Edd Wilder-James

Founder of the pioneering data conference, O’Reilly Strata, Edd is a respected voice in the worlds of data, open source and the web. Bringing together deep technical know-how with market understanding, Edd makes sense of information technology and its trajectory.

Recent Posts

How Do You Build a Data Product?

Data products are those whose core functions leverage data, be they physical products, software, or services. Edd dives deeper into building data products here.

Big Data is About Agility

Any technology is only as good as the way in which you use it.

We Need a New Data Architecture: What Next?

In this revamped classic, Edd looks at the challenges of moving forward with a new architecture, and where you need to start.

5 Ways to Facilitate Failure

Failure is appealing as a stepping stone along the path to innovation, but it’s very scary in practice—especially when you can’t yet see where the path is leading. We’d like to suggest the following five guidelines as a place to start.

Why You Need a Data Strategy

While it would be great for everyone if you could just “buy a Hadoop” and skip straight to “Profit!”, in reality there’s a lot of work involved, and 95% of it is unique to your business. How do you determine the steps of a big data project, and ensure it delivers results early? This post talks about where to start.

Hadooponomics Interview: The Evolution of Data

VP of Strategy Edd Dumbill was recently interviewed by James Haight on the Hadooponomics podcast. Find the audio and transcript here.

One Year Later, Observations on the Big Data Market

Back in 2014, we discussed how the market looked like on our first birthday. As we hit three years, it seems like an appropriate time to look back on those observations, and see where we are now.

SVDS at Strata San Jose 2016

Several of our presenters were interviewed at Strata San Jose. If you missed the conference, check out these interviews below to catch up on some of the topics that were on our minds.

Why Notebooks Are Super-Charging Data Science

There is little limit to what can be done with a notebook. As well as the data science work you might expect, such as manipulating and graphing data, we’ve used them for sharing work on analytical tasks such as motion detection in video. In this post Edd takes a look at why we’re seeing notebooks everywhere.

Five Business Challenges Data Can Solve

In today’s business climate, executives understandably want to see both early results and a long-term direction. A data strategy helps meet business needs, while ordering work in a way that respects constraints and creates future opportunities.

Building a Data-Driven Culture

When we talk about being data-driven, what we actually mean is that we would like to make decisions based on the best data, made available to the most people. What does that mean for business, and how do you start?

How Do You Build a Data Product?

Data products are the reason data scientists are lately treated like rockstars. Along the way at SVDS, we’ve learned a few things about data products, which we shared as we told the story of the Caltrain Rider app.

We Need a New Data Architecture: What Next?

It’s clear from the explosion of interest in newer platforms and technologies that the old tools and licensing costs don’t work to meet new business needs.

Use Cases for Apache Spark

The Apache Spark big data processing platform has been making waves in the data world, and for good reason.

5 Ways to Facilitate Failure

Failure is appealing as a stepping stone along the path to innovation, but it’s very scary in practice—especially when you can’t yet see where the path is leading. We’d like to suggest the following five guidelines as a place to start.

5 Reasons Why Spark Matters to Business

It’s been hard to miss Apache Spark in the last year.

Data Architecture Reading List

Databases sure ain’t what they used to be—it takes more than a relational database to put together a modern data architecture.

Why You Need a Data Strategy

This is a great time for big data in business.

Railroad Modeling at Hadoop Scale

Data Scientist Tatsiana Maskalevich and CTO John Akred presented at this year’s Hadoop Summit in San Jose,

Building the Experimental Enterprise

What does it mean to be data-driven? It’s not about finding analytical fairy dust that you can sprinkle to make everything better,

Silicon Valley Data Science at Strata 2014

We’ll be out in force at Strata 2014! Join us for our tutorial and presentation sessions:



  • TDWI Accelerate Boston 2017

    Boston, MA

    We’ll be in Boston covering a variety of topics—from running agile data teams, to visual storytelling with data. Let us know if you’ll be there, or sign up to receive all our slides.

  • Strata + Hadoop World CA 2017

    San Jose, CA

    Many of us will be at Strata in San Jose, and we’d love to see you there! Come learn more about data platforms, data strategy, business tools, and more.

