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DATA festival

Program Details

Carsten Bange
Alex Thamm

March 19th, 10:00 – 10:30 am

Opening Keynote:
GenAI – what is hype and what is real?

Explore the dynamic world of GenAI with Carsten and Alex in their yearly keynote, as they delve into the intersection of hype and reality within artificial intelligence. This presentation provides an in-depth analysis of GenAI’s progress, offering a discerning perspective on its development and future prospects. Carsten and Alex will once again spotlight genuine advancements and dispel misconceptions, making this session an essential resource for those seeking an annual update on the state of GenAI. Don’t miss this insightful keynote, providing a reliable benchmark for understanding the ongoing evolution of this transformative field in artificial intelligence.

Dr. Carsten Bange, Founder & CEO | BARC & Alexander Thamm, Founder & CEO | Alexander Thamm GmbH

Carsten is CEO and founder of BARC, an organisation specializing in independent research and advisory as well as events in the data & analytics market. Alex is CEO and founder of Alexander Thamm GmbH, one of the leading providers of data science and artificial intelligence in the German-speaking region.

Togehter they founded the DATA festival in 2017, envisioning an engaging community and innovative event platform around the topics of Data, Analytics & AI.

March 19th, 10:45 – 11:15 am

Finding the signal in the chatter: BSH AI Strategy in times of GenAI

While the foundational technology marks but one step in the evolution of LLMs, ChatGPT’s launch has ignited what feels more like a revolution of AI. Its widespread adoption spawned many new perspectives and heightened expectations for AI. This presents a myriad of fresh prospects for businesses to harness AI’s potential. Simultaneously, it confronts AI leaders with the need to recalibrate established strategies, adapting to this dynamic landscape.

In his presentation, Hendrik Siefert, AI Program Lead at BSH Home Appliances Group, will delve into how BSH extends its AI strategy to encompass both generative AI and traditional AI methodologies in a comprehensive approach to deliver value across the BSH.

Hendrik Siefert, AI Program Lead | BSH

For the past 6 years, Hendrik has served BSH in various roles, working to advance AI and Big Data across the company. His primary focus is on combining AI with IoT in consumer-facing products. In his current role as AI Program Lead, Hendrik’s main concern is building organizational capabilities around AI and steering the introduction of GenAI applications from the IT side. He has been building tech teams for over a dozen years and possesses extensive experience in software development and data management.

Claudia Pohlink Deutsche Bahn
Claudia Pohlink
Julia Sterling Commerzbank
Julia Sterling
Dr. Holger Kömm
Dr. Holger Kömm
Ursula Feindor-Schmidt
Dr. Ursula Feindor-Schmidt
Hanno Schmiedt
Dr. Hanno Schmiedt

March 19th, 11:15 am – 12:15 pm

Panel AI & Data Act

Join us for a compelling live panel discussion that delves into the latest provisions of the AI & Data Act. Our esteemed panelists, experts in the fields of artificial intelligence and data governance, will dissect the implications, challenges, and opportunities arising from this pioneering legislation. From ethical considerations in AI development to the impact on data privacy and security, this discussion aims to highlight the key facets of the most recent updates to the AI & Data Act. Whether you’re a industry professional, or simply curious about the evolving landscape of AI regulation, this panel promises valuable insights and a vibrant exchange of ideas. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the rapidly changing dynamics at the intersection of AI and data governance.


Having a background in Data Science, Data Management as well as Innovation Management, Claudia Pohlink seamlessly connects business and Data Science aspects of Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI). She is currently Head of Data Intelligence Center at Deutsche Bahn, where she drives forward the Group’s central data topics such as Data Strategy, Governance, Data Management and Data Catalog. She also deals with current trends such as Data Mesh or Data Centric AI.

Previously, she led the Machine Learning team at T-Labs, Deutsche Telekom’s research unit. Her team mainly focused on the use of machine learning in network-relevant use cases, in the field of cyber security as well as across the board in the research field of quantum computing. She led successful projects such as Data Cockpit or Robust AI. As co-founder of #startupnight, #DigitalWanderlust and #AI4DiversityHackathon, she strengthened the transfer of science to business. Her previous stations include MTV Networks and Jamba/Rocket Internet. Her diverse resume unites her curiosity for innovative trends and numbers.

On the side, Claudia Pohlink is also an active speaker and author, she is committed to the education of children and young people in the field of AI and regularly shares her knowledge at Conferences as well as at colleges/schools. She has been a board member of the AI working group at BITKOM since 2020 and its chair since 2022. In 2019, she was honored as one of the Global Women Leaders in AI and in 2023, as one of 30 global outstanding women in Data.

Panel speakers:

Julia is working for Big Data & Advanced Analytics at Commerzbank AG. Her daily tasks focus on cloud and machine learning governance principles as well as evaluating and developing strategic directions around these topics. From orchestrating the very first kick-off of European Cloud User Coalition (ECUC) in January 2020 to establishing the joint project agreement, today Julia actively contributes as a member of the ECUC Position Paper workstream and tackles strategic alliances including ECUC membership.

Dr. Holger Kömm is Expert Associate Partner @ Bain & Company. He started his career as data scientist during his doctorate, before he joined adidas AG. There he worked as lead data scientist in the Big Data department and later as Senior Director of the Advanced Analytics Hub & Lab. His background covers Mathematics, Economics, Computer Science & Statistics, especially Forecasting. He holds a Ph.D. from the Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt in Applied Statistics and is a passionate swimmer.


Dr. Ursula Feindor-Schmidt, LL.M. is a senior partner at the media and IT law firm Lausen Rechtsanwälte. She holds a doctorate in licensing law and a master’s degree in intellectual property law as well as a specialist attorney’s title in copyright and media law. She advises national and international clients on their digital strategies and is entrusted with high-profile test cases on platform liability and copyright compliance. She is also a specialist in the evolving field of artificial intelligence and AI regulation. She is a regular speaker and expert panelist at national and international events, e.g., for the Academy of German Media, the International Publishers Association, the Rise of AI, and the Fordham IP Conference, New York.

Dr. Hanno Schmiedt is Lead Data Scientist at DHL Group and is bringing solutions backed by Generative AI to the world of logistics. After several years in a Data Science team in the German Post and Parcel division, he is now part of the central Data Science team and is leading projects on cross-divisional topics around AI and especially Generative AI. His strongest focus is tailoring those solutions to the business needs and create tangible impact to the whole organization.

March 19th, 12:15 – 12:35 pm


During this session, the event headliner sponsors will present their innovative solutions and inspiring success factors live on the data.stage in a thrilling 5-minute elevator pitch. This is a brief opportunity for all attendees to get to know the headliner sponsors and to be prepared for the festival.stage and workshop sessions.

DATA festival – Program Details
dataiku logo
Opitz Consulting Logo
FPT Software H@4x

March 19th, 2:15 – 2:45 pm

Charting a Course in Data Mesh: Understanding Data Products and Contracts

A core objective of Data Mesh is building business-driven data products and data marketplaces. In this session, we’ll untangle the complexities surrounding data products and contracts within the Data Mesh framework. We’ll dissect various interpretations prevalent in the market and provide a practical roadmap for businesses to implement these concepts effectively. Ensure you’re well-prepared for the data-driven future and join us for valuable insights and actionable guidance.

