The Quest for Data Insights: the True Objective of Big Data


The Science and Technology for Exploration and Production Solutions (STEPS) outreach program is now in its second year. This year, the associated STEPS Distinguished Lecture series has followed the theme of Big Data in Exploration and Production (E&P).


Throughout 2017/2018, STEPS has hosted a number of Distinguished Lectures covering numerous topics related to Big Data, including cloud computing, the data lake, how to maximize success from Big Data and the methodologies that can be employed when working with Big Data. These lectures are available to view online.



The next lecture in the “Big Data in E&P” Distinguished Lecture Series takes place in Colombia on June 6, 2018. Professor John Alexis Guerra from the Universidad de los Andes will deliver his lecture ‘The Quest for Data Insights, the True Objective of Big Data’.


Big data is such a buzzword these days it is hard to believe that most people cannot define it, other than by vague terms like the typical three V’s (volume, variety, and velocity). Or they say that it is going to “change the world!” During this talk, we will use a completely different approach. Instead of talking in generalities or extremes, a concise definition of big data will be presented, and more importantly, there will be a discussion about insights that can be gleaned— the true objective of big data analysis. The use of visual analytics and information visualization will show how these insights can be discovered. Examples will also be used to demonstrate the size of the data does not really matter, as long as it leads to meaningful discoveries, which need to be actionable, non-obvious, and of course, derived from the data. In a nutshell, you will learn that we need to keep the human in the data analysis loop.



John Alexis Guerra Gómez is an Information Visualization Researcher and Engineer. He currently holds the position of Assistant Professor at the Universidad de los Andes and is a remote lecturer at the University of California, Berkley. His research is focussed on visual analytics, accessibility, big data, human centred data science and web development. John has over 16 years’ experience as a full stack developer and 8 years’ experience as an information visualization researcher. Throughout his career, John has published over 30 research publications.




The lecture will take place on June 6, 2:00 p.m. local time (COT) (8:00 p.m. BST).  To attend the lecture in person, or to listen to the live broadcast, please email


If you are interested in the STEPS initiative, please register your interest at and join our growing iEnergy Community.