Big data was a hot commodity in 2019, and it’s only getting hotter in 2020. The average company now manages 163 terabytes (163,000 gigabytes) of information, according to an IDG survey. What’s more, 53 percent of businesses—a full majority—now make use of big data analytics.

With the state of global health and safety being what it is, gathering for large-group training isn't possible at the moment. However, industry events and conferences are still a valuable opportunity for big data practitioners to gain knowledge through lectures and seminars, hear thoughts and ideas about the future of the field, and network with leaders and experts. To fill that need, many events for 2020 have moved to the virtual realm or a hybrid of virtual and in person. Others have rescheduled their events to a later date (usually the second half of 2020). If you're interested in attending those in-person events, be sure to regularly check in with those websites in order to monitor their venues, schedules, and formats.

Here is an updated list of the top big data events for 2020:

  1. The Data Science Conference 2020

  2. Data & Analytics Summit 2020

  3. Women in Analytics Conference 2020

  4. Big Data 2020

  5. Big Data and AI Conference

  6. 2020 IEEE Conference on Big Data

  7. ODSC West

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1) The Data Science Conference 2020

Date: May 14-15, 2020

Location: Chicago, IL/Virtual

The Data Science Conference bills itself as a “vendor-free, sponsor-free, and recruiter-free” event. By limiting attendance only to professionals, big data practitioners are able to focus on the conference topics themselves without unnecessary distractions. The conference began in November 2015, and the number of attendees usually hovers between 100 and 200. This year, there are options for in-person and virtual attendance.

Speakers come from organizations including the Bureau of Labor Statistics, LinkedIn, AT&T, Lyft, Uber, and TD Ameritrade. Agenda "talk titles" this year are (among many others):

  • Human Values in the Loop: Design Principles for Ethical AI
  • Challenges Applying Data Science to Cybersecurity
  • How to Solve the Curse of Imbalanced Data
  • Unlocking Power of AI & Data Science With Data Platforms Description
  • Predicting Individual Future Driving Accident Risk

Tickets for the Data Science Conference for 2020 range from $1,400 (for a single registration ticket) to $1,100 (for an academic/government/nonprofit discount pass). There is also a 25% discount for a "virtual" pass.

2) Data & Analytics Summit 2020

Date: September 21-24, 2020

Location: Grapevine, TX

Research and advisory firm Gartner is one of the most respected names in the IT market intelligence field. Gartner’s annual Data & Analytics Summit claims that attendees will “learn how to build an effective data and analytics strategy that will lead to significant business value.”

With more than 4,000 people and 150 research-driven sessions, Gartner’s Data & Analytics Summit 2020 promises to be one of the largest big data conferences of 2020. The event includes multiple “tracks” that attendees can follow, such as “Data Architecture” and “Emerging Technologies.” Keynote speakers will include a variety of Gartner subject matter experts, as well as outside voices such as technologist Safi Bahcall and Dr. Hannah Fry of University College London.

Pricing for the conference is $3,825 (standard), with a "public-sector" price of $3,250.

3) Women in Analytics Conference 2020

Date: August 19-21, 2020

City: Columbus, OH

Location: Greater Columbus Convention Center

According to the tagline of the Women in Analytics (WIA) Conference, the event is “An analytics conference. Featuring women. For everyone.” While the event’s speaker lineup is reserved only for women, attendance and competitions at the event are open to all.

The conference includes a career fair, networking events, poster sessions, workshops, and a “meet and greet” with the event’s speakers. Keynote speakers for the 2020 conference include astrophysics professor Dr. Feryal Ozel and data scientist Jenny Bryan.

Ticket prices range from $495 (until Round 4 pricing on Aug. 17 pushes the price to $550), with discounts for students and non-profit organizations.

4) Big Data 2020

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Date: August 12-14, 2020

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

One of the more in-depth conferences on Big Data in the World, the BigData 2020 conference is an academically-oriented gathering that examines the insights and impacts various that types of big data have on various services. Topics cover everything from big data architecture and big data modeling to open platforms, economic analysis, enterprise management, and smart planet solutions.

The goals of the Big Data 2020 conference are to "advance the international professional forum on Web-centric services, and their enabling techniques and applications." Check the website for speakers and agenda as the event gets closer.

Full registration runs from $1195-$1095 until fees advance on June 1, with discounts for students also available.

5) Big Data and AI Conference 

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Date: September 28-29

Location: Toronto, Canada

Rescheduled from its prior summer date and time, the Big Data and AI Conference is an exploration of "a driving force in innovative Canadian businesses." The conference boasts 300 speakers, 150+ exhibiting brands, 6,000 attendees, and a full agenda of topics addressing data needs and challenges.

The Big Data conference runs concurrently with conferences exploring AI, the cloud, and cybersecurity.

Scheduled speakers come from brands like Rogers Communications, Uber, Sun Life Financial, Bank of Montreal, and Shopify.

The early bird conference price (until May 15) is $476; career development and expo passes are free.

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6) 2020 IEEE International Conference on Big Data

Date: December 10-13, 2020

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

In the heart of the American South, the IEEE International Conference on Big Data is the spot for in-depth analysis and discussion on the impact of Big Data on the modern world. The conference addresses the "Five V's (Velocity, Volume, Variety, Value, and Veracity)" of Big Data.

There's a deep focus on the "technical and scientific nature of big data problems" at the conference, which aims to attract some of the world's leading thinkers and luminaries in modern technology. Past keynote speakers featured representatives from Google and WeBank, along with several esteemed members of academia.

Pricing for the 2020 IEEE International Conference is TBD, but previous year pricing ranged from $800 (for members) to $960 (non-members) with discounts available for students.

7) ODSC West 2020

ODSC West 2018 — A Brief Recap - Robert Sandor - Medium

Date: October 26-30, 2020

Location: San Francisco, CA

The West Coast counterpart of the popular ODSC East, this engaging Open Data Science Conference get-together is one of the more comprehensive big data events on the calendar. This year's event promises 50 training sessions, 52 workshops, 240 speakers, and over 300 hours of content.

Focus areas for this year's ODSC West conference include deep learning, machine learning, predictive analytics, "data science for good," and data workflows. Additionally, topics featured for the event span from autonomous machines and conversational AI to machine translation, data science research, speech recognition, and unsupervised learning.

Early-bird prices for ODSC West 2020 range from $349 (business 2-day pass) to a $1,549 VIP pass.

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Xplenty's Thoughts

Usually, in our final thoughts section, we choose the one event we believe is the most important conference for our readers; however, every one of these big data events is worth attending if you can. For those of you who want to learn as much as possible at a conference, Gartner's Data & Analytics Summit and The Data Science Conference are your best bet. For inclusivity and outer/inner-perspectives on data insights, the Women in Analytics Conference would be the best option. 

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