Click here to close now.


Blog Feed Post

O’Reilly’s Strata comes to Europe, with a very British opening

O’Reilly’s Big Data extravaganza, Strata, left its native U.S. for the first time this week, coming to London for two days of data; the big, the open, the structured, the unstructured, and the undecided.

Whilst many of the companies and issues are the same, whether you’re in London, California or New York City, there are also plenty of ways in which local philosophy, approach, and mindset impact upon what’s possible – and what’s important. O’Reilly delivered this message loud and clear this morning, devoting the first two sessions of the opening morning to stories from the UK’s open data-enthusiastic government.

Rather raw notes follow…

First up, Liam Maxwell (@liammax) from the Cabinet Office. What is the government doing about data, open data, and the role of IT in all of that? We spend 1% of GDP on government IT systems. But we want to deliver efficiencies, and enable the UK economy to grow. Transparency is important; for example, local government must publish any expenditure over £500… originally, it was meant to be £5,000. £500 is better!

Open Government Partnership – open government makes sense. It’s become an orthodoxy.

Also keen on open source. But not because open source is necessarily best. Rather, that approach is fundamental to opening up markets. Coalition Agreement (between Conservative and LibDem sides of the UK government) makes an explicit mention of importance of open source. The only statement of government that does?

Open Standards also important. Done it wrong in the past. Hopefully announcing new – sensible – policy by the end of October.

Most of our IT in the past has been developed on closed systems in a black box. Even the customer hasn’t had the right to look inside. Want to use open data to open up markets. New procurement frameworks and strategies saving 30% or more of spend. Open market to ensure that the best possible people can bid for a project. If the project is too big (like in the old days) then only the largest incumbents can compete.

He mentions last week’s EU cloud strategy [I'm writing a report on that, which will be out in a couple of weeks...] – concerned about the provision to certify cloud providers, as it will reinforce the current dominant players. Microsoft, Amazon et al big and strong enough to waste time getting certified. But what about the nimble startups? Will they even bother? [Interesting perspective...]

“We leave money on the table when we don’t deal with SMEs.” And those SMEs grow to become medium businesses, and then global success stories.

The Government Digital Service (@gdsteam) “is the future of Government.”

The future is going to be digital. We’re falling out of love with our big tin, and moving towards a future that is nimbler and more citizen-focussed. We understand open data, and we understand the use of this stuff to deliver better services.

Next up, Jeni Tennison (@jenit), who has just joined the new Open Data Institute.

Today is her first day… Open Data – dreams to reality.

How do we take freely available data and actually derive real benefit from it.

Open Data + magic = economic growth. Indeed.

Open Data + magic = democratic engagement (“we’ll take open data and it will make people like politicians.”)

Open Data + magic = supreme awesomeness.

But how do we actually make this happen?

Open Data is a tool.

The open data projects that are most exciting to her are the ones with specific goals – to get people riding bikes, to let them see legislation, etc.

Open Data can be used for ill as well as for good. It is just a tool. We need to learn how to wield it responsibly.

It’s a versatile tool (big swiss army knife on screen…).

The web is great now… but we couldn’t have anticipated all its uses ten years ago. Possibilities. Opportunities. We need to experiment, because we don’t actually know where it will lead.

Open Data Institute is where we’re going to think about this stuff in the UK. Set up by Tim Berners-Lee and Nigel Shadbolt.

Our main aim is to collaborate with businesses, government, the wider public sector and academia to realise the benefits of open data – economic, social, environmental.

We’ll address two different sets of people; data owners and  data re-users.

We need to think about how data owners publish their data. How do they develop processes that make sense, that manage the data, that are sustainable, that enable data to flow? The data release needs to fit their business model, and it needs to be sustainable and a reliable foundation for other businesses. Otherwise, it’s just people flinging spreadhseets out there, and that won’t work forever.

For data reusers, we need to think about how the data appears. How it is visualised, but also how it is analysed, described, etc. Conclusions must be statistically significant and replicable. We need to protect too – privacy, data protection, etc. We need to build understanding and capability.

Knowing Jeni, she’ll have that lot sorted by the end of day two… :-)

The event is also live-streaming, at – do drop in over the next day and a half.

Image by Flickr user Tim Morris

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Paul Miller

Paul Miller works at the interface between the worlds of Cloud Computing and the Semantic Web, providing the insights that enable you to exploit the next wave as we approach the World Wide Database.

He blogs at

Latest Stories
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Su...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and t...
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessi...
Continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications are both impacted by -- and a benefit to -- the Internet of Things trend. To help better understand the relationship between DevOps and a plethora of new end-devices and data please welcome Gary Gruver, consultant, author and a former IT executive who has led many large-scale IT transformation projects, and John Jeremiah, Technology Evangelist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on Twitter at @j_jeremiah. The discussion...
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...