Microsoft DataNext: ‘Putting AI Innovation into Action’ ended on a successful note

The event saw participation from over 1000+ industry leaders across enterprises, small-medium businesses and startups.
Microsoft DataNext: 'Putting AI Innovation into Action' ended on a successful note

The AI-focused virtual summit, ‘DataNext: Putting AI innovation into action,’ successfully concluded on March 22, 2022. The event saw the participation of over 1000+ industry stakeholders across businesses, 40+ speakers, and 15+ immersive demos and industry-specific solutions to improve business outcomes powered by data, analytics and AI

These sessions gave an in-depth insight into some of the best practices and megatrends curated with exclusive live showcases of technological innovations, immersive demos, hands-on labs, and more. Some of the speakers and delegates who participated in the day-long digital event included Gramener CEO Anand S, Flipkart’s SVP, and Head of Analytics and Applied Sciences Ravi Vijayaraghavan; Microsoft Asia’s GM Data and AI Renee Lo; Microsoft India CTO Dahnesh Dilkhush, among others. 

At the opening session, Anand S from Gramener, who spoke on ‘Natural intelligence: Teaching humans to use data,’ highlighted the importance of telling stories with data and how businesses can leverage this to present their data vividly. 


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“Don’t share the analysis. Don’t share the data. Instead, share the insights as complete stories,” said Anand S, saying that the real effectiveness of clear storytelling comes with practice. 

Following that, in an exclusive spotlight session, Flipkart’s SVP Vijayaraghavan spoke on ‘Analytics and Data Science for E-commerce – overview and use cases on Customer Experience’. In one of the most insightful sessions of the Microsoft DataNext event, he explained how the Indian eCommerce giant uses analytics and data science techniques to solve multiple business problems and enhance the customer experience in real-time. The session predominantly focused on applications of consumer modelling by leveraging various AI/ML techniques and statistical methods in driving a better experience for its customers. 

This was followed by a keynote presentation from Microsoft Asia’s GM data and AI Renee Lo, where she spoke on the topic’ Future of Decisions: A Chief Digital Officer’s ‘Top of Mind’. Here, she addressed some of the underlying factors driving digital transformation today, and how business leaders and CDOs can navigate through ambiguity.

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She said that businesses should look at the entire landscape and not just a data platform. Further, she emphasised that businesses should look at their people, operating model and executive strategy, to ultimately work on big business use cases, impacting the entire organisation. 

What did you miss? 

The one-day Microsoft DataNext event had exciting industry-focused roundtable discussions, deep-dive tech workshops and solution demos across diverse topics and formats. 

The keynote speech was followed by a roundtable discussion on ‘how CDOs can enable data-driven culture within organisations.’ The session was moderated by Biswajit Das, Director at KPMG, alongside other industry leaders, including Microsoft India CTO of Azure Dahnesh Dikhush, Innominds’ Meduri Ravi Kumar, Happiest Minds Technologies’ Ajay Agarwal, eClerx’s Gokulraj Perumal, Capillary Technologies’ Gaurav Mehta, CMS Info Systems’ Rohit Kilam, and Cigniti Technologies’ Rajesh Pawar. 

Other tech roundtable discussions included: 

  • ‘Accelerated digital transformation roadmap of banking and fintech,’ moderated by Ankit Saran, Partner, Consulting | AI – Data & Analytics (India) at Deloitte, alongside industry panellist Microsoft India’s senior director of data and AI Swapna Bapat, Maveric Systems’ Srivatsa Subbanna, Aegon Life’s CSO Srinidhi Shama Rao, Avendus’ Puneet Shivam, Eko’s head of data science Armish Sonkar, and Shubham Housing Development Finance Company’s analytics head Gouri Shankar Yadav. 
  • ‘Rethink their data strategies, a priority for digital-native companies, moderated by Prashant Kaddi, Partner | AI & Data, Deloitte, alongside industry experts APJ of Microsoft Corporation Sunit Kannan, Lenskart’s SVP analytics and CRM Saurabh Agarwal, Dream11 SVP head of analytics and decision sciences Arun Pai, Pine Labs’ head of data products Karthik Sivakumar, Vedantu’s head of analytics and decision sciences Anand Tuli and Meesho’s senior director of data science Ravindra Yadav. 
  • ‘Unlock value from data in real-time in a post-Covid retail world,’ moderated by Ankit Saran, Partner, Consulting | AI – Data & Analytics (India) at Deloitte. The other panellists in the roundtable discussion included Microsoft India country leader for retail, healthcare and growth vertical Bhavana Yerrumreddy; Tata 1 mg’s Rishit Jain; Adani Ports and SEZ Pradeep Jayaraman; Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail’s Srinivas Gopinath; Mahindra Group’s group VP Vineet Shukla; and Aditya Birla Group’s SVP Sudip Mitra. 
  • ‘Into Focus – Data and AI: highlights from Ignite 21’ This tech session was led by Microsoft’s CVP AI Platform Eric Boyd with demos from Microsoft solution experts and external enterprise leaders giving real-life examples. 

