INRIX CEO, Globys Data Science SVP Join Packed Nov. 19 Big Insight Event

10/21/13Follow @bromano

INRIX, the Kirkland, WA-based traffic intelligence company, has a quintessential big-data-centric business and highlights the Northwest’s strengths in this field.

That’s why we’re thrilled to have the company’s co-founder and CEO, Bryan Mistele, join our Nov. 19 Xconomy Forum: Big Insight—Making Sense of Big Data in Seattle. He joins two other great new additions to our lineup: Olly Downs, senior vice president of data sciences at Globys, which provides big data analytics to customers in telecom and financial services; and Emily McReynolds, managing fellow at the University of Washington’s new Tech Policy Lab.

Early-bird ticket prices for this event end tomorrow. You can register here to get in on the conversation with senior executives and researchers from Microsoft, Google, Zillow, Tableau Software, Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, and several leading big-data startups.

INRIX ingests traffic data from a huge array of sources—vehicle GPS systems, mobile devices, road sensors, weather and event data, “and hundreds of other sources”—around the globe. The company crunches it all to produce real-time congestion reports, traffic flow maps and predictions, and an expanding variety of sophisticated information products for everyone from individual drivers to commercial fleet operators to economics and finance professionals.

The company, spun out of Microsoft Research in 2005 (another reason it epitomizes this region’s big data innovation cluster), was at first focused just on helping fleet drivers navigate around traffic, a data-driven information service with clear value to a specific set of customers.

Today, the same traffic data underpins what INRIX believes could be a leading macro-economic indicator. When people are employed and feeling flush, they’re out on the roads going to work, shop, or dinner out, driving up traffic congestion. That traffic data, gathered in real time, could give an indication of economic health before it shows up in government statistics. The company started publishing its INRIXI Gridlock Index (IGI) last December, comparing actual commute traffic speeds in a given region and time period with its historical traffic information database.

The idea is pretty simple, but it couldn’t be done without a sophisticated machine for ingesting and analyzing previously inconceivable amounts of data.

To me, INRIX and the IGI embody a broader theme in the conversation about big data: It can answer questions we might not have thought to ask before, challenging not just our technology, but also our imaginations.

Another of our new speakers, Downs, knows this well. He was previously principal scientist at INRIX. Now, at Globys, he leads a team responsible for the analytics strategies and algorithms that the Seattle company uses to help telecom and financial services companies sort through their huge stores of customer data to make sophisticated, contextual marketing pitches.

Downs holds a PhD in applied and computational mathematics from Princeton and has made a career of translating leading edge analytical methods into data-driven businesses.

Downs and Mistele will join Socrata CEO Kevin Merritt in a discussion about data-centric applications, moderated by McReynolds, who focuses her research on “data privacy and the intersection between corporate data collection and its use by third parties.”

The rest of our confirmed speakers are listed below. You can get your early bird ticket here. We hope you’ll attend!

Roger Barga, Principal Group Program Manager, Microsoft Research

Andrew Beers, Vice President of Engineering, Tableau Software

Oren Etzioni, Executive Director, Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence

Peter Godman, CEO, Qumulo

Carlos Guestrin, CEO, GraphLab; Amazon Professor of Machine Learning, University of Washington

Joseph Hellerstein, Manager of Computational Discovery, Google

Stan Humphries, Chief Economist, Zillow

Jeremy Jaech, CEO, SNUPI Technologies

Ed Lazowska, Bill & Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science & Engineering; Founding Director, eScience Institute, University of Washington

Matt McIlwain, Managing Director, Madrona Venture Group

Kevin Merritt, CEO, Socrata

Bill Pike, Technical Group Manager of Visual Analytics, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

John Slitz, CEO, SpaceCurve

Leo Spiegel, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development, Pivotal

 

Benjamin Romano is editor of Xconomy Seattle. Email him at bromano [at] xconomy.com. Follow @bromano

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