BI & Big Data Wrap-Up


Together with Cloud computing innovation, the business intelligence and Big Data analytics market is one of the hottest areas of the tech sector right now. And so it was with Deutsche Messe Worldwide’s BI & Big Data Conference 2013 last May.

The BI & Big Data conference was held for the first time as part of the CeBIT Australia 2013 program and was among the best attended of the eight separate business conferences at the event.
Headlining the top-line international speakers at the event was Obama for America 2012 Chief Data Scientist Rayid Ghani, who presented on how the Presidential campaign’s data strategy evolved over its brief life, and how the campaign’s data team managed its experimental and production data strategies.

Australia is a rapidly maturing market in the use of data analytics and the BI & Big Data Conference focused largely on Australian expertise and local case studies.
The event included a keynote address from senior Quantium consultant Gideon Ratner, who presented on the “Philosophy, Strategy and Practicality of Big Data.” Quantium is an Australian company that is a world leader in analytics, attracting a $20 million investment earlier this year from supermarket giant Woolworths.

Quantium director Tim Trumper also faciliated a fascinating expert panel session that included Westfield Director of Marketing John Batistich, Westpac Head of Customer Relationship Marketing & Digital, and Servcorp’s Virtual Office Vice-President Simon Smith.

Deutsche Messe Worldwide is an industry leader in creating event platforms for the data analytics sector, and by any global yardstick, the combination of the BI & Big Data Conference 2013 and CeBIT Australia 2013 were tremendously successful.

Three hand-on, instructive workshops were held in conjunction with the BI & Big Data Conference 2013, giving delegates the opportunity to delve deeper into reas of specific business value to them. Workshops included “Getting Big Data Through The Door And Into Everyday Life;” “Spatial Representation And Visualisation Of Big Data;” and “Designing Big Data Visualisation Dashboards.”

Other BI & Big Data 2013 highlights included:


  • Splunk Australia/New Zealand Country Manager Dan Miller on “Big Data, Delivered.”
  • Macquarie University, Director of Information, Neil Fraser presenting on mobility issues related to business intelligence
  • Echo Entertaninment Group (The Star casino) Rob James on “Mobile Business Intelligence through Big Data in Casinos.”


What delegates said about BI & Big Data Conference 2013:


“Better understanding of what Big Data is and is not. Gained ideas on how aspects of Big Data can be used in my business to understand the customer and drive value. Fed my appetite the learn more about Big Data and keep up-to-date.”
Paul Phelps
Senior Business Insight Specialist
Westpac Banking Corpration

“Was a good mix of practical and theory with some good case studies to see how it translates on the ground.”
Mark McGuire
Director, eService Support Section
Department of Immigration and Citizenship

“10 out of 10″
Justin Davies
Managing Director


Rayid GhaniChief Data Scientist

Obama for America 2012 Campaign


Geof HeydonBusiness Development



John BatistichDirector Marketing



Karen GanschowHead of Customer Relationship Marketing and Digital



Les WiganHead of Commercial Development

News Limited


Neil FraserDirector of Information

Macquarie University


Dr Rami MukhtarBig Data Analytics Project Leader



Rob JamesCTO

Echo Entertainment Group


Amendra PratapSenior Manager Technology & Finance

Macquarie Group


Rohan BaxterSenior Director, Analytics Intelligence and Risk, Office of the Chief Knowledge Officer

Australian Taxation Office (ATO)


Dan MillerCountry Manager Australia & New Zealand



Dr Helen ThompsonDirector, Centre for eCommerce and Communication

University of Ballarat


Andrew MacLeodManager Technical Projects, Centre for eCommerce and Communication

University of Ballarat


Paul FeelySenior Programmer, Centre for eCommerce and Communication

University of Ballarat


Clinton McGregorBusiness Intelligence Manager

Griffith University


Justin DaviesManaging Director



Simon SmithVice President Virtual Office



Raj DalalFounder and Principal



Tim TrumperDirector



Gideon RatnerSenior Consultant



WORKSHOP 1 | Getting Big Data Through The Door And Into Everyday Life

Wednesday 29 May 2013 | 8:30am – 11:30am


The world of big data analytics is disruptive, and it will create new competitive environments. To be competitive, organisations will require new technology with clear implementation strategies, iterative test-and-learn environments and data science talent. This workshop will detail best practices for starting the journey toward big data analytics.

  • What approaches will work?
  • What are the real benefits, and how can your enterprise start making sense of the vastness of the data?
  • What staff and skills do we need?
  • What processes and technologies do we need to implement?

The workshop will deliver a how to:

  • Jump-start big data projects to grow your business
  • Manage all company data: both structured and unstructured
  • Deliver high performance analysis, modelling, and planning on big data

Facilitator: Dr Rami Mukhtar, Big Data Analytics Project Leader, NICTA

Morning Tea will be served during session.


