Hull Big Data Analytics Forum 2015


The second Hull Big Data Analytics Forum took place on Wednesday 1 July with five speakers. The full set of presentations can be found here. Throughout the morning we tweeted to #hullanalytics and produced a wordcloud and sentiment analysis in realtime using R.

Ben Latham of Summit talked on ‘Forecasting Future Profits with Big Data‘ and gave many detailed examples of how in-depth analysis and modelling of weather, seasonality, and TV viewing data can be used to fine-tune get more value from the purchasing of media and key words for advertising.

Michael Mortenson reported on his research at Loughborough University, ‘The Analytics Jigsaw: identifying the skills needed for the analytics age’, and gave us the Type I and Type II analytics professional. Type I are from a computer science background and focus on programming, machine learning, and visualisation; Type II are from business schools and focus on statistics, decision-making, consulting skills, and domain knowledge.

Matthew Robinson from IBM presented ‘From Business Intelligence to Cognitive Analytics‘ and introduced us to the Watson Analytics initiative and how this technology is automating some parts of the data scientist process for the end user. This is the same technology that was used to ‘destroy the human competition’ in the Jeopardy TV quiz. Further details of Watson Analytics, including a free trial, are here.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) was represented by Carl Wiper who talked on ‘Privacy in a Big Data World‘. Carl pointed us to the report ICO ‘Big Data and Data Protection‘, and highlighted the potential dangers in repurposing and recombining data. Big Data is not only about compliance – there is an ethical dimension to consider (see the Aimia report).

Simon Raper of Coppelia ran an active workshop with a human simulation of MapReduce. The audience got to play the role of mappers, sorters, and reducers to produce a word analysis of text taken from Proust. An excellent and unforgettable way to understand how MapReduce can ‘reduce your data processing time from hours to minutes‘.

Hull Analytics Forum 2016 – next year’s event will be on Wednesday, 6th July 2016.

Euro 2015 – it is the place to present your work and meet with researchers, academics, practitioners, and students interested in business analytics. The conference runs 12 – 15 July and is held in Strathclyde. Further details here.

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