Big Insight from CEOs of Context Relevant, Seeq at Upcoming Forum

Two Seattle-based big data startups illustrate the range of opportunities for companies helping people extract valuable insight from their data.

We’re happy to announce that Context Relevant CEO Stephen Purpura and Seeq CEO Steve Sliwa are joining our already packed lineup of speakers for the Nov. 19 Xconomy Forum: Big Insight—Making Sense of Big Data in Seattle. Discounted tickets are available here through Nov. 12.

Context Relevant, headed by Purpura, a data scientist, researcher, and entrepreneur, is building automated machine learning software to help companies with data analysis that would otherwise require an in-house team of hard-to-find experts in fields such as machine learning and distributed computing. It’s a horizontal play in keeping with a broader push to spread big data analysis capabilities beyond the data science priesthood.



(Purpura, at an Xconomy event on big data last spring, suggested that we should be talking about “big insight,” which is really the goal here, not the data. His comments helped inform the title and theme of this event.)

Seeq, meanwhile, aims to go deep into industrial sectors like manufacturing, energy, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals, that are already awash in a data—specifically time-series process data—but aren’t taking full advantage of modern big-data tools to act on it quickly and profitably. As Sliwa, the former CEO of unmanned aerial vehicle maker Insitu, says in this story yesterday on the company’s recent $6 million Series A funding round: “People in these industries are frustrated. They feel like they have the data. They’ve been collecting it, but it’s still slow and hard to get answers to questions.”



Along with Purpura and Sliwa, our afternoon program includes the CEOs of half a dozen other local big data startups that have made news this year: GraphLab, SpaceCurve, Qumulo, INRIX, Socrata, and SNUPI Technologies.

We’ll hear from Leo Spiegel, head of strategy and corporate development at Pivotal, the Paul Maritz-led, super-funded “startup” spun out of EMC and backed by GE earlier this year to the tune of $105 million; Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow; Tableau Software engineering head Andrew Beers; Globys senior vice president of data science Olly Downs; and investors including Kristina Kerr Bergman, a partner at Ignition, and Matt McIlwain, managing partner at Madrona Venture Group, one of the most active venture firms investing in locally-based big data startups.

And that’s not all. Researchers at the cutting edge of data-driven science and computational discovery will discuss what’s over the horizon and how big data will help us get there. This group includes Oren Etzioni, executive director of the new Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence; Ed Lazowska, University of Washington computer science professor and director of the eScience Institute; Bill Pike, technical group manager of visual analytics at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Roger Barga, principal group program manager at Microsoft Research; and Joseph Hellerstein, manager of computational discovery at Google.

Grab tickets here—there are steeper discounts for students and startup employees—and bring your brain to the excellent, centrally located event space at 415 Westlake on Nov. 19.

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