Use Data and Think One Step Ahead — Data Days 2019

Leveraging the Project A data community for knowledge exchange

By Selim Nowicki

One of the company values of Project A is “Use Data and Think One Step Ahead”. Both parts of this statement are not easy to implement in the fast-paced startup world in which we operate. On one hand, companies struggle to transform data into decision making, on the other hand the landscape in terms of tools, methodologies and approaches change so fast it is hard to keep up.

As Project A we are in a quite unique position; imagine this: over 40 companies in which we are currently invested, each of which has a person, team or even multiple departments taking care of data. It would be a wasted opportunity not to harness this network effect for the purpose of Knowledge Sharing (another company value of Project A) for startups in our portfolio.

Full house at the “Choosing the appropriate data infrastructure in 2019” panel discussion

What are Data Days?

In short: Leveraging the Project A data community for knowledge exchange. No sales talk. No secrecy. No hero stories. Just insightful presentations & panels, honest fuck-ups, networking and a bit of fun. It’s that simple!

Data driven Marketing and Business Intelligence — the Data Days 2019

The format of the Data Days evolved over the years, this year’s edition being the biggest so far with around 75 data professionals from 21 companies attending! We were very happy to welcome representatives from Project A portfolio companies from across Europe and even all the way from Brazil (intelipost) — thanks for coming Bruno!

This year’s event was spread over two days, with a slightly less packed schedule than in 2018 (data-driven learning from our feedback survey 💪).

“Machine Learning on Dask” — Dr. Matti Lyra (Comtravo)

We had a designated Data Engineering pre-conference for the first time; professionals from our portfolio had the chance to share their discoveries and progress in an informal setting. Topics like “Building ETL with Snowflake” (by Alexander — Homeday), “Using Facebook Prophet to forecast metrics” (by Giorgos & Jose — Project A & Helloprint) and “Building dashboards in Python / Flask” (by Mario & Johanna — Lampenwelt) were on the agenda.

“It was really cool to have someone guide you through their code… We should definitely try out a few things!” — Adrian Triteanu (Contorion)

After the pre-conference we left to Köpenick (town in the south-east of Berlin) and hopped on boats for a sunny afternoon full of networking, BBQ and a few beers. 🚣‍♂️☀️🍖🍻

Day 1: Somewhere on the lakes south-east of Berlin

The second day talks are split into two tracks (Analytics & Data Engineering) to ensure that content stays relevant for people from different parts of the data universe. Speakers addressed both more organisational topics like “Intersection of quantitative and qualitative research to understand our users” (by Richard & Mirtha — KRY) all the way to more specific things like “How to apply data science to real estate” (by Artiom — Homeday). All speakers yet again proved how much professional knowledge there is in the Project A Family.

Day 2: Data Days 2019 agenda

Why do we do Data Days?

There are two main goals:

Providing a platform to network with other professionals. There are plenty of things we can learn from each other and collaborate — ad hoc brainstorming sessions, getting inspired to approach ambitious projects and confronting our own ways of thinking. The boat trip on the first day provides a perfect opportunity where people can relax, share experiences and get to know each-other much better and establish a connection for future collaboration.

“It is data-driven fun basically. The boat trip is highly recommended! Every year it gets better and better…”

— Giorgos Athinaiou (Project A)

Maximising knowledge exchange within the Business Intelligence and Data teams of our portfolio companies. A lot of us have to solve very similar data related problems. Since there are no external guests, talk very openly and presentations don’t have to be as polished as at a public conference. The second day of the conference was dedicated to deep-dives into data-related topics.

“It is great to get a different perspective from other industries. If you want to see some validation in your work or see how others are approaching the problem, it is a great place for that.”

— Sara Cooper (Opinary)

Looking forward to Data Days 2020!

If you would like to become a part of this highly skilled group of data professionals, join Project A or one of our portfolio companies! More information available at our Jobs website.

Relaxing sunset while coming back from the boat trip

Project A Knowledge Conference 2019

Come and join the Project A Knowledge Conference 2019! It is another great opportunity to share and exchange knowledge.

The Project A Knowledge Conference has been hosted by Project A since 2015. We are a Berlin-based Operational Venture Capitalist that considers “knowledge sharing” as a fundamental value. This value reinforced the idea of creating an event where Project A and its portfolio companies come together to exchange insights about operational cases from different fields. Due to the huge success of past Project A Knowledge Conferences and the rising demand, we decided to make this event public for the second year in a row.