Google Cloud promoted its 2021 Data Cloud Summit with one key phrase – “we can’t predict the future, but we can be ready for it.” And if there’s anything the past year and a half has taught us, it’s exactly that. As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digital adoption, enterprises that were prepared came out ahead of their competition, and ones that adapted quickly by being able to analyze changing trends prevailed.
Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, kicked off the keynote by discussing why data is the heart of business transformation. “During the pandemic we have seen how organizations have turned data into actionable insights to drive impressive change,” he said. “Digital innovators understand the power of having resilient, mission-critical systems that can run the business reliably and securely.”
He continued on to share specific trends Google Cloud saw with its customers during the pandemic. “In 2020 alone, customers analyzed 200% more data at exabyte scale using our Google Cloud data technologies. Our databases saw tremendous growth and data scientists doubled the instances of machine learning workloads that they used last year.”
Kurian then introduced Gerrit Kazmaier, VP & GM, Database & Analytics at Google Cloud. “It’s time for us to think of data as an ability that interconnects skills, technologies, processes, and people,” Kazmaier said.
He then compared a data program to the act of listening to music, in which only a fraction of a soundbite at a time reaches the listener’s ear. However, when put together, the listener can understand the soundbites together as a larger song. Similarly, for organizations, there must be continuity in the full data lifecycle, including how data is created, captured, refined, stored, and processed, to achieve a fully functional and unified program.
Kazmaier also shared details on some new data cloud products from Google. These include:
- Vertex AI, in preview, a comprehensive AI platform that provides access to machine learning tools that power Google, accelerates experimentation & deployment of models, and provides MLOps tools to manage models with confidence
- Dataplex, in preview, which helps break down data silos with an integrated analytics experience, unified data management and governance, and data intelligence
- Datastream, in preview, a serverless Change Data Capture service that enables users to replicate and synchronize data with minimal latency
- Analytics Hub, in preview, a fully managed service built on BigQuery that enables you to create a data analytics ecosystem, with access to a curated library including Google assets
- Looker on Microsoft Azure, now available, which enables users to make the most of their data on the cloud of their choice. With this, Looker supports and simplifies multi-cloud data strategies
Learn more about these exciting data cloud announcements on Google’s blog.
Once the keynote wrapped, attendees were encouraged to attend sessions in one of four tracks:
- Trusted Data Foundation – Sessions in this track focused on building the foundation for a strong data program through establishing a database strategy, building applications, change data capture (CDC) programs, and more.
- Open & Flexible Insights – Sessions in this track focused on closing the gap to insights and enabling transformation through making the right analytics investments, automation, data management, data sharing, multi cloud strategies, and more.
- Intelligent Apps – Sessions in this track focused on how to drive innovation and intelligent action through AI, by building a data-to AI lifecycle, fostering a culture of innovation, creating new revenue streams with intelligent apps, and more.
- Partner Insights – This track highlighted key partners in the event, including Maven Wave as a Signature Sponsor. Our session included as part of this track touched on “How to Visualize and Optimize Your Data in the Cloud.”
If you missed any of the sessions, they are all available to watch on-demand.
The themes of the summit are probably best summarized by the customer testimonial video shown during the Google Cloud Summit keynote session. It featured leaders from organizations ranging from Major League Baseball to Twitter describing how their organizations are transforming to use data as an ability for impactful business decisions.
“Frankly, we spend about 70% of our time just trying to capture it and trying to sift through it,” said Kirk Lacob, Assistant General Manager at the Golden State Warriors, about the organization’s data. “With Google Cloud, we’re going to be able to spend our time analyzing in real-time and using the data we’ve been collecting.”
If you’re interested in learning more about how your organization can leverage its data as an ability, tune into our Navigating the Cloud Data Journey webinar series. Our experts will address challenges and opportunities companies face at every stage, whether you are trying to determine where to start, looking to better understand how to optimize, or ready to build an advanced analytics program. Get more information and register now.
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