Last Thursday, Comcast Ventures partnered with executives from across Comcast and NBCUniversal to bring entrepreneurs in the big data space a deeper view into the uses of big data within the organization - and industry.

Hosted by Comcast Ventures Managing Director, Louis Toth, and Principal, Matt Carbonara, the discussion was kicked off by Executive Vice President and Chief Network Officer, John Schanz, who discussed Comcast’s infrastructure and operations. This was followed by panel discussions led by Comcast and NBCUniversal executives about the use and remaining challenges with respect to big data in three areas: i) high-velocity analytics for advertising, ii) customer engagement & product design and iii) internal operations & customer experience.

Some of the areas highlighted as unmet needs include: visualization & BI on Hadoop and other unstructured data stores, data preparation & transformation, and data governance, security and lineage. The morning panels were followed by a networking lunch and afternoon breakout sessions on topics ranging from AI and deep learning, to big data infrastructure, to real-time streaming analytics and advertising. Datastax, a Comcast Ventures investment and software company that improves customer experiences through DataStax Enterprise (DSE), provided an overview of their company and how it connects viewers with more content using X1’s cloud-based platform.

Touted as the next billion-dollar market by many experts, big data assumes many definitions but deals with data that cannot be processed using standard tools, involving an enterprise need to shift from processing internal data to determine volume, velocity and variety.

Any broad and complex organization such as Comcast/NBCUniversal deals with big data challenges so the opportunity to bring key stakeholders with the entrepreneurial community in Silicon Valley presents opportunities for growth, partnership and learning on all sides.