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March 29, 2017
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Announcing 2017 European Hortonworks Data Heroes Finalists

Not only will DataWorks Summit/Hadoop Summit Munich be my first in Europe since joining Hortonworks but it is also the global launch of our Data Heroes Awards.  On the evening before each of the three conferences begin, we will both recognise our nine finalists and announce the winners from each category! With the awards, Hortonworks is recognising the value individuals play in driving transformation within their companies through Big Data and Connected Data Platforms.

The Heroes Awards seek to honour those people who have delivered tangible business outcomes, improvements to customer satisfaction, improved analytics, actionable intelligence and optimised value from their IT implementations.

Hortonworks has reviewed dozens of entries and a panel of expert, independent judges is now reviewing nine finalists to determine a winner in each of the three categories. The finalists are:

Data Visionary category

  • Piethein Strengholt, Principal Architect Data Warehouse, Business Intelligence and Integration Architecture at ABN AMRO a finalist because of the use of Hortonworks as a primary platform to manage data company wide. The platform enables better agility and will reduce costs and improve profits because of all the different Advanced Analytics use cases
  • Daljit Rehal, Global director, Digital & Data Services at Centrica, a finalist because of the creation of the Customer Information App (CIA) which has transformed customer service across millions of homes in the UK. Engineers consult the CIA to understand each individual customer’s history, needs and overall satisfaction level. The resulting data means customers are provided with smart energy bills which are more accurate. This has led to higher levels of customer service and satisfaction
  • Nadeem Gulzar, Senior Development Manager at Danske Bank a finalist because of the overarching use of Hortonworks across the company, achieving executive board buy in. The ability to generate insights from transaction data has led to huge benefits. Additionally, the maintenance and operations department has used machine logs to assess needs in branches and ATMs, reducing risk and associated costs by 40-45% when the approach was modelled


Data Architect category

  • Tobias Buerger, Lead Big Data Platform & Architecture, BMW Group, a finalist because of the insights and use cases developed using the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP). Buerger is the chief architect for overall architecture and together with his team has established HDP within the BMW Group, driving 100+ use cases. He also provides training for others within the company
  • Ferd Scheepers, Chief Information Architect at ING, a finalist because of the extensive complete virtualised access to all data across the bank – a key initiative to achieve ING’s data driven journey. ING has developed an internal Hortonworks community where worldwide collaboration takes place to develop one solution which will work worldwide. It has global support and has delivered tremendous value
  • José Ramón Pascual, IT architect, Telefónica Global IT, a finalist for multiple important use cases including identifying efficiencies that allow global improvements for deployments of the mobile network, increasing quality and reducing related OPEX. The company has enabled faster adoption and integration with traditional architectures following standardisation and normalisation at the infrastructure level

Data Scientist category

  • Rene Castberg, Senior Researcher at the DNV GL, a finalist because of the development of Veracity, an industry data platform designed to help companies improve data quality and manage the ownership, security, sharing and use of data, borne from successful use of data platforms running on Hadoop
  • Dean Riddlesden, Senior Data Scientist at Walgreens Boots Alliance, is a finalist thanks moving large, previously untapped data sets and batch jobs to Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) thus freeing up resources and improving customer personalisation. The team can now aggregate to the user level and ingest data from other internal and external sources to create a holistic view of customers. Combined with distributed machine learning, it has led to improvements in campaign selection and customer response rates which are up significantly on average in test scenarios.
  • Jakub Staniszewski, Head of Big Data at Zurich Insurance, a finalist because use of Hortonworks has allowed the company to gain a holistic view of data and consumers which is a big enabler for the business. A new integration framework and processing system have been developed along with automation and changes in processes. These have led to huge productivity gains

Good luck to all our finalists! I’m personally privileged to announce the winners on the evening of the 4th April and we will share their success with you shortly afterwards so watch this space!  Also, it’s not too late to attend DataWorks Summit/Hadoop Summit Munich.

Register for the conference here and if you can’t join, follow along using #DWS17 to catch all the action.


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