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Big Data in Business: Help or Hindrance?

The second Talk Big Data discussion took place on 20 October 2016.

The speakers were:

  • Jasmine Birtles (Founder of
  • Ian Hutchinson (Lead Software Developer, Projects by IF)
  • Helen Simpson (Professor of Economics, University of Bristol)

The panel was chaired by Prof. Neil Kellard, Head of the Finance Group and Professor in Finance at University of Essex.

Prof. Vania Sena, Director of the Business and Local Government Data Research Centre, based at the University of Essex, introduced the evening.

Prof. Neil Kellard, Jasmine Birtles, Ian Hutchinson and Prof. Helen Simpson

Prof. Neil Kellard, Jasmine Birtles, Ian Hutchinson and Prof. Helen Simpson

Big Data exists in businesses from the local shop to multinational corporations, but not all organisations have the opportunity to benefit from the opportunities big data can create. Some business don’t have the expertise or resources to analyse big datasets.

But big data can give businesses the cutting edge. Prof. Helen Simpson gave the example of how at Ebay, some people analyse the millions of clicks any visitor to the website makes, to understand how people browse, how they choose the goods they are interested in and what determines whether or not people buy a certain item.

The recent advances in data analytics certainly can bring a wealth of information to businesses and improve their sales and services.

Administrative data can be considered the business data of the government – therefore, a further analysis and understanding of the information contained in those data must lead to better government services.

Big data can present a world of opportunities, as long as the data is used responsibly and with respect.

View the entire panel discussion

Read the evening's programme

Read Prof. Sena's blog

Page last updated: 19/06/2017