The Big Data Expo

3 September 2018 | 4 minutes of reading time

Yesterday, Siemon, Jeroen, Jorke, and I went to the Big Data Expo in the Jaarbeurs Utrecht. A very positive experience! The Big Data Expo calls itself the first platform where demand and supply from the big data sector can meet each other. Something we had to be a part of!

From left to right: Siemon, Arjanne, Jeroen, Jorke

Truly compete with data by building an Insights-Driven Business

We begonnen met een lezing van James McCormick van Forrester Research. Hij begon de lezing gelijk goed: ’insights driven businesses are an economic tidal wave, which will be generating 1.8 trillion dollars in 2021’. Good to know!

Veel bedrijven zijn nog onderweg naar data driven besluitvorming en inzichten. Erg veel organisaties beweren dat ze ‘data driven’ zijn, maar 1 op de 10 organisaties zijn het echt. Terwijl dit wel hoog op de agenda zou moeten staan aldus McCormick: ‘insights drive is competitive advantage!’. 

From Forrester’s research it becomes apparent that insight driven businesses are better suited to cross the bridge between having insights and using these to improve the experience. These firms:


  • Have a 100% higher chance that they see improving the customer experience as a priority. 
  • Are in 86% of the cases able to continuously use insights to optimize results.

Besides this, the report shows that businesses that are considering working based on insight driven decision making have:

  • 78% more chance to increase revenue by applying a landscape consisting of insight creating systems and applications.
  • 140% more chance on a durable, competitive advantage with regards to competitors because of this landscape.

To get to these benefits, James McCormick had a few tips for all organizations that want to start working the insight driven way:

  1. There is not one catch-all tool. Do not be afraid to use the best tools each for their own specialty and combine this data.
  2. ‘No time to waste’. Early adopters have a significant advantage over their competitors. The earlier you start, the better the chances of a competitive advantage.
  3. Make use of external exports in the field. Research shows that internally developing an insight driven approach is not quick enough to gain large benefits from it.
  4. Grow alongside the needs of the organization. Not a single organization is equal, so there is no magical template. Start small and adapt by making many small steps in a short time.

It sounds like a cliché, but we of course agree with the argument that there is not one tool or one template that solves everything. The success stands or falls with a good translation of the business needs and afterwards, in the implementation, in the data preparation phase. Tools can definitely help with this, but a sound understanding of data is essential. Otherwise it becomes garbage in garbage out.

Some of us are active in the field of data analysis and marketing intelligence since 2003. We have the privilege to have looked inside of more than fifty companies and we have seen many tools come and go. Assuming that you have the right business questions, the data available is, and has been prepared accordingly, then we will manage using the tools. The success is then dependent on the culture. 

Having said that, we at i-spark choose consciously for a select set of tools. We do not do this because we think these are the only right tools, on the contrary. We do this because we, besides our regular customers, also have clients that we briefly help to get started. In this case it is useful that we are experts in these tools. The combination of years of experience in the entire field of data, combined with sound knowledge of the tool, enables us to deliver rapidly.

McCormick emphasized at the end of his keynote: ‘You need a consultant or tech company to help achieving this. Don’t be afraid to reach out!’.

And we cannot agree more. Our experts with experience in different branches are ready to help you with rolling out an insight driven working method. Do you want to have 78% more chance of revenue increases in a short time? And larger advantages compared to your competitors? Start today and contact us! No Time To Waste. 🙂


A number of (new) tools

We have also spoken with a few of our partners and/or suppliers of by us much used tools. Among others, Looker (link) and Tableau (link) were present on the Big Data Expo. They gave demo’s and showed a set of different user cases, which definitely inspired us for more ways to visualize data.

Something worth having a look at: Dataiku. This tool brings data-analysts, engineers, and scientists together. A tool that helps the entire data process to become clear for all involved. Besides automating the analysis, it can among other things easily implement different machine learning techniques. 

All in all, it was a very inspiring day! You can see this on the picture with the four of us. Big smiles 😉