Jacqueline Bloemen, Senior Analyst | BARC

Jacqueline is a Senior Data & Analytics Analyst with expertise in data and analytics strategy, culture, architecture, technology, governance, and organization. With over 40 years of experience advising companies of various sizes and industries, she is also an author and speaker. Currently, her research and consulting work focuses on the transformation to a data-driven enterprise and data democracy. She has been with BARC since 2005.

March 19th, 2:45 – 3:15 pm

Data Mesh vs. central analytics foundation: Contradiction or necessity?

The decentral concept of Data Mesh has been introduced to overcome the limitations of a centralistic setup for analytics. Yet, large companies struggle with its implementation even after successful prototypes in some product teams.

This session investigates possible reasons and outlines a solution to establish company-wide adoption. Based on first-hand experience, it shows best and worst practices on the way to achieve the required scalability of the analytical landscape.

Kolja Manuel Rödel, Product Owner Analytics Data Foundation | MediaMarktSaturn

Kolja is Product Owner of the central Analytics Data Foundation team at MediaMarktSaturn. His role involves creating the future data foundation layer and migrating the processes from the legacy DWH. He faces challenges such as the transition from a central to a decentral platform and an on-premise to a cloud environment. Prior to joining MediaMarktSaturn, Kolja gained experience in a variety of data engineering and analytics topics during 10 years of IT consulting in the data field.

March 19th, 3:15 – 3:45 pm

Data Democratization unwanted! – Breaking the Silo through a people first approach

In the modern data-focused landscape, organizations are keen to use data as competitive tool. A popular approach is data democratization. But dismantling deeply entrenched data silos is tough, especially without regulatory mandates.

This presentation dives into the potential pitfalls of unconsidered data democratization, which can exacerbate issues like privacy concerns, and decision-making complexity. We propose a people-centric strategy that prioritizes understanding unique user challenges.

Katrin Haas, Data Governance Lead | ÖBB Infrastruktur AG

Katrin Haas is at the vanguard of Data Governance at ÖBB Infrastruktur, breaking silos to weave data into the operational fabric and steer the company towards unified, data-driven decision-making.

Lukas Negrin, President | DAMA Austria

Lukas Negrin leads the enhancement of national data management maturity. His focus is on strategic governance and cultivating data-driven innovation, guiding Austria to a future where data fluency powers progress.

March 19th, 3:45 – 4:15 pm

coming soon...

March 19th, 4:45 – 5:15 pm

GenAI Demystified: Exploring the Reality Beyond the Hype

This presentation will explore the transformative role of generative AI in IT Services. I will showcase practical examples including generative AI for helpdesk automation This session will cover how AI can boost productivity and efficiency with new tools and automations that simplify workflows while also covering the challenges to leverage AI in an enterprise IT environment. In addition, I will discuss DHL’s guidelines ensuring a safe and compliant usage of generative AI in business context.

Dr. Andrea Hofmann, Head of Data Innovation for DHL IT Services | Deutsche Post DHL Group

Andrea is a highly skilled Data Scientist with a strong track record of delivering impactful AI solutions across a range of industries including logistics, telecommunication and medicine. Her technical expertise and leadership skills enable her to successfully manage data science projects and teams. She is a motivated team player with a talent for coaching others to success. Andrea is a passionate advocate for data-driven strategies, helping to shape a data-driven culture within the company.

March 19th, 5:15 – 6:15 pm

Panel: The Future of Data Leadership – The Death of the CDO?

As the rise of Generative AI took center stage in executive agendas in 2023, the realms of Data and AI have crossed the chasm from the niche corners of early adopters to the bright lights of the mainstream. ChatGPT symbolizes this shift, akin to what browsers achieved for the internet. In recent years, we have witnessed the evolution of the CDO role through distinct phases: First, it started with the Silicon Valley pioneers coming from consumer tech companies who armed with posit-its and touchscreens crumbled the crust of traditional businesses. The second phase was shaped by the CDOs who took Data & ML from the labs to factories and enabled new business functions. Phase three can be described as the ‘Data Mesh Movement’ with the decentralization of power and capabilities. But what’s next?

Is the CDO role a transient one, mirroring the evolutionary journey of businesses as they integrate Data & AI into their core, much like they did with the internet (sans the need for a Chief Internet Officer)? Are CIOs evolving from mere custodians of cost to pioneers of innovation, steering platforms, and governance in a dynamic Hub & Spoke model? Or, perhaps, the CDO will find a permanent place in Porter’s Value Chain as a custodian of a vital, long-term function alongside the CIO. Or are we missing something entirely?

Join us for an insightful panel discussion featuring a diverse lineup of battle-hardened CDOs who’ve seen it all! Don’t miss out when we delve deep into the evolution of the CDO’s role and discuss the future of Data Leadership.


Alexander Thamm, is founder, CEO and pioneer in the field of Data and AI. His mission is to generate real added value from data and to restore Germany’s and Europe’s international competitiveness. He is a founding member of the German AI Association, a wanted keynote speaker, and author of numerous publications. In 2012 he founded [at], the first data science consultancy in Germany. Today, the company is one of the leading Data and AI consultancies in the German-speaking region.

Panel speakers:

As the Chief Data  & AI Officer for Merck Group, Walid Mehanna is driving Data & Analytics strategy, implementation, architecture, governance, and culture across all its businesses. Previously, he became Mercedes-Benz Car’s first Chief Data Officer. With more than twenty-five years of technology experience and twenty years in consulting and major corporations, he still enjoys always working at the intersection of business and technology.

In her role she is globally responsible for the Data and Analytics system landscape, Master Data Management, as well as the enabling of analytical capabilities for data usage in the areas of Reporting and Analytics, Data Science and AI and Data culture and transformation in order to create value from data. Her deep believe is, that “PEOPLE lead TECHOLOGY” That means for „data and analytics“: Inspire and enable people to join and shape their „data and analytics journey”!

With over 25 years of IT industry experience, Stephan is a visionary leader in digitalization and data strategy. As the CDO at Deutsche Bahn, he played a pivotal role in optimizing the company’s data landscape and establishing a future-proof data infrastructure. His expertise spans the development and implementation of data strategies and governance. Stephan’s international exposure and profound knowledge make him a recognized expert who guides organizations through digital transformation and prepares them for the challenges of an increasingly data-driven world.

Chris is heading the global data unit within EON. Together with his team of data scientists and data engineers he helps all entities within the corporation to use data for automating processes, smartifying products, and accelerating the energy transition. Before that, Chris was the Chief Data Officer at E.ON Germany where he was in charge of the data strategy, aimed at creating a more data-driven culture, and used algorithms to optimize and automate processes for his colleagues and their 14M customers.

Prior to joining E.ON, Chris was Director Analytics at BurdaForward where he built up the Data Science team from scratch, establishing infrastructure, processes and a data-driven innovation culture. While at Burda, his team used data to create a personalized user experience for Germanys largest online news portal with more than 22M users. Chris joined Burda from Alexander Thamm, a Data Science consultancy, where he managed the development and implementation of large scale data projects.

