Insight2015 is upon us, and like IBM Interconnect earlier this year, I will be blogging and tweeting about it. While it is not the same super-sized event that Interconnect was, Insight is still a sizable conference, running from Sunday to Thursday. The sessions list is almost overwhelming, but that’s what makes it so attractive. Just like at Interconnect, I know there will be gold nugget-like events that will blow my mind (I still remember the “Minecraft on the Mainframe – because we can“ presentation).
This year I will be focusing on Data Science and the Internet of Things (IoT). I believe IoT will be the main driver for data science in the years to come. IoT is about relatively simple sensors and agents; they do not deliver complex information nor do they require complex interaction. After all, a thermostat has only one setting, or at best a few. But the interest and value come from combining data from arrays of devices. How much troubleshooting can you do when a packet switch starts failing in a server rack located in a warehouse somewhere else? If you have devices that measure everything from packet losses in the affected switch to rack temperature to power consumption (and so on) you might be able to deduce that a cooling fan has failed in the rack where the switch sits even before maintenance staff has arrived at the physical location. This is not fiction, but something that I have seen happen first-hand at a global cloud provider.
At Insight I will be looking for examples of innovative use of the tools available. IBM Watson is a clear candidate because so many interesting applications are coming out. I have recently played with Watson Analytics and must say I am intrigued. Data tools such as Spark are key to be able to process the flood of data the IoT will be producing. And possibly mobile devices as a means of providing an instant interaction with the IoT.
I can’t wait!
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