Conference introduces businesses to complexities of big data

A conference set for Feruary in Indianapolis intends to introduce small businesses to the convoluted but increasingly important world of "big data."

Information technology consultant STLogics and a recently created big-data spinoff, Beyond Predictive, will host the Indy Big Data Conference on Feb. 11 at the JW Marriott downtown.

The event is tailored to companies of any size and will address issues in industries ranging from marketing to health care. But organizers are especially trying to reach out to smaller firms, which often miss the benefits of using data, said Wendy Maple, vice president of STLogics.

“We’re just trying to educate people, not necessarily just the geeks that know big data,” Maple said.

What do we mean by big data? Why is it important?

Small businesses often can’t afford data-management software by major firms such as Oracle Corp. or SAP AG. Or the businesses don’t understand what big data is, so they don’t bother with it, she said.

That means they’re missing out on the chance to better understand their operations, their customers and their markets, she said.

Keynote speakers will include cyber security expert Tamara Schwartz, Teradata Corp. Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Arthur, and Compendium Corp. co-founder and CEO Chris Baggott.

Information on other speakers, conference activities and registration is available at

Organizers expect about 500 people to attend the event in its first year.

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