Alex Thamm
Alexander Thamm
Walid Mehanna
Walid Mehanna
Barbara Engerer
Barbara Engerer
Stephan Kaulbach AT
Stephan Kaulbach
Christian Essling
Dr. Christian Essling

March 19th, 6:15 – 6:45 pm

Centralized vs. decentralized analytics - striking the right balance

Striking the right balance between centralized and decentralized analytics capabilities is no easy task.
In this talk Armin will introduce two case studies from his time at Lidl International and Kaufland International:
– Case 1: A centralized approach as a starting point – subsequent decentralization
– Case 2: A decentralized approach as a starting point – subsequent creation of central team
He will share lessons learnt on how to get “the best of both worlds” – centralized and decentralized analytics capabilities
Dr. Armin Müller, Global Head of Analytics | Kaufland Stiftung & Co. KG
As Global Head of Analytics, Armin leads the central analytics function at Kaufland International (Kaufland Stiftung & Co. KG): End-to-end use case development for business units, analytics capability building and coordination of decentralized analytics activities in the Kaufland Analytics community.
In his prior role he worked as Director of Analytics and Data Science at Lidl International. Before, Armin worked at McKinsey & Co., helping organizations from various industries with analytics transformations and end-to-end use case implementation.
Armin studied physics, mathematics, economics and business administration and holds a PhD in statistics.

March 19th, from 7:30 pm

DATA festival Party

Join us for our legendary Festival Party with delicious food, fresh drinks, live act, DJ music and lots of fun – don´t miss this must-attend topic @ DATA festival!

8.30 pm – LEOPOLD – live on stage!

LEOPOLD manages the balancing act between indie and pop, between subculture and high gloss, between ZDF Moma and Dlf Nova, between Sat.1 primetime show and panel discussion, between Fridays for Future and haute couture, between pop culture, glam and social commitment. His live shows are full of energy and variety. Like few other musicians, he manages to bring together people from the most diverse backgrounds on stage – regardless of age, appearance or origin. LEOPOLD is a voice for cohesion, community spirit, diversity and empowerment and embodies these values on the stages of Europe. He is an artist you will be hearing a lot more about. And someone you must see.

data party
festival party


March 20th, 09:00 – 09:30 am

Opening Keynote:
Data Lakehouse - When to consider and how to do it?

Data Lakehouse is hot on the list of many data-driven companies, assumably for quite good reasons we should talk about. But as always with new concepts, many things can go wrong when companies switch to new technologies. We will address the prevalent mistakes organizations make when transitioning their data & analytics workloads to data lakehouse. From misunderstanding the new concept, misjudging on the capabilities and limitations of the technology, underestimating security and compliance considerations up to overlooking the need for adequate skills and appropriate organizational change. We’ll also delve into practical strategies to avoid these pitfalls and equip you with best practice for a smooth, secure, and efficient transition.

Thomas Zeutschler, BARC Fellow & Senior Analyst | BARC

Thomas led global initiatives in data management, analytics and software development at an international DAX company. As Director Data & Application Foundation and IT CTO, he was instrumental in expanding these areas. Thomas is co-author of several studies, a sought-after coach for data strategy projects, and a recognized Python expert who teaches at the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf. As an analyst and technology expert, Thomas supports his clients in adapting modern data & analytics concepts and technologies and in developing data-driven process and business models.

March 20th, 09:45 – 10:15 am

How a 150-year-old traditional company becomes data-driven!

Our Data Driven Philosophy & Data Driven Strategy

  • From data projects to data products
  • Building a Cloud Native Data Fabric and Data Analytics Self Serve Platform
  • Building an agile hub & spoke organisation as a forerunner of Data Mesh
  • Development of federated data governance
Marco Geuer, Head of Global Data Strategy & Solutions | FIEGE Logistik Stiftung

Marco Geuer is Head of Global Data Strategy & Solutions at FIEGE Logistik Stiftung & Co. KG and is responsible for the transformation to a data-driven company. He is also a speaker at conferences, a dialogue partner in podcasts, a trainer at the Haufe Akademie, a lecturer in data management for the DHBW, a member of the DATAGOVKON advisory board and a blogger. In total, he has over 25 years of experience in business analytics.

March 20th, 10:15 am – 10:45 pm

Unlocking the Power of AI: How we drive Innovation at LHG

Join us as we explore the limitless possibilities of AI and its role in shaping the future of aviation with Lufthansa Group. You will (1) learn about the Data and AI Strategy of Lufthansa Group, (2) explore Lufthansa Group’s AI success stories with deeper insights into use cases and how we develop AI solutions and (3) discover cutting-edge initiatives and training programs that foster an AI-driven culture in our organization.

Dr. Margot Loewenberg, Head of Data Science Delivery | Swiss International Air Lines, Lufthansa Group

Margot is Head of the Data Science Delivery Team in Lufthansa Group. She holds a PhD in Data Science and Marketing.

March 20th, 10:45 – 11:15 am

One size does not fit all : A data-driven size recommendation approach for online fashion retailing

Size and Fit are crucial considerations for both consumers and fashion retailers, especially in a landscape where physical interaction with a product before purchase is limited. A significant portion of returns in the fashion industry is attributed to Size and Fit issues, leading to not only a loss in demand value but also incurring high handling costs and leaving consumers dissatisfied.

At adidas, we have developed a data-driven approach to address these challenges. Our solution provides personalised size recommendations in real-time, ensuring a seamless and satisfying experience for our consumers.

Paul Zieringer, Data Scientist | adidas AG

Paul Zieringer, a Master Survey Statistics graduate, joined adidas in 2019 as a Data Scientist. Since then, he’s been immersed in diverse data science projects, gaining insights into the fashion retail industry, and cultivating skills in programming, software development, and product management. Presently, Paul serves as the Product Owner for Size&Fit products within Digital Data Science at adidas.

March 20th, 11:45 am – 12:15 pm

Unlocking the business potential of GenAI in the automotive industry

In the ever-evolving landscape of the automotive industry, the role of artificial intelligence has become increasingly pivotal. Generative AI (GenAI), with its powerful capabilities, is spearheading transformative changes across various facets of the industry. In our presentation, we’ll explore two remarkable use cases we have developed at CARIAD that exemplify how GenAI is revolutionizing customer engagement and data analytics in the automotive sector.

Beetlebabble utilizes Large Language Models to create a dynamic chatbot that excels in real-world customer interactions, drawing from a vast dataset of indexed support calls.

Meanwhile, InsightPilot acts as a data co-pilot, simplifying complex data for sales teams, enabling better-informed decisions. These applications, together with other GenAI use cases, promise to redefine the automotive industry by enhancing customer experiences and harnessing the potential of data-driven insights.

The future of the automotive industry is a journey powered by GenAI, where possibilities are limitless, and innovation knows no bounds.

Dr. Hakan Duman, Head of Data Science & Engineering | CARIAD – Automotive Software for Volkswagen

Dr. Hakan Duman is a thought leader in the industry, currently serving as the Head of Data Science and Engineering at CARIAD SE. With a wealth of experience, he has spearheaded transformative initiatives, optimizing data-driven solutions. His expertise lies at the intersection of technology and business, where he drives innovation and empowers teams to thrive especially in the areas of Data and AI.

