Is the European Economy Ready and “Open” for Big Data? Dublin Event Aims to Link Stakeholders

Coinciding with the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the European Data Forum (EDF) for industry leaders, academics, policy makers, and community organisers will hold its annual meeting in Dublin next month to discuss the challenges and opportunities of (big) data in Europe. The forum hopes to answers important questions such as: is the European economy ready for big data, are relevant stakeholders being reached by the EU-wide data community, and what is Europe providing in terms of innovative business intelligence (BI) solutions?

In an age of exploding data, the management of this data has become a key factor for an organisation’s success, as well as providing a significant advantage over competitors. Teams of data scientists are being employed by large corporations to examine trends in sets of big data, and linked data engineers are gainfully employed in interlinking disconnected datasets that become more meaningful when they are combined together in an interoperable form – including open data published by government bodies and other organisations.

“Data has swept into every industry and business function and is now an important factor of production, alongside labour and capital”, according to a study by the McKinsey Global Institute. “The amount of data in our world has been exploding, and analysing large datasets – so-called big data – will become a key basis of competition, underpinning new waves of productivity growth, innovation, and consumer surplus.”

Whether you are an oil and gas company trying to deal with data from complex engineering techniques, a publisher trying to stay ahead of social media streams and new content creation models, or a non-government organisation gathering data from hundreds or thousands of individuals in the field, dealing with intense amounts of data is both a challenge and an opportunity. Therefore, a meeting like the European Data Forum should be of interest to a wide range of players.

Presenters at the event include Knut Sebastian Tungland, Chief Engineer for IT at Statoil, and Fiona Williams, Research Director at Ericsson. The program will also feature a panel of Chief Information Officers from Daimler, Telefonica Digital and ATOS. These speakers will discuss topics including research and technology development, training and knowledge transfer, and commercialisation.

“There is a strong industry presence, as can be seen from the program, with some Irish speakers including Gary Evans from EMC, Prof. Mark Ferguson from Science Foundation Ireland, Daragh O’Brien from Castlebridge Associates and Brid Dooley from RTÉ”, according to DERI, NUI Galway‘s Deirdre Lee, local dissemination chair for the event. “We would also like to see a lot of Irish contributions to our Big Data Exhibition Space.”

The event aims to answer three main strategic questions:

  • Is the European economy ready for big data?
    What are the novel innovation and business models for open and linked data? What platforms, marketplaces, policies, and strategies for the development of data ecosystems should be targeted?
  • Is the EU-wide data community reaching out to relevant stakeholders?
    Do the application scenarios and specific technical and non-technical concepts of big data providers and consumers meet demands for themes like smart cities, environmental research, geospatial information, e-science, and social media?
  • What does Europe provide in terms of innovative business intelligence solutions?
    How can the sector best align with European research agendas and roadmaps for science, technology and innovation, in particular in relation to research framework programmes such as Horizon 2020? Which framework conditions are essential for meeting Europe’s ambitions towards a profitable data economy, such as forthcoming standardisation needs and commercialisation opportunities?

Some other topics for discussion at the forum include the challenges and opportunities around big data management, the single steps of the data value chain, technological innovations and innovative business models, as well as the legal framework for a sustainable European data economy.

Registration is free, but space is limited, so you are advised to register early.

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