The UK's top data leaders and influencers were honoured at a glittering awards ceremony in London last night.
The inaugural Data 50 Awards, organised by Information Age, gathered the industry to recognise the companies and individuals at the forefront of data innovation.
The prestigious Data 50 list was originally revealed in October, having been whittled down from more than 200 nominations. Last night's ceremony not only celebrated the first ever Data 50, but also revealed the winners of ten 'Best in Class' categories.
The explosion of data – and what can be done with it – has been the most transformational trend to emerge from the digital age. It is also the area where the most groundbreaking technology has been developed.
There will be 6.4 billion internet-connected things in use this year, according to Gartner, and by 2020 this is forecast to grow to 21 billion. IDC estimates the big data market was worth more than £40 billion in 2015, and predicts this will exceed £70 billion by 2019.
Organisations have responded by creating roles like the chief data officer, chief analytics officer or chief data scientist to identify how such opportunities can be applied to relevant business scenarios, and to oversee the processes, tools and governance around them.
>See also: The UK’s top 50 data leaders and influencers
In 2014, there were 400 chief data officers globally. In 2015, there were 1,000. And by 2019, Gartner predicts 90% of large organisations will have one. Meanwhile, those in more traditional roles like CIOs have also had to take a lead in this area, transforming the make-up of their IT department in the process
The leaders who made the Data 50 demonstrated they have not only utilised the opportunities and business value big data has enabled, but also dealt with its many challenges – including managing its proliferating growth, security threats, and a lack of skills.
All functions involved in driving data innovation in the UK were considered for a Data 50 accolade, including the vendors creating the technology, the end-users deploying it, and the consultants and integrators helping them do it.
'The pace of innovation in this space has been rapid,' said Vitesse Media's editorial director Ben Rossi when introducing last night's ceremony. 'Data is at the centre of the most transformative technology trends impacting people and business right now. We are creating new information 50 times faster than we did ten years ago, and new ways of turning this data into business value are emerging regularly.
'The people on the inaugural Data 50 deserve all the credit they get for being the leaders of the first generation of such an important and exciting industry – and we look forward to revisiting the list next year.'
The Data 50 Awards 2016 – winners
Category: Open source
Sean Owen, Cloudera
Andy Leaver, Hortonworks
Ciaran Dynes, Talend
David Richards, WANdisco
Dan Keeley, Code BI
Best in Class: Sean Owen, Cloudera
Mat Keep, MongoDB
Paul Preuveneers, MarkLogic
Vinay Joosery, Severalnines
Manu Marchal, Basho
Mark Darbyshire, SAP
Best in Class: Paul Preuveneers, MarkLogic
Nick Halstead, DataSift
Jim Manzi, Applied Predictive Technologies
Hugh Cox, Rosslyn Analytics
Gerald Cohen, Information Builders
James Richardson, Qlik
Best in Class: Jim Manzi, Applied Predictive Technologies
Category: Services and Consulting
Craig Saunders, Xerox
Neil Sholay, Oracle
Sam Seddon, IBM
Mike Weston, Profusion
Guy Mucklow, PCA Predict
Best in Class: Guy Mucklow, PCA Predict
Category: Infrastructure and Protection
Joe Baguley, VMware
James Norman, EMC
Chris Eng, Veracode
Raj Samani, Intel Security
Etienne Greeff, SecureData
Best in Class: Joe Baguley, VWware
Category: Knowledge and Integration
Martin Szomszor, Digital Science
Gavin Starks, Open Data Institute
Euan Adie, Altmetric
Mark Hahnel, Figshare
Alan Grogan, Atos Consulting
Best in Class: Gavin Starks, Open Data Institute
Category: Business to Consumer
Peter Williams, Marks & Spencer
Julian Bond, Hillarys Blinds
Gillian McMeekin, Whitbread
Barry Panayi, Bupa
Jon Pickles, The Travel Corporation
Best in Class: Peter Williams, Marks & Spencer
Category: Media, Internet and Learning
Russell Marsh, IPG Mediabrands
Duncan Ross, TES Global
Freddie Quek, Wiley
Simon McCalla, Nominet
Simon Kaffel, O2
Best in Class: Simon McCalla, Nominet
Category: Public Sector and Non-Profit
Gareth Lloyd, Companies House
Lauren Sager Weinstein, Transport for London
Nick Leake, Kings College London
Andrea Powell, CABI
Charles Ewen, Met Office
Best in Class: Andrea Powell, CABI
Jon Mansley, Aviva
Simon Gratton, Zurich
Brian Bissett, XL Catlin
Charles Cai, BP (Trading Division)
Andy Crisp, Dun & Bradstreet
Best in Class: Brian Bissett, XL Catlin