Jakub Kovacik, Solution Management and Business Owner Data & Analytics | CARIAD – Automotive Software for Volkswagen

Jakub Kovacik is the Interim Head of Solution Management Data Products & Ecosystem Enablement inside the CARIAD. In this role, he is leading the effort of the Volkswagen to build and technologically operate a Groupwide & Worldwide Automotive Digital Ecosystem with the goal to generate new business opportunities as well as best-in-class experience for our end-customers . He is specifically responsible for CIAM (customer identity and access management), GDPR & legal consent; vehicle analytics, AI-enabled predictive vehicle functions, and third party revenue-generating data products & other key ecosystem enablers.
Before this role, he was the One.Analytics lead inside the CARIAD Digital Business & Mobility Services Domain. In that role, he was instrumental in building up the Cloud Analytical Platform and developing over 30 AI use cases, infusing AI into vehicle features, sales & marketing processes as well as data driven development strategies.
He has been working in various management functions inside the Volkswagen Group for over 12 years. Before that, he held various international positions in North America, Europe & China at leading companies.

March 20th, 12:15 – 1:15 pm

Panel – Smart Manufacturing

An exploration into the transformative impact of Industry 4.0 awaits in our Smart Manufacturing panel, tailored for AI experts. Delve into the realms of connected factories, data-driven decisions, automation, and sustainability, where cutting-edge technologies are observed reshaping the manufacturing landscape. Don’t miss this opportunity to gain insights from the passive perspective, providing a unique perspective for AI enthusiasts.


As Head of the ZEISS AI Accelerator, Dr. Lydia Nemec and her team work closely together with all ZEISS businesses to create fully operational machine learning products that drive business success for ZEISS. Coming from academic research in high-performance computing and numeric algorithm development, Lydia started her exciting career path in theoretical and computational physics as a post-doc at Fritz Haber Insitute of the Max Planck Society and TU Munich. Before joining ZEISS, Lydia worked as a Senior Data Scientist on Machine Learning development and cloud-based data products at Knorr-Bremse. As part of the ZEISS Data & Analytics unit, Lydia leads the ZEISS Data Science team and is at the forefront of ZEISS´ next generation of AI-infused product and service innovations.

Panel speakers:

Ulli Waltinger is the Vice President for Artificial Intelligence & IoT (#AIoT) at Siemens Advanta and a Fellow of the Siemens AI Lab. Prior he was the Technology Head of the Siemens AI Lab and Head of the Machine Intelligence Research Group at Siemens Technology, Siemens’ global research organization.

He worked at the Artificial Intelligence department and the Center of Excellence of Cognitive Interaction Technology at the University of Bielefeld. He is curious about the foundations of computational intelligence, specifically methodologies that bridge the areas of connectionist and symbolic learning applied to real-world AI and NLP applications. He is passioned about enabling an open and interdisciplinary research and innovation culture with meaningful impact to people`s lives.

Ulli contributes with >40 publications and >100 talks to the fields of computer science, artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, and cognitive science. Over the last years, he pushed and led, within Siemens, various AI initiatives, such as the Core Technology Initiative on Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence 2015, various Hackathons and Bootcamps on AI, and founded together with a passionate team in 2017 the Siemens Artificial Intelligence Lab in Munich.

Nico Kelling is heading the corporate Center of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence at Infineon Technologies since 2020. He has more than twenty years of international semiconductor industry experience in various technical, marketing and management functions in Europe, USA and Japan and in particular in the areas of microcontrollers, embedded systems and automotive applications. In 1993 he founded a company for industrial software development which he headed until 2010. With a degree in computer science, he began his semiconductor career in 1997/98 at Siemens HL.

Dr. Lydia Nemec
Dr. Lydia Nemec
Ulli Waltinger
Nico Kelling
Nico Kelling

March 20th, 2:45 – 3:15 pm

Data Intelligence: Platforms, Catalogs & Marketplaces – The Next Chapter

Market dynamics, trends and latest findings on metadata tools.

Timm Grosser, Senior Analyst | BARC

Timm Grosser is a Senior Analyst Data & Analytics at BARC with a focus on data strategy, data governance and data management. His core expertise is the definition and implementation of data & analytics strategy, organization, architecture and software selection.

He is a popular speaker at conferences and seminars and has authored numerous BARC studies and articles.

March 20th, 3:15 – 3:45 pm

Unleashing the potential of GenAI: Empowering Human-AI Collaboration

“Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) is bringing a paradigm shift in AI development. Every industry is moving fast to explore the usecases with GenAI and its long term impact. At Dish Digital Solution in Metro Group, our goal is to bring digital transformation to HoReCa (Hotels, Restaurants and Caterers) partners. In this direction, we also have focussed on delivering impact with GenAI to our customers. In this presentation, I will present our human centric approach in order to make tech and business units more empowered with GenAI. I will talk in detail about different use cases with GenAI in order to bring automation within retail industry.  I will also share my insights about AI security and privacy such as AI hallucination and data leakage. ”

Pankaj Kumar Mishra, Head of Data Science at Dish Digital Solutions | Metro

Pankaj is currently working as Head of Data Science at Dish Digital Solutions (A Metro Company), Duesseldorf, Germany. He has a PhD in Physics from Hamburg University, Germany and brings several years of experience working with Schaeffler and Fujikura Technology in different data science and AI roles. In his journey from Data Scientist to leadership, his primary focus has been on creating business impact by leveraging the potential of data science and AI.

Mathias Riechert
Dr. Mathias Riechert
Eva Beck
Eva Beck
Christina Stoykova
Christina Stoykova

March 20th, 3:45 – 3:55 pm

Are we using AI's power for the most essential challenges?

After the introduction before the lunch break at day 1 you can join the live experiment at the data.stage demonstrating in every break how to draw attention to and focus on the most crucial societal challenges. Experience a dynamic presentation featuring AI-generated images that spotlight humanity’s critical societal issues, ranging from Healthcare to Climate Change.

You’ll have the opportunity to cast your vote for the images that resonate most with you. Together, as a community, we will integrate our collective emotional responses to these visual narratives into a weighted map of topics to be addressed using AI.

Through this collaborative experiment, we aim to inspire reflection and motivation, encouraging you to harness the exciting possibilities that AI offers. Our goal is to align these advancements with our values, shaping not only technological progress but also contributing to societal advancement. Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of a transformative exploration at the intersection of technology and societal impact. Mathias, Eva and Christina will be on hand during the breaks of the data.stage to give you support and explanation regarding their project in this live experiment 

How will you utilize AI’s power? Will you contribute to resolving or perpetuating challenges for humanity?

At the end of the event on day 2, Mathias and his team will present the results of this interactive live experiment on the data.stage.

Dr. Mathias Riechert, Founder |, Head of Data Foundation, CDO | Allianz & Advisory Board Member | Battery Associates

Dr. Mathias Riechert is the founder of and serves as the Head of Data Foundation at Allianz P&C. He has spearheaded transformative initiatives at Allianz and BMW, catalyzing changes in data strategy, data architecture, data governance, and ethics. His art projects explore the interplay between AI and humanity. Mathias’s research interests revolve around AI adoption, AI ethics, transparency, and fostering transparent decision processes.

March 20th, 3:55 – 4:00 pm


Carsten and Alex will look back on some exciting past two days fully packed with Best Practices, Technologies, Workshops and a lot of Discussions and Exchange at this years DATA festival #Munich.

Dr. Carsten Bange, Founder & CEO | BARC & Alexander Thamm, Founder & CEO | Alexander Thamm GmbH

Carsten is CEO and founder of BARC, an organisation specializing in independent research and advisory as well as events in the data & analytics market. Alex is CEO and founder of Alexander Thamm GmbH, one of the leading providers of data science and artificial intelligence in the German-speaking region.

