Cronan McNamara, organiser of the upcoming ‘Predict’ conference, explains why data, and data science is so important in the digital age.
As computing power increases exponentially, storage costs plummet and broadband speeds accelerate a new era for data and data analytics has been born.
Almost everything we do generates data, from Google searches to online shopping but it’s not only restricted to online. Our daily activity regime can be crunched into helpful health indicators while tailored diets can be generated from the analysis from multiple data sets.
Our data is also extremely valuable which is reflected in the platforms (and profit levels) that organisations like Facebook and Google offer.
Although access to data has now reached astronomical levels, we have always lived with more data than we could handle. Businesses have been gathering and trying to make sense of it using spreadsheets for over 30 years since the first Excel package arrived on the scene. Most of the time this data is poorly utilised, mainly due to lack of skills sets and tools. There is a huge difference between data and insightful decision making.
We are now exposed to a wall of data which can be overwhelming. We need help in digging through this information, seeing trends, getting insight and turning data into knowledge. This is the new world in which the ‘Data Scientist’ (the sexiest job of the 21st century) is king.
The world of the data scientist is not all about algorithms, statistics and advanced mathematics. Numbers when visualised can be much more powerful and we still need people who can interpret and communicate the information to really make it meaningful.
Data science is a cross-disciplinary activity which needs input from scientists, programmers, statisticians all the way to marketing, business analysts and the humanities.
Due to the specialised nature of the data science industry, it can be hard to get a good overview of the breadth of opportunities and the interesting work being carried out in the sector across industry, research and government.
With all this in mind we have created the Predict Conference to celebrate the rise of data analytics in Ireland, to make the data science industry accessible and to connect graduates with business opportunities.
However I did not want to just create another conference, so instead we have created an experience that spans 6 months and includes webinars, articles, networking, match-making, data clinics, data set analysis, access to a new data modelling platform and post conference eBook and revisions webinars.
All of this for the early-bird student price of the two-day event ticket where you will meet over 30 speakers from all over the world outlining their data analytics and decision making methods, engage in active discussions with stimulating panels and witness first hand the power of data on the exhibition floor.
One of the pioneers of the industry will be there; John Elder, the founder and president of Elder Research. His work is required reading on many data related courses, revealing how data and predictive analytics are transforming business in a number of surprising areas.
Look out for our upcoming free webinars and for the main event in September.
Cronan McNamara is Founder and CEO of Creme Global and organiser of Predict.
Cronan holds a BSc in Physics from University College Dublin (UCD), an MSc in High Performance Computing from Trinity College Dublin (TCD), a post graduate diploma in International Sales from the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and a certificate of completion from the CEO Accelerated Growth Programme in the Judge Business School in Cambridge University.