“What we need is imagination.”

This was Pablos Holman's crescendoed challenge to free-thinkers and risk takers in technology. The hacker and inventor spoke to data.world CEO Brett Hurt at spring summit 2021 about the inevitable, critical role of data in all manner of decisions, and about the importance of finding the right people for your team.  The emphasis on people was a throughline across the half-day of thought-provoking sessions that audience members called “candid,” “lively,” “no B.S.,” “visceral,” “diverse,” “practical,” and “exciting.” We heard from data leaders at Snowflake, LinkedIn, Booz Allen, Wunderman Thompson Data, Fishtown Analytics, Fivetran, and more. They shared indispensable knowledge about agile data governance, connected data, analytics mastery, DataOps, the groundbreaking “identity graph,” and many other topics.  You can watch the entire event replay, or just the sessions that grab your attention, by filling out the form at the bottom of this page. Here are some of our favorite highlights.

Connect the small dots to solve big problems

Wenjing Zhang, Senior Director of Data Science at LinkedIn, kicked-off the summit with this idea: data points themselves do not generate value. We generate value only when we connect disparate data into knowledge, insights, opinions, and decisions.  Running the world’s largest professional network unsurprisingly comes with unique data and analytics complexities. Zhang described how she and her team solve challenging problems that impact their community of 740M+ members. She also drilled down to illuminate how the team personalizes solutions that impact everyone from top influencers such as Bill Gates, to new users making their first LinkedIn connection.

Six months in half a day

“We now do in half a day what we couldn’t do in six months,” said Michael Murray, President and Chief Product Officer of Wunderman Thompson Data, about the company’s identity graph. Murray and Bret Harper, the agency’s Chief Data Officer, joined data.world's VP of Client Services, Amy Niemann. The panel delved into how this creative, data, and technology agency disrupted their market’s status quo. Their customer 360 model uses data.world’s knowledge graph to scale relationships and data like they never could before. The discussion pairs nicely with Murray and Harper’s appearance on our Catalog & Cocktails podcast (Episode 39).

Agile data governance sprints, not marathons

Most high-functioning enterprises today embrace a culture of openness, collaboration, and reuse. Jon Loyens, CPO and co-founder of data.world, walked through the practical steps you need to take to bring agile data governance to your organization, and build efficient processes that drive real business outcomes.

“Best thing since sliced bread”

That’s how Clarke Patterson, Head of Market Intelligence at Snowflake, described the “data cloud” during our modern data stack panel, that included experts from Snowflake, Fishtown Analytics (maintainers of dbt), Fivetran, The Zebra, and data.world. Everyone agreed: having the right foundation—a mix of people, process, and technology— is absolutely essential to rapidly making your data more valuable. And you’ll leave competitors that use legacy data technologies in the dust!

If you can’t stand DataOps heat, stay out of the kitchen

From defining what DataOps truly means, to having a raw conversation about the heat many data people face in their day-to-day work, DataKitchen’s CEO Chris Bergh enlightened the crowd by revealing how this data management methodology works. DataOps helps build, manage, and scale data pipelines while unleashing groundbreaking data analytics. Bergh also made it evident that businesses are now realizing DataOps’s do-or-die role in data strategy. Check out what a leader in this space had to say.

Achieving analytics mastery, according to an astrophysicist

How can you repeatedly get valuable insights from the same dataset? Kirk Borne, P.h.D, Principal Data Scientist at Booz Allen, has your answer.  He showed us how to discover patterns and insights through a wide variety of approaches. Small but powerful “cognitive clues” are all around you, and they point to the “next best action” for your organization. Borne warned us to “beware of the HiPPO” in our business transformation journeys. The “highest paid person’s opinion” always has influence but the data must drive your decisions.

The missing link in your data workforce

Agile data sprints, DataOps, machine learning, and connecting the dots. These are powerful concepts to modernize your data strategies. But something’s missing to get them off the ground. Enter: the data product manager. Jon Loyens and Juan Sequeda discussed this emerging function. Data product managers treat data like a product in order to streamline the data supply chain. Tune into this talk to hear about how this role sits at the intersection of data producers and consumers, how you might already be a data product manager, and more.

Last week’s data.world spring summit was by far the largest event we’ve ever hosted. We met people from all over the world, in practically every data role. But if you missed the live experience, here’s some good news. Fill out the form on this page to view every single session on demand. And if you’re up for a chat, we’d love to see you over in our Slack community.