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Big Data Summit 2017 in Hanau.

Nadine Geppert, Associate in our TMT department, visited the Big Data Summit 2017 in Hanau. Around 750 participants joined the summit and 90 speakers from different backgrounds, such as data science, business and consulting, presented various speeches on Big Data. What does Big Data stand for? In principle, Big Data can be defined as data sets with huge volume, variety and velocity. The hype around Big Data has currently been replaced by the buzz words machine learning and Artificial Intelligence. Big Data might be, however, used as the umbrella term.

The key note speaker Prof Volker Markl (TU Berlin) explained how data analytics developed from batch data analytics to stream data processing. He highlighted the technological challenges businesses are facing. Interestingly, Artificial Intelligence (AI) was debated by various speakers at the this year’s Big Data Summit. AI might be defined as machine systems that are able to sense, comprehend, act and learn. A very popular example of AI is “Siri”. More business related example is speech analysis or self-driving cars. Arnab Chakraborty (Accenture) highlighted the key imperatives of AI for people, businesses and society. He pointed out that AI technology will develop significantly in the next years. Big Data represents a real opportunity to leverage the best for economy growth – this also takes place to a large scale in Germany. Germany as an industrial and manufacturing business place also explores AI and may become a global leader in the field of connected cars. But AI also means that innovation is distributed as an value protecting to protect health or environment.

KPMG conducted a study commissioned by Bitkom which focused on data analytics in various sectors. Leading sectors are, therefore, transport and logistics. Surprisingly, merchandising, media and electronics only rarely use data analytics. Values of data analytics might be the decrease of risks and costs, whilst sales usually increase. The speaker Peter Heidkamp (KPMG) emphasised the challenges, such as how to create sustainable and successful use data analytics.

Smart energy is the new buzz word in the energy sector. This sector is in a transformation process since some years and realised the opportunities the digital age may bring. Dr Rolf Apel (Siemens) explained how energy grids, markets and data are collected and merged to develop new business models. Smart data means the interaction of Big Data from different energy market systems. The airport Stuttgart, for instance, uses Big Data to steer and enhance the energy sources – this is enabled by cloud based technology. It is not only Smart Data that is triggering the digitisation of energy companies. Offshore wind parks use Big Data to strengthen the operation and maintenance by avoiding time and cost consuming on-site inspections.  

Different speakers in Hanau addressed legal implications, including data privacy and IT security. In his speech on legal implications of Big Data, Prof Boris Paal (University Freiburg i.Br.) emphasised that legal disciplines should be understood as enablers and pioneers, as well as mediators. On the other hand, he acknowledges that the legal system faces big challenges by the digitisation. He mentioned the General Data Protection Regulation and further questions around how data can be protected in a competition law related sense.

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