CONFERENCES/EXHIBITIONS

BYTES Africa 2021 Kicks Off Beautifully, Rounds Off Successfully

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By Clifford Agugoesi, Editor-in-Chief

As expected, what was touted as the most influential virtual gathering of Africa’s Big Data & Analytics Experts, BYTES ’21: LIVE-Africa, began Tuesday, April 20  and ended on a successful note, Wednesday, April 21, with the agenda items being taken care of as programmed.  Considering  the fact Big Data is a risk and challenge to be solved as well as a huge opportunity to be explored and exploited, many stakeholders approached the virtual event  with some sense of value proposition and value expectation.

Leading B2B conferences and events organiser, Tradepass, provided the platform for the highly insightful and interactive gathering, while the Big Data experts came to the event with mainly two bloated portfolios, the one  loaded with sharable knowledge and  insight and the other with solutions or business intelligence(BI) from the perspectives of their companies and affiliations. The big corporate players from national, regional  and multinational constituencies as well as policy makers, policy influencers, analysts, MSMEs and the media, among other vertical industries, made the list of attendees. BYTES ’21 LIVE-Africa presented  a sweeping  promise: Empowering Everyone With Big Data.  In potential terms, this objective seemed to have been largely met over the course of the two days of the webinar.  However, the question to raise at this point is: How far and how well?

It is the business of experts to reduce complexities to simplicities and BYTES ’21 LIVE-Africa did not disappoint on this. Most presenters were not bombarded with questions, as is the case with physical events, since some participants chose to raise their questions over events applications than unmute their device microphones.  Could this be a pointer the presenters were on top of their game and the recipients were satiated? Maybe, yes! Maybe, no!!

Trust the audience, sometimes.  The members  don’t hide it when they get it.  Ditto, when presentations are not top-notch.  With BYTES ’21 LIVE-Africa, some attendees posted commendations like: “Good presentation.” ‘Awesome presentation.”  Et cetera.  Meaning they were gratified or so it seemed.  Technology failure crept in, as well, and augmentation helped compensate like when one of the presenters lost his laptop audio and was advised to use his handheld, which worked!   Internet Service Providers also were not spared.  One participant, Uchenna Ibeawuchi puts it succinctly: “A lot of things we do now depends on data and internet. With availability and quality as major issues, how close are we towards achieving our goals as related to this topic of summit?”

In response to this, Yannick Kasanga, apparently venting his frustration with his service provider-Airtel, wrote: “Unfortunately, in this day and age, many out there have no idea how terrible their devices are when it comes to video and audio quality. Current infrastructures in many countries also do not help much in that department. I would highly suggest using a dedicated line/network connection…, adding: “Is this a good showing of Airtel’s network? Oops!”

Victor Wambugu raised the question:  How can one apply data science and artificial intelligence in an NGO. I will really appreciate your help. The question can be answered by anyone.  Responding to this, Yannick Kasanga wrote: @Victor Wambungu:  Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, are the two most important technologies in the world today. While Data Science makes use of Artificial Intelligence in its operations, it does not completely represent AI… Data Science involves various underlying fields like Statistics, Mathematics, and Programming. Therefore, you or a member of your team would have to be proficient in them in order to understand trends and patterns in the data.

@ Victor Wambungu : You can therefore use Artificial Intelligence tools to compliment Data Science at your NGO in terms of data analysis for example.

@Dino  asked: Have you used AI for Data Management and/or Data Governance at HomeChoice? If so, please can you give us some use cases?  Not quite sure if a direct answer to this poser came immediately, but was definitely addressed at one of the panel discussions wherein, Head Business Data Analytics and Operations Performance at  disco Ikeja Electric, Sunny Ndubuisi Okonkwo  explained that he had used data to solve clients challenges and problems as data has proven it s value.”

Akinola Ogunyemi asked: We all know that uncertainty is to infinity. However, my question is: with many prediction tools and AI being developed each day, how can we bridge the gap of effective forecast to meet up future uncertainty? Secondly, are we going to chase uncertainty for the rest of our lives?  More questions, less answers? Perhaps, the organisers would find an ingenious means of reaching out to the inquirers post event.

The organisers deserve kudos for making the content segment of BYTES ’21 LIVE-Africa boredom-free.  Presenters were timed and extra time was not allowed and this served to make the presentations viewer-friendly and devoid of audience fatigue. 

Follow this space for more revelations at BYTES ‘21LIVE-Africa.

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