WORKSHOP 2 | Spatial Representation And Visualisation Of Big Data

Wednesday 29 May 2013 | 11:45am – 2:45pm


This workshop will demonstrate the real-world application of spatial technology to support better decision making. Workshop participants will be provided with the practical know-how to effectively ‘consume’ big data using open source spatial technology. The workshop will also consider common issues associated with the use and provision of big data and spatial technologies, and the effective use of cloud-based services for big data.

The workshop will comprise a mixed format including presentation, interactive discussions and a practical exercise allowing participants to spatially enable public data or their own dataset.
Workshop Overview:

  • The value of interoperable data and web based spatial technologies
  • Using spatial representations for decision making
  • Consuming interoperable data
  • Cloud based services for big data: Examples of its use and how workshop participants can adopt in their own workplaces
  • Common issues associated with data use and provision (organisational constraints; privacy; legal issues etc.)
  • Limitations of big data
  • Activity: developing spatial maps including the overlay of participant supplied data, ABS or other open access data.

Who should attend:

  • Business leaders and government and industry decision-makers
  • Data managers and analysts
  • Technology and spatial developers

Andrew MacLeod, Manager Technical Projects, Centre for eCommerce and Communication, University of Ballarat
Paul Feely, Senior Programmer, Centre for eCommerce and Communication, University of Ballarat
Dr Helen Thompson, Director, Centre for eCommerce and Communication, University of Ballarat

Lunch will be served during session.


WORKSHOP 3 | Designing Big Data Visualisation Dashboards

Wednesday 29 May 2013 | 3:00pm – 6:00pm


Built to help you to figure out what story to tell and how to tell it, this workshop will provide guidance on how to select the right data, choose appropriate layouts and encodings. This workshop is not to be missed if you want to learn, step-by-step, how to create a visualisation that conveys appropriate knowledge to a defined audience.


Whilst prior technology or graphic design experience is not necessary for this session, understanding of your specific data or types of data will be helpful. Please feel free to bring your own data sets to work with.
This workshop will cover:

  • The goals we try to achieve with data visualisation
  • Examining how key findings in psychological studies can be applied to improve visualisation methods and outcomes
  • Creating a more balanced assessment of data by overcoming the human inclination for natural bias that occurs when collecting
  • Engineering visualisation techniques based upon a psychological framework to enable the visualisation of diverse data assets

Facilitator: Neil Fraser, Director of Information, Macquarie University


Afternoon Tea will be served during session.


BI & Big Data Agenda
8:35am – 8:45am Opening Address from Conference Chair

Justin Davies, Managing Director, Emergination

8:45am – 9:10am Big Data, Delivered

Dan Miller, Country Manager Australia & New Zealand, Splunk

9:10am – 9:50am International Keynote: Data Analytics for the Presidential Elections

Rayid Ghani, Chief Data Scientist, Obama for America 2012 Campaign

9:50am – 10:20am The philosophy, Strategy and Practicality of Big Data

Gideon Ratner, Senior Consultant, Quantium

10:20am – 10:50am Morning Tea and Networking
10:50am – 11:30am Panel Discussion: Practical Apps of Big Data

Tim Trumper, Director, Quantium


  • John Batistich, Director Marketing, Westfield
  • Karen Ganschow, Head of Customer Relationship Marketing and Digital, Westpac
  • Simon Smith, Vice President, Virtual Office, Servcorp
11:30am – 12:00pm Mobility: BI on the move

Neil Fraser, Director of Information, Macquarie University

12:00pm – 12:30pm What Does Everyone Else Think Of Big Data?

Raj Dalal, Founder and Principal, BigInsights

12:30pm – 1:30pm Lunch and Networking
1:30pm – 2:00pm How to Use BI and Big Data to Formulate Business Strategy

Les Wigan, Head of Commercial Development, News Limited

2:00pm – 2:30pm Mobile Business Intelligence through Big Data in Casinos

Rob James, CTO, Echo Entertainment Group

2:30pm – 3:00pm Operationalising BI and Data Integration in the Cloud

Geof Heydon, Business Development, CSIRO

3:00pm – 3:30pm BI & Business Value: Examples of where and how business value has been achieved with BI in the ATO

Rohan Baxter, Senior Director, Analytics Intelligence and Risk, Office of the Chief Knowledge Officer, Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

3:30pm – 4:00pm Afternoon Tea and Networking
4:00pm – 4:30pm Driving Engagement in Decision making Processes through Rapid Reporting & Analysis

Clinton McGregor, Business Intelligence Manager, Griffith University

4:30pm – 5:00pm Macquarie Group’s Story: Justifying BI to Business in Tough Times

Amendra Pratap, Senior Manager Technology & Finance, Macquarie Group

5:00pm – 5:05pm Closing Remarks from the Chair and End of Conference

Justin Davies, Managing Director, Emergination

Download BI & Big Data 2013 Brochure

  • Land line numbers must include area code with no spaces. EG: 0291234567