26 - 27 July 2018, NIMHANS Convention Centre
Status: Open for feedback

About the conference and topics for submitting talks:

The Fifth Elephant is rated as India’s best data conference. It is a conference for practitioners, by practitioners. In 2018, The Fifth Elephant will complete its seventh edition.

The Fifth Elephant is an evolving community of stakeholders invested in data in India. Our goal is to strengthen and grow this community by presenting talks, panels and Off The Record (OTR) sessions that present real insights about:

1. Data engineering and architecture: tools, frameworks, infrastructure, architecture, case studies and scaling.
2. Data science and machine learning: fundamentals, algorithms, streaming, tools, domain specific and data specific examples, case studies.
3. The journey and challenges in building data driven products: design, data insights, visualisation, culture, security, governance and case studies.
4. Talks around an emerging domain: such as IoT, finance, e-commerce, payments or data in government.

Target audience:

You should attend and speak at The Fifth Elephant if your work involves:

  1. Engineering and architecting data pipelines.
  2. Building ML models, pipelines and architectures.
  3. ML engineering.
  4. Analyzing data to build features for existing products.
  5. Using data to predict outcomes.
  6. Using data to create / model visualizations.
  7. Building products with data – either as product managers or as decision scientists.
  8. Researching concepts and deciding on algorithms for analyzing datasets.
  9. Mining data with greater speed and efficiency.
  10. Developer evangelists from organizations which want developers to use their APIs and technologies for machine learning, full stack engineering, and data science.

Perks for submitting proposals:

Submitting a proposal, especially with our process, is hard work. We appreciate your effort.
We offer one conference ticket at discounted price to each proposer, and a t-shirt.
We only accept one speaker per talk. This is non-negotiable. Workshops may have more than one instructor. In case of proposals where more than one person has been mentioned as collaborator, we offer the discounted ticket and t-shirt only to the person with who the editorial team corresponded directly during the evaluation process.


The Fifth Elephant is a two-day conference with two tracks on each day. Track details will be announced with a draft schedule in February 2018.

We are accepting sessions with the following formats:

  1. Full talks of 40 minutes.
  2. Crisp talks of 20 minutes.
  3. Off the Record (OTR) sessions on focussed topics / questions. An OTR is 60-90 minutes long and typically has up to four facilitators and one moderator.
  4. Workshops and tutorials of 3-6 hours duration on Machine Learning concepts and tools, full stack data engineering, and data science concepts and tools.
  5. Pre-events. Birds Of Feather (BOF) sessions, talks, and workshops for open houses and pre-events in Bangalore and other cities between October 2017 and June 2018.** Reach out to info@hasgeek.com should you be interested in speaking and/or hosting a community event between now and the conference in July 2018.

Selection criteria:

The first filter for a proposal is whether the technology or solution you are referring to is open source or not. The following criteria apply for closed source talks:

  1. If the technology or solution is proprietary, and you want to speak about your proprietary solution to make a pitch to the audience, you should pick up a sponsored session. This involves paying for the speaking slot. Write to fifthelephant.editorial@hasgeek.com
  2. If the technology or solution is in the process of being open sourced, we will consider the talk only if the solution is open sourced at least three months before the conference.
  3. If your solution is closed source, you should consider proposing a talk explaining why you built it in the first place; what options did you consider (business-wise and technology-wise) before making the decision to develop the solution; or, what is your specific use case that left you without existing options and necessitated creating the in-house solution.

The criteria for selecting proposals, in the order of importance, are:

  1. Key insight or takeaway: what can you share with participants that will help them in their work and in thinking about the ML, big data and data science problem space?
  2. Structure of the talk and flow of content: a detailed outline – either as mindmap or draft slides or textual description – will help us understand the focus of the talk, and the clarity of your thought process.
  3. Ability to communicate succinctly, and how you engage with the audience. You must submit link to a two-minute preview video explaining what your talk is about, and what is the key takeaway for the audience.

No one submits the perfect proposal in the first instance. We therefore encourage you to:

  1. Submit your proposal early so that we have more time to iterate if the proposal has potential.
  2. Talk to us on our community Slack channel: https://friends.hasgeek.com if you want to discuss an idea for your proposal, and need help / advice on how to structure it. Head over to the link to request an invite and join #fifthel.

Our editorial team helps potential speakers in honing their speaking skills, fine tuning and rehearsing content at least twice - before the main conference - and sharpening the focus of talks.