Togehter they founded the DATA festival in 2017, envisioning an engaging community and innovative event platform around the topics of Data, Analytics & AI.

Sponsored by

Data virtual Logo

March 19th, 10:45 – 11:15 am

Evolution of Modern Data Architecture:
A Practical Journey

In this presentation, Sebastian will share his real-world experience navigating a modern data architecture landscape over the past five years. He’ll reflect on the initial motivations that sparked this journey, the structure of his contemporary data architecture, the value he could generate, and the obstacles he faced along the way. Additionally, Sebastian will offer valuable insights into his current and future endeavors, including leveraging SaaS, advancing AI initiatives, and rapidly developing new regulatory reports, all facilitated by the robust framework of modern data architecture.

The main focus areas of this presentation will be:
– Integrating diverse data management techniques, such as data virtualization and ELT, into a unified platform.
– Developing a core business logic layer tailored for data-heavy, IT-centric applications.
– Empowering and skilling ‘Data Citizens’ to effectively utilize this data architecture.
– Facilitating both current and prospective use cases through this architecture.

Sebastian Drozdz, Data Cloud Platform Architect | Partner Reinsurance 

Sebastian Drozdz is a Data Cloud Platform Architect at PartnerRe, a global reinsurance company with operations across multiple lines of business. He brings over 20 years of experience in data development and architecture, with an industry background spanning finance, pharmaceuticals, and retail. Currently, Sebastian and his team are developing a global data platform designed to support the core business functions of PartnerRe. Their objective is to establish a cloud-native environment that prioritizes agility and technological advancement.

March 19th, 11:15 – 11:45 am

How to build trustworthy AI with Data Products

After the initial ChatGPT breakthrough moment and the ongoing pace of innovation since 2023, a much-needed realism can now be observed, that appears in the Data and AI community.
Trust is now going to be the bedrock of AI adoption, as regulatory frameworks, such as the EU’s AI Act, are taking shape, making the imperative for explainable, trustworthy AI increasingly clear.

To unleash the true potential of AI, we need novel implementation strategies and a reimagined data architecture. This presents an exhilarating yet challenging future that demands innovative thinking and methodologies in data management.

Join us to learn about:

  • How data products can play a crucial role in enabling AI trustworthiness
  • How data products can ensure compliance with data privacy regulations
  • How data products can provide transparency into the origin, collection, and processing of data

Sponsored by

Petra Melters, Sales Director | Denodo

As a Sales Director at Denodo, Petra supports clients in Pharma, Chemicals and Telco with their digital transformation needs in providing unified access to all Data in the Language of Business with the Logical Platform of Denodo to democratize data.

Petra Melters-Denodo

Sponsored by

Informatica Logo

March 19th, 11:45 am – 12:15 pm

Freenet ready to go – Freenet's path to the cloud DWH

Freenet AG has successfully operated a data warehouse in its own data center for many years. Architecture and technologies were carefully selected and fully met the requirements of the time. But what should you do if the source systems are gradually migrated to the cloud? The costs of regular data transfer from the cloud to the on-prem DWH alone make this solution no longer seem cost-effective.

Freenet AG is now facing this challenge and is planning to move to the cloud. It’s not just technical challenges and current vendor lock-ins that need to be solved. It is also important to rethink the organization of analytics at Freenet AG.

This presentation describes the strategy and the planned approach to meet these challenges.

Timo Burmeister, Head of DataOps & Platform Engineering | freenet AG
Timo Burmeister has been at home in the IT industry for 27 years. He has been active at Freenet AG for 20 years. As Head of DataOps & Platform Engineering, he is responsible for both the operation of the company’s data warehouse and the relevant management processes in the area of data intelligence. In this context, he is also responsible for the development and operation of digital data services.
He is an AWS Certified Solutions Architect and EMCDSA Certified Data Science Associate.

Sponsored by

dataiku logo

March 19th, 2:15 – 2:45pm

Making GenAI an Enterprise Reality

Let’s face it — Generative AI will continue to be the star of the show in 2024. Our commissioned study with Forrester surveyed 220 AI decision makers at large companies in North America in November 2023, and a whopping 83% of them are already exploring or experimenting with the technology. But pervasive AI success hinges on a comprehensive organizational understanding of effective data and analytics processes beyond Generative AI alone. The talk will highlight key challenges in scaling (Gen)AI in the Enterprise, how to address them, what GenAI applications Dataiku’s clients are already building and what might be next for GenAI.

Maximilian Harms
Maximilian Harms, Business Transformation Principal EMEA | Dataiku

Maximilian Harms leads the Business Transformation team at Dataiku. His team engages with Dataiku’s most strategic customers, advising them on how to scale data & analytics beyond their technical challenges (i. e. target operating model). Prior to his time at Dataiku, he worked for Roland Berger in Germany, supporting clients in life science, transportation, pubic sector and software. Having begun his career as a member of staff in the Bundestag, he is always keen on discussing how analytics & AI can enhance the public sector. Maximilian holds a MSc. in Quantitative Economics.

March 19th, 2:45 – 3:15 pm

ROLAND's AI Journey: From Local ML Beginnings to a Future of AI-Driven Success

This presentation examines Roland’s transition from local machine learning (ML) to a custom ML platform. It addresses the challenges and limitations of initial ML implementations and outlines the unique requirements for Roland’s ML platform.

The focus is on how the envisioned platform meets these needs, enhancing efficiency and effectiveness. The session concludes with a brief overview of the current status, roadmap, and future potential of the platform, emphasizing its strategic role in Roland’s ML journey.

Sponsored by

Sven Remme, Data Analytics Expert and Project Manager | ROLAND Rechtsschutz-Versicherungs-AG

After studying business at the Muenster School of Business, Sven started his career as a Data Analytics Consultant, focusing on Requirements Engineering, Data Analytics and Machine Learning. Before joining Roland, Sven worked as a Consultant for Informationsfabrik in Muenster. In this role, he supported numerous client projects in the field of Analytics within the Azure Cloud & Power BI. Skilled in these areas, he knows how to identify new business use cases and how to put them into practice.

Currently, he is a Project Manager at ROLAND Rechtsschutz in the Data Analytics & Management team, focusing on the development of the ML platform and aiding in the discovery of innovative Machine Learning applications. Besides his role as Project Manager, he also contributes to identifying new Analytics use cases across various departments.

Daniel Krieg, Senior Consultant ML & ML Platforms | snyvert saracus consulting GmbH

After studying physics at the Technical University of Dortmund, Daniel joined saracus consulting, focusing on analytics and ML platform development. Skilled in ML infrastructure, he assists companies in establishing ML platforms across on-premises and cloud environments, and recently, he has been increasingly involved in the implementation of GenAI use cases. As a Senior Consultant at saracus since 2023 and a member of the synvert Group, Daniel contributes to the group’s expertise in data and analytics.

Sven Remme ROLAND Versicherungs AG
Krieg Daniel saracus

Sponsored by


March 19th, 3:15 – 3:45 pm

Data Migration with dbt Cloud

description coming soon..

