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Big Data London: Astrato’s Key Takeaways

14,000 attendees. 300 expert speakers. 180 exhibitors. A keynote speech from British Astronaut Major Tim Peake.

Attendees at Big Data LDN 2023 (BDL) were spoiled for choice when it came to engaging, data-oriented content at this year’s event. We’ve summarized some of the key takeaways to reduce any FOMO for those of you who couldn’t make it. Read on to hear more about whether Artificial Intelligence (AI) is really ‘intelligent,’ takeaways from the High Performance Data debate, and Major Tim Peake’s keynote:

Measuring the Intelligence of AI

Dr Jodie Burchell, Developer Advocate in Data Science at JetBrains, gave a talk on ‘The IQ of AI: Measuring Intelligence in AI Models.’ OpenAI’s ChatGPT and GPT-4 have passed several high-profile examinations, such as The Uniform Bar ExamUS medical licensing exam, a coding interview for an Engineer role at Google, and an Advanced Sommelier theory exam. So, is this evidence of Large Language Models (LLMs) showing signs of intelligence? No, argues Dr Burchell, it’s not. When the training data for these models are examined, they frequently include assessment information from these examinations. The LLMs aren’t solving the questions by drawing on appropriate sources they have identified through reasoning, what they’re doing is closer to copy and paste. Dr Burchell explained that when these models are given assessments that were not included in the training data, they perform significantly worse. For teams working with AI, this emphasizes the importance of having a working understanding of how these models work, and the data they have been trained on. It doesn’t diminish the utility of AI, but is a useful reminder that such models need to be employed appropriately.

People talking at the Astrato booth

The High Performance Data Debate

LEIT DATA hosted the High Performance Data debate on the Wednesday evening of BDL. Attendees who stayed for the debate not only enjoyed beers and pizza, but listened to spirited discussion orchestrated by four prominent industry figures. First, Matt Housley, CTO at Ternary Data, led the debate on Data Ingestion and Data Quality. Following Matt, Nick White, Data Architect at LEIT DATA, guided us through the topics of Data Pipelines and Data Security. Then, Joe Reis, CEO of Ternary Data, shared insights on The Future of Data Modeling and the Impact of Generative AI. Finally, Chris Tabb, Co-Founder and CCO at LEIT DATA, hosted the segment on Measuring Business Value. Panelists included Andrew Jones of GoCardlessSerge Gershkovich of SqlDBMSvetlana Tarnagurskaja of The Dot Collective and Pipeliner, and Scott Taylor of MetaMeta Consulting.

After these presentations, the floor was open for further engagement via a lively town hall session.


The Datavengers Assembled

Big Data LDN 2023 was blessed by (almost) a full complement of The Datavengers. The Datavengers are a group of influencers in the fields of data analytics, data management, machine learning, and Artificial Intelligence. Through informative, entertaining content, they have built a substantial social media presence. The Datavengers communicate their practical knowledge and valuable insights simply and with humor, making complex topics engaging and accessible. Businesses seeking to expand their reach and enhance engagement can tap into the DataVengers’ unique talents by enlisting them as influencers or speakers.


Notable mentions: Major Tim Peake, McLaren Racing, and GAI

Big Data LDN 2023’s second day of conferences featured Major Tim Peake, CMG, the first British European Space Agency astronaut to visit the International Space Station (ISS). In a captivating keynote speech, Peake emphasized the pivotal role of data and AI during his six-month ISS mission, during which he conducted over 250 scientific experiments.

McLaren Racing took the stage to showcase how they employ Alteryx automation software to analyze vast volumes of telemetry data generated during Formula 1 races, leveraging this feedback to gain a competitive edge.

Barr Moses, CEO and Co-Founder of Monte Carlo, highlighted the importance of deriving practical use cases for generative AI, emphasizing the need for trust in data to unlock its potential. Meanwhile, Tim Ward, CEO and Co-Founder of CluedIn, explored how AI can enhance data governance by handling tasks such as data cleaning, integration, and enrichment.

Throughout the event, various theaters delved into topics like building effective data teams, data literacy, diversity, and the challenges of remote work. In the Analytics and Storytelling Theatre, discussions revolved around patterns, insights, automation, ESG, and data strategy.

Bill Hammond, Event Director for BDL, expressed his excitement about the event’s success, with attendees exchanging ideas and gaining valuable insights into innovative data applications across diverse industries.


Catch the Senior Product Managers Piers Batchelor and Liron Baram at the Snowflake Data Cloud World Tour in Tel Aviv on October 18th 2023.

Find out more about how Astrato is leveraging AI to democratize data and build dashboards here!