Vesna Prčkovska, the co-founder and CSO of Mint Labs, gives a talk at DataBeers


The (Big?) Data from the Brain

Vesna illustrated how neuroimaging and data analysis has advanced brain research. Imaging techniques such as MRI have developed since 1973 and this new technology has become common to look inside the human brain without any harm to the patients with brain related disorders. Depending on the purpose of the research, several types of different imaging techniques are applied. “T1” provides the anatomical structure of the brain and “Diffusion Weighted Imaging” shows how fibers are connected in the brain. Also, “functional MRI” generates time series data. By combining these imaging data, we can understand the “connectome” which means a network made of structural and functional connections (edges) linking specific neural units (nodes).

Big data experts in DataBeers

Other speakers were also amazing. Daniele Quercia (@danielequercia), Research Team Manager at Bell Labs, explained his project The project is to map the sensory and emotional layers of cities to help a happy life through collecting data. Also, Julian Moore (@PantologEA), Enterprise Architect, gave a talk about how the data is utilized to design human process and build companies. Last but not least, Ivan Encinas, a Business Performance Research Team Lead at King, showed a computational view of economic decision making.

DataBeers is a “non-profit and open community whose mission is to become a summit for professionals and students inside the scope of Big Data and Data Science to discuss and share experiences also promoting events where everybody with an interest in data is welcome to exchange their knowledge”, according to their proposition. This event is held bi-monthly and has been expanding internationally since it was founded in 2014 in Madrid. This community contributes to the business and research of Big data.

Great events, talents and education drive the Big data industry in Barcelona

DataBeers connects with different types of people from business to academics. This kind of events plays a crucial role of forming a business ecosystem which facilitates the development of an industry like a Silicon Valley. According to an article, there are six components to create an ecosystem; events, talent, education, mentorship, incubators and funding. In addition to exciting events such as DataBeers, talents and education are great in Barcelona. Talents have been attracted by some of the industry leading companies like King, by taking advantage of its high quality of life in the city. Education is a high quality as some universities focus on data science. However, there might be some rooms for improvement in terms of mentorship, incubators and funding.

Data is “the new oil” or the source of wealth. You will win if you collect as much data as you can and you master how to benefit from the huge amount of data. To win this competition in the data era, an ecosystem is important because data and knowledges can be shared across people or organizations. The Big data ecosystem in Barcelona is emerging and has a possibility to make a global impact backed by the best events, talents and education.