Top Data Engineering Conferences (2024)

Discover 2024's top data conferences: networking, insights, and growth. Learn about which conferences to attend here.
Last updated
May 2, 2024

And just like that, we’re about to wrap up the first month of 2024. Whether you’re a seasoned professional looking to sharpen your skills, or you’re looking to dive further into the world of data, conferences offer a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the data world for a few days. We’ve compiled a list of the top data conferences happening in 2024, so you can plan accordingly.

Data Day Texas

Date: January 27, 2024

Location: Austin, Texas 

Data Day Texas has been running since January 2011, and is one of the first NoSQL/Big Data conferences. Speakers and attendees from all over the world converge in Austin, to highlight the latest tools, techniques and projects in the data space. Fun fact: Data Day is the largest independent data-centric event held within 1000 miles of Texas 🤠

If you’re there, you’ll catch Secoda’s own Head of Data, Lindsay Murphy, who will be speaking at the conference. Lindsay is going to be sharing her thoughts on cost containment, and how data teams can scale and function on a budget. If you’re at Data Day, don’t miss her talk and say hello!

Data Council

Date: March 26 - 28, 2024

Location: Austin, Texas 

Another one for Texas! Data Council is the self-described “no Bullsh*t data conference”. A vendor neutral conference with a promise to source the best tech talks from the community and experts who are leading the future of data and AI. Data Council is a big one, set over three days, with 100+ speakers and almost 1000 attendees expected this year.

The team at Data Council focuses on curating a deeply technical roster of speakers that go beyond white paper-level details and provide inspiration and vision into the future of data. Come to the conference for the impressive speaker roster, and attend all the workshops you want - workshops at Data Council are free for attendees, so you can get hands-on training from the builders of the tools themselves.

MDS Fest

Date: April 8 - 12, 2024

Location: Virtual 

There is a bit of story behind the launch of MDS Fest last year. MDS Fest is an idea formed from rejection - after many hopeful speakers submitted pitches to speak at dbt’s 2023 Coalesce conference, and a large number of community talks were rejected. Dialogue brewed in the community about starting another conference to offer a place for the data community to share their insights and stories. 

The core value of MDS Fest is amplifying voices in the community, to encourage more data enthusiasts, especially first-time speakers, to come together and share their stories. 

Now in its second year, MDS Fest 2.0 will return from April 8 - 12 with an impressive roster of speakers, all accessible for free

This year, attendees will be able to register for talks relating to five “tracks” that were sourced from the community:

1. Data-driven organizations: Leveraging data to optimize your product, marketing, finance, and operations is table stakes in today's world. Data teams help enable highly targeted marketing, personalization aligned to customer preferences, identification of product-market fit, and a reduction in the risk of investing in unsuccessful products.

2. Scale and complexity: The modern data stack has matured, and we’re now facing the issues that come from a surge in data volume and complexity: spaghetti DAGs, increasing number of dependencies, resourcing infrastructure maintenance, and rapidly growing costs of running infrastructure that often outpaces the value being delivered. Speakers will showcase how they’ve deployed scalable solutions that resulted in cost and operational efficiencies to maintain positive ROI.

3. Data quality: Untrustworthy data wastes your data team's limited resources and creates risk for the business. Most data quality solutions focus on alerting data teams to quality issues after something has gone wrong, but proactively identifying issues before they even happen can help data teams move more quickly and drive more trust with stakeholders. Speakers will showcase how they’ve optimized data quality for their business-critical pipelines.

4. Data discovery and literacy: "Self-serve analytics" and "data democratization" get a lot of attention across discussions of the modern data stack, but to be successful, these require data access and literacy across the organization. Speakers will showcase how they have improved data literacy and adoption of data products across their organization.

5. Career growth and skill development: With an ever-changing toolbox and skillset to learn, data professionals must remain at the top of their game to ride this wave, and advancing in your career as a data practitioner can feel as clear as mud. Speakers will share skills, advice, strategies, or best practices to position for success in a data career path.

We’ll be announcing the full speaker lineup soon. Keep your eyes peeled for announcements related to MDS Fest 2.0’s lineup, and how to register. Check out the official website, join our Slack community, or follow us on Linkedin for all the updates.

Toronto Wxmen in Data Science

Date: May 2, 2024

Location: Toronto, Ontario

The 7th annual Toronto Wxmen in Data Science is driven by the mission to diversify the talent pipeline for data careers, by providing programming that celebrates women in data, educates those interested in the field through events, mentorship and data product co-creation, and partnering with organizations that are committed to inclusive cultures where women can thrive.

The conference is made up of talks and panels on business, technical and ethical aspects of data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Toronto Wxmen in Data Science is fostering a vibrant global network where women have access to opportunities that affirm their potential power as leaders in data science.

