In addition to my main talk at Data Science Festival on What makes an effective data team, I was lucky to give one of the 10 minute “Lightning talks” in the SHIFT room before lunch as well. This post briefly recaps my lightning talk on machine learning in real-time, before sharing my conference highlights and some closing thoughts.

Machine learning in real-time: the next frontier

For my Lightning talk I discussed “Machine learning in real-time: the next frontier”:


The lightning talks were kept strictly to 10 minutes (including questions), so it was an opportunity really just to frame the topic. I find the subject of real-time machine learning, and indeed the broader topic of operationalising ML pipelines, really fascinating; from the questions asked, it looks like others do too.

I hope to return to this topic with some longer-form writing later this year.

My DSF conference highlight

This is an easy one - I thought the standout from the day was Satya Singh from Hotels.com, with his talk on Ethics and Impact, the Humanity in Data science. Satya dove deeply into the ethical side of the work we all do with data - he didn’t shy away from asking difficult questions, but accompanied them with some concrete ethical approaches we can adopt as we all build out our data products.

Away from the talks, Snowplow had a stand as one of the festival’s proud sponsors. It was eye-opening to speak directly with data scientists about some of the challenges they face and explore how Snowplow can help solve those. We believe Snowplow has a strong proposition for data scientists: use your most comprehensive and granular event data sets to feed your machine learning models and spend less time cleaning data thanks to Snowplow’s event validation and schema technology. It was great to see the interest in Snowplow at the event and we look forward to continuing the conversation with data scientists this year.

Some closing thoughts

We have followed DSF for a while and seen the community grow from the sidelines, so it was exciting to finally become part of the community and join DSF as a proud sponsor and speaker. We look forward to more conversations with data scientists and attending more events within this thriving community.

A good conference is as much about the conversations in the corridors as it is about the talks. We enjoyed meeting some of the data practitioners and scientists who will be instrumental in this next phase of applying machine learning to critical business problems.

Hopefully we’ll be back at DSF next year - in the meantime, if you live in the London area please join our London Meetup group to stay informed about our upcoming events. And we hope to see you at future data events across Europe!