What’s the story behind Big Data Wisconsin and the 2016 Conference?

A while ago, the organizers of several Big Data Groups across Wisconsin all had the same thought: It’s high time for an event we can call our own to help nurture and grow the state of Big Data use and expertise right here in Wisconsin.  A few vendors joined in to help with the task and this is the result!

We held this inaugural event under the banner of The Forward Festival, eight days of learning and events held around Madison each year in late August. Check out their full schedule at forwardfest.org.

Our venue was the Madison Central Library and we had a jam packed half day of learning for attendees.  All sessions included technical context and powerful business case perspective.  We lined up an all-star cast of big data expert speakers, mostly from right here in Wisconsin!  Attendees responded with over 225 folks showing up, well rested and ready to learn!!

Slides from all presentations will be posted to the Website by Friday, August 26.  Look for download links on the home page for a new section as they appear, plus under each session description in the schedule.

The survey will remain open until Monday, August 29.  Survey results will be available soon after Labor Day.  Check back then for more details.

Many thanks to our Gold and Silver sponsors!! Their support allows us to offer the event free to attendees.



The Remaining FAQs below are from before the conference, left here for future reference.


What does it cost to attend?

Thanks to our generous gold, silver, and bronze sponsors (and our group of volunteer organizers), there is no cost to attend this inaugural event!  Please visit their tables during the event and thank them for their sponsorship.  All support for the event will go toward the event, no one is looking to make a profit by holding this event.  The organizers sincerely wish is to help grow a vibrant Big Data community right here in Wisconsin!!

How do I register? 

Registration is made through The Forward Fest, a 10 day event in Madison largely anchored around technology and startups.  If you are not directed to the site when you click on one of the Register buttons, please go to www.forwardfest.org and look us up on the schedule.

Are food and beverage provided?

Thanks to our generous sponsors, pastries and beverages will be available at the beginning of the conference as well as a lunch.  Please visit their tables during the event and thank them for their sponsorship.

Anything else provided?

Also thanks to our generous sponsors, a special event t-shirt will be available to the first 150 attendees to check-in.  We have laptop stickers too!

When and where will Big Data Wisconsin 2016 be held?

The Big Data Wisconsin 2016 Conference will be held on Monday, August 22 from 9am – 1:30 pm at the Madison Central Public Library, 201 West Mifflin Street, Room 301/302, Madison, WI 53703. Click here to see it in Google Maps. It’s an excellent setting to get together for this inaugural event!

Where should I park?

Parking is available in several nearby municipal parking ramps.  The closest is the Overture Center Garage about one block west of the library at 318 West Mifflin Street, Madison, WI 53703.  For a map of downtown Madison city parking ramps, click here.

Do you have a Twitter Hashtag?

If you choose to tweet, we recommend #BigDataWI.  Please let us know what you think about the event. We will review early comments (before the conference) to help make this year’s conference the best it can be and later comments (during and after the conference) to make future conferences even better!

Just who are the organizers who planned this event?

Pitt Fagan – Earthling Interactive & Organizer Big Data Madison
Randy Kirk – Direct Supply, Inc & Co-Organizer Big Data Milwaukee
RJ Nowling – AdRoll, Inc & Co-Organizer Big Data Milwaukee
Brian Baillod – Cloudera
Bryan Raymond – Cloudera
Beau Plath – Hortonworks

Anything else I should know?

Our venue (Madison Central Public Library) opens at 9am.  Please come right away so you can check in and spend time meeting with fellow attendees before we begin promptly at 9:30.

We chose the Madison Central Public Library for their excellent location, venue, and free cost.  It helped us keep costs for this inaugural event low.

We have a full agenda packed into 4-1/2 hours with a wide array of topics.  Speakers have been asked to include content appealing to both technical and business oriented attendees.  Each session is scheduled for 30 minutes with breaks after every two sessions to give everyone a breather and spend time with our sponsors.