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IQPC’s Big Data and Analytics for Financial Services 2013 conference review

This year’s 2nd annual Big Data FS conference inside the Kensington Close hotel in London marked a successful event involving an intimate gathering of IT practitioners and business decision making managers, on building further clarity of their big data and analytics strategies.

EM360° participated on the second day, which featured headline speaking sessions from Perttu Korhonen from the Bank of England, Vice President and Head of Analytics Kamran Ashraf of Visa, and Morgan Stanley’s Ian Worley. They all preceded an afternoon of workshop sessions on turning information into assets and legitimising your enterprise’s big data strategies.

Prior to Perttu’s expert eye on applying real-time analytics capability to big data in a regulatory setting, the second day kicked off with Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Stavros Isaiadis providing an insight into high volume analytics in low latency electronic trading.

The analytics trend also continued with Kamran’s topical debate on how the IT industry saw the need for personalised customer services, built on a customer centric strategy that examined the customer need, to identify the value proposition, and sought to create a delivery of service by integrating mobile comms tools to send targeted alerts towards their customer bases.

And what has that to do with analytics? Well quite a bit. Analytics can allow those alerts or a specific page within a website to be analysed using lists of numerical data, lines or heatmapping technologies that can be extrapolated to make short to long term business critical decisions. It was what Kamran called ‘turning insight into action’. Kamran also reiterated the importance of technology and big data, although he did state you cannot look at big data as an isolated technology, or wrap this kind of concept with a product.

Morgan Stanley’s Ian Worley also touched on some very interesting angles such as the deployment of sub teams from a Formula 1 team to be analysed and see who performs best — from email interaction to the implementation of ideas. In this practice, you can phase out small groups who are not productive enough. This whole realm of turning data into information and the need to create tools and virtualisations that help drive cognitive performance and decision-making, Ian says, also presents its own challenges.

Big Data FS, on the whole, provided some first hand, end user advice from mainly the end users themselves rather than just mainly the technology suppliers and solution providers that you would see at a standard IT conference, which is rather refreshing. The delegates in attendance seemingly were in consensus that many of their problems in the information management spectrum were relational, driven by the amount of unstructured data involved.

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