The 1st I-BiDaaS Info Day - Workshop on Big Data Analytics was successfully held on January 22nd, 2019, under the coordination of the Faculty of Sciences of University of Novi Sad, Dusan Jakovetic, the I-BiDaaS Technical Coordinator, and Ilija Šuša, Co-founder of Content Insights LLC. The participant list included the local/regional community of leading industry experts on big data analytics and data science, as well as a local network of industries interested on leveraging big data and self-service analytics in their businesses. In total, 34 persons from 14 different organisations (12 industry companies and 2 academic organisations) participated in the event, leading to a fruitful discussion. The event’s main objectives were to:
- Raise awareness about the H2020 EU-funded I-BiDaaS project with respect to usefulness and applicability of its technologies throughout an extensive variety of domains and applications.
- Create a community with an active interest in the project.
- Explore opportunities for continuous collaboration between the project and the industries in the area.
- Collect feedback from the industry specialists about the technical approach and solutions which can contribute to shaping future steps within the project.
During the workshop, I-BiDaaS experts had the opportunity to present the overview of the project, the architecture with its core technologies, the experimental real-life use cases from three different large industries and also to demonstrate the corresponding Minimum Viable Product (MVP). The workshop concluded with a brainstorming and discussion session.
More specifically, after a welcome session, Dr. Ilias Spais (AEGIS) presented an introduction of the I-BiDaaS project, including the motivation behind I-BiDaaS, the project’s objectives and vision, its positioning within the EU data market economy vision, and the contribution the project is seeking to make towards a thriving data-driven economy. Since I-BiDaaS is a Big Data Value Association (BDVA) member, the BDVA strategic objectives were presented and the focus was on describing how I-BiDaaS envisions to adopt them. Dr. Ilias Spais strongly emphasized on the direction of the project towards experimentation with respect to the three complementary, large-scale pilots within the project, driven from three different industries (automobile manufacturing, finance/banking and telecoms).
Afterwards, Dr. Giorgos Vasiliadis (FORTH) presented the I-BiDaaS solution, including the project’s architecture and how it addresses the challenges identified in the European Big Data Value Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (BDVA SRIA). The presentation included the tools, the technological innovations and the industrial requirements that the project wants to tackle, aligned with the BDV reference model. In addition, Dr. Giorgos Vasiliadis highlighted the available datasets. Dr. Vassilis Chatzigiannakis (ITML) proceeded with the trial cases of I-BiDaaS and also performed a thorough demonstration of the MVP both for batch and stream processing.
Following the project’s presentation, the Info Day offered the opportunity to the participants to exchange ideas through a fruitful and effective brainstorming session. The participants had the chance to discuss and exchange ideas on recent developments and activities in the context of Data Science, Big Data, and self-service analytics.
I-BiDaaS stimulated the interest of the participants who were particularly interested in the tangible costs regarding the implementation and processes involved. In particular, the question of integration costs in corporate systems was raised alongside with questions concerning data management costs. All the questions above made it clear that there is a strong interest in the commercial use of both the product and the technologies adopted.
I-BiDaaS team members clarified that the conclusions regarding the effectiveness of the project as a self-service solution for Big Data Analytics in business domains are exported from the MVP. Thus, the development of a business plan will provide a better understanding of the flexibility and implementation of the final product.
The other important point that was raised by the participants is related to data pre-processing and transformation that occurs before actual processing. Since data preparation is a fundamental stage of data analysis and also an ongoing process, participants highlighted the need of incorporating interactive, self-service visualisation tools into the I-BiDaaS platform.
Challenges regarding both the real-time data management & transformation and a friendly UI of the final product were also pointed out by many participants. To this end, I-BiDaaS experts requested active involvement on the project and acknowledged the need for feedback from stakeholders after testing the product. Thus, the participants were invited to take part in future activities that will be organised (i.e., hackathons, workshops, etc.). In addition, all participants realized the importance of future workshops as these would significantly enhance both awareness and understanding of the project internally as well as externally to each organization.
The I-BiDaaS Info Day concluded with the promise of new meetings and workshops or other dissemination events in the near future.