Post #86: All about data - Heptagon Capital – Production

In case you missed it, Big Data LDN took place earlier this week. For the past two years your author has trekked to the Olympia conference centre in west London…

Post #86: All about data

In case you missed it, Big Data LDN took place earlier this week. For the past two years your author has trekked to the Olympia conference centre in west London to listen to a plethora of presentations, network with interesting people and learn more about data. With conferences a thing of the past, this year’s event took place exclusively online, as pictured below. It proved equally fulfilling and was certainly highly time efficient.

Presenters from IBM and Microsoft shared their views along with numerous start-ups. The tone from this year’s event was markedly more humane and less hubristic than in previous years – perhaps a sign of the times. There was a notable focus on the quality of data over the quantity. Put another way, if you put garbage in (to algorithms), then you may get garbage out. Additionally, data governance is assuming an increasingly significant profile. Beyond data rights (who owns your data), training algorithms appropriately – to avoid biases – was considered crucial by most participants.

Another prominent take-away from this year’s event was that the current pandemic has underscored the relative immaturity of many companies’ levels of digitalisation. Many businesses have therefore put in place accelerated digitalisation plans as a result of the changes wrought by COVID-19. If the world is moving more digital – our contention – then it is crucial to lever data effectively. Some 90% of enterprise data currently goes unanalysed (per IBM), creating a clear opportunity. Data can help fuel automation and artificial intelligence (AI) can help unlock the value of this data. Consider the case study of PayPal: some 60% of its inquiries are now AI-automated, resulting in clear cost savings. Blockchain solutions may also play a crucial role in the future. As one Chief Executive put it, “paperwork shouldn’t even exist.” 

If anything was clear, then it is that the future will comprise more data, most likely in a multi-cloud, multi-vendor environment. AI can make data better but needs to be deployed judiciously. All the above requires more silicon (i.e. more semiconductor chips) too. Watch this space: October will see the publication of our next detailed theme piece, an updated version of our original “data deluge” thesis, first developed close on a decade ago.


The document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or any recommendation to buy, or sell or otherwise transact in any investments. The document is not intended to be construed as investment research. The contents of this document are based upon sources of information which Heptagon Capital believes to be reliable. However, except to the extent required by applicable law or regulations, no guarantee, warranty or representation (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this document or its contents and, Heptagon Capital, its affiliate companies and its members, officers, employees, agents and advisors do not accept any liability or responsibility in respect of the information or any views expressed herein. Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Where this document provides forward-looking statements which are based on relevant reports, current opinions, expectations and projections, actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All opinions and estimates included in the document are subject to change without notice and Heptagon Capital is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital disclaims any liability for any loss, damage, costs or expenses (including direct, indirect, special and consequential) howsoever arising which any person may suffer or incur as a result of viewing or utilising any information included in this document. 

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