Brad Feld, David Friend, Peter Stern Headline “Future of Big Data” on Oct. 24

8/15/12Follow @gthuang

What’s everybody talking about in the tech world? That’s easy. Big data.

Big data is everywhere. Amazon and Google are big data. Twitter and Facebook are big data. Database and data storage companies are big data. Analytics and networking firms are big data. And outside of the hardcore techies, everyone from retail and marketing folks to mobile and defense industry execs is looking for answers based on data. Not to mention the new venture funds sprouting up that are dedicated to big data investments.

In case you haven’t heard, “big data” refers to making sense of exponentially increasing amounts of information in daily life. From consumer spending habits to Web browsing preferences, from business intelligence to IT management, from finance to social media, there is data to be gathered, analyzed, used, and sold.

The danger is that the buzzword hype will exceed the reality—that’s certainly true now—so the question is how to tap into big data’s real potential. And how to define specific opportunities, when “big data” can mean almost anything. There have been good events and progress in the field around Boston recently—the state’s Big Data Initiative, the new HackReduce community space, various tech meetups—and the local community continues to rally around the flag. But there is a need for a definitive discussion about where we go from here.

To that end, Xconomy is organizing a half-day conference on Wednesday, October 24, called “The Future of Big Data.” The event is taking place at the Fidelity Center for Applied Technology, in Boston, and we are convening a star-studded group of top business and technology leaders from New England and beyond:

—Brad Feld, the noted venture capitalist with Foundry Group, will talk about his observations from the field of big data, with an emphasis on entrepreneurship and community-building.

—David Friend, the CEO and co-founder of Carbonite, will speak on where big data fits into the Boston area’s rich history of infrastructure and data storage, and what to look for in the future.

—Peter Stern, the CEO of Bitly, will talk about his company’s evolution from a URL shortening tool to a social analytics firm that offers software to big businesses.

—Burt Kaliski, the CTO of VeriSign (and formerly of RSA and EMC), will speak on enterprise big data issues, such as security, privacy, and information management.

Other featured speakers include Christopher Ahlberg, CEO of Recorded Future; Phil Beauregard, CEO of Objective Logistics; Fred Lalonde, CEO of Hopper; Rich Levandov, managing director at Avalon Ventures; Jennifer Lum, president and co-founder of Adelphic Mobile; Chris Lynch, partner at Atlas Venture (former CEO of Vertica); Jay Meattle, CEO of Shareaholic; Sravish Sridhar, CEO of Kinvey; and Kelly Stirman, vice president at Hadapt.

The conference will touch on themes of how businesses are using big data and analytics to gain a competitive advantage across different sectors; how entrepreneurs and investors are building companies around emerging technologies and platforms; how big data has fundamentally changed the IT landscape; and how the field will help shape New England’s technology future.

You can read more about the program and get your tickets here (check out our early bird and startup/student rates). The hashtag for the event is #xcbigdata. Hope to see you on October 24.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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  • http://twitter.com/NewVentureFunds New Venture Funds

    I’m looking forward to seeing this ‘big-data’ movement grow. I’ve been using open source MySQL and have been avoiding storing large ‘blob’ files as much as possible. Are there open source no-SQL platforms?