Looking back at Data People Summit 2022

Data People Summit Recap Cover Image

The Data People Summit has concluded, and we can barely contain our excitement. Over two days, we learned from the EDM council, trained in Ataccama's tools, and heard from a plethora of insightful and inspiring guest speakers. We took a sneak peek at V14, becoming the first to see groundbreaking new features like self-service DQ and data observability on Snowflake.

Did you miss the DPS and want to see what all the fuss was about? Maybe you attended and want a chance to relive this remarkable experience. Either way, you can read up on highlights from the event below.

Find all session recordings by joining the dedicated group at our Data People Community.


The keynotes and guest speakers at DPS had fascinating input on data, data management, and other related topics. The sessions began with a mission statement from our CEO, Michal Klaus, who provided us with some updates on Ataccama and our plans for the future.

On the Ground to Up in Space: A Conversation with NASA Pioneers

One of the most entertaining and best-received talks was from NASA pioneers Ginger Kerrick and Eileen Collins. They shared potent messages about leadership and overcoming impossible odds to claim titles as the first women in their respective fields – Collins being the first female space shuttle pilot and Kerrick as the first Latina director of NASA mission control. Unsurprisingly, understanding and utilizing data plays a vital role in the success of their missions.

Ginger and Eileen shared interesting insights about how much their jobs rely on data:

No matter where you are, or what flight director you are, you are looking at data… Any decision I make can impact the lives of my friends… We practice that. We are ready for anything.


Data has got to be correct. It has got to be complete, and you need to able to get it when you need it.


The Future of Data Management

Noel Yuhanna, Vice President and Principle Analyst at Forrester, gave an excellent presentation regarding how data is becoming more distributed (decentralized) and how data management maintains data in those environments/architectures. However, he also made it clear that many organizations still have a long way to go, especially with data quality:

Data quality is a nightmare. I did a Forrester Wave last year on MDM, and we found it takes 4-6 weeks to solve data quality issues in an organization.


Is Your Company Gaining Momentum in Data? BCG's Data Capability Maturity Assessment Survey + Working Backwards

Boston Consulting Group and Amazon Web Services also conducted valuable presentations.

BCG shared their survey, which reveals your company's "data capability maturity," helping to determine if your company is on the right track to gain momentum in the growing data landscape.

AWS presented a new business innovation and development approach entitled "working backward." They recommend starting with a press release or FAQ section and then working your way back to find out how to achieve the goals mentioned in those documents.

Maximizing Innovation through Data Democratization

Finally, we also had a Keynote about "Maximizing Innovation through Data Democratization" held by Rahim Hajee (Adastra) and Plumaletta Berry (Lifelabs). They focused on the benefits of data democratization, like making faster and better decisions, cost reduction, increasing operational efficiency, and much more!


DPS held a series of panels to open discussions surrounding data and data management. Industry experts discussed topics from customer journeys with Ataccama to advice about data management. All of these panels took place on day two of the event. They offered discussions from Ataccama's clients (Acadian Assets, Prudential, & T-Mobil, Blue Shield Blue Cross), partners (Microsoft), and data leaders moderated by Mike Meriton of the EDM Council.

Ataccama Client Panel Session

The first panel was our Ataccama client session moderated by Afshin Lotfi (Ataccama CEO of North America). John Adamo (Prudential), Brian Buzzelli (Acadian Assets), and Jason Wright (T-Mobil) discussed their experiences and different stages of their "customer journey" with Ataccama. Mostly, they explained how they chose a tool for their data management and technology transformation. Despite their clear differences, most of the companies had similar criteria. They emphasized vendor relationships, adaptability, and flexibility.

It's really refreshing to have a vendor ask, 'what problem are you trying to solve?


Microsoft Partner & Ataccama Customer Session

Andrew Alexander (Microsoft) and Sarah Oraby (BCBS) took the stage next. Sarka Klofacova (Ataccama's CEO APAC & COO) was their moderator. They covered the topic of "data for good." Their presentation showed how great data management can lead to better moral practices like enabling community-focused inclusivity, charities being able to contribute where needed most, and keeping hiring practices unbiased.

We're really focused on looking at race and ethnicity data. Looking at where people live and understanding what's impacting them, what's holding them back… We have an incredible advantage as a health insurance company to [use this data to] create benefits and programs to support those people in our local communities


Andrew Alexander of Microsoft made a great point about using data to eliminated biased hiring:

There's a whole series of processes and tools that we use as leaders in the organization to not only recognize our own biases but try to do the best we can to eliminate them.


