Navigating the Data Universe: Crimson Innovation Conference 2019 Debrief & Infographic

Mark Britton
by Mark Britton 16 April 2019

Last week the IT world descended on The Vox in Birmingham for up-to-the-minute debates and updates about the key issues shaping the technology sector right now. And knowledge featured strongly throughout. Knowledge that is derived from data, with discussions and debates about how that data is captured, managed and interpreted.

This was all part of our annual Crimson Innovation Conference, which we held for the fifth time. As with our previous conferences, this one also inspired and educated the sell-out audience as the latest trends in tech were unveiled and discussed.

Of these trends, artificial intelligence and big data were among the key topics that dominated the day’s discussions, providing delegates with plenty of food for thought, as well as glimpses of what the future could hold, sooner rather than later. And of course, no IT conference is complete without mention of the likes of Microsoft, with attendees being treated to a hot-off-the-press peek at some of the latest software (more on this a little further down).

For those of you who couldn’t make it - and for those of you who could and would like a recap - here’s a quick overview of some of this year’s highlights:

Headline conversations

As we’ve just mentioned, this year’s conference was dominated by pioneering dialogue that was generated through a combination of round table discussions, networking and a series of guest speaker presentations, each more thought-provoking than the last…

We were incredibly pleased to welcome last year’s VinTech speaker, Ashleigh Petrie from Moneybox, as one of our guest speakers, who spoke about how they use data to inform their app product design. While other guest speakers took to the stage create to talk about so many matters of the moment, which included:

  • Industrialising big data and AI in telecommunications
  • What it takes to be a leader in the age of AI
  • How Microsoft is embedding AI into its latest products
  • Putting behavioural data at the heart of fintech product design

Of all the trending topics that were covered throughout the day, several of them quickly emerged as game-changers; sparking wider conversations and generating valuable insight into the impact the digital era is having on the 21st century tech sector right now. They included AI, text mining (which was the subject of one of the presentations), as well as data-gathering and augmented data – all weighty topics that are dominating the tech world now and will continue to do so for many years to come.

Survey soundbites

The emerging trends were further illustrated by our survey sessions, which enabled us to tap into delegates’ thinking there and then and gauge their thoughts on the trending topics from around the room. These sessions provided us with a wealth of insider knowledge in the form of valuable soundbites such as these:



Data-gathering and skills shortages

Quite understandably, data played an integral part in most of the day’s discussions and it soon became readily apparent that organisations are increasingly recognising that now is the time for them to focus on building their own data-gathering platforms.

But more tellingly, perhaps, our survey activity revealed that one of the reasons why many IT leaders (63%) aren’t meeting this objective or delivering organisation-wide right now is because of a skills shortage.

Attendees also heard how augmented data is steadily coming to the fore in relation to data gathering. For instance, Microsoft’s purchase of LinkedIn now enables it to tap into the social media platform’s data goldmine, which is a prime example of this activity in action.

Higher Education Round Table

As part the numerous sessions at the conference, Crimson held a mini round table discussion for leaders in Higher Education. In an increasingly competitive environment for universities, it is recognised that technology is going to play a massive role in the future provision of education, including higher education. The education landscape is now full of digital natives for whom technology is second nature and their expectation is that everything should be instantly available via their apps and mobile devices. This is no longer a desire. Digital natives simply know no different as they have grown up in a technologically-driven world. The big question for the higher education sector is how do universities, with their diverse and fragmented systems achieve a unified data approach across faculties and departments that are often separate “business” units in themselves? And how can they then use this to not only attract students, but also meet their expectations throughout their university life – before, during and beyond university?

What’s to come…

With future trends taking centre stage just as much as current trends, attendees were also treated to previews of new up-and-coming Microsoft software that has the ability to analyse sales conversations by sentiment.

However, as sophisticated as these systems may be, it’s important to note just how easy it can be to inaccurately interpret data and acknowledge the fact that not everybody is a data scientist, which begs the question: “How can we use technology to help us interpret data more accurately and in more meaningful ways that help us to make good decisions?”

Knowledge is power, but only when implemented in the right way.

It was a day of discovery, a day of celebration (of just how pioneering our industry is) and a day of current and future tech insight at its very best - and we’re looking forward to doing it all again next year.

If you’d like to find out more about or discuss any of the topics covered with us, or if you’d like to be added to next year’s delegate list, contact us on 01675 466 477 or check out the rest of Crimson's event calendar.

Topics: crimson innovation conference