Roger Ehrenberg, Managing Partner of IA Ventures shares his views on Strata Big Data Conference and UI role in Big Data Revolution
Roger Ehrenberg, Information Arbitrage | Feb. 5, 2011
This week's Strata Conference was a truly magical event for those immersed in the world of Big Data. ...
When reflecting back on the conference, the hallway meetings and late-night conversations, one feature of my myriad mind-bending explorations emerged:
the importance of interface design and user experience in helping display the power and value of sophisticated Big Data technologies and analytics.
... So much of Strata and, in fact, the dialogue around Big Data in general is focused on hard-core technologies, bleeding-edge analytics, data manipulation and consumption via APIs. The truth is, however, that much of the complexity and depth of Big Data analysis only comes to life and becomes actionable when presented in a clear and intuitive manner. This places a huge premium on start-ups with awesome UI/UX skills.
And when I started to reflect on the IA Ventures portfolio - BankSimple, BillGuard, Kinetic Global, Metamarkets, PlaceIQ, Recorded Future, Sulia and TraceVector - almost all of our investments have an essential focus on interface design and user experience to extract value from extremely complex data-driven architectures.
... Another interesting feature of these Big Data companies is their mixed DNA: world-class hackers and data scientists together with data visualization and user experience experts. Clearly these worlds overlap; many a great visualization guru is a top-flight data scientist. It's just that getting these multiple personalities and skill sets to work together in a seamless manner to drive value to the client, whether they be consumer or business, is no mean feat. But these companies have been able to instill the importance of "customer first" within their organizations, forcing the intersection of real-time actionable information with a great user experience in perfect harmony. Now THIS is a Big Data revolution: giving the props not only to the data engineers but to the data depicters. Algos are great, but a picture is worth a thousand words.