Signals from Strata + Hadoop World 2015 in London

Key insights from Strata + Hadoop World 2015 in London.

People from across the data world came together this week for Strata + Hadoop World 2015 in London. Below we’ve assembled notable keynotes, interviews, and insights from the event.

Shazam already knows the next big hit

“With relative accuracy, we can predict 33 days out what song will go to No. 1 on the Billboard charts in the U.S.,” says Cait O’Riordan, VP of product for music and platforms at Shazam. O’Riordan walks through the data points and trendlines — including the “shape of a pop song” — that give Shazam hints about hits.


In praise of the long shot

Incremental gains are important, but they are not a replacement for big, bold bets. “There are certain kinds of innovation you cannot get to through a process of marginal improvements,” says Tim Harford, senior columnist at The Financial Times. “Simply being conscious that long shots matter, and being willing to take those risks, and to carve out a space for those risks, can work.”


Privacy: Now a luxury good?

Protecting aspects of your privacy is possible, says ProPublica senior reporter Julia Angwin, but it requires capabilities that are expensive, hard to obtain, and often inconvenient. Angwin also notes: “When we think about privacy, we might be thinking about the wrong word … Really, we should think about it in terms of human rights.”


Data science provides a better way to take on design problems

How does nature do design? Mike Haley, senior director of emerging products and technology at Autodesk, says it finds the best existing solution to a problem and iterates from there. Yet, human designers don’t often work this way; they instead start designs from scratch. Haley discusses the Design Graph, a machine-learning system that helps designers tackle design challenges by accessing past designs and components.


You can see more keynotes and interviews in our Strata + Hadoop World 2015 in London playlist.

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