Ramon Marrero
Ramon Marrero Senior Head of Data & ML Operations | DISH Digital Solutions
Ramon Marrero is a Senior Head of Data & ML Operations providing over 13 years of expertise in leveraging data and machine learning to drive business transformation and innovation.
He focuses on leading teams to implement cutting-edge data strategies and machine learning solutions in the hospitality sector.
At DISH Digital Solutions, he is responsible for steering the data and ML operations towards excellence, fostering a culture of data-driven decision-making and operational efficiency.

March 19th, 3:45 – 4:15 pm

Promoting Green Mobility by Increasing Digital Literacy

Our two speakers will discuss how DB Regio leverages Gamification of Analytics/AI to increase their company-wider Data Literacy and support decision making to promoting Green Mobility.

Data we gather continuously reveals new opportunities to increase our green footprint at public mass transportation in Germany. Companies like us are starting to gather, process and analyze data in novel ways, making use of ML/AI’s ability to leverage structured as well as unstructured knowledge in different formats and real time sensor data (Internet of Things). Based on these insights, we can take better decisions offered by ML/AI algorithms. Those systems can assist in making decisions or even take actions themselves.

One of the biggest challenges is how to increase Data Literacy throughout the company in order to identify and solidly interpret key business drivers in the ocean of data. Gamification can significantly improve the learning experience and allow people to adopt new knowledge with positive reinforcement in a fun and engaging way. Data Literacy allows us to gain valuable insights by learning to understand key metrics that drive value. This supports the move from road to rail. To implement this successfully, it is key to connect data, people, and processes across the enterprise. All this together enables DB Regio to promote Green Mobility. Every Day, Nation wide.

Sponsored by

Alexander Thamm Logo
Tanja Schlesinger, Lead OneSource, Data Officer | DB Regio AG

Tanja has 30 years of international experience and professional practice in multiple top senior leadership roles in finance, business strategy and data/analytics. She feels true passion for transformation to a true digital culture.

Tanja is a cosmopolitan finance and technology enthusiast. She has successfully planned and executed client projects with and by also acting in political setting across Europe, Asia and North America. Her drive for growth, entrepreneurial thinking, result-orientation and focus on transformation of business strategy through technology make her proud to meet today’s challenges concerning digitalization.

Anastasia Heide, Senior Data Scientist | [at]

Anastasia studied economics and finance with a strong focus on statistics and graduated with cum laude from the international Maastricht University. She has 8 years of practical practice in working with data & analytics, thereof 2.5 years as Data Scientist at Alexander Thamm GmbH.

In her role as Data Scientist, she delivered multiple Data Science projects for several clients. During these projects, she noticed the necessity for Data Literacy in the companies and joined the [at] in-house development and implementation of the “AI Adventure”.

Tanja Schlesinger

Sponsored by

DATA festival – Program Details

March 19th, 4:45 – 5:15 pm

Data Debt to Agility: The Power of Integration

As companies gear up for the next wave of technology, including advancements like GenAI and LLMs, many still grapple with data debt. This session will explore the role of flexible data integration in fostering improved data management practices. Discover how leveraging data can enhance business agility and empower everyone in the organization to utilize data more effectively.

Ricardo Fuentes, Enterprise Sales Engineer | Actian
Ricardo Fuentes is a seasoned professional with over a decade of expertise in enterprise sales engineering and solution architecture. Currently an Enterprise Sales Engineer at Actian, Ricardo possesses a keen ability to spot customer needs and deliver tailored solutions that meet their diverse requirements. His strategic pre-sales support and track record of resolving technical challenges have been instrumental in driving customer success and growth. Prior roles at Amdocs, Actix GmbH, Seapine Software Europe GmbH, and Nokia Siemens Networks GmbH have honed his exceptional skills in presentations, communication, and analytical thinking. Proficient in SQL, databases, and cloud computing, Ricardo excels at bridging the gap between business objectives and technical excellence.


March 20th, 10:15 – 10:45 am

Data Driven meets Change – How congstar managed to build a vibrant Data-Culture [in German language]

Many domain experts struggle when they try to adopt these factors in their organization. During this presentation you will learn about the difficulties of enabling a vibrant Data Culture and how congstar GmbH managed to successfully overcome them and to enthuse their business users.

Sponsored by

Opitz Consulting Logo
Pyramid Logo
Susanne Weßel-Therhorn, Senior Project Managerin Data & Analytics | congstar

Susanne Weßel-Therhorn is Senior Project Manager Data & Analytics at congstar and supports to successfully master the change to a data-driven company.
She has many years of experience as a manager and specialist user of analytics in areas such as revenue assurance and fraud management, which means she is aware of the enormous potential of the famous sideways glances and the breaking up of data silos.
She is also familiar with the challenges of change management. Her view of the dominant buzzwords of the data-driven cosmos, such as data culture and data democracy, is unbiased and she consistently pursues a holistic approach.
Susanne Wessel-Therhorn

Sponsored by


March 20th, 12:15 – 12:45 pm

Bringing GenAI to Your Data

coming soon..



Dr. Fabian Gampfer, Senior Sales Engineer | Snowflake

Fabian is part of the German Sales Engineering team at Snowflake and supports customers and prospects on their journey with the Data Cloud from a technical point of view. He has 15 years of experience in Analytics, Software Development, IT Operations and Data Science. Fabian is highly curious about any new developments in the data space and of course especially about those at Snowflake.

Newcomer on stage

In this dynamic age defined by the rapid advancement of AI, startups have emerged as essential players in the technological landscape. It is therefore paramount for us to provide a platform where these innovators can shine. Enter the cutting-edge realm of the tech.stage, where groundbreaking ideas and advancements take center stage.

March 19th, 12:15 – 12:45 am

Data Mesh Manager: Data Products, Data Contracts and Policies

Data Mesh Manager is the place where data producers and data consumers come together. Data consumers can find and discover data products in the data product catalog, evaluate the offered datasets by their enforced data contracts, and sign a usage agreement to gain access automatically. Data producers can perform data product controlling by inspecting the costs and usages of their data products and data product governance by tracking the adoption of the global policies. But in the end, Data Mesh Manager is simply the place where you can see your mesh grow.

Dr. Simon Harrer,  Co-Founder | Data Mesh Manager, powered by INNOQ

He is a a software developer at heart who has now turned to the dark side, namely the world of data. He co-authored and translated the Data Mesh book by Zhamak Dehghani into German. Next to his data mesh consulting projects, he is currently developing the Data Mesh Manager, a SaaS product to fast-track any data mesh initiative.


In an era defined by technological advancements, the “AI for Good” track at this years DATA festival aims to spotlight the transformative potential of artificial intelligence in addressing societal challenges. This track will showcase innovative applications of AI that contribute to positive social, environmental, and economic outcomes. From healthcare and education to sustainability and humanitarian efforts, different speakers will delve into their real-world examples of how AI technologies are being leveraged to create meaningful change. Attendees can expect insightful discussions on ethical considerations, responsible AI practices, and collaborative approaches to ensure that AI becomes a force for good. Join us on the tech.stage to explore the boundless possibilities of AI for fostering a better, more inclusive future.

March 19th, 2:15 – 2:45 pm

How Data Scientists and AI-specialists can become Super Heroes

AI folks are super smart, but can they also become Super Heroes? MI4People is a network of volunteering AI specialists, Data Scientists and AI Enthusiasts that work on open-source AI4Good applications. In this talk we will discuss where we can apply superpower of AI to help tackle humanitarian and ecological problems of this world and how every AI expert, startup, and company can contribute to this mission!