How to submit a proposal (and increase your chances of getting selected):

The following guidelines will help you in submitting a proposal:

  1. Focus on why, not how. Explain to participants why you made a business or engineering decision, or why you chose a particular approach to solving your problem.
  2. The journey is more important than the solution you may want to explain. We are interested in the journey, not the outcome alone. Share as much detail as possible about how you solved the problem. Glossing over details does not help participants grasp real insights.
  3. Focus on what participants from other domains can learn/abstract from your journey / solution. Refer to these talks from The Fifth Elephant 2017, which participants liked most: http://hsgk.in/2uvYKI9 and http://hsgk.in/2ufhbWb
  4. We do not accept how-to talks unless they demonstrate latest technology. If you are demonstrating new tech, show enough to motivate participants to explore the technology later. Refer to talks such as this: http://hsgk.in/2vDpag4 and http://hsgk.in/2varOqt to structure your proposal.
  5. Similarly, we don’t accept talks on topics that have already been covered in the previous editions. If you are unsure about whether your proposal falls in this category, drop an email to: fifthelephant.editorial@hasgeek.com
  6. Content that can be read off the internet does not interest us. Our participants are keen to listen to use cases and experience stories that will help them in their practice.

To summarize, we do not accept talks that gloss over details or try to deliver high-level knowledge without covering depth. Talks have to be backed with real insights and experiences for the content to be useful to participants.

Passes and honorarium for speakers:

We pay an honorarium of Rs. 3,000 to each speaker and workshop instructor at the end of their talk/workshop. Confirmed speakers and instructors also get a pass to the conference and networking dinner. We do not provide free passes for speakers’ colleagues and spouses.

Travel grants for outstation speakers:

Travel grants are available for international and domestic speakers. We evaluate each case on its merits, giving preference to women, people of non-binary gender, and Africans. If you require a grant, request it when you submit your proposal in the field where you add your location. The Fifth Elephant is funded through ticket purchases and sponsorships; travel grant budgets vary.

Last date for submitting proposals is: 31 March 2018.

You must submit the following details along with your proposal, or within 10 days of submission:

  1. Draft slides, mind map or a textual description detailing the structure and content of your talk.
  2. Link to a self-recorded, two-minute preview video, where you explain what your talk is about, and the key takeaways for participants. This preview video helps conference editors understand the lucidity of your thoughts and how invested you are in presenting insights beyond the solution you have built, or your use case. Please note that the preview video should be submitted irrespective of whether you have spoken at past editions of The Fifth Elephant.
  3. If you submit a workshop proposal, you must specify the target audience for your workshop; duration; number of participants you can accommodate; pre-requisites for the workshop; link to GitHub repositories and a document showing the full workshop plan.

Contact details:

For more information about the conference, sponsorships, or any other information contact support@hasgeek.com or call 7676332020.

