Dubai Internet City (DIC), the Middle East and North Africa’s largest ICT hub, welcomed leading industry experts to the Big Data emerging technology event, part of DIC’s Excellence Series.
The leading technology experts speaking at the event included: Nabila Charkaoui, Senior Certified Architect in Information Architecture and Project Manager, IBM; Kevin Ashby, Application Platform Product Manager, Microsoft UAE; Ghassan Al Jamil, Big Data – Solutions Lead, Middle East & Africa, Oracle; and Fadi Yousuf, Founder and Managing Director, Axeldata Systems.
Commenting on the event, Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director, DIC and Dubai Outsource Zone, said, “I would like to thank today’s speakers for providing excellent insight on a topic which is becoming more important every day. With technology growing at such a rapid pace, there is an increasing need to understand and explore big data. DIC’s Excellence Series continues to bring together leading industry experts to share deep insight on the latest developments and upcoming trends. I am confident that today’s event has provided all of the attendees a solid understanding of how important big data is for every business.”
The experts each spoke about key topics in the realm of big data, including the challenges of big data technologies to organisations, the business value offered, big data architecture, and success stories.
“Big data is at the forefront of business growth,” said Ghassan Al Jamil, Big Data – Solutions Lead Middle East & Africa at Oracle, during his presentation. “Data is being produced at a much higher pace than anyone expected so it is now a question of how to capture it and maximise usage,” he added.
Kevin Ashby, Application Platform Product Manager at Microsoft UAE, said: “According to IDC, 85% of most company data today sits in unstructured sources such as images, videos and other digital files based on social media and Web-enabled workloads. The challenge to organisations is how to harness the potential of this vast pool of information. Big data represents a modern, scalable solution to organizations facing this challenge. Our customers are responding to the radical improvements of our familiar business intelligence tools – Microsoft Excel, Office 365, Power BI – which accelerate adoption.”
“Research by MIT Center for Digital Business has found that firms that adopt data-driven decision making are 5-6% more productive and more profitable than their competitors,” commented Fadi Yousef, Founder and Managing Director of Axeldata Systems.
“It’s not enough to just visualize data. We want to interact with it and receive a prescriptive answer to be able to take the next best action. Technology now makes it possible to cost effectively manage and analyze all available data both at rest and in motion,” added Nabila Charkaoui, Senior Certified Architect in Information Architecture and Project Manager at IBM.
Following the individual talks, a 30 minute panel session moderated by speaker Fadi Yousef focused on topics including the essence of big data, the emerging landscape for new technologies, big data analytics, and best practice recommendations.
Commenting on the maturity level of data-driven decision making in the Middle East, Kevin Ashby said: “Some people have been experimenting in the field of big date for a long time and steps made by various vendors in the Middle East are making it easier for newcomers to the engage with and utilise the emerging technologies available to them.”
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Alexa Hooft Graafland
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