Dr. Paul Springer, Co-Founder & Managing Director | MI4People gGmbH

After his PhD in theoretical physics, Dr. Paul Springer worked as a management and IT consultant in the financial sector. He is a passionate AI enthusiast and entrepreneur. Among other, he co-founded MI4People and leads it as volunteering managing director and chief scientific officer. MI4People is a non-profit organization that researches on how AI can be used to help solve humanitarian and environmental problems of this world and builds AI applications that are open source and free of charge.

March 19th, 2:45 – 3:15 pm

What we mean by AI for public interest

AI for social good is en vogue. But what does it mean to use and develop AI for good or the public interest? Digital theorist Theresa Züger explains the background of the idea in political theory and spells out what this means for tech development.

Also, her research gives an empirical overview of AI for the public interest in practice globally. The talk highlights what is needed to bring AI for good from a niche practice to broader acceptance and support. Also, for anyone interested in producing AI for good this talk will provide helpful insights.

Dr. Theresa Züger, Lead of the AI & Society Lab | Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet & Society

Theresa Züger is lead of the AI & Society Lab and head of the Public Interest AI research group funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Previously, she headed the office of the Third Engagement Report from the Federal Government on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ), which focuses on the digitalization of civic engagement.

For the Medienanstalt Berlin-Brandenburg, she developed and managed the Media Policy Lab, a project on science networking in the field of intermediary regulation. She is a public speaker and moderator at events such as re:publica, RightsCon, transmediale and media broadcasts.

March 19th, 3:15 – 3:45 pm

Implementation of Public Interest AI

This presentation is about the prototypes that are being developed in the research group on Public Interest AI at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society. In our research, we investigate how public interest AI concepts translate into the actual implementation of tools. The first of these tools is a dashboard for monitoring misinformation. The underlying NLP model uses insights from research on misinformation to spot misleading information on social media. The aim is to assist journalists and reduce their workload. The second tool is a browser plug-in, SIMBA Text Assistant, which aims to automatically summarise the text found on German-language webpages. The summary is also additionally simplified, with sentences being shortened and explanations being provided for potentially difficult words.

Sami Nenno, Researcher | Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet & Society
Sami Nenno is a researcher in the Public Interest AI research group at Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society. His research focuses on the use of Machine Learning and NLP methods to monitor misinformation and assist journalists. In particular, he is studying the content of misinformation, its targets, and the platforms on which it is spread. These findings are used to inform software systems to spot new misinformation. Sami has a background in Communications Research, Data Science, and Philosophy.

March 19th, 3:45 – 4:15 pm

Democratizing Algorithm Development: Advancing Personalized Medicine through Federated Learning

This talk will showcase a collaboration between the Care For Rare Foundation, Dr. von Hauner Childrens Hospital (LMU Clinic) and MI4People, using AI to speed up the diagnosis of rare diseases in children.

We’re harnessing the collective intelligence of federated learning to navigate the complexities of sensitive data, using a secure, in-house approach that keeps patient information under wraps. Through, a platform that democratises algorithm development, we’re inviting AI specialists, data scientists and enthusiasts to join the quest. Discover how the fusion of AI and healthcare is leading the way to personalised medicine, and how each contribution brings us closer to a future where the puzzle of every child’s health is solved.

Dr. Denis Dalić, Technical Project Manager | MI4People

Dr. Denis Dalić is a passionate researcher, data scientist and AI expert with a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics. His education and experience have given him expertise in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, complemented by a foundation in software and hardware solutions. This combination enables him to drive innovative problem solving in healthcare. As the technical project manager, he brings his expertise to MI4People’s projects, managing all current and future projects to scale their impact and drive meaningful change.

March 19th, 4:45 – 5:15 pm

AI Use Cases for Robot-Assisted Emergency Response

Emergency responders use mobile robots (air, ground, water) for higher safety and efficiency of their operations, which often take place in uncertain hazardous situations. I present use cases for AI in robot-assisted emergency response and discuss opportunities and challenges, based on experience of several projects with first responders and developers working together in realistic scenarios and real deployments to understand the needs and develop technology to support emergency response teams.

Ing. Ivana Krujff-Korbayová, PhD | German Rescue Robotics Center (DRZ)
Dr. Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová has wide range of experience in natural language semantics, dialogue processing and human-robot interaction. She graduated in software engineering at the Czech Technical University (1992); obtained a PhD in mathematical linguistics at the Charles University, Prague (1998); held visiting fellowships from the British Academy and Royal Society / NATO at the University of Edinburgh (1999-2000); was as a senior researcher at the Department of Computational Linguistics , Saarland University (2001-2010) and in the Multilinguality and Language Technology Lab at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) in Saarbrücken (2010-2022). At DFKI she lead the Talking Robots Group from 2014 and in 2016 initiated the DFKI competence center for Emergency Response and Recovery, was a coordinator and/or leader in several large national and international projects on robot-assisted disaster response and on 1.9.2016 lead the deployment of a human-robot team in the earthquake-struck Amatrice in Italy. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the International Association of Fire and Rescue Services (CTIF). From January 2023 she is head of research, development and transfer at the German Rescue Robotics Center (DRZ). She has over 70 peer-reviewed publications and h-score 27.

March 19th, 5:15 – 5:45 pm

Leveraging data and AI for social impact

Since 2015, CorrelAid volunteers have been supporting nonprofits to leverage the power of data technologies for their social mission. In this talk, I’ll explore how we have successfully managed to develop sustainable and impactful solutions under the unique financial and structural constraints of civic society. However, I also want to point out some open questions that still need creative and collaborative answers – so that more advanced AI4Good can become a common practice and not the exception of a few “lighthouse projects”.

Frie Preu, Head of Data4Good Projects & Infrastructure | CorrelAId

Frie has been a part of CorrelAid since the beginnings in 2015, joining full-time staff in 2020. After initiating and coordinating over 40 Data4Good skilled-volunteering projects, they are currently pursuing different approaches to implementing data and AI projects in civic society as part of the Civic Data Lab, funded by the German government. For all this, Frie can draw from his two-year experience working as an IT consultant during which he was able to learn a lot about working in and implementing technical projects.

March 19th, 5:45 – 6:15 pm

The needle in a haystack - searching for refugee boats in satellite images

Each year thousands of refugees die in the Mediterranean sea trying to reach a safe harbor in Europe. NGOs play a critical role in Search and Rescue but it is impossible to monitor the whole area. At Space-Eye, we aim to use satellite images to cover more area in less time and support the search for people in distress. Join the journey through some of the challenges we face working with satellite images, tiny objects and sparse data, to the point where we scan large areas with AI.

Steffen Merseburg | Space-Eye e.V.

Steffen Merseburg is passionate about human rights and therefore volunteers in civil search and rescue efforts. Since 2021, he has been part of the Space-Eye e.V. research team as a satellite and AI expert, working on using satellite images in the context of search and rescue. Since 2023, he has been a member of RESQSHIP e.V., an NGO that supports search and rescue efforts in the Mediterranean Sea with a sailing boat. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Stuttgart, specializing in Space Flight Technology and Space Utilization, with a focus on satellite image analysis, machine learning, and pattern recognition.


