Data is the New Currency of the Digital Service Economy: My 5 Takeaways from Diane Bryant & Doug Davis IDF Mega Session

City-wide traffic visualization. Global shipping data. Airplane traffic patterns. Worldwide Facebook* connections. A stunning video highlighting the current deluge of data as both the world’s most abundant and most underutilized asset kicked off Doug Davis (SVP and GM, Internet of Things Group) and Diane Bryant’s (SVP and GM, Data Center Group) mega session on IoT and Big Data Insights at IDF. They spent their session time highlighting how vital it is that we enable the easy extraction of information from data, as that will allow for disruption across a variety of industries including transportation, energy, retail, agriculture, and healthcare.

Takeaway #1: Data doesn’t just disrupt the digital world

Even industries – like agriculture – that have been around for thousands of years are ripe for cutting-edge technology transformation. Jesse Vollmar, the Co-Founder and CEO of FarmLogs, joined Diane and Doug to talk about using sensor networks and agricultural robots to make it easier for farmers to make land more productive. By capturing data on everything from fertilization to pesticides to weed control, sensors are capturing massive amounts of data to help farmers make better decisions about their crops.


Jesse Vollmar from FarmLogs

Takeaway #2 The edge is full of new innovation opportunity.  Even Beyoncé is in play.

Edge analytics may seem daunting to traditional enterprises with little experience in BI. To show ease of implementation, Doug brought out a team of Intel interns who were able to program industrial robots in three weeks to pick up gesture control via Intel® RealSenseTM technology. The robots danced to popular tunes, while an on-stage intern controlled their movements. Nothing like hearing a little “Single Ladies” at IDF. To help get started, the Intel® IoT Developer Program has expanded to include commercial solutions, enabling a fast, flexible and scalable path to IoT edge analytics.


Intel intern and a gesture-controlled robot

So what do we need to develop in IoT to see an impact across a full range of industries? We need more sensors and more robots who are connected to each other and connected to the cloud. Think about what we could accomplish if a robot was connected to a cloud of Intel® Xeon® processors as its brain. The goal is to enable robots that are smart and connected and that will gather info around them, with access to databases, as well as predictive analytics. All resulting in a fluid and natural interaction with the world. To get to this future vision, we need increased computing power, better data analytics, and more security.

In a world where extracting information from data is value, the data center becomes the brains behind IoT devices. According to Diane, the number one barrier to enterprise data analytics is making sense of the data. Solutions need to need to be usable by existing IT talent, allow for rapid customization, and enable an accelerated pace of innovation.

Takeaway #3 You may have a mountain of data but need to extract the Gold through analytics

Diane brought out Dennis Weng from to discuss how the company used Streaming SQL on an Intel® Xeon® processor based platform to develop streaming analytics for customers based on browsing and purchase history. They’re handling 100 million customers and 4 million categories of products. The company reduced their TCO and development now takes hours instead of weeks.

According to Owen Zhang, the top-ranked data scientist on KAGGLE*, the ideal analytics platform will feature easy customization with access to different kinds of data, have an intuitive interface, and run at scale. Intel is committed to reaching that goal – Diane announced release of Discovery Peak, an open-source, standards-based platform that is easy to use and highly customizable.


Owen Zhang, a data scientist super hero

Takeaway #4 Analytics isn’t just about software.  Hardware innovation is critical

Another revolutionary innovation supporting in-memory database computing is Intel® 3D XPointTM technology. First coming to SSDs in 2016, this new class of memory will also make its way to a future Intel® Xeon® processor based platform in the form of DIMMs. Representing the first time non-volatile memory will be used in main memory, 3D XPoint technology will offer a 4x increase in memory capacity (up to 6TB of data on a two socket system) and is significantly lower in cost per GB relative to DRAM.


A giant Intel® 3D XPointTM technology grid in the showcase

Takeaway #5 Sometimes technology has the promise to change the world.

And finally, Eric Dishman (Intel Fellow and GM of Health & Life Sciences) and Dr. Brian Druker from Oregon Health and Science University joined Diane and Doug for a deep dive into the future of analytics and healthcare. Governments around the world are working towards improving the cost, quality, and access to healthcare for all (government goal). The goal is precision medicine – distributed and personalized care for each individual, or “All in a Day” medicine by 2020. We’ve been working on that goal with OHSU, and other organizations, for a number of years and just announced another large step forward.


Dr. Brian Druker from Oregon Health and Science University

The Collaborative Cancer Cloud is a precision medicine analytics platform that allows institutions to securely share patient genomic, imaging, and clinical data for potentially lifesaving discoveries. It will enable large amounts of data from sites all around the world to be analyzed in a distributed way, while preserving the privacy and security of that patient data at each site.

The data analytics opportunities across markets and industries are endless. What will you take away from your data?