Big Data Spain is an annual conference about disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Blockchain and many others.

The 2017 edition was a very exciting event. We are still getting lots of feedback and, admittedly, some praise. We are sharing here what learned and what the future of the event looks like.

The numbers

We shortened the duration of talks from 40 minutes in previous editions to 30 minutes in 2017 and of breaks from 10-15 minutes to 5-10. Me managed to fit 73 sessions in just 1,5 days. The four simultaneous tracks inevitably left many attendees without the opportunity to listen to a few talks and many sponsors programmed their open meetings and in-booth activities competing with each other.

This frantic intensity was intended; we believe that a conference should be about getting quick but relevant insights from the rainmakers of the industry. A congress is ideal to get a grasp of the innovations, the trends and the outlook of the future.

It's all about the experience!

We have always wondered why our attendees physically come to Big Data Spain instead of just waiting for the videos of the talks to be made available for free. Attendees clear three days of their working schedule and they or their companies pay for their flights, hotels and tickets... only to miss too some talks in simultaneous tracks... It does not look like a great deal... except that the experience is irreplaceable.

Beyond the titillation of speculating with Bitcoins, we learned that attendees are happy to pay with cryptocurrencies.

We think that we are the first and only large conference of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence that accepts Bitcoins. If you know of another one that does, please ping their name to

The data behind the Paradise Papers

The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung published the investigation known as the Paradise Papers in November. A few days later at Big DataSpain, Mar Cabra's at revealed the data and the analysis behind this and other major leaks. Mar is head of the Data & Research Unit at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a Washington D.C.-based newsroom whose investigation of the Panama Papers was awarded a Pulitzer Prize earlier this year.

Data journalism is increasingly dependent on software and analytics skills. If the raw data of the Luxembourg Leaks fit in an old USB flash drive in 2014, the 13.4 million documents of the Panama Papers required 2.6 TB and technologies like graph databases.

ICIJ transformed 11.5 million documents of the Panama Papers into a SQL database, which was then processed using Talend's technologies (sponsor at Big Data Spain) into a graph database, Neo4j whose Chief Scientist, Jim Webber was also a speaker at Big Data Spain.

Networking with fellow attendees

The registration at Big Data Spain included a free access to a mobile app to network other attendees. The attendees with a confirmed registration, i.e. ticket-holders, could find other professionals also registered at the conference by name, job title and company name and send invitations to connect via the app.

Almost one thousand users downloaded the app from Apple Store and Google Play and they used it 7818 times. Our ratio of sessions of the mobile app and users is one of the highest among large events, which probably means that the mobile app is here to stay.

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Mobile app Big Data Spain

Home screen of the networking mobile app of Big Data Spain[/caption]

Big Data Spain 2018

Big Data Spain works as a vendor-neutral event: the selection of candidates from the Call for Proposals is independent of the commercial activity of the sponsorships. The interest and merit of the official program are critical to the continued success of Big Data Spain. Despite its name, this event is not just about Big Data analytics anymore but about disruptive technologies.

Big Data Spain will keep attracting business and technical profiles and an ever-increasing percentage of attendees from abroad. We are working very hard already in the 2018 edition of the event. Drop a line to for further information and enquiries.

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