Data Science minor, Cameron Henkel, class of 2021, attended the 2017 TEXATA Summit hosted in Austin on November 20. Below are this thoughts on the conference. 

The Summit covered a wide array of topics related to Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. One panel focused on how retail companies need to adopt data driven strategies to survive against online competitors like Amazon. A speaker from IBM noted that because integrating those strategies can take so long, some traditional retailers like Sears may have run out of time to adapt. Other topics included next-generation cloud platforms. An executive from Oracle explained how they’ll integrate purpose-built “data lakes” to more efficiently access and analyze data. Nearly every speaker talked about the importance of separating storage and computing resources in the future because of the dramatic benefits offered. In particular, splitting storage and compute with containers allows for far more dynamic systems. Finally, two panels with speakers from Intel, Halliburton, and The University of Texas spoke to the importance of fostering STEM interest in students from a young age. All of them said that filling positions is one of the toughest problems facing their organizations because the workforce simply doesn’t have the capacity of strong individuals with both technical and soft skills.