. “I have to determine how much of my privacy am I willing to give away in order to get a more customized experience from a business or organization. They want to understand their customers or clients better and they can only do that with more data.”
Chris Dyck said Georgian’s students are graduating from their program at an extremely opportune moment in time to assist businesses. “We have some of the most highly trained graduates in this exciting field. They are entering the workforce with a dynamic mix of the technical, business and communications skills needed to help create the organic growth businesses need to excel.”
He also added that big data has been dubbed the “sexiest new field in technology,” citing an article published in the Harvard Business Review and the increasing demand for skilled workers. The conference will feature four different panels of guest speakers who will address a variety of topics including: Machine learning, AI and data science in banking and other industries; Big data and cloud technologies; Technology and innovation in insurance and banking; Women in technology; and Data ingestion.
The conference will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Georgian Theatre. There is no cost to attend, but space is limited. RSVP online.
Photo: Alex Fajardo is the student communications lead for the Big Data Insights Conference being held at the Georgian College Barrie Campus on Friday, April 5.