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The ‘Data Nation’: Israel’s surprisingly large imprint on big data

This week, I sat at a trendy restaurant on Tel Aviv’s beachfront — just steps away from SiSense’s research-and-development center — talking all things data with O’Reilly’s research director Roger Magoulas, chief data scientist Ben Lorica, and vice president of conferences Gina Blaber. O’Reilly’s first trip to Israel was prompted by the realization (based on data analysis, of course) that Israel is a major hotspot for data science.
Lorica conducted an analysis of meetups and was surprised to discover this tiny Mediterranean country has such a strong data community. “While we examined only a few data meetups in Israel (and many more for the major European cities), we found that Israel had many more “active” Meetup members than all the other cities except for London (for which we looked at many more data meetups),” Lorica said.
Over the course of several days, GraphLab co-founder Danny Bickson introduced the O’Reilly contingent to more than 50 companies, from major players like Amdocs, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, SAP, Citibank, and LivePerson to nascent startups.

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