Learning has a way of bringing people together.
We all have a relationship that formed over epic study sessions, a class that we loved (or didn’t), or a moment we shared when we discovered what was possible with a new piece of technology. Those moments crystalize relationships and ideas and bring people together and Lixar’s Data Workshop in Halifax was no different.
Our staff, colleagues, and partners shared information, taught, and challenged one another during a day-long data workshop that was as intimate as it was informative.
The theme of the day was provided by Lixar CEO, Bill Syrros. Bill spoke about the future of technology and what edge technology he sees as tomorrow’s commercially viable tech. His 20 years of experience working in this space and seeing the landscape shift has given him a unique ability to identify what is viable and what is not. Bill spoke about how he saw the coming data wave and invested in building the Lixar data practice years before it was commercially viable to do so. This has positioned Lixar as a market leader in data science services as it relates to the mobile ecosystem.
Jim Provost, Lixar Data Scientist, said “Data is special, it requires ‘outside the box’ thinking to increase the signal and reduce the noise” during his presentation on data perspective. He went on to say that, “conceptually, it’s not difficult to get started with your own datasets: having lots of data and historical ‘right answers’ for what you’re trying to predict means you could get started today. Starting is easy; doing it REALLY WELL is hard.”
The tactical application of data was also a topic of interest during the day. In a presentation, given by Jonny Stevens, Business Development for Lixar, predicting customer churn and demand forecasting was the focus. His session connected real world examples and case studies on customer churn that asked who wouldn’t love to know what customers were at risk of leaving their service for an alternative? Could an automated customer service tool help predict the risk of a customer leaving or changing their service based on the words they say or by compiling all of their past touchpoint history? How would you modify your business if you knew what customers were most likely to buy together in a basket of goods, even when those items are unrelated?
Data visualization was explored by Mike Sisk and Laura Grove, Lixar Data Visualization Specialists, in a live data demonstration showing the differences and capabilities of Tableau and Microsoft Power BI, two industry leading visualization tools. In each example, real life data scenarios were created to show the audience how easy it can be to put their data to better use by getting out of the pivot tables in excel and creating dynamic data visualizations that provide real insight.
When Cloud technology is explained by using a pizza analogy, you know you’re in for an interesting conversation. Steph Ringuette, Lixar Cloud Account Manager, spoke about how On-Premise, Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service resembled make-at-home pizza, frozen pizza, pizza delivery, and eating at a pizzeria, respectively. The core of the presentation was that major cost savings, elasticity, uptime, and security are all reasons why one would move to a cloud storage solution. It all depends on your appetite (pun intended).
A showcase of whatI love most about Lixar was delivered by Shelley Fraser, Director of Marketing, Communications, and Community Engagement, by way of a crazy idea to make a stage smart and showcase the Art of the Possible. Shelley and the team baked up an idea to connect sensors to Halifax Pop Explosion music stages, send the vibration data collected to the cloud, process the data through our http://www.proxsee.io ProxSee platform, and have the results visualized by creating a virtual Kraken on a television screen. This project used multiple technologies in ways they were never intended to, to create a living art exhibit and a showcase of what is possible when you have a strong vision. Results of the Kraken visualization through Tableau software came to life here…
A day spent learning and being inspired by new ideas and practical application of technology with a new group of friends/colleagues are the best kinds of days. Fortunately, at Lixar, that’s how we approach every day.
If you are interested in participating in a data workshop in the future, or would simply like to talk about the art of the possible and how data can help your business, please reach out.
Article by Jonny Stevens
The Team … shortly after the Kraken was released!