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Two great presentations! Emerging Technologies to Navigate the Data Overload

Title: Emerging Technologies to Navigate the Data Overload


Agust Egilsson: Empowering Domain Experts to Navigate the Data Overload

Demand for experts in the big data field is currently growing at triple digit annual rates, in particular for developers and architects in the field. This continued dependency on developers and the extreme shortage of deep analytical talents prevents domain experts, managers and decision makers in industries like finance, retail and healthcare from being able to take advantage of opportunities that require short turnaround times and analysis of big data. So what can be done to change this?

By far the most widely used and well understood end-user programming technology for reducing turnaround times and performing analytics is the spreadsheet. In this analytics talent puzzle, several big data vendors are banking on spreadsheets to provide a vital piece in reducing the pressures resulting from the exploding demand for developers and to reduce turnaround times. These vendors include Datameer, 1010 data, Palantir and QuantCell as well as IBM and others.

We will discuss the end-user programming solutions, why they are useful and how they help the domain expert to navigate the data overload, the challenges and what is needed to make them viable in the long run. Additionally, we will highlight and exemplify the solution provided by the big data spreadsheet being developed by QuantCell to empower the domain expert.

Vivek Agarwal: Empowering Researchers to Collaborate Amid the Data Overload
By some estimates, knowledge workers spend as much as 40% of their time on Intranets and Internet to research and collect information around topics necessary for their work. A significant percentage of this research is redundantly repeated by others, with little collaborative awareness, representing a huge amount of wasted effort.

Most of the current technological effort is focused around improving search, presenting results and introducing semantic contexts around search (e.g. “knowledge graphs”). But purely technology enabled approaches continue to come up short, as new information is generated at an overwhelming pace. Humans already process the search results presented to them by going down different paths, assigning importance to results through various implicit and explicit actions, and digging for information not accessible by search engines. Very little has been done to leverage this effort to improve upon research and collaboration.

Vivek will discuss different approaches being taken to address these issues, why many have failed and what challenges remain, to address the challenge in way that could lead to wider adoption of solutions. He will present the human-powered approach Surfmark has taken, its potential, and the challenges Surfmark faces and how those challenges can be overcome.


Agust S. Egilsson, PhD, co-founder, inventor and architect of QuantCell

Vivek Agarwal, founder, inventor and architect of Surfmark

is the architect and inventor behind the QuantCell big data spreadsheet and end-user programming environment, and the cofounder of QuantCell Research.  Before QuantCell he worked in investment banking, in the life science industry and in academia in the mathematics departments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of California-Berkeley and at the University of Iceland. Agust wrote and used early prototypes of QuantCell in his roles in investment banking and in academia to build trading strategies, perform risk analysis and for research. Agust has a doctoral degree in mathematics from UC Berkeley, has published papers in mathematics and computer science and is the author of numerous U.S. patents.

Vivek is the founder of Surfmark. He started Surfmark to address many of the knowledge processing and collaboration issues he faced as an investment banker, advising technology companies. Before investment banking, he worked in a supply chain startup, where he helped architect a decision support system. Prior to that, Vivek worked as a management consultant helping companies re-engineer their extended supply chains. He started his career building nuclear power plants for Westinghouse. Vivek is an engineering graduate from IIT Delhi and holds an MBA from the Wharton School.

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