Our Vision

Big Data Ignite seeks to foster local and regional expertise in advanced computing technologies and practice, including large-scale data management, predictive analytics, machine learning, cloud computing, and the internet of things.

Our History

Big Data Ignite was born out of a shared vision: To foster a local center of excellence in advanced computing technologies and practice. After initial success in organizing local Meetup groups, co-founders Elliott and Tuhin realized that to achieve their goal, the scope and scale of activism would need to grow. So, in 2016, the Big Data Ignite conference was launched! In its first year, the conference attracted over 30 presenters and over 200 participants. The two-day conference was designed to provide hands-on skills in data-related tools and techniques, as well as a practical overview of the data-technology landscape and the state of the art. The first day of the conference was devoted to deep-dive workshops by major tool vendors and academics. The second day was filled with visionary keynote addresses, panel discussions, and practical breakout sessions focusing on use-cases and strategy in the areas of data analytics, data management, IoT, and cloud computing. It was a combination that worked ‚ bringing together hands-on learning and strategic guidance from practicing experts.

Big Data Ignite 2017 and 2018 increased the momentum. The conference grew to three days, over 50 presenters, and over 400 participants, offering an even broader variety of workshops, keynotes, and breakout sessions, with a special focus on AI. The conference also featured complimentary gourmet meals and refreshments, entertainment, and abundant networking opportunities.

Big Data Ignite continues to push the envelope, creating a top-notch, regional data-technology community that brings together not only data scientists and engineers, but also business leaders, civic leaders, teachers, and students. Join us!

Directors

Elliott J.R. Church, J.D.

Co-director and Co-founder
Big Data Ignite

Attorney-at-Law
Kreis, Enderle, Hudgins & Borsos, P.C.

Tuhin Mitra

Co-director and Co-founder
Big Data Ignite

Director of Digital Transformation
Initech Global

Program Committee

David Zeitler, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Statistics
Grand Valley State University

Co-chair, Program, Big Data Ignite

Randall Pruim, Ph.D.

Professor of Mathematics and Statistics
Calvin University

Co-chair, Program, Big Data Ignite

Michael Bloem, Ph.D.

Principal Data Scientist
Mosaic Data Science

Co-chair, Research, Big Data Ignite

Scott Slezak

Head Of Specialty Predictive Analytics
Farmers Insurance Company

Corporate Liaison, Big Data Ignite

Research Committee

Marie Mooney, Ph.D.

Research Scholar
Duke University

Visiting Scientific Collaborator
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

Co-chair, Research, Big Data Ignite

Neil Carlson, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Social Research
Calvin University

Co-chair, Data & Capacity Workgroup, KConnect

Omar Malik, Ph.D.

Graduate Student
Grand Valley State University

Project Lead, Research, Big Data Ignite

David Zeitler, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Statistics
Grand Valley State University

Co-chair, Program, Big Data Ignite

Randall Pruim, Ph.D.

Professor of Mathematics and Statistics
Calvin University

Co-chair, Program, Big Data Ignite

Michael Bloem, Ph.D.

Principal Data Scientist
Mosaic Data Science

Co-chair, Research, Big Data Ignite

Sponsorship Committee

Matthew Morris

Enterprise Sales Executive
Confluent

Co-chair, Sponsorship, Big Data Ignite

Patrick LeBlanc

Account Manager
TEKsystems

Corporate Liaison, Big Data Ignite

Marketing Committee

Jennifer Wangler

Senior Business Development Manager
The Right Place

Co-chair, Marketing, Big Data Ignite

Salil Khetani, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Marketing
Heidelberg University

Co-chair, Marketing, Big Data Ignite

Samantha Milano

Data Scientist
General Motors

Social Media Team, Big Data Ignite

Operations Committee

Zack Drescher

Senior Advanced Analyst
Steelcase

Speaker Coordinator, Big Data Ignite

Traci Montgomery

Customer Insights & Strategy
Meijer

Volunteer Coordinator, Big Data Ignite

Traci Marcero

Senior Technical Recruiter
Atlas Coast

Registration Coordinator, Big Data Ignite

Isa Helou

Proprietor
Cesar’s Pub

Volunteer Coordinator, Big Data Ignite

Eric Anderson

Senior Analyst, Advanced Analytics
Steelcase

Liaison for Local Partnerships, Big Data Ignite

Carl Slezak

Student
Grand Rapids Community College

Co-organizer, Internet of Things West Michigan

Partners

Josh Leffingwell & Tyler Doornbos

Partners
Well Design Studio

BDI Website Partners

Andrew Pruim

Principal
Pruim Digital Media

Graphic Designer and Social-Media Coordinator, Big Data Ignite

Rivka Hodgkinson

Principal & Social Media Marketing Consultant
New Media Design Studios

BDI Social-Media Partner

Big Data Ignite 2019 Sponsors

Event Sponsor

Gold Level

Silver Level

Bronze Level

Supporting

We are always looking for speakers, sponsors, and volunteers to join us in our mission. Click a button below to get in touch with us.

Contact Us

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