I had the chance to attend the Data Natives 2015 event last week in Berlin. A first time event having for topics FinTech, IoT and of course Big Data. I heard some interesting talks but also less interesting ones. You can still hear people having the dream of forecasting anything with the help of more data, but with often the feeling it's only in order to sale more stuffs. I haven't got the life improvement that suppose to go with Big Data (e.g. mass surveillance doesn't work obviously).
But here and there you can sometimes hear someone talking about a project that hold your attention. For me the most interesting aspect is the inter-disciplinary or multi-disciplinary aspect of the data. To achieve something relevant or meaningful with all the available information, you need to be able to define first what is the problem you are trying to solve (and yes I have a degree in opening open door).
Four presentations are still in my head, one using NLP to pre-sort a lot of CV (from HitFox during the first day of the program) and a second using computer vision to automatically give feedback on webpage design (from EyeQuant last talk of the second day). Actually for the last one their talk was much wider than this single problem.
About IoT and FinTech is wasn't really impressive. Actually the only striking aspect is that the same tools are used whatever is your field of work (like data science / analytic / finance): you accumulate data, you trying to find information and pattern into them, this in order to derive model to make prediction. And without surprises the most interesting talks about FinTech came from the people involved in the Bitcoin economy / technology (Blockchain and ascribe Gmbh). Maybe the banks have some cool stuffs to talk about, but they weren't really present.