Confirmed sessions

# Speaker Section Level +1 Submitted
1 Design for Data  
Paul Meinshausen (@pmeins) Full talk Beginner 2 0 Thu, 12 Jul
2 The power of intuition in data science, and why it will always have a role  
Avi Patchava (@avipatch) Full talk Beginner 3 3 Wed, 4 Jul
3 Compromising a $6B big data project through poor data quality: the Aadhaar case study  
Anand Venkatanarayanan (@anandvenkatanarayanan) Full talk Beginner 2 0 Mon, 2 Jul
4 GDPR- The wave of Data Privacy
Aina Rao (nagu rao) (@ainarao) Intermediate 2 0 Sun, 1 Jul
5 The right to privacy versus the people's right to know: challenges and the way forward  
Sushant Sinha (@sushant354) Full talk Beginner 2 0 Wed, 27 Jun
6 Data science for business: adopting analytics without paralysis
Ajay Kelkar Full talk Beginner 2 0 Wed, 27 Jun
7 The battle for privacy: right to be forgotten in India  
Jyoti Panday (@pandayjyoti) Full talk Beginner 1 0 Tue, 26 Jun
8 Weaponizing data for politics  
Shivam Shankar Singh (@shivamshankars) Full talk Beginner 2 0 Wed, 20 Jun
9 Seeing through the eyes of a self-driving car: visualizing autonomous vehicle data on the web
Xiaoji Chen (@xiaoji) Full talk Intermediate 1 0 Wed, 13 Jun
10 Michelangelo: Uber's machine learning platform
Achal Shah (@achals) Full talk Intermediate 3 2 Wed, 13 Jun
11 So you think you know about linear regression ...
Chris Stucchio (@stucchio) Full talk Beginner 3 0 Mon, 11 Jun
12 A study in classification  
Ramanan Balakrishnan (@ramananbalakrishnan) Crisp talk Intermediate 1 0 Tue, 29 May
13 Operating data pipeline using Airflow @ Slack    
Ananth Durai (@vananth22) Full talk Advanced 1 0 Wed, 9 May
14 Needle in a haystack : entity search on text and graph  
Uma Sawant (@umasawant) Full talk Beginner 2 0 Tue, 1 May
15 Deep learning based hybrid recommendation systems in TensorFlow  
Vijay Srinivas Agneeswaran, Ph.D (@vijayagneeswaran) Workshop Intermediate 4 1 Wed, 25 Apr
16 Using structural estimation methods from economics to model user behaviour in bike-sharing systems    
Ashish Kabra (@akabra) Full talk Intermediate 2 3 Wed, 11 Apr
17 Our experiments with food recommendations @Swiggy  
nitin hardeniya (@noting) Crisp talk Intermediate 4 1 Sat, 31 Mar
18 Serviceability under high demand
Venkateshan K (@venky81) Full talk Intermediate 1 1 Sat, 31 Mar
19 User response prediction at scale    
Priyanka Bhatt (@priyanka-bhatt) Full talk Intermediate 8 2 Sat, 31 Mar
20 Improving product discovery via relevance and ranking optimization    
Akash Khandelwal (@akash099) Full talk Intermediate 4 2 Sat, 31 Mar
21 Scaling write-heavy OLTP systems with strong data guarantees: learning from Flipkart’s user facing order capture systems  
Gokulvanan V Velan (Customer Platform - VS) Full talk Intermediate 48 6 Sat, 31 Mar
22 Segmenting 500 million users using Airflow + Hive    
Soumya Shukla (@soumyashukla22) Crisp talk Intermediate 4 5 Sat, 31 Mar
23 Building analytics application with streaming expressions in Apache Solr    
Amrit Sarkar (@sarkaramrit2) Full talk Intermediate 2 2 Wed, 28 Mar
24 Building a next generation speech and NLU engine: in pursuit of multi-modal experience for Bixby    
Vikram Vij (@vikramvij) Crisp talk Intermediate 12 8 Wed, 28 Mar
25 Market propensity modelling using XStream: unified self-service analytics ETL and ML platform  
Puneet (@puneetkrojha) Sponsored talk Advanced 28 0 Tue, 27 Mar
26 Deep portfolio: using neural networks for portfolio construction  
Anant Gupta (@anantguptadbl) Full talk Intermediate 14 8 Tue, 27 Mar
27 Qubole Sparklens: understanding the scalability limits of Spark applications    
Rohit Karlupia (@sixthelephant) Full talk Intermediate 8 0 Mon, 26 Mar
28 Incremental transform of transactional data models to analytical data models in near real time    
Govind Pandey (@govind-pandey) Full talk Intermediate 14 2 Mon, 26 Mar
29 Improve data quality using Apache Airflow and check operator    
Sakshi Bansal (@sakshi28) Crisp talk Intermediate 25 4 Wed, 21 Mar
30 Scalability truths and serverless architectures: why it is harder with stateful, data-driven systems  
Regunath B Full talk Intermediate 9 0 Wed, 14 Mar
31 Atlas: GO-JEK’s real-time geospatial visualization platform  
Ravi Suhag (@ravisuhag) Full talk Intermediate 2 3 Tue, 20 Feb
32 Math for data science  
Vishal (@vishalgokhale) Workshop Beginner 0 0 Tue, 30 Jan

