When you hear about a conference rebranded as Big Things, several different scenarios likely cross your mind. Just about everything fits in the Big Things box… However, once you step foot into the conference, with the largest cinema in the world playing host, you immediately know what it is all about. 

After 7 editions, the event has evolved as much as technology has. Big Things is not a sectorial event about Big Data. It’s Big Data, AI, Machine Learning, IoT, Blockchain…and the list goes on. With 2000+ Attendees -from more than 500 companies and 19 different industries- , 35 Sponsors, 92 Talks and 120 Speakers, the new edition exceeded all expectations.

AI for good and social impact

NLP, Virtual Assistants, Reinforcement Learning, Graphs and Advanced Visualization remain at the top of the technological trends. With 5 tracks running simultaneously all day long, the variety and quality of the content is still the star of the event.

However, it is worth mentioning first that Big Things took a step forward in “humanizing” technologies and beating on the AI for Good side. With the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as the backdrop, Big Things featured a huge amount of talks with an economic, social and environmental impact. The idea was to show how technology is dramatically changing sectors such as health, logistics, energy, transport and retail, with the ultimate goal of helping to create a better and more equal society. 

Machine Learning for data-driven decision making

It is in this spirit that a woman keynoted the event for the first time in 7 editions. Cassie Kozyrkov, Chief Decision Scientist at Google, opened the conference with a session oriented to the use of machine learning for data-driven decision making. How can we harness the potential of AI and ML effectively, responsibly, and reliably? The answer revolves around trusted data: one of the most repeated keywords during the conference. Without trusted data, there won’t be data-driven decision making. 

As for Stratio’s participation, during the second day Óscar Méndez established  the path in order to be able to compete in the technology playground while once again, focusing on trusted data. Nowadays it becomes fundamental to collect data but not all kinds of data will be valid to extract value for a business. As per Óscar Méndez: only data that is clean, secure, accurate, organized, and have well-defined origins and clear access guidelines, so-called Trusted Data. 

Trusted data, virtualization and ontologies

Top technological companies (Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft…) generate and collect trusted data then later use it to make smarter applications, thus becoming smarter themselves. So, for the rest of average companies, how can they start then? According to Óscar Méndez, the way seems clear: first, with virtualization in order to map the data. Then with ontologies to match the business terms of your company with the data that you have discovered. Once you have assigned a business meaning to your data, you will be transforming all your legacy data into trusted data. 

To close the talk, Óscar Méndez stated: “In 10 years, all companies will be building applications and data intelligence models with a trusted data fabric”

Oscar Mendez - Stratio

Far from being a prophecy, the demo was already taking place in real-time at Stratio’s booth, where any attendee could create a Data Intelligence Model or an application with business meaningful data. Day 1 Summary showed impressive results: 151 Assets created, 34 Companies working in collaboration, 42 Data workflows, 43 Microservices, 35 AI models, 10 Business reports and 21 Business entities. Together with Stratio. As always, too good to be true.

Big Things is a unique event in Spain and one of the main events of its kind in Europe, where each year surpasses the last. It is a melting pot of people from different backgrounds, Tech Entrepreneurs and thought leaders, data scientists and decision makers, all together in the pursuit of Big Things.


Stratio guides businesses on their journey through complete #DigitalTransformation with #BigData and #AI. Stratio works worldwide for large companies and multinationals in the sectors of banking, insurance, healthcare, telco, retail, energy and media.