March 20th, 09:45 – 10:15 am

#Career - Federated Learning – Why and How at ZEISS?

The most fundamental pre-requisite for building successful ML models is access to high-quality training data. Obtaining this access is a genuine challenge in several areas relevant to the ZEISS business, be it because of privacy concerns, regulatory concerns or because the data represents business secrets. While the exact reasons differ, Federated Learning may provide a common solution by allowing distributed ML model training without having to centrally collect sensitive data. In this talk, we will introduce the idea, explain why we expect it to become a key technology for ZEISS and give a little insight into how we are building the necessary know-how as a corporate support unit.

Dr. Thomas Stecher, Lead Data Scientist | Carl Zeiss AG
Dr. Thomas Stecher is Lead Data Scientist in the ZEISS AI Accelerator department, where he and his colleagues support the ZEISS business units on the full Data Science journey, from first insights to fully operational machine learning products. Thomas has an academic background in computational chemistry, which has taken him from York (MChem) and Cambridge (PhD and post-doc) in the UK to Munich’s TUM and first brought him into contact with machine learning 13 years ago. Before joining ZEISS, he worked as a Software Consultant at TNG Technology Consulting with a focus on developing ML systems for clients. One important part of Thomas’s role at ZEISS is scouting for new ML technologies.

March 20th, 10:45 – 11:15 am

Tech Deep Dive – Pandas, Polars and the DataFrame Consortium

The data science and analytics landscape has seen significant developments over the years, with tools such as Pandas and Polars emerging as popular solutions for data manipulation and analysis.

This presentation aims to elucidate the differences between Polars and Pandas, two powerful libraries that facilitate DataFrame operations. While both libraries serve similar purposes, their underlying architectures and performance metrics vary considerably, making each uniquely suited for specific scenarios. Furthermore, with the growing need for standardization and interoperability in the data science ecosystem, the DataFrame Consortium was established. This consortium seeks to address the challenges posed by the fragmented nature of DataFrame libraries and tools, aiming to create a unified standard that promotes efficiency, consistency, and collaboration among data professionals.

Through this exploration, I hope to clarify the importance of both Polars and Pandas and shed light on the critical role the DataFrame Consortium plays in advancing the field of data science.

Alessandro Romano, Senior Data Scientist | Kuehne + Nagel

Alessandro is a highly experienced data scientist with a Bachelor’s degree in computer science and a Master’s in data science. He has collaborated with a variety of companies and organizations and currently holds the role of senior data scientist at logistics giant Kuehne+Nagel. Alessandro is particularly passionate about statistics and digital experimentation and has a strong track record of applying these skills to solve complex problems. He shares his knowledge regularly, speaking at events like the Data Innovation Summit and the ODSC.

March 20th, 11:45 am – 12:15 pm

Tech Deep Dive – Delta Lake – what's the new kid on the block?

Join us on a journey through the evolution of Data Lakes in our presentation, ‘Delta Lake – what’s the new kid on the block?’ Discover the key differentiators that make Delta Lake stand out in the world of data storage and processing. We’ll explore real-world use cases to understand where Delta Lake shines and how it can benefit your organization. Dive into the architecture of Delta Lake, from RTL2’s on-premise implementation on OpenShift to other noteworthy implementations like Microsoft Fabric and Azure Databricks. Gain insights into the internals of the Delta Table Format and learn how to interact with it from a Data Engineering perspective. If you’re looking to stay on the cutting edge of data management and processing, this presentation is a must-attend event!
Thomas Gremm, Team Lead Data Engineering | RTL2
As his role as Team Lead Data Engineering at RTL2, Thomas is pioneering Delta Lakehouse architecture. Previously he was an IT Architect at BMW, specializing in cloud-native solutions, data platforms, technology scouting and enterprise architecture. In his professional career he has worked in several industry domains like Banking, Risk & Financial Services, IT Consulting & Advisory, Online Gaming Industry, Automotive and Television & Media Industry.

March 20th, 12:45 – 1:15 pm

Tech Deep Dive – Using Physiological Data for Climate Adaptation

Climate extremes have already become daily occurrences. While the building professionals address the issue from the built environment’s perspective, research still lacks which tools of adaptability the human body can have against the heat stress.

The presentation shows how use of time-series physiological data under different heat stress situations can be key to understand the possibilities to maintain wellbeing in the long run, while reducing energy use and emissions in the built environment.

Bilge Kobas, Research Associate at TUM’s Chair of Climate Responsive Design | TU München

Bilge is an architect (Istanbul Technical University, ITU, 2008) with a master’s degree in Sustainable Environmental Design (ITU, 2011 & AA, 2013). Since 2019, she is a research associate at TUM’s Chair of Climate Responsive Design. Her PhD is about developing and testing the methodologies behind the SenseLab. She is especially interested in the impact of time on thermal physiology and how it can be key to identify adaptive strategies for the human body together with the built environment.


March 19th, 10:45 am – 12:15 pm

Starburst Galaxy - A day in the life of a data engineer

While the AI hype cycle generates big dreams for the art of the possible on the business side, IT often struggles with the reality of the existing data management: data is scattered in silos, access takes months, and quality is hardly given.

In this workshop, we will follow a data engineer through their day as they face the common challenges of:

1. Data exploration
2. Data Access

3. Data Sharing

Our data engineer will use Starburst Galaxy to excel in each of these scenarios.

As a participant, you will learn how you can use Galaxy to identify what data your organisation has. You will walk through accessing data even if it’s stored in different places and different infrastructures. You will learn about the power of using data sharing and data products to increase the value of your data not just for yourself but also for other teams or even external business partners.

Participants can optionally bring a laptop to the workshop. No other special equipment is required.

Korbinian Zollner, Senior Manager Field Engineering | Starburst

Korbi has 15 years in customer facing roles, both presales & postsales. Passionate presales leader, hobby photographer and data enthusiast. Spends his spare time camping with his family of 5 in a small camper van.

March 19th, 2:30 – 4:00 pm

What Pyramids have in common with Analytics Modernization – Our Experience replacing a grown System (SAP BO)

Our business world is changing rapidly, digitalization, globalization, disruptive innovation, changing markets, etc. – we are responding to all of this by modernizing processes and production- and logistics chains. Data-driven decisions are the key factor for a future-proof business. On the way to becoming a data-driven organization, the modernization of established analytics systems is not an option it is a MUST! Every day, our customers face the challenges of implementing the requirements of the business users for modern analysis options, guaranteeing governance and stable operation and at the same time preserving what the business users used to. In fact the replacement of SAP BO comes with a number of challenges – because some frequently used functionalities are not – or only insufficiently – supported by most modern tools on the market. In this workshop we will present our experiences from our project at Congstar and show why pyramids can help for the modernization of SAP BO landscapes and why’ve to keep change in mind.

Janine Ellner, Lead Consultant | Opitz Consulting
Janine Ellner works as Lead Consultant for OPITZ CONSULTING Deutschland GmbH in the field of analytics. Her focus is on holistic customer support.
This includes analysing requirements, providing support with technical issues and the further development of analytics environments.
She is particularly interested in data culture topics, innovative technologies and modern analytics tools

Any questions? Contact us!


If you have any questions about the event, please contact event manager Christina Schuhmann.


+49 931 880 65 10

DATA festival – Program Details
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