Past Events


  • Keys to Data Strategy


    This highly interactive online seminar, led by John Akred and Scott Kurth, explains how we work to solve real business challenges with data, and build a platform for the future.

  • Hadoop Summit

    San Jose, CA

    SVDS presents two sessions at Hadoop Summit: one that maps the central concepts in Spark to those in the SAS language, including datasets, queries, and machine learning; and a look at how to choose an HDFS data storage format: Avro vs. Parquet and more.

  • IBM Analytics | Apache Spark Community Event

    San Francisco, CA

    Join fellow data scientists at Galvanize for a Spark community event and hear how IBM and Spark are changing data science and propelling the Insight Economy forward, featuring a panel moderated by Edd Dumbill.

  • Data Lakes in the Real World: Ask Us Anything


    Modern data architectures look radically different as we move towards a new idea of data platforms. During this “ask us anything” webinar we will discuss our experiences building new data architectures and take your questions.

  • NoSQL Now!

    San Jose, CA

    What are the essential components of a data platform? SVDS presents a tutorial that will explain how the various parts of the Hadoop and big data ecosystem fit together in production to create a data platform supporting batch, interactive and real-time analytical workloads.

  • Data Management Conference of Canada

    Edmonton, AB

    DAMA (Data Management Association) Edmonton, a non-profit vendor independent professional association, is proud to present its first-ever conference in Edmonton. This 3-day event is the only event in Edmonton dedicated entirely to business intelligence and data analytics.

  • Strata + Hadoop World NY 2015

    New York, NY

    Several of us will be at the Strata + Hadoop World 2015 Conference in New York in September and we’d love to see you there. Join us for our tutorials and sessions, or come visit us at our booth in the Expo Hall.

  • Insight 2015

    Las Vegas, NV

    Our own Edd Dumbill will be a featured speaker during IBM’s “power of data science” session, where we’ll talk about data science as an emerging role with high expectations around smarter applications.

  • Enterprise Dataversity

    Chicago, IL

    SVDS presents two tutorials: one on Data Strategy and one on building a Data Platform. In addition, Edd Dumbill participates in a panel, “The Data-Driven Organization – New Roles and Relationships.”

  • DataPalooza

    San Francisco, CA

    Join us for a demo and talk on our Caltrain Rider app, which presents an intuitive view of the Caltrain systems using data from our own sensors (video, audio) combined with publicly available data from Twitter and the Caltrain API.

  • Strata + Hadoop World

    Suntec City, Singapore

    John Akred and Edd Dumbill will present a tutorial on Developing a Modern Enterprise Data Strategy, and will also be available to answer questions during Office Hours. Then, Edd Dumbill will present on Why You Need a Data Strategy.


  • Strata + Hadoop World

    San Jose, CA

    Many of us will be at the Strata Conference + Hadoop World 2016 in San Jose, and we’d love to see you there!

  • Enterprise Data World San Diego 2016

    San Diego, CA

    Several of us will be at Enterprise Data World 2016 in San Diego. We’d love to say hi, and hear your thoughts.

  • Enterprise Dataversity 2016

    Chicago, IL

    Several of us will be in Chicago this year, presenting tutorials on data strategy, data platforms, and how to manage data science in the enterprise. CTO John Akred will also be taking part in a panel about how to strengthen your data strategy skills.

  • Strata + Hadoop World New York 2016

    New York, NY

    The SVDS crew will be in New York this year, talking about data platforms, data strategy, and making the business case for Spark. Come by our talks, or catch us in the hallway track.

  • Data Dialogs 2016

    Berkeley, CA

    VP of Strategy Edd Wilder-James will be keynoting Data Dialogs this year. He’ll speak about the realities of data prep, and the practical consequences, for both consumers and corporations.

  • TDWI Austin 2016

    Austin, TX

    Come find us in Austin this December. Principal Data Strategist Colette Glaeser and VP of Strategy Edd Wilder-James will be discussing how to develop a data strategy. Director of Communications Julie Steele will provide insight into how to best leverage your data through visualizations.


  • TDWI Las Vegas Leadership Summit 2017

    Las Vegas, NV

    John Akred will be keynoting this conference, discussing the opportunities created by data science in business. Let us know if you’ll be attending and would like to talk.

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