Ali Ghodsi

Co-founder & CEO Original Creator of Apache Spark, Databricks

Ali Ghodsi is the CEO and co-founder of Databricks, responsible for the growth and international expansion of the company. He previously served as the VP of Engineering and Product Management before taking the role of CEO in January 2016. In addition to his work at Databricks, Ali serves as an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley and is on the board at UC Berkeley’s RiseLab. Ali was one of the original creators of open source project, Apache Spark, and ideas from his academic research in the areas of resource management and scheduling and data caching have been applied to Apache Mesos and Apache Hadoop. Ali received his MBA from Mid-Sweden University in 2003 and PhD from KTH/Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden in 2006 in the area of Distributed Computing.


Thursday Morning Keynote Summit 2021

The pursuit of AI is one of the biggest priorities in data today. Databricks co-founders Reynold Xin and Patrick Wendell will cover the latest advancements on the Apache Spark and MLflow projects.

Additionally, the keynote will explore how data scientists are using Databricks to develop and operationalize machine learning models at scale, and the new enhancements to the Databricks platform to make the machine learning workflow even easier and more powerful. 

Speakers include:

Ali Ghodsi - Databricks

Reynold Xin - Databricks

Brooke Wenig - Databricks

Matei Zaharia - Databricks

Clemens Mewald - Databricks

Kasey Uhlenhuth - Databricks

Patrick Baginski - McDonald's

Abhi Bhatt - McDonald's

Rohan Kumar - Microsoft

Bill Nye - Guest Speaker

Wednesday Morning Keynote Summit 2021

Join the Day 1 keynote to hear from Databricks co-founders and original creators of Apache Spark Ali Ghodsi, Matei Zaharia, and Reynold Xin on how the open source community is taking on the biggest challenges in data.

This talk will deep dive on the latest updates on the Delta Lake project and how it's realizing the vision of lakehouse architecture to help data teams tackle their toughest challenges. The keynote will also cover the latest data management innovations on the Databricks platform.

Keynotes this morning include:

Ali Ghodsi - Databricks

Bill Inmon Michael Armbrust - Databricks

Rohan Dhupelia - Atlassian

Matei Zaharia - Databricks

Reynold Xin - Databricks

Matt Garman - AWS

Malala Yoursafzai



Spark + AI Summit 2020: Thursday Morning Keynotes Summit 2020

Clemens Mewal - Next Generation Data Science Workspace (Databricks) - 9:06 Lauren Richie - DEMO: Next Generation Data Science Workspace (Databricks) - 17:55 Matei Zaharia - MLflow Community and Product Updates (Databricks) - 27:40 Sue Ann Hong - DEMO: MLflow (Databricks) - 42:57 Rohan Kumar - Responsible ML (Microsoft) - 51:52 Sarah Bird - DEMO: Responsible ML (Microsoft) - 1:00:21 Anurag Sehgal - Data and AI (Credit Suisse) - 1:12:58

Introducing the Next Generation Data Science Workspace
Ali Ghodsi, Clemens Mewald and Lauren Richie

It is no longer a secret that data driven insights and decision making are essential in any company’s strategy to keep up with today’s rapid pace of change and remain relevant. Although we take this realization for granted, we are still in the very early stage of enabling data teams to deliver on their promise. One of the reasons is that we haven’t equipped this profession with the modern toolkit they deserve.

Existing solutions leave data teams with impossible trade-offs. Giving Data Scientists the freedom to use any open source tools on their laptops doesn’t provide a clear path to production and governance. Simply hosting those same tools in the Cloud may solve some of the data privacy and security issues, but doesn’t improve productivity nor collaboration. On the other hand, most robust and scalable production environments hinder innovation and experimentation by slowing Data Scientists down.

In this talk, we will unveil the next generation of the Databricks Data Science Workspace: An open and unified experience for modern data teams specifically designed to address these hard tradeoffs. We will introduce new features that leverage the open source tools you are familiar with to give you a laptop-like experience that provides the flexibility to experiment and the robustness to create reliable and reproducible production solutions.

Simplifying Model Development and Management with MLflow
Matei Zaharia and Sue Ann Hong

As organizations continue to develop their machine learning (ML) practice, the need for robust and reliable platforms capable of handling the entire ML lifecycle is becoming crucial for successful outcomes. Building models is difficult enough to do once, but deploying them into production in a reproducible, agile, and predictable way is exponentially harder due to the dependencies on parameters, environments, and the ever changing nature of data and business needs.

Introduced by Databricks in 2018, MLflow is the most widely used open source platform for managing the full ML lifecycle. With over 2 million PyPI downloads a month and over 200 contributors, the growing support from the developer community demonstrates the need for an open source approach to standardize tools, processes, and frameworks involved throughout the ML lifecycle. MLflow significantly simplifies the complex process of standardizing MLOps and productionizing ML models. In this talk, we’ll cover what’s new in MLflow, including simplified experiment tracking, new innovations to the model format to improve portability, new features to manage and compare model schemas, and new capabilities for deploying models faster.

Responsible ML - Bringing Accountability to Data Science
Rohan Kumar and Sarah Bird

Responsible ML is the most talked about field in AI at the moment. With the growing importance of ML, it is even more important for us to exercise ethical AI practices and ensure that the models we create live up to the highest standards of inclusiveness and transparency. Join Rohan Kumar, as he talks about how Microsoft brings cutting-edge research into the hands of customers to make them more accountable for their models and responsible in their use of AI. For the AI community, this is an open invitation to collaborate and contribute to shape the future of Responsible ML.

