DMC Latam day #2 report

The second day of DMC Latam 2013 chapter Brazil started and the organizers explained that we would have two tracks instead of a single one. So far we have had all the talks at the same auditorium, with two projectors and enough room for probably about 300 people.

This second track, from what I understood, was included in this year’s event in order to have more technical sessions.

Janet Lichtenberger, from Walgreens, was the first speaker. Her talk was about her work with data management at Walgreens, a corporation with many offices spread over US and that is merging with a UK company - IIUC.

Even though at Walgreens data security and integrity are very important, I liked that she said that her group tries to influence other departments. Right now I’m working with a team of software architects. And being a programmer, I can’t say I exactly love architects that throw a pre-built architecture on your lap and orders you to use those API’s and frameworks, with no further explanation. I belive that the influence and stewardship approach probably works better.

Janet also mentioned standards, risk, and policies. And told us how these items are applied to data in Walgreens. I imagine that what Janet demonstrated during her talk is what it is like to work with data management in a big corporation.

One more talk before our break fast. Although I wanted to practice my talk before lunch, I stayed to watch Leila Martins‘ talk about challenges in data management. Leila had over 10 years of experience working with data, and ATM she works at Serasa, a credit bureau. As I mentioned in the day #1 report, I find it interesting to learn about what happens in companies where data is the main asset, since it drives both IT and business.

After her talk I talked with some geeks from Serasa during coffee break, and looks like they have a lot of fun projects, good ideas and a talented and motivated team. Ah! And with diversity too. One of the smartest guys I met at the event was from Serasa, and a bachelor in arts and a programmer :D

During the coffee break I had the chance to talk with a friend of mine, Ilya Brotzky from Acxiom. His co-worker, Dalvani Lima, was giving the next talk and I could exchange a few words with him.

Dalvani’s talk was more focused on applications of data management, on how to use the data and make money. One of my favorite talks of the day, especially because he mentioned Big Data, but emphasized on the need to think carefully about your solution. And his slides had very little about Acxiom. He mentioned that he wanted to explain how you could use data and get more value out of it, and that you could use Acxiom solutions and expertise for that, but that you could try other solutions or combine different solutions too.

Time to move to the other room, to watch the technical sessions. There were other talks in parallel, but my next session was on data quality, by Rogerio Carosi and Gilberto Prados. They presented a solution that creates matches for database registries - IIUC. This way you can use these matches to sanitize, filter and transform your data. Looks like they have a lot of other services, and that this products has many other features. Gilberto is probably the most experienced developer in the whole conference. Great talk!

Well, the next was my talk. I tried to show how to use big data and NLP to manipulate unstructured data and feed structured tables. Hopefully the audience got introduced to the subject, or simply got more interested in applying it with big data.

Unfortunately I missed parts of Marcus Vinicius da Costa‘s talk about data integration and process in e-ping. From what I could understand, it is a government department or group, that tries to manage the data being used in many different groups of the government.

My last talk of the day, even though there was another one - had to send e-mails and do a quick web conference.

The talk was by Stan Christiaens, co-founder of Collibra. Stan started his talk with some Brazilian Portuguese words! And he even used a very good joke, with the Corinthians stadium song Louco por ti Corinthians. I noticed the translator laughing out loud in her little cabine :)

Stan used many examples, like Google Maps and Apple Maps to denote the need to have good quality data. And raised the audience attention to the need to have communication within the company and its processes. One of my favorite talks in the event.

I learned a lot about data management, data governance, data quality, big data, data tooling and understood more about how IT and business, data management and software development are connected.

Met lots of smart and interesting people, and ended the day with no business cards :) Hope to be able to participate in DMC Latam 2014.

Thanks to all DMC Latam organizers, to all speakers and attendees! DMC Latam 2013 was awesome!