Ralf HallerRalf Haller April 15, 2014

Big Data Event War in Switzerland

In case you have been bombarded by Big Data event invitations recently you might be interested to hear what is going on behind the scenes here in Switzerland.

The Big Data topic has often been looked at in the past from scientific (University-driven) and technology perspectives, and events have been organised by this community. Our own first Big Data event 2 1/2 years ago went down that route but the attendees persuaded us to change direction. Since then we have focused entirely on success stories and use cases. As with all our other events, we have also continued not to allow product or service pitches.

PwC Switzerland has now launched the Big Data week Switzerland trying to capture that market segment, as their traditional cash cow consulting business (legal policies for financial services) is coming to an end and they have to desperately look for new income sources. Up to now they have been attending our events and claimed (until March!) that they still intended to come to our event in May. In parallel, however, they were contacting our sponsors and speakers for their own events week while still claiming in meetings with us to be supporting our event.

You could call this approach guerrilla tactics but, as PwC is hardly a small organisation, we think that is far too nice a name for it (the guys must read books like the Art of War).

At the end the people (you) will decide if Big Data needs a big week-long event series with a dozen PwC consultants and whisky tastings, talking about projects that they did not even run but only read about, or if a compact – neutral – afternoon session will do for you as well. From our perspective, we areĀ  looking and waiting to see what happens, quite relaxed, since one thing that Big Data definitely does not need is expensive consulting companies making lots of money in such projects. Informed end users will be able to run such projects entirely by themselves using technologies and services from Big Data expert firms (not accountants) and that is what our events will enable them to do!