Belfast's role as a 'big data' centre is set to strengthen next month when it hosts a major global technology festival which will link in with over 30 cities across the world.
Speakers from firms like IBM, SAP, Fujitsu and PwC will share their knowledge on commercial opportunities, privacy and data security and will provide insight into the future direction of technology across the world, as well as its potential application by Northern Irish businesses.
Big Data Week events will take place around the world in London, LA, Kuala Lumpur, Washington, Berlin, Lagos and Madrid as well as Belfast, which is set to attract more than 100 big data experts to the main Northern Ireland "Big Data Insights" conference on May 7 at Titanic Belfast.
The term 'big data' refers to the technologies and practice of handling data so large that conventional databases cannot handle them efficiently, while analysis of the details extracted from big data helps inform many global companies in honing their business models.
The market for the sector is set to reach $16.1bn (£9.6bn) this year, growing six times faster than the overall IT market.
Andrew Gregson, founder of media140 and Big Data Week London, said that the role of data in business, health, science, technology, retail and entertainment will be a key differentiator for the organisations that succeed in the next digital wave.
"Big Data Week educates and creates new opportunities for organisations of all shapes and sizes in understanding what Big Data can do for them now and in the future." he said.
Dr Stephen McKeown, chief executive of Analytics Engines, coordinators of the Belfast conference, added: "Through insightful speeches, engaging panel sessions and the work of all our partners in Big Data Week, this promises to be a key milestone for all those interested in technology in Ireland."
Satellite events will also be taking place on May 8 and 9 across Belfast.
For information on the itinerary and ticketing log on to www.bigdataweek.com/belfast.