‘Big Data Expo is an inspiring combination of business and technology.’
“I am always happy to be there.” Jeroen Vlek does not leave room for doubt regarding his opinion on Big Data Expo (BDE). “It is nice to see which developments big data, data science and the expo are going through in the Netherlands.” Vlek is CTO of Anchormen, an organisation that focuses on providing solutions in the fields of big data, data science and artificial intelligence.
“Our goal during Big Data Expo is to open people’s eyes to the opportunities data offers. The field includes more and more examples of how data is changing the world, how this leads to new insights and the opportunities a layer of artificial intelligence can offer,” according to Vlek.
Anchormen will highlight several high-profile projects during Big Data Expo. Vlek stresses the importance of case studies from the field. Claiming something as a supplier of services and solutions is one thing, however showing other companies how to benefit from this is something else completely – and frankly, something better! “That is why we present how we have helped Sitech and what was provided to Vitens.” The CTO is willing to give us a little sneak peek. “For Sitech, we have provided an existing monitoring model with a predictive maintenance solution for the heat exchangers. Sitech uses these in processes in the Chemelot factories. We take several external factors – for example, pollution – into account in order to predict when maintenance is necessary for the heat exchangers. This is an addition to the services provided by the Sitech Asset Health Center, which monitors a variety of assets for 23 factories in total.” Vitens has equipped part of its distribution network with sensors that gauge water quality and uses them to detect leaks early. Machine learning then makes it is possible to respond faster to problems, so clients experience less inconveniences and are proactively informed in case of malfunctions.
‘Data is a hot topic’
The expo receives nothing but praise from Vlek: “It is a great event where can build network, where we have good exposure and where visitors have the opportunity to discover all the aspects of big data and data science. And even though the expo is relatively young, it has already made a great name for itself. It’s a hot topic.” According to Vlek, the combination of business and technology is the most appealing aspect. It is also that combination that results in expo visitors’ problems being solved and questions answered by providers of technical solutions.
Considering the future, the CTO would like to see blockchain added prominently to Big Data Expo programme. This year, Gemeente Utrecht already presented the so-called ‘Huishoudboekje’, which uses blockchain technology to develop a tool to help inhabitants that have trouble making ends meet financially. The municipality securely stores data on income and spending streams of its residents in a public digital network; the blockchain. “The is absolutely something that is becoming more popular and I suspect some visitors could benefit from blockchain technology. Nonetheless, I would like to invite everyone to come visit.”