From the moment we formed the information management group within Dell Software, being an industry leader has been our singular focus. Leadership takes many forms, however, and I’m constantly reminding my team that if all we’re doing is developing and delivering great products, we’re not doing enough. Being a true leader means becoming an active member of the data and information management community, and providing thought leadership on how the industry can improve itself and better address the challenges practitioners face.

That’s why I’m proud to introduce you to the Data Curiosity meeting series, a new roundtable group formed by members of Dell Software’s information management team aimed at providing a forum to discuss industry issues. Based here in Austin, the grass-roots group is dedicated to bringing together members of the information management community to have real-life conversations about the most critical trends impacting data, and share ideas about how to better address them.

While Dell team members may have founded this group, if you attend a Data Curiosity roundtable, the first thing you’ll realize is it’s not all about Dell. In fact, only four of the 25 attendees at the maiden gathering were Dell employees. The rest were a cross-section of local industry professionals all interested in nothing more than a robust discussion and exchange of ideas. There’s no selling, no marketing and no product pushes – just genuine conversations about the biggest issues impacting the data and information management landscape.

When it comes to big issues, none are bigger right now than big data. As we all know, data is growing – in volume, velocity and variety – and there’s increased pressure to get more out of it. Organizations are increasingly turning to big data analytics in an effort to discover patterns and drive actionable business insights.

As this occurs, however, lots of other questions emerge: When does big data become intrusive? When does a company’s usage of big data to learn specific things about customers begin to become an invasion of customers’ privacy? Look for more on that topic in a forthcoming post, as big data privacy was the subject of the first Data Curiosity roundtable, hosted by Dell last month.

Needless to say, we expect these Data Curiosity roundtables to be characterized as evenings full of lively discussion and information exchange, and we’re excited because there are plenty more to come. Later this month, we’ll be hosting sessions on how to stay competitive with social analytics and how to leverage data analytics in connection with the internet of things.

Feel free to join us at any of our upcoming gatherings. Do you have any topics you would like to hear discussed at a future roundtable? If so, drop me a line at Matt_Wolken@Dell.com or on Twitter at @matthewwolken.