John Akred

With over 15 years in advanced analytical applications and architecture, John is dedicated to helping organizations become more data-driven. He combines deep expertise in analytics and data science with business acumen and dynamic engineering leadership.

Recent Posts

Agile Data Science Teams Deliver Real World Results

In this post, CTO John Akred looks at the practical ingredients of managing agile data science.

IoT and Resilient Systems

We believe there are clearly some compelling value propositions that come from integrating the visibility from the IoT into applications that help understand and manage the state of complex systems. With the internet of things, the more things, really, the merrier.

Successful Data Teams are Agile and Cross-Functional

I was always struck by how the Silicon Valley startups I worked with could do so much more, with so much less. I’ve come to learn, sometimes the hard way, that there are critical elements of the “who” and the “how,” particular to those start-up teams, that contribute to their success. It’s why we named our company for Silicon Valley: a lightweight, agile approach to data-driven product development was pioneered here.

The Data Platform Puzzle

Editor’s Note: We’re talking about this, and more, at Enterprise Dataversity and Strata NY this fall. Building or rebuilding a data platform can be a daunting task, as most questions that need to be asked have open-ended answers. Different people may answer each question a different way, including the dreaded response of “well, it depends.” Truthfully, […]

Data Day and Graph Day Texas Slides

Check out the slides from our recent presentations at Data Day TX and Graph Day.

Space Shuttle Problems: Long-term Planning Amid Changing Technology

How can you manage your implementation in a way that allows you to take maximum advantage of technology innovation as you go, rather than having to freeze your view of technology to today’s state and design something that will be outdated when it launches? You must start by deciding which pieces are necessary now, and which can wait.

Data Strategy in a World of Big Data

Silicon Valley Data Science has designed a new method to create a data strategy that overcomes limitations of conventional approaches. Recent advances in communications, networking, data, and analytics technologies are changing the way leading companies organize around, architect for, and deliver data-driven capabilities.

The “Why?” Behind a Modern Enterprise Data Strategy

Scott Kurth, John Akred, and Julie Steele discuss developing a modern data strategy during an Ask Me Anything at Strata NY 2015. This was originally posted on the O’Reilly Media Data blog.

Use Cases for Apache Spark

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

Better Know the Districts

One might reasonably judge how well the congress reflects the views of the citizenry by examining the proportion of those citizens who think congress is doing a good job.

Data Strategy in a World of Big Data

Silicon Valley Data Science has designed a new method to create a data strategy to overcome limitations of conventional approaches.

Successful Data Teams are Agile and Cross-Functional

I built a lot of capabilities based on emerging technologies in my years delivering enterprise data and analytical solutions.

Welcome to Silicon Valley Data Science

We created our company to help bring data-driven innovation from Silicon Valley to the business world,



  • 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


  • Strata + Hadoop World 2015

    San Jose, CA

    Several of us will be presenting 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.

  • 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.

  • Data Day Seattle

    Seattle, WA

    We will present two talks at #DDSea: one on creating visual hierarchies in data visualization, and another on running data science teams. Plus, hear from Idibon about a project we did together for

  • 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.

  • UNSTRUCTURED Pop-up Data Science

    Seattle, WA

    Joins SVDS CTO John Akred and other panelists from Amazon,, and eBay for a fireside chat on recommendation engines. Then catch data scientist Chloe Mawer’s talk on figuring out how much your data is actually worth.

  • 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.

  • Data Dialogs Conference

    Berkeley, CA

    Come hear from practitioners and scholars who are designing new data science tools and applications and using data in meaningful and beneficial ways, including CTO John Akred and VP of Data Science Jeffrey Yau.

  • 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.


  • Data Day Texas

    Austin, TX

    Join CTO John Akred for a talk on Running Agile Data Science Teams, and VP of Engineering Stephen O’Sullivan for a talk on Choosing an HDFS data storage format (Avro vs. Parquet). Principal Engineer Mark Mims will hold Office Hours.

  • 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!

  • Data Science Pop-Up Austin

    Austin, TX

    CTO John Akred will be giving a talk on building resilient systems in an IoT world.

  • 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.

  • Strata + Hadoop World London 2016


    Several of us will be presenting, talking about platforms, strategies, and tools. We’ve love to see you there! Join us for our tutorials and sessions, or come ask questions during our Office Hour.

  • Apache Spark Maker Community Event

    San Francisco, CA

    CTO John Akred will be on the “How Apache Spark is Uniquely Suited to Bring Data Science to the Enterprise” panel. If you’re attending Spark Summit, or just in town, come check it out!

  • Spark Summit West 2016

    San Francisco, CA

    Several of us will be at Spark Summit West, manning our booth and checking in with the community. Please come by Booth E4 to say hi!

  • Data Day Seattle 2016

    Seattle, WA

    Join us as CTO John Akred gives a talk on alternative approaches to valuing data within an organization, and Data Scientist Chloe Mawer demonstrates the power of Jupyter notebooks using a real-world train-detection problem. We’ll also present a tutorial on building data pipelines with Kafka and Spark.

  • 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.

  • Scaling Big Data in Production for Financial Services

    New York, NY

    CTO John Akred will be at this Pepperdata event in NYC, talking about how to leverage your team to get maximum value from data science.

  • TDWI San Diego 2016

    San Diego, CA

    CTO John Akred, VP of Data Science Jeffrey Yau, and Senior Data Scientist Cindi Thompson will teach a three-hour tutorial in which they will share our methods and observations from three years of effectively deploying data science in enterprise organizations. Attendees will learn how to be an effective member or manager of a data science team.

  • ODSC West 2016

    Santa Clara, CA

    Join us in Santa Clara as we talk about managing data science in the enterprise, data valuation, and best practices for data visualization.

  • Strata + Hadoop World Singapore 2016

    Suntec City, Singapore

    CTO John Akred and VP of Advisory Services Scott Kurth will be in Singapore this winter, talking about data strategy, and tools for your business. Let us know if you’ll be there, and we look forward to saying hi.


  • Data Day Texas 2017

    Austin, TX

    We’re heading to Texas in January to talk about data pipelines with Kafka and Spark.

  • 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.

  • Pandemonio 2017

    Panama City

    CTO John Akred will be in Panama talking about the Internet of Things and the importance of resiliency.

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