By @SimonCocking. Great interview with Mark van Rijmenam Founder Datafloq | Author: Think Bigger- | Disruptive Innovator | Int’l Speaker | Named Global Top 10 Big Data Influencer

What is your background briefly?

I am Founder of Datafloq. Datafloq is the One-Stop Source for Big Data, creating the Big Data ecosystem by connecting all stakeholders within the global Big Data market. I am an international public speaker and a Big Data strategist, author of the best-selling book Think Bigger – Developing a Successful Big Data Strategy for Your Business. I am named a global top 10 Big Data influencer. Currently, I am also pursuing a PhD at University of Technology, Sydney on how organizations should deal with Big Data, the Blockchain and Algorithms.

How did you end up doing what you do now?

I have always had a passion for emerging technologies and the possibilities that they bring. That’s how I started with Big Data several years ago. At that time, a new area for many organizations, which gave me the opportunity to help many companies understand what big data is and how to develop a big data strategy.

1 min pitch for what you do / what’s a typical day like?

At the moment, my day is split between my work on Datafloq, growing that to the main content platform around big data and other emerging technologies, and my work on my PhD at UTS. In addition, I regularly travel the world to speak at conferences on topics such as Big Data, Internet of Things, the Blockchain and other Disruptive Innovations.

Congrats on being ranked on the list – where did it all go right?

Thanks, I guess it is all about dedication and putting a lot of effort in helping others understand the possibilities of big data and what they should do to become data-driven as well. Nowadays, data analytics has emerged as a corporate standard and not doing it is no longer an option for organizations. Offering organizations the tools to get this transition right is what drives me and what got me ranked as a global top 10 big data influencer.

What trends are you excited / concerned about in relation to the work you do at the moment?

Currently, I am really excited about the Blockchain, which offers tremendous possibilities for organizations in many industries. With Datafloq we are also investigating the possibilities to applying the Blockchain to offer a better service and product to our customers. The hype around the Blockchain has really taken off and so many organizations are experimenting with it. Of course, there are many challenges to solve, but if we get those right, we can solve a lot of existing problems related to privacy, security and data ownership.

What advice would you give to companies and individuals in terms of managing their data securely?

Data security is a real problem these days. It is not a matter if you will be hacked, but when. Any organization will be hacked and if you are not being hacked, you are simply not important enough. Therefore, organizations should see that as a starting point; of course prevent as much as possible that you can be hacked, but if you are hacked ensure that your data, and your customer data, cannot be used or exploited. Data security should be on the top of any organization that takes itself serious.

Who do you follow for your inspiration and insights?

I follow Elon Musk, I think his drive and passion to create products to improve life on earth, and abroad, is fascinating. What he has achieved so far is amazing.

We can be online 24/7, how do you manage your work life balance?

A good work life balance is very important and with running a company and doing a PhD it can be quite challenging at times. However, I do value the weekend and getting outside to do sports or travel is what really help me revive and usually I get a few new ideas as well along the way.


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