Tech Workshops:

Besides these tech roundtable discussions, Microsoft DataNext had a series of workshops around data modernisation, cloud-scale analytics, and Azure AI from leading solution experts across Asia, Australia and India, comprising topics such as 

  • Future proof your business and innovate faster with a fully managed PostgreSQL database on Azure, presented by Brian McKerr, Senior Specialist – Data & AI, Microsoft Australia. 
  • Limitless analytics service with a unified experience possible with Azure Synapse Analytics. Aditi Rathi, Director of Product Growth – Analytics & AI at Microsoft India
  • Democratising Intelligent and Humanoid Automation with Azure Speech and Language AI, by Sandeep Alur, Director, India Microsoft Technology Center.
  • ‘Unlock single-digit millisecond response times, instant scalability and speed with Azure Cosmos DB’, by Srikanth Sridhar, Global Black Belt | Sr Specialist – Azure Cosmos DB, Microsoft Asia. 
  • Build modern data solutions with real-time insights using Azure Synapse Analytics with Power BI, by Arvind Raman, Azure Solution Specialist at Microsoft India 
  • ‘Build & deploy accurate models in a faster & secure way with Azure Machine Learning, by Aruna Chakkirala, Senior Cloud Solutions Architect, Microsoft India. 
  • Modernise your applications and enjoy hybrid flexibility with Azure SQL, by Shashank Pawar, Azure SQL Modernisation Engagement Lead, Microsoft Asia
  • Azure Purview – Unified Data Governance approach for a diverse data estate workshop, by Athena DSouza, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft India
  • Leverage Azure’s AI-powered RPA to manage unstructured data and actionable insights, by Lini Karanath, Director of Customer Success – Data & AI, Microsoft India.

Solution showcase: 

  • Microsoft Technology Center’s Sr. Technical Architect, Shikha Agarwal, shared cutting-edge solutions on emerging tech such as GPT-3 – A new Wave Of Machine Learning, Cloud-based Intelligent Contact Center Demo, Microsoft’s Echo System for Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence and Microsoft Azure Synapse and Cognitive Services: Unleashing the Power of Your Data.
  • Senior Azure specialists also presented on Azure Machine Learning Studio Experience, Cosmos DB features, capabilities and its instant scalability. 


  • Microsoft partner solutions demos comprised Digital Transformation through Data Modernisation by Knowledge Lens; 
  • ‘vChek +vTalli +vInspkt demo’ by JumpStart Ninja, Voice Bots in Hinglish (With Speech Analytics) presented by Celebal Technologies;
  • ‘How modern data strategies can accelerate innovation and build smart, customer-centric, scalable solutions on cloud and edge by Infoqort 
  • Supercharge Real-Time Customer experiences with Azure Cache by Redis  

A final note 

Microsoft DataNext summit was curated in collaboration with Analytics India Magazine. The event was aimed to help business and technology leaders understand and unlock the next wave of data and AI solutions for accelerated growth. 

Check out more details of the event here. Also, you can now watch the sessions on-demand here.

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Amit Raja Naik
Amit Raja Naik is a seasoned technology journalist who covers everything from data science to machine learning and artificial intelligence for Analytics India Magazine, where he examines the trends, challenges, ideas, and transformations across the industry.

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