Big Data, Machine Learning, and Personalization: How Entrepreneurs Can Solve Our Future Problems

At the 2017 Propelify Innovation Festival, over 80+ speakers talked innovation, trends, and the future of everything from tech policy to transportation to big data with over 10,000 entrepreneurs, technologists, innovators, founders, and gamechangers from 43 states and 10 countries around the world.

Some of the biggest trends our experts discussed last year? The possibilities of big data, the continued personalization trend for products and services, and the huge shifts machine learning and automation will cause to our workplaces. The most exciting part about all these trends? Each represents huge opportunities for entrepreneurs to seize upon.

Since you can expect to hear about these topics (and so much more!) at this year’s 2018 Propelify Innovation Festivalwe pulled together highlights from a few of 2017’s most future-forward talks, to help get you prepped for discussion, networking, and connection on May 17, 2018! #letsPropel

Big Data Helps to Improves Society

Our ever-growing quantities of data have the chance to not only help improve society, but to potentially solve our biggest challenges like climate change, infectious disease outbreaks, and water supply.

“For me, the future of big data is where it starts helping us out in tangible day to day life,” Hicham Oudghiri, CEO & Co-Founder of, said. “How traffic flows, how crops can be harvested, the manufacturing quality for drugs…that wave of economic activity hasn’t yet been viewed with the same amount of intelligence as search results on a website. And I think that’s where we have a lot of work to do.”

Read more on how big data can help us improve society: How Data Science Will Improve Society.

Personalization Dominates

Whether it’s on-demand, delivery retail services or targeted online ads, we will continue to see the increased personalization of products and services in the future. Why? Personalization creates a win-win for both companies and consumers. For companies, personalization allows focus on a single type of product or product line, which helps foster products and services of superior quality. For consumers, personalization cuts down on decision fatigue, creates a sense of value, and decreases overall shopping time.

“In the future, stores will need to focus on giving people a reason to keep going there, instead of giving the same experience in every store,” said Alana Branston, co-founder & CEO of Bulletin  said during a moderated conversation with Jason Abbruzzese, business reporter at Mashable and Jesse Middleton, co-founder of Wework. 

In short? Generalization is out. Personalization is in.

Read more about the personalization trend in retail: The Future of Retail Stores

Machine Learning and Automation Change the Workplace

As we continue to push the boundaries of what machine learning can help us accomplish, we also need to be aware of how automation will irrevocably alter the workforce – and think about solutions to our changing world of work.

“Machine learning is going to be the driver for creating new solutions in the future,” said Stuart Sackman, Corporate Vice President of Global Product and Technology at ADP. “And machine learning and robots will radically change the way we work, as robots take over jobs (i.e. driving, cashier registers) we used to have to do. Automation is going to change everything, so we need to think about what we’re going to do next.”

Read more on the future of automation, machine learning, and jobs: Eight Trends Driving the Future of Work

Want to learn more? #letsPropel. If you’re in the innovation community, you belong at the 2018 Propelify Innovation FestivalLearn from amazing speakers, connect with startups and investors, hire and be hired, and so much more. Join us on May 17, 2018.

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