Data and analytics event

Forget the metaverse and embrace to the dataverse. This was the message we took away from attending Big Data LDN. Billed as “the UK’s leading data and analytics event,” some 150 exhibitors, 200 speakers and a few thousand delegates descended on the Olympia conference venue for two days of big data. Present were obvious names such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft, consumer-facing businesses such as KFC and Deliveroo to highlight their data journeys, and a plethora of start-ups.

We first discussed the exponential growth of data production and consumption over a decade ago. Since then, it has shown no signs of slowing down. To frame the importance of data, consider that 22.5% of global GDP is made up by the digital economy. With global data doubling roughly every two to three years, the technology market is currently outgrowing global GDP by four to five percentage points annually (figures from Accenture, KKR and IBM respectively).

Perhaps the most impressive presentation at Big Data LDN was a keynote speech from Karthik Ravindran, a Microsoft Executive. There was standing room only to hear this presenter describe “data as the oxygen of digital innovation.” We concur with the Microsoft view that data now effectively drives all business decisions. The important nuance of this observation, however, is that designing a coherent data strategy to support the data deluge is non-trivial.

Large advertising placard presenting new technologies

Microsoft rightly highlighted that technology should be seen as “an enabler and not as a solution.” Businesses and their employees need to be empowered with the right tools in order to bring about meaningful organisational change. We were told that artificial intelligence and machine learning can “elevate” human decision-making. Such tools have broad applicability across the dataverse: from simple analysis to much more complex strategies such as supply chain management and employee retention schemes. It was apparent from spending time at Big Data LDN that many businesses are still in a very early innings when it comes to the upside available from digital transformation. As a reminder, however, data in our view have no value unless they are effectively analysed, stored, and also appropriately secured.

27 September 2022​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The above does not constitute investment advice and is the sole opinion of the author at the time of publication. Past performance is no guide to future performance and the value of investments and income from them can fall as well as rise. 

Alex Gunz, Fund Manager

Photos taken by author. 


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 LLP 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 LLP, 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 LLP is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital LLP 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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