Unconfirmed proposals

# Speaker Section Level +1 Submitted
1 DIY - Data is Yours
Gaurav Singhania (@gauravsinghania) Intermediate 1 0 Mon, 25 Jun
2 Route risks using driving data on road segments
Jayanta Pal (@jayantapal) Intermediate 1 1 Wed, 20 Jun
3 Technology to counter misinformation/disinformation
Pratik Sinha (@pratiksinha) Crisp talk Intermediate 2 0 Sun, 17 Jun
4 NLP on भारतीय भाषाओं  
Hitesh Mantrala (@hitman-hittudiv) Crisp talk Intermediate 3 0 Wed, 23 May
5 An Introduction to Interactive Data Visualization with Bokeh
Uddipta Bhattacharjee (@uddiptab) Crisp talk Beginner 0 0 Sat, 31 Mar
6 Managing Machine Learning Models in Production  
Anand Chitipothu (@anandology) Crisp talk Intermediate 3 2 Sat, 31 Mar
7 DevOps for Data Science: Experiences from building a cloud-based data science platform  
Anand Chitipothu (@anandology) Full talk Intermediate 2 3 Sat, 31 Mar
8 Display prospecting using explore-exploit strategy    
Akshita Sukhlecha (@akshita-sukhlecha) Crisp talk Intermediate 7 1 Sat, 31 Mar
9 A Time Series Analysis of District-wise Government Spending  
Gaurav Godhwani (@gggodhwani) Full talk Beginner 7 2 Sat, 31 Mar
10 Personalized Recommendations for Computational Advertising    
Surabhi Punjabi (@surabhi-punjabi) Full talk Intermediate 6 0 Sat, 31 Mar
11 Building Streaming platform using Kafka Streams    
ADDEPALLI GIRIDHAR (@connect2ppl) Crisp talk Intermediate 7 1 Sat, 31 Mar
12 Expressing complex ETL pipelines using Cascading    
Neha Kumari (@neha-kumari) Crisp talk Beginner 13 0 Sat, 31 Mar
13 Building big data pipelines on kafka and kubernetes    
Abhishek Agarwal (@abhishek-appd) Full talk Intermediate 22 3 Sat, 31 Mar
14 Approximate Query Processing    
DEEPAK GOYAL (@zonker) Crisp talk Beginner 6 1 Sat, 31 Mar
15 Applying Lambda Architecture in Machine Learning realm    
Akash Khandelwal (@akash099) Full talk Intermediate 2 3 Sat, 31 Mar
16 Using Operations Research and Analytics to Propel the E-commerce Industry    
Dr Amit Garg (@garg78) Crisp talk Intermediate 9 2 Sat, 31 Mar
17 Machine Learning using Orange - It's Fruitful and Fun!    
Ankit Mahato (@ankitmahato) Workshop Beginner 2 0 Fri, 30 Mar
18 Driving Customer Service Optimization using supervised stack ensemble with natural language features    
Tredence Inc (proposing) Full talk Intermediate 19 4 Fri, 30 Mar
19 Scaling up our distributed query workloads using Kafka Streams + Rocks DB    
Ronakkumar Kothari (@ronakkothari) Full talk Intermediate 29 6 Fri, 30 Mar
20 Smart Campaign Planning Through "Intelligent" Email Outreach Using NLG    
Tredence Inc (proposing) Full talk Intermediate 20 5 Fri, 30 Mar
21 Building Scalable Machine Learning pipelines with Apache Prediction IO  
Rajdeep Dua (@rajdeepd) Full talk Intermediate 1 0 Fri, 30 Mar
22 Bad Data is No Better Than No Data! - Impact of Automation in Data Stewardship Workflows in Plant Agriculture Industry    
Karnam Vasudeva Rao (@vasukarnam) Crisp talk Intermediate 14 3 Fri, 30 Mar
23 Baking a cloud-native data warehouse from enterprise database leftovers    
Vineeti Louis (@vineetilouis) Crisp talk Intermediate 12 0 Tue, 27 Mar
24 Distributed Deep Learning    
Somya Kumar (@somyak) Crisp talk Intermediate 16 4 Mon, 26 Mar
25 What I learnt by running Apache Airflow @Scale
Sreenath S Kamath (@sree92) Crisp talk Intermediate 7 1 Mon, 26 Mar
26 Building microservices using kafka    
anugrah nayar (@codewalker) Crisp talk Beginner 7 2 Fri, 23 Mar
27 Using Data to make data processing reliable again
devjyoti (@kprotocol) Full talk Intermediate 16 2 Wed, 21 Mar
28 Hybrid Machine Learning with Azure IoT Edge
SUNIL KUMAR (@sunilkumarjb) Workshop Intermediate 4 2 Tue, 20 Mar
29 Business analytics on the cloud - a scalable model with R  
Praveen Chandrasekharan (@pchandra) Crisp talk Intermediate 30 4 Sun, 18 Mar
30 Banker to the unbanked- story of scale leveraging Data Science, AWS, Scala, Spark    
Arpit Gupta (@callarpit) Full talk Beginner 1 3 Fri, 16 Mar
31 Beyond Data stores & processing engines - Learnings from handling eCommerce Data in motion
Regunath B Full talk Intermediate 3 0 Thu, 15 Mar
32 Big Data Forensic Analytics  
Deepak Mane (@deepak5278) Full talk Beginner 1 3 Sun, 4 Mar
33 Complex network analysis using NetworkX - Graph Theory in Python  
Himanshu Mishra (@orkohunter-himanshu) Workshop Beginner 3 1 Thu, 1 Feb
34 Deep Learning for NLP from scratch
Nishant Nikhil (@nishnik) Workshop Intermediate 2 0 Wed, 31 Jan
35 Robot Quotient - The Machine versus Human Debate  
Puneet Mathur (@puneetmathur) Crisp talk Advanced 11 19 Fri, 26 Jan
36 Machine Learning for Financial Data Extraction    
Karthik Gali (@karthikgali) Crisp talk Beginner 2 2 Wed, 13 Dec
37 Topological Data Analysis Theory and Practice
Milan Joshi (@mlnjsh) Full talk Intermediate 3 16 Thu, 17 Aug