4th Annual New Jersey Big Data Alliance Symposium

The 4th Annual New Jersey Big Data Alliance Symposium was held at New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ on the 16th of March, 2017. The event, with the theme “Big Data Connects” was well attended by professionals, academia and students interested in the field. For the MBS Students, the Symposium was a valuable opportunity to connect with what’s current and hot in the industry and also connect with professionals within the field who showed an active interest in their specific areas of interest within Big Data and their data related projects.

The 4th Annual New Jersey Big Data Symposium, “Big Data Connects” at Newark, NJ

Keynote speaker Mr. Jason Cooper, VP and Chief Analytics Officer of Horizon Bluecross, shed some light upon the application of Big Data in the field of Healthcare Analytics. He elaborated upon the 5 Vs of Big Data, adding value and veracity to Gartner’s well known three of volume, variety and velocity. After his speech speaking to an MBS student, he expressed his delight at having graduate students at the event. He stressed that beyond having a sound technical knowledge, it is also vital to develop business acumen to know what’s going on in the real world.

Some of the MBS Students at the event with the Program Executive Director, Dr. Deborah Silver

The first panel on smart policing was centered on how big data can assist the men and women serving on the police force to do their job. If the officers responding to a call had more information going in about the nature of the disturbance, they could better adapt to diffusing the situation peacefully. The panelists indicated that retrieving such information in a timely manner is something to work towards. The biggest cost and problem associated in this regard is the with volume of data for storage and management. As the databases are disparate, using different systems and relevant data is scattered among them, there is scope for improvement here.

Panel on Smart Cities: Mr. Govi Rao, Dr. Colette Santasieri and Mr. Malcolm Kahn

A second panel on smart cities, a recurring theme was that the Internet of Things was a significant factor on how the world was changing and the need to leverage this in a data driven world. Mr. Govi Rao, CEO of Noveda Technologies, said that “We as a world are living in a state of unconscious inefficiency.” Mr. Malcolm Kahn of Mormon Water shared a disturbing statistic- 10,000 gallons of water per household per year goes into the ground through leaks. Mr. Rao emphasized the power of a message backed up by the right data and issued a rallying cry, “Let us use social media to get the message out there!”

A parallel session on an overview and tutorial for the scikitlearn library in Python, a widely used tool in the industry. This hands-on approach at basic machine learning problems was a chance to learn how analytics can be implemented in Python and how various classifiers work.

A key takeaway from Symposium for those interested in getting into the field- The theme, “Big Data Connects” could not have been more appropriate for this event during which it was apparent for need for a bridge between real world business problems and technical solutions. Leaders within the industry have highlighted that to go further in a career of Big Data Analytics, a combination quantitative and technical skills with an appetite for business processes and strategic vision is required, all facets of which the structure of the Masters of Business and Science Program in Analytics and Data Science attaches a special significance to.

Also See: 3rd Annual NJBDA Symposium, 2015