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Expert Day & General Assembly

Immerse in one of four expert groups

  • Spatial Data Analytics
  • Big Data and AI Technologies
  • Blockchain Technology in Interorganisational Collaboration
  • Data-Driven Business Models

and exchange expertise. Get inspired by the keynote and network during the coffee break. For data innovation alliance members the event is followed by the General Assembly and an apero. Let’s foster the community for Applied Data Science in this event.


  • 13:15 Welcome
  • 13:15 – 14:45 Expert Groups in 4 Breakout Rooms
  • 14:45 – 15:30 Coffee break
  • 15:30 – 16:00 Keynote – Erika Meins,  La Mobilière «Using the Force of Analytics for Responsible Digital Interactions»
  • 16:00 – 16:15 Break
  • 16:15 – 17:15 General Assembly (formal part)
  • 17:15 Apero

Detailed Program

13:15 – 14:45 Expert Groups (running in parallel):

Expert Group: Spatial Data Analytics – Geospatial insights for all – from unique applications to future trends
The Power of Where – this frequently used statement underscores the importance of spatial data and spatial data analytics. All people interested in spatial data are invited to actively participate and/or get an entertaining insight into the world of geospatial data.  Take the opportunity to make new contacts and exchange ideas with experts from industry and research.
In this open event, we will take a tour of your favourite datasets, look at the most unusual and fun applications, and discuss together trends in geospatial data and future challenges. Of course, current infrastructure topics such as low code platforms (GEE & friends), new machine learning concepts and applications (image segmentation, tiny ML & Co) and data creation/access developments (Open Data & GDPR) will not be missed. Intellectual nourishment is guaranteed.

Expert Group: Big Data and AI Technologies
De-buzz AI, Thierry Bücheler, Oracle
«AI» is discussed as the solution for many problems on almost all levels – from exec boards down to the deepest and darkest hacker hide-outs. But what is it, really?
This short impulse will try to de-buzz AI to a certain extent by using real-world examples across industries, supporting the following theses:
– AI is not really about “intelligence” today
– Only rarely it is about developing algorithms
– And it is also not about bringing together data from different sources technically
So what’s the focus in real-world applications right now? What are some examples where «AI» makes a difference?
Talking to Data: Building Natural Language Interfaces for Databases, Kurt Stockinger, ZHAW
Information systems are the core of modern enterprises and scientific exploration. They are often based on fundamental research developed in the database community. While enterprise data is typically stored in relational databases, data-intensive scientific disciplines such as bioinformatics often store their data in graph databases. To query these databases, end-users need to know the formal query languages SQL or SPARQL as well as the logical structure of the databases. However, even for technology experts it is very challenging to write the right queries to retrieve the desired data. Hence, a large part of the end-users is basically not able to effectively query their databases. In this talk we discuss how to build intelligent information systems that enable end-users to talk to their data similar to humans. The major goal is to combine artificial intelligence with human intelligence for novel ways of data exploration. In particular, we will show how we have built various natural language interfaces for databases using pattern-based and machine learning-based approaches to significantly increase the productivity of scientists and knowledge workers when interacting with data. We demonstrate that our system INODE (Intelligent Open Data Exploration), which we have been building as part of a European Union project with 9 partners across Europe, is uniquely accessible to a wide range of users from large scientific communities to the public. Finally, we elaborate on the lessons learned when developing such a system and discuss how the technology can be enhanced by researchers or knowledge workers for exploring their own databases in natural language.

Expert Group: Blockchain Technology in Interorganisational Collaboration
Zurich has a new blockchain-based local currency: the “LEU”, which has already been discussed in the press.
The LEU is a currency and at the same time also a basic income that one receives by actively participating in the community. Although the LEU is based on blockchain technology, it has little to do with speculative cryptocurrencies: to receive the LEU, you have to meet regularly with members of the community. You can spend the LEU in local businesses in Zurich to promote the local economy.
The association Encointer will present the exciting LEU project and talk about the current developments and possibilities of such an alternative currency.
After a short introduction, we will cover the following topics. 
 – Introduction of Polkadot and Kusama Ecosystem.
 – Parachains and their advantages
 – Proof of personhood and sybill attacks 
 – Encointer vision, protocols and global communities
 – Status quo and field report Leu in Zurich
At the end we have some time to install the Encointer wallet and interact with it.

Expert Group: Data-Driven Business Models
Data-driven business models have become relevant to companies and organizations. According to Gartner back in 2018, 85% of AI use cases were not successful or did not live up to expectations. Where do we stand today? – What is the potential in data driven business models we still haven’t addressed – and why not? 
In this workshop, we will discuss success factors & challenges of AI projects. Among experts and practitioners we will exchange our experiences and share insights. As a take away, we will be equipped with a set of hands-on best practices, ready to be applied in our environments.

15:30 – 16:00 – Keynote Speech
Erika Meins, La Mobilière, Head of Mobiliar Lab for Analytics at ETH Zurich“Using the Force of Analytics for Responsible Digital Interactions”

Virtual Reality to reduce stress, telematics to prevent road accidents or augmented reality to improve collaboration? Erika Meins illustrates some of the opportunities of advanced analytics and new digital technologies for society – and provides a brief look at the dark side.


Nov 09 2022


13:15 - 18:00


Fernfachhochschule Schweiz (FFHS)
Gleisarena, Zollstrasse 17, 8005 Zurich
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