Snowflake Data Cloud Summit

Date: June 3 - 6, 2024

Location: San Francisco, California

Snowflake Summit is a big one. 4 days, 12 tracks, 450 sessions and 200 partners - Snowflake Summit promises to explore the most cutting-edge innovation the data cloud has to offer. This year’s conference has a heavy focus on AI, with the latest in AI and genAI being key topics. Learn what’s new in Snowflake, innovations in AI & ML, data engineering, governance and compliance, modern data architecture and so much more at Snowflake Summit. There are also a number of hand-on labs that will be presented by expert instructors, where you can have all your questions answered and polish your technical skills.

Data + AI Summit by Databricks

Date: June 10 - 13, 2024

Location: San Francisco, California

Just a few days after Snowflake Summit, stick around in San Francisco a few days longer and hit up the Data + AI Summit from Databricks. At the conference, you’ll join a global community of data professionals and experts from all over the globe from a wide array of fields. Last year in addition to the keynote sessions, there were over 250 breakout sessions for attendees to get to know each other and work collaboratively - a great chance to meet data professionals from all over the world.


Date: July 11 - 12, 2024

Location: Columbus, Ohio

Formerly known as the Women in Analytics Conference, DataConnect is an annual conference that brings together industry leaders, technical experts and entrepreneurs to dive deep into data’s latest trends and innovations across analytics, machine learning and AI. With a speaker line-up reserved exclusively for women, the conference welcomes data professionals of all technical skill levels, with over 2000 attendees last year.

The conference's mission is to provide visibility to women making an impact in the analytics space, and provide a platform for them to lead conversation around technical advancements in their field. With tracks like Governance, Leadership & Strategy, Data Engineering & Management, and Communicating Insights, attendees can tailor their agendas to align with their interests and experiences.

Big Data London

Date: September 18 - 19, 2024

Location: London, England

Big Data London is the UK’s leading data, analytics and AI conference. The conference is free to attend, and brings together over 180 partners, 300 expert speakers for discussions, panel debates, and networking. There are 15 different tracks, from talks around the modern data stack to data governance, to data mesh - there is something for everyone at Big Data London.

dbt Coalesce

Date: October 7 - 10, 2024

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Hosted by dbt Labs, Coalesce exists to advance the practice of the analytics engineering industry. The conference invites anyone who seeks new tips, tools, or techniques for more impactful data work to attend. With thousands of attendees, Coalesce is a fantastic way to expand your network and meet other data professionals from around the world.

Last year was my first year attending a data conference, when the Secoda team headed to dbt Coalesce in San Diego. It was a blast - you can read the recap here. My favorite part about the conference was the way it brought the data community together, and we got to meet so many people from around the world. After many webinars, online gatherings and local meetups, it was amazing to see an auditorium full of data professionals, bringing together industry leaders, experts and enthusiasts to share their insights and ideas. 

Why should you make a case to attend a conference?

Making a case to attend a conference can be justified by several key reasons, including:

  1. Networking: Conferences provide an opportunity to meet like-minded people, industry peers, potential prospects, and existing clients, allowing for the exchange of ideas and the establishment of valuable relationships..
  2. Learning and Skill Development: Attending conferences offers access to workshops, lectures, and discussions that can provide new knowledge, insights, and skills relevant to your industry, ultimately helping you to grow both personally and professionally.
  3. Business Development: Conferences allow you to find new prospects, build relationships with existing clients, and meet potential business partners, which can lead to new customer acquisition, partnerships, or even career growth.
  4. Brand Building and Visibility: Conferences provide a platform to speak publicly about your business, thereby helping to generate interest, build brand reputation, and practice pitching your company and its services.
  5. Motivation and Inspiration: By offering inspiring stories and the chance to recharge motivation and energy levels, conferences can have a positive impact on your mindset and professional drive.

How to make a case to attend a conference

Follow these steps to make a case to attend a data conference this year:

  1. Align with Organizational Goals: Connect the conference to your organization's strategic plan. Emphasize how your attendance will contribute to the company's objectives and growth.
  2. Highlight Learning and Development: Emphasize the educational and skill development opportunities the conference offers. Explain how the knowledge and insights gained will benefit your role and the organization.
  3. Networking and Business Opportunities: Stress the potential for networking, lead generation, and business development. Explain how attending the conference can lead to new partnerships, clients, or industry insights.
  4. Request Letter: Prepare a justification letter that outlines the purpose of the conference, its unique value, and a sample agenda of sessions you plan to attend. Include a cost breakdown and emphasize the potential return on investment (ROI) for the organization.
  5. Post-Conference Recap: Propose a post-conference recap or a "lunch and learn" session to share relevant highlights and insights with colleagues, maximizing the knowledge transfer within the organization.

By following these steps, you can effectively make a compelling business case to attend a conference, emphasizing how it aligns with organizational goals, supports learning and development, and offers valuable networking and business opportunities.

MDS fest is free so that one is a no-brainer!

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