CERN Accelerating science

Blog: A vibrant exchange of ideas and experiences at the BIWA Summit 2016

Wednesday, 9 March, 2016

In the second of a series of blog posts focusing on CERN openlabs participation in global community events, research fellow Antonio Romero Marin reports back from the recent BIWA Summit 2016. Antonio is working on the data analytics as a service project with CERN openlab partner company Oracle.

I recently had the opportunity to attend — and speak at — the BIWA Summit 2016, which was held at Oracle headquarters in California, US. This conference is centred around the user community of Oracle technologies for business intelligence, big data, and advanced analytics. The program, which had several simultaneous tracks, included sessions by Oracle and industry experts, customer case studies, technical hands-on-labs, and networking events.

The overall quality of the presentations was very high and I was impressed by the technical depth shown in some of them. There were presentations given by Oracle representatives, including Mauricio Anrango and Alex Ardel, experts in streaming and data analytics technologies. Through these, I could learn technical details about solutions, development challenges, and future plans. At the same time, presentations given by customers and industry experts helped me to learn more about how they use Oracle technologies (some of which we also use at CERN) to create advanced solutions for their business use cases. The conference also provided a nice environment for establishing contact with private industry and business users, to learn about their work and to share knowledge about common problems and concerns.

In addition, I was able to meet Oracle experts like Mark Hornick, with whom I have been collaborating through CERN openlab. I exchanged ideas and plans with him, as well as with other potential future collaborators. In my opinion, these face-to-face discussions and meetings have a significant positive impact on our collaboration and play a key role in reinforcing the links with our collaborators in CERN openlab.

One of the most important things for me whenever I am invited to speak at an event is to spread the word about CERN and CERN openlab. Even if an important segment of the audience is usually closer to business than research, people are always greatly interested in CERN’s work studying the basic constituents of matter — the fundamental particles. They are also often curious to know more about how we collaborate with industry to accelerate the development of cutting-edge solutions for the worldwide LHC community, as well as for wider scientific research. This positive feedback and the striking level of interest in our work ensures attending such events is always very rewarding.

In conclusion, it was a great experience to attend the BIWA Summit 2016. I enjoyed the sessions and I improved my understanding about a range of technologies. I also gained a wider overview of several fascinating business and industry use cases. For example, I learnt how a company working in the semiconductor industry uses Oracle technologies and machine-learning techniques to speed up root-cause analysis for faults. On top of this, I met lots of interesting people both from Oracle and independent companies, and I had the opportunity to present the work of CERN and CERN openlab to an external community. For all these reasons, I am very glad to have attended the BIWA 2016 Summit and look forward to attending again next year if possible.