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Keynote - Shop Direct - Transforming a catalogue business into a world class digital retailer
by Paul Hornby, Head of ecommerce, Shop Direct
  • Use customer first design, and focus on UX
  • Use agile to quickly prototype and rapidly iterate
  • Use A/B split testing to create a feedback loop
  • Focus on making small changes, deployed more quickly
  • Use customer insights for personalisation and improve UX
  • Respond quickly to changes in user behaviour
  • Be innovative, experiment and don't be scared to fail but when you do, fail fast
  • Invest your team, infrastructure and facilities
Keynote - The Future of Open Source
by Mark Taylor, CEO, Sirius
Government Predictions
Open Source & Culture
More highlights from the first day coming soon....
Government Predictions
Open Source & Culture
  • The best way to predict the future is to invent it
  • We are not passive, we are actors shaping reality
  • Open Source is THE winning strategy
  • Athens founded the first open society
  • Successful societies have openness, collaboration and freedom
  • Closed society suffers cultural decay
  • Open source is a modern restatment of science
  • The famous Issac Newton “Standing on shoulders of giants" quote could equally be used to describe the open source ecosystem
  • Open source has become the way the UK government do technology
  • Open standard, open data, open source
  • GDS practice what they preach - it is the biggest UK case study of open source
    • Government spend £20 billion a year on technology
    • 1/3 to 1/2 of government contracts are coming up for renewal
    • Open source unfairly criticised for not being secure
    • But there is a cultural shift happening to quash this nonsense
    • Open source in government relies on quality assurance (why Blackberry's are favoured)
    • Open government initiatives competing with each other, which is raising its profile
    • Some government departments can’t use open source because you can’t buy it. If you can't purchase from a vendor, there’s no one to hold responsible if it goes wrong
    • Use open source to reduce government transactions from £10’s to £1000’s to fractions of pence (like Amazon)
    • Government ahead of the private sector on technology
    • It won’t be a perfect transition but it’s heading in the right direction
    • Open source companies compete and collaborate, NWDG an example of that
    • Open source is the benchmark, the base and we compete on top of it
    • Open source accused of imitating, not innovating, nonsense.
    • Open source has a powerful network effort and ecosystem, also acts as an incubator
    • Open source needs to re-energise science
    • What comes next? We decided.
    • A small committed group of citizens can change the world
Opportunities and Challenges of Open Source in a World of Big Data
by Harvey Lewis, Research Director at Deloitte
Harvey Lewis took on one of the most exciting areas of technology, open source in a world of big data.
Having started with the question “what is big data?”, Lewis moved on to some headline stats about big data. Most notably, the rate at which data is being produced; 2.5 zetabytes last year.
But what does that even mean you ask? I have no idea either, but it’s fair to say that 2.5 zetabytes is a #$&?ing insane amount of data.
To put it into a semi-comprehensible context, an example using the “New Horizons” space probe was given. The New Horizons spacecraft was launched on January 19th 2006 and is nearly 8 years into a 9.5 year journey. If the data being produced by humanity was printed as ASCII in books, and those books were stacked on top of each other, the stack of books would overtake “New Horizons” and reach Pluto in less than a month.
Another “big data” stat.: the data produced in the next few years will surpass the amount of data produced in human history.
And all this data is creating a lot of interest….
And data hoarding.
Techniques To Cope With The Information Explosion
Where does the value from data come from?
In order of business value, from high to low;- outcomes, decisions, insights, analysis, data, questions.
The data needs to be mined.
In order of business value, from low to high;- reporting, queries, forecasting, prediction, optimisation

About the author

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
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As a company director, Paul is responsible for leading our strategy in relation to culture and people. This work has strongly contributed to our enviable staff retention levels. His pragmatic approach, combined with a development career spanning two decades, is a valuable asset to clients approaching challenging and large scale digital projects. These include SONY Pictures Entertainment, King's College London, Travelodge, Great Ormond Street Hospital.

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