Strata Conference 2011: Complete Video Compilation
Tutorials and Sessions in One Package from Santa Clara
By Edd Dumbill
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: February 2011
Run time: 52 hours 55 minutes
Tune into the new world of big data with this incisive video compilation of O’Reilly's inaugural Strata Conference. Held on February 1-3 in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, Strata included 78 inspiring sessions with the world’s leading data analysts, scientists, and practitioners.
Watch luminaries such as Hilary Mason (Bit.ly), Ben Gimpert (Altos Research), Chris Wensel (Concurrent, Inc.), Patrick Chanezon (Google), Zane Adam (Microsoft), and Mile Olson (Cloudera) lead the Executive Summit, Data Bootcamp, and practitioner sessions. Download these videos or view them through our HD player, and discover how the world of big data will affect your organization.
Topics covered include:
How to become a data-driven organization
Data's evolution from research to product
Applications, case studies, and cautionary tales
Distributed data processing and the Hadoop ecosystem
Data acquisition, crowdsourcing, cleaning, distribution, and markets
I reviewed the Strata videos as part of the O'Reilly blogger review program. The videos are well-done, sound is clear and the speakers are quite good. All the critical information is there to get up and running on the big data subject. If you know nothing about big data the Strata videos will get you up to speed. If you are looking to understand the potential impact of big data on future business Strata delivers. If you already are a data scientist you'll probably find the bootcamp sessions redundant, but will no doubt find a lot of good info on the current state of the industry in the executive sessions. I may look back in five years and remark on how watching the Strata videos was a defining point in my career. However, remember that this is a really big set of videos, almost more of library than a conference. You'll probably feel overwhelmed when you first look at the topic list, but skim over the topics and just start where it looks interesting. This is a video collection where you watch specific parts a few hours at a time, and not try to just crunch through all information in one night (or even in just one week), in fact, in may take you nearly a year.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
I don't like focusing on money when it comes to reviews, but this time I have to admit – yes, this is what you can call an expensive package. Is it worth money? It depends. If you focus on data at your day to day work, you should consider buying it. If you are freelancer and you want to by it just to "take a look" – you should re-think it. That's what I'd say about the price. On the other hand, there is a content. I have found it quite entertaining to view some of the videos. I was unable, of course, to go through all of them before writing an interview – there is more then 50 hours of material! But hey, you should expect that for what you pay! In any case – if you are looking for recent trends within data management areas you should probably take a look at this. If you have planned to attend the conference, but couldn't – you are lucky. Conference comes into you home, just in front of your couch. If you are like me, person who does occasional trainings and tutorials it's even more interesting. You can take a look at recent trends when it comes to public speaking. You can take a look at public related issues that you can expect during this kind of events. You can analyze different approaches of different speakers. You can find how they work with environment and how do they deal with "crowd". So, basically, this is not only for "data people". If you came from the field of social science this is quite interesting material as well.
I like to put hands on when I learn. That's why I enjoyed most practical session (Cassandra/Data bootcamp) but I have found quite interesting The Mythology of Big Data as well even thou this is not that technical. So, it depends on your personal expectations.
Technically speaking, there is one issue with the table of contents at the product page. It is hard to get the knowledge regarding particular sessions's content. I'd advice you to refer to conference page instead: http://strataconf.com/strata2011/public/schedule/full This way, you can get closer look at what you can find within Video material before you decide to by it.
Anyway, is it worth buying? It's hard to say. There are 90 sessions you can choose between. So, you pay like 4.5$ per session. Is it worth money depends on how much focused on data you are and whether you like to peek and somebody's else's approach when it comes to problem solving. And, whether you can get your boss to pay for it
Bottom Line No, I would not recommend this to a friend
The Strata Conference 2011: Complete Video Compilation presents almost fifty-three hours of video from the O'Reilly Strata Conference recently held in Silicon Valley (February 2011). While the price point is quite high (around $400), it's a great value, and a good option for those who have an interest in data but were not able to personally attend the event.
While I'm still working through the various sessions, I've found the presentations so far to be impressive. This is really about imparting some information and hopefully sparking ideas, and in that way, most of the segments succeed. The Data Bootcamp, for instance, is a series of videos from the first day of the conference featuring data scientists from multiple organizations presenting various tools and techniques to start exploring data; they involve the audience in the process and encourage working along with the examples (posted to Github), keeping the pace high and the examples relatively straightforward. This isn't deep, cutting edge data slicing, but I did think "I can use this technique" many times during the Bootcamp. Segments on Hadoop and Avro Data had a similar result.
The series isn't perfect, suffering from occasional technical glitches such a low sound and the glitches experienced by the presenters have not been edited out, so there are some distractions. These were not significant enough to detract from what I feel is an excellent product.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend