The live and in-person summit brought together senior big data, analytics and AI experts to share knowledge, innovation and build a valuable network of connections. This leading industry event also included the brand new SDS+ Data Awards, an initiative that celebrated organisations going above and beyond in their implementation of AI and big data analytics.

The Smart Data Summit Plus agenda was filled with some of the biggest and most influential players in the big data and analytics space. Mohamad El-Shanawany from Lead Sponsor IBM opened the event with a Welcome Address, following which Vishal Soni from Alteryx, platinum sponsor of the event also delivered opening remarks. There was fascinating fireside chat between H.E.Thuraya Al Hashim from Federal Competitiveness & Statistics Centre, Ministry of Cabinet Affairs – UAE and Mostafa Zafer from IBM as they discussed the evolving dynamics of tech and data from a Middle Eastern context. Next up, Ahmad El Sayed from IBM delivered the keynote presentation. During his session, he emphasized on best practices for a trustworthy AI framework at organisations.

We welcomed the first panel for the day: Ammar Alfayoumi from Cloudera, Budoor Al-Amoudi from Dubai Airport Freezone Authority, Latifa Saleh AlShehhi from Federal Competitiveness & Statistics Center, Ministry of Cabinet Affairs, Mohamed AlMadhaani, Advisor from Abu Dhabi Digital Authority and Richard Dib all gathered for a panel discussion exploring smart data analytics and artificial intelligence within MENA governments and the public sector. Taking us into the morning break, Vishal Soni from Alteryx delivered a keynote presentation on data democratisation.

The delegates returned for a panel discussion featuring Dr. Amjed Al.Thuhli from Ministry of Transport, Communications & Information Technology – Oman, Gino George from First Abu Dhabi Bank, Prashant Tewari, from Acceldata and Suraj Nair from Mondelēz International. The panellists discussed data governance and data privacy across organisations in the MEA region. Following the panel, we welcomed Frédéric Leroy who presented on ArabyAds’ data transformation. Next, Alexey Siderov from Denodo spoke on the importance of data virtualisation as core technology.

Rounding out the day, Celal Kavuklu from SAS delivered a keynote on avoiding common pitfalls while building AI-powered organisations.

Day 2 began with a panel discussion on marketing and predictive analytics to predict demand and business outcomes featuring Dmitry Menshenin from Sanofi Greater Gulf, Katral-Nada Hassan from YAP, Mohamed AlTajer from CMO Council, Mohamed Tarek Fahmy from Careem, Taghrid Al Saeed from Mubadala Group. Next, we had a keynote presentation from Dr. Humaid Saif Saeed, Abu Dhabi Police, who briefed delegates on how Abu Dhabi outlived the pandemic through agility and resilience. Following this, Awis Kilani from Lucidya briefed delegates on AI-powered social listening tools.

To explore the concept of big data and AI within the BFSI industry, we welcomed panellists Haddi Hakim from Pure Storage, Mohamed Abdel-Razek from Standard Chartered, Nicola Hobson-Langley from HSBC, Samer Semaan from Pure Storage and Varghese Skariah from RSA Middle East.

Following the morning coffee break, delegates reconvened for a panel session featuring Anand Venkatasamy from Etisalat, Donald Krol from Workato, Jonathan Flender from Al-Futtaim Group, Louise Blake from Seera Group and Tina Chikhani Nader from Unilever MENA. The panellists discussed advanced analytics and AI for the retail and e-commerce industry.

Rounding out the day, we finished with the final panel session on data science and healthcare in the Middle East featuring Ahmad El Sayed from IBM, Ahmed Abdellatief from Sidra Medicine, Aliasgar Bohari from Zulekha Hospitals, Qasim Abu Hantash from Dubai Health Authority and Shaikha Hassan Al Mansoori from Ministry of Health and Prevention – UAE.

Over 400 senior data analytics, marketing, IT, business intelligence, digital and strategy professionals from across the region attended the summit.

SDS+ Data Award Winners

The SDS+ Data Awards covered 12 key categories and recognized organisations for outstanding achievements in their implementation of AI and data strategies. These companies have demonstrated the power of analytics and AI in supercharging business performance, improving customer experience and driving product development.

The winners were:

  • Dubai Police for the Smart Data Champion Award
  • Abu Dhabi Police for the Smart Data AI Innovation Award
  • Majid Al Futtaim Group for the Smart Data Excellence Award – Retail
  • Accor Hospitality for the Smart Data Excellence Award – Travel & Hospitality
  • UAE Ministry of Health & Prevention (MOHAP) for the Smart Data Excellence Award – Healthcare
  • Amazon for the Smart Data Excellence Award – Ecommerce
  • Department of Municipalities & Transport Abu Dhabi for the Smart Data Excellence Award – Government
  • Etisalat Group for the Smart Data Excellence Award – Telecom
  • Nakheel Properties for the Smart Data Excellence Award – Real Estate
  • Middlesex University Dubai – Insights Lab for the Smart Data Excellence Award – Education
  • Ford Middle East for the Smart Data Excellence Award – Automotive
  • Emirates NBD for the Smart Data Excellence Award – BFSI

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