At Binit, we love data. We like to collect as much as possible on our rubbish and recycling collections and use it to reduce the impact of our customers’ waste on the environment. We’re also developing tech for our bins so that we can measure fullness as well as weight, which will help us understand our customers’ waste generation even better and help us to reduce vehicle movements.
So, as Binit’s Data Analyst apprentice I really enjoyed attending this year’s Big Data LDN, a 2-day event held at London’s Kensington Olympia showcasing the cutting edge of the data world with exhibitions and seminars from some of the leading people and businesses in the UK.
Being a bit nerdy about recycling too, on day 1 my eyes were immediately drawn to the bins! I’m pleased to report that the event source-segregated rubbish, coffee cups and lids, recycling and food. So, a good start!
Next, I was particularly interested to hear about How Data Discovery and Stewardship met GDPR Compliance. As a business, we understand how important it is to protect our customers’ information, but as we collect more, we must make sure our systems and processes keep pace with our growth and often-changing regulations. Did you know the maximum fine for a GDPR breach is £18 million?
Also of interest was Turbo Charging your Data Transformation. Each month, I receive lots of data in all kinds of formats. Cleaning that data to make it useable and useful for our customers is a time-consuming process. It was fascinating to hear how large businesses are using tech to speed up this process, albeit with a lot more data than me. As we grow, automating our data transformation will become increasingly important.
The event was recommended by my tutors at Exeter College. It was really good to spend some time with my fellow apprentices, as well as lots of discussion with event exhibitors and lots of seminars. I must admit that a lot of what I was hearing I knew very little about and found it somewhat hard to follow, but I was certainly inspired by the excitement and ambition surrounding the world of data. It also brought it home to me how important data is to businesses no matter their size, from Binit with our six employees in Exeter to Microsoft with its thousands worldwide.
Day 2 was a little less hectic, and I was really interested to hear a panel debate on The Rise of the Data Engineer and fascinating seminars about predictive analytics, otherwise known as Machine Learning, before settling in for the headline act.
You may have heard of Matt Parker, otherwise known as the stand-up mathematician. He likes to tell funny (and very interesting!) stories about mathematical mistakes that cause all sorts of real-world problems. His talk, entitled When Spreadsheets Attack! included a story about some rather iffy advertising; 40,312 Possible Combinations. I’ll leave you to work out how many combos you can make from 8 McDonalds menu items!
I’m already looking forward to Big Data LDN 2023, and after a year of learning about data analysis I’m sure it will be even more valuable. In the meantime, I’ll be going over some of the seminars on the event’s YouTube channel.