How Credit Suisse Is Leveraging Open Source Data and AI Platforms to Drive Digital Transformation, Innovation and Growth
Anurag Sehgal

Despite the increasing embrace of big data and AI, most financial services companies still experience significant challenges around data types, privacy, and scale. Credit Suisse is overcoming these obstacles by standardizing on open, cloud-based platforms, including Azure Databricks, to increase the speed and scale of operations, and the democratization of ML across the organization. Now, Credit Suisse is leading the way by successfully employing data and analytics to drive digital transformation, delivering new products to market faster, and driving business growth and operational efficiency.

Spark + AI Summit 2020: Wednesday Morning Keynotes Summit 2020

Ali Ghodsi - Intro to Lakehouse, Delta Lake (Databricks) - 46:40 Matei Zaharia - Spark 3.0, Koalas 1.0 (Databricks) - 17:03 Brooke Wenig - DEMO: Koalas 1.0, Spark 3.0 (Databricks) - 35:46 Reynold Xin - Introducing Delta Engine (Databricks) - 1:01:50 Arik Fraimovich - Redash Overview & DEMO (Databricks) - 1:27:25 Vish Subramanian - Brewing Data at Scale (Starbucks) - 1:39:50

Realizing the Vision of the Data Lakehouse
Ali Ghodsi

Data warehouses have a long history in decision support and business intelligence applications. But, data warehouses were not well suited to dealing with the unstructured, semi-structured, and streaming data common in modern enterprises. This led to organizations building data lakes of raw data about a decade ago. But, they also lacked important capabilities. The need for a better solution has given rise to the data lakehouse, which implements similar data structures and data management features to those in a data warehouse, directly on the kind of low cost storage used for data lakes.

This keynote by Databricks CEO, Ali Ghodsi, explains why the open source Delta Lake project takes the industry closer to realizing the full potential of the data lakehouse, including new capabilities within the Databricks Unified Data Analytics platform to significantly accelerate performance. In addition, Ali will announce new open source capabilities to collaboratively run SQL queries against your data lake, build live dashboards, and alert on important changes to make it easier for all data teams to analyze and understand their data.

Introducing Apache Spark 3.0:
A retrospective of the Last 10 Years, and a Look Forward to the Next 10 Years to Come.
Matei Zaharia and Brooke Wenig

In this keynote from Matei Zaharia, the original creator of Apache Spark, we will highlight major community developments with the release of Apache Spark 3.0 to make Spark easier to use, faster, and compatible with more data sources and runtime environments. Apache Spark 3.0 continues the project’s original goal to make data processing more accessible through major improvements to the SQL and Python APIs and automatic tuning and optimization features to minimize manual configuration. This year is also the 10-year anniversary of Spark’s initial open source release, and we’ll reflect on how the project and its user base has grown, as well as how the ecosystem around Spark (e.g. Koalas, Delta Lake and visualization tools) is evolving to make large-scale data processing simpler and more powerful.

Delta Engine: High Performance Query Engine for Delta Lake
Reynold Xin

How Starbucks is Achieving its 'Enterprise Data Mission' to Enable Data and ML at Scale and Provide World-Class Customer Experiences
Vish Subramanian

Starbucks makes sure that everything we do is through the lens of humanity – from our commitment to the highest quality coffee in the world, to the way we engage with our customers and communities to do business responsibly. A key aspect to ensuring those world-class customer experiences is data. This talk highlights the Enterprise Data Analytics mission at Starbucks that helps making decisions powered by data at tremendous scale. This includes everything ranging from processing data at petabyte scale with governed processes, deploying platforms at the speed-of-business and enabling ML across the enterprise. This session will detail how Starbucks has built world-class Enterprise data platforms to drive world-class customer experiences.

Unified Data Analytics: Helping Data Teams Solve the World’s Toughest Problems Summit Europe 2019

In this talk, we will highlight the opportunity data presents to tackle world’s toughest problems. In spite of the promise that data presents, most data teams are challenged with data, technology and organizational silos. Unified Data Analytics presents a radically different approach to unlock the data potential by unifying all your data with your analytics - from Business Intelligence to Machine Learning.

Ali Ghodsi, Michael Armbrust | Delta Lake Summit 2019

Ali Ghodsi (Databricks), Michael Armbrust (Databricks) - Keynote from Spark + AI Summit 2019

The Power of Unified Analytics – NA Keynote Summit 2018

Ali is the CEO and co-founder of Databricks, responsible for the growth and international expansion of the company. Ali was one of the original creators of open source project, Apache Spark, and ideas from his academic research in the areas of resource management and scheduling and data caching have been applied to Apache Mesos and Apache Hadoop. Ali received his MBA from Mid-Sweden University in 2003 and PhD from KTH/Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden in 2006 in the area of Distributed Computing

Databricks Keynote Summit 2017

Democratizing Access to Data Summit East 2016

Databricks' vision is to make big data simple for the enterprise. In this keynote, Databricks co-founder and CEO - Ali Ghodsi - will announce the beta release of Databricks Community Edition, a free version of our cloud-based Spark platform with the goal of making Spark easy to learn and accessible to the masses.

Announcing Databricks Delta Summit Europe 2017

Databricks CEO Ali Ghodsi introduces Databricks Delta, a new data management system that combines the scale and cost-efficiency of a data lake, the performance and reliability of a data warehouse, and the low latency of streaming.

Learn more:
  • Databricks Delta Guide
  • Databricks Delta: A Unified Data Management System for Real-time Big Data