Key Takeaways from BigData London Conference and Exhibition

Read some of the key takeaways from BigData LDN, one of the UK's free data & analytics conferences, which took place recently.

Key Takeaways from BigData London Conference and Exhibition
Source: BigDataLDN


As part of the KDNuggets team, I was given the opportunity to attend the BigData LDN Conference and Exhibition on 20-21st September.

It is one of the UK's free data & analytics conferences and exhibitions which is hosted by leading data and analytics experts.There were 100 exhibitors, 12 theaters and 200 speakers - was definitely a busy day!

Author of HumblePi, Matt Parker - an Australian recreational mathematician, author, comedian, and YouTube personality was present as a headline keynote speaker. This was really cool!

I was able to speak to a few people and get more information about their company, so let’s get started.




I was able to speak to DataOps’ Vice President, Evangelism & Enablement - Patrick Connolly. This is what he had to say…

DataOps is about DevOps that applies to data, with a focus on flexibility, agility and control. The company is fairly new, having started in 2018 with the vision to reduce the time to insight, and accelerate the time to value, for customers. In 2019, they had a clear focus on the true principles of DevOps and extracting value from volume in IoT time series data in order to develop technology around DataOps. 

They then went onto publicly sharing their DataOps Philosophy, which can be found on TrueDataOps and they also released their DataOps for Snowflake platform.

The pillars of DataOps are:

  • ELT and the spirit of ELT 
  • Continuous Integration / Continuous Deployment (CI/CD)
  • Code design and maintainability
  • Environment management
  • Governance and change control
  • Automated testing and monitoring
  • Collaboration and self-service

Customers typically face the same issue: multiple pipelines which naturally brings complexity. DataOps are trying to achieve a tempo that matches one another with a focus on agility and governance. They wanted to create solutions so that companies and stakeholders can get better, faster, and higher quality data, with no compromise on governance and data security.

The DataOps co-founders Justin Mullen and Guy Adams teamed up with other DataOps pioneers to write the book DataOps for Dummies - which I was able to get for free!

If you want to learn how you can build, test and deploy applications on SnowFlake, go over to DataOps website.


McLaren Racing


Andrew McHutchon, a Senior Data Scientist for McLaren racing was also present. I was not able to personally speak with him, but he did have a Q&A session where I was able to ask questions. 

You can imagine how busy his seminar was: How the McLaren Formula 1 Team is using Data to Accelerate Performance. People were literally on top of one another but it was very interesting to understand the concept of data and Formula 1.

He was able to tell us that one of the biggest challenges he faces as a Senior Data Scientist is the lack of data. The racing sport does not happen often, so when it does there is very little data to work with. And once they collate this data, the process takes so long that the particular racing season has ended and is of no value at the time. The team can use it for the next season, but that still makes the current process harder.

He also said that the team doesn't have access to every piece of data. There are specific websites in which they get their data, most which are available to the general public. However, the information that broadcasters see on their screen such as the lap speed and gears - the data McLaren team do not have access to these stats. Therefore, the team has other team members watching the race and noting down every stat in order to collate data.

The data team is not big, therefore the team is under a lot of pressure during each game. 

If you want to learn more about McLaren, have a look at their website


Eden Smith Group


I also had the privilege to speak with Jez Clark, the CEO of Eden Smith. They offer data staffing, data consulting, education and training.They have over 20 Years of staffing experience within the technology industry and then eventually branched off to data consulting.

As the company started to grow, they saw a new market - education and training. They offer an educational programme called Nurture which was shortlisted for the Data IQ Award ‘Best Development Programme’ 2020 & 2021, and which they later on Nurture Plus and Nourish.

If you are interested in their internships and other forms of education, have a look here: If you are based in the UK, and are looking for a new opportunity in technology, have a look at their live vacancies:


Wrapping it up


There were a wide range of companies present such as Microsoft, Databricks, Snowflake and more. The day was highly insightful, I made a lot of connections, learnt about different companies and was also able to learn more about new tools and softwares

I would highly advise visiting these types of conferences and exhibitions to explore more about the world of data, paradigm shift and the how you can be part of the future

Nisha Arya is a Data Scientist and Freelance Technical Writer. She is particularly interested in providing Data Science career advice or tutorials and theory based knowledge around Data Science. She also wishes to explore the different ways Artificial Intelligence is/can benefit the longevity of human life. A keen learner, seeking to broaden her tech knowledge and writing skills, whilst helping guide others.