Senior Data Leaders Panel: Embracing Data Democratization - Challenges & Opportunities

Finally, DPS' Senior Data leaders sat down for a talk regarding the challenges and opportunities of Data Democratization. The panel included: Mike Meriton (EDM Council), Jane Urban (Takeda Pharmaceutical), Raj Nimmagadda (Sanofi), Israel Abraham (MassMutual), Kishore Aradhya (Stanley Black & Decker), Brian Coogan (Fidelity Investments).

Their talk focused on the benefits of this decentralized approach while also acknowledging that some data management processes still need to be centralized. After establishing the pros and cons, they went into specifics about how to marry these two approaches – bottom-up innovation while still providing ways to apply centralized initiatives and requirements.

Israel Abraham emphasized the importance of establishing reporting standards across different lines of business to have comparable metrics:

It becomes necessary to actually have some kind of central definition otherwise you can't really run your business because you're talking about apples and oranges.


We'd like to extend an extra special "thank you" to Mike Meriton and EDMC for all their help with the event. It truly would not have been possible without them.

Ataccama ONE version 14 introduction / Ataccama roadmap

One of our main goals for this event was to showcase Ataccama ONE version 14 and all of its new products and features. Our product team held five separate deep dive sessions into the most significant updates in V14.

Our Chief Product Technology Officer Martin Zahumensky introduced v14 in his keynote. He described the upcoming features and how they will help with the theme of many of DPS' sessions this year: data democratization. He also covered other market trends and how V14 can help with them like data fabric, data mesh, data observability, Automation, AI/ML, and much more.

If you'd like to learn more about what’s coming in version 14, you can read our announcement blog post.

There were also 5 product deep dives at DPS which covered specific features arriving with V14:

  • Data observability
  • Full stack data quality on Snowflake
  • Easy data product creation with ONE data
  • Collaborative and automated data catalog
  • Ataccama cloud update

Training sessions

Besides inspiring keynotes and panels, Data People Summit offered several educational opportunities.

Our partners, the EDMC, conducted courses about their Data Management Capability Assessment Model, Cloud Data Management Capabilities, and Data Ethics and Responsible AI. Attendees also had a chance to win more of these valuable courses when the EDMC raffled off training sessions. Five organizations were able to split them, valued at $5,000 for each session.

Ataccama also delivered 10 separate training courses, both entry-level and for those who want a more in-depth understanding of our tools. If you attended the event, you can view those courses on our community page.

Other fun stuff

Beyond these rather serious key elements, there were also plenty of chances to have some fun at DPS. Both days started with a networking breakfast where attendees could meet each other, network, or just enjoy a tasty treat before the conference.

Here are some of the other highlights from DPS:

Expo Hall. Ataccama had a big booth in the center of this trade-show-style conference. Our partners had booths around us and attendees could come up and ask questions, view demos, and get to know our companies better.

UX Workshop. This UX workshop was held by Jan Balata. He taught people how user research impacts our product design. Attendees were invited to join our User Research at Ataccama participant pool to contribute to improving our products.

Big success with the sessions. We successfully held 32 sessions at DPS and on average attendees came to three breakout sessions.

Customer Awards. For the final session of day two, we wanted to give back to some of the most important people at Ataccama – our customers. We offered awards for:

  • Data Democratization Champion: CBRE
  • Automation at Scale: T-Mobile
  • Data for Good: Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina

Positive feedback

We sent out a survey to both our in-person and virtual attendees and received overwhelmingly positive feedback. The majority of attendees ranked us at the top in all categories including venue, communication, activities, relevance/helpfulness, and overall feeling of the event. Many people had great compliments like:

"Great environment for learning."

"Virtual experience well done."

"Excellent production. Exceptional Ataccama platform and expertise."

We also noticed that multiple people cited "meeting the Ataccama team" as what they liked best about the event. That brings us great joy to hear as one of our primary objectives for DPS was to extend our communication and become more accessible.

Join us next year!

We hope you enjoyed this year's Data People Summit. We have plans to make next year's event even more jam-packed with valuable information, insightful talks, and fun data networking opportunities. We can't wait to see you at the 2023 event. Registration opens soon!

If you'd like to take a closer look at this year's summit, join our community. You can interact with other Ataccama customers, spark data discussions, and relive the wonders of DPS 2022. Our community continues to grow. We update it with new materials every week. Let us accompany you on your data journey!

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