Women in Big Data Global



WiBD Toronto: Different Strokes for Data Folks Meetup

Women in Big Data

By Lilian Lau,

October 8, 2018


Titled “Different Strokes for Data Folks,” the Toronto chapter of Women in Big Data held a bustling meetup on September 26, 2018. Over 75 members gathered to discover how four industry professionals harness the power of big data in their specific industries.

First, Zahra Zahid from Slalom Consulting walked us through the pros and cons of various modern data architectures when it comes to working with big data, including Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure. She also spoke about how big data can power artificial intelligence (AI).

Next up, we had Sridevi Baskaran, a Data Scientist at Aviva and previously at Scotiabank, who spoke about two data applications in the finance industry. Sridevi posed the problem and success measures used to improve the customers’ experiences when using their mobile app. Her team’s goal was to auto-populate transaction fields by predicting the customers’ type of transaction using their mobile app history.

Sridevi Baskaran, Aviva Canada

Sridevi described the data science process of data preparation, exploration, modelling and outcome evaluation. In this specific application she had to balance between the accuracy of predictions and implementation constraints when choosing the optimal algorithm for production.

Dominique Battagin, Kx

Lastly, Dominique Battagin and Suzanne Andracchio from Kx gave an introduction to the fastest time-series database, kdb+. They highlighted the operational and analytical query performance in comparison to other databases.


We received overwhelmingly positive feedback on the content of the presentations. Members enjoyed the unique and granular detail about the data science process and new technology infrastructures when working with big data.

A shout-out to our organizers, Lilian Lau, Renita Sudirga, Lynn Yen, Emma Jones, Sam Power and Alyssa Ong for making this event a huge success! The event was sponsored by Quandl and Kx for the space, food and beverages. Quandl is a data marketplace for the world’s top hedge funds, asset managers and investment banks. Kx is a suite of enterprise-level products and solutions centered around kdb+.

The Toronto chapter of Women in Big Data is currently organizing its next meetup, where we will again strive to connect like-minded data professionals in an inviting and encouraging environment. If you are interested in participating, speaking or sponsoring us, please contact us at wibd.toronto@gmail.com!

Related Posts