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InfoQ Homepage News Strata Big Data Conference Program Published

Strata Big Data Conference Program Published

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The Strata conference for big data just opened for registration today. Strata will be held Februrary 1-3, 2011 in Santa Clara, CA and is organized by O'Reilly and provides a range of information on using data for technologists and for those looking for business applications. The schedule was posted today, with three tracks covering these topics:

  • Executive Briefing
  • Interfaces
  • Practitioner
  • Disruption & Opportunity
  • Real World
  • The Data Business

I recently interviewed conference organizer, Edd Dumbill about the conference and his recent article on the SMAQ stack.

InfoQ: You are organizing the Strata conference about the business of data. What has changed in the last year that led to the formation of this conference and the identification of the SMAQ stack?

Edd: We've been tracking this subject at O'Reilly for some years, and we feel now that we're at an inflection point where two things in particular are ready to "go big." The first of these is SMAQ technologies, as Hadoop matures to the point where it can be used without a lot of in-depth Java programming pain, and NoSQL databases blossom and mature. The second of these is the rise of the data scientist—a new professional that mingles statistics with development. These are the people who have both the numerical and programming chops to develop the ground-breaking products that will change business over the next ten years.

Strata will be two things: a way for people to understand how the burgeoning of data, processing power and analytics affects them; and also a home for this new community of data science professionals.

InfoQ: From which industries are you seeing the greatest interest in these technologies?

Edd: We're seeing interesting across the board, from banking, healthcare, pharma, travel through to advertising and web analytics. What's happening in data now is bigger than the impact of Web 2.0—not every company needs to have a social web site—but every company has data they can do more with.

InfoQ: What are the most important sub-communities within the big data world?

Edd: I'd hesitate to deem any the most important, but here are a few broad gatherings:

  • Data scientists – both statistics and code ninjas, these people understand what's possible with data, and what to do with it
  • Visualization experts – viz performs two functions: exploration, and storytelling. Massive amounts of data mean new exploration and analysis interfaces, and telling the story of data is vital in order for it to drive good decisions.
  • Hadoop – the Linux of the big data world, Hadoop is a thriving ecosystem of products, projects and APIs that providers the tool powerhouse for big data
  • Vendors – from Greenplum and Vertica to Karmasphere and Datameer, vendors are an important part of the big data world. It's not just about web startups that are happy growing their own tools, vendors are playing an important part in mediating the power of big data to a broader audience.


The conference attracted tremendous interest, with many people submitting proposals for talks, panels, and tutorials, underscoring the great amount of community interest in big data in general, and in this conference.


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