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Ask bigger questions – the impact of Big Data analytics

Mike Olson, co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Cloudera

Press release issued: 11 November 2014

What is the impact of Big Data analytics on the way people do business and its advance across public and private sectors? This question will be explored by the co-founder of Cloudera, an American-based software company, at a free University of Bristol public lecture tomorrow.

Mike Olson’s talk, entitled Ask Bigger Questions, will take place on Wednesday 12 November at 4 pm in the Pugsley Lecture Theatre, Queens School of Engineering, University of Bristol, BS8 1TR.  The event is organised by the Intelligent Systems Laboratory.

In business, people often deal with hype around trends in society, politics, economy and technology. However, claims of the next big thing are usually always taken with a grain of salt and with not very high expectations. Yet, with Big Data analytics the opposite is true. The hype that accompanies it actually hides the enormity of its impact on the way people do business.

Mike Olson said: “In my talk I’ll discuss how new ‘Data Driven’ economies are emerging through relentless innovation across the public and private sectors.”

Peter Flach, Professor of Artificial Intelligence in the Department of Computer Science and former Head of the Intelligent Systems Laboratory, added: “The scale and ubiquity of data is creating unprecedented challenges and opportunities. Innovative partnerships are required between academia, industry as well as local and global government to address these. Bristol is a hotbed of activities and initiatives relating to Big Data and we are fortunate to be able to host Mike’s visit and hear the perspective of one of the industry’s main players.”

Mike co-founded Cloudera in 2008 and served as its CEO until 2013 when he took on his current role of Chief Strategy Officer (CSO).  As CSO, Mike is responsible for Cloudera’s product strategy, open source leadership, engineering alignment and direct engagement with customers.

Prior to Cloudera Mike was CEO of Sleepycat Software, makers of Berkeley DB, the open source embedded database engine. Mike spent two years at Oracle Corporation as vice president for Embedded Technologies after Oracle’s acquisition of Sleepycat in 2006. Prior to joining Sleepycat, Mike held technical and business positions at database vendors Britton Lee, Illustra Information Technologies and Informix Software. Mike has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Admission is free but advance booking is essential at Eventbrite.  For further information about the lecture contact Jen Hawkins at or tel 0117 331 5759.

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