A Day Dedicated to Data Analytics

A Day Dedicated to Data Analytics

  • October 17th, 2019

Written by: Breanna Pianfetti

On Friday, Oct. 4, the Culverhouse College of Business at The University of Alabama hosted experts in the use of big data in a business environment at The Culverhouse Business Analytics Symposium. Over 300 faculty, staff, students, and visitors attended the day-long event, held at UA’s Bryant Conference Center. 

“The Business Analytics Symposium is a great opportunity for students to hear and network with professionals who use business analytics every day,” said Courtney Hanson, managing director at the Institute of Business Analytics, which is based in Culverhouse. “It opens the door for professionals to teach the craft of storytelling, showing students how the application of data analytics leads to great successes when it comes to making critical business decisions.”

The Institute of Business Analytics hosts the data-filled conference annually in the fall. It is open to anyone with an interest in business analytics, taking into special consideration students and professionals focused in the area.

This year, speaker topics ranged from applying data analytics in the trajectory of a planet to creating the future image of a major, international mass media and entertainment company.

“I have come around to defining analytics more descriptively [as] the scientific process of transforming data into insights for the purpose of making better decisions and improving processes,” noted Jim Cochran, the associate dean for research and the leader of the symposium planning team.

“We intentionally invite speakers who hold a wide range of positions across a broad spectrum of organizations in the private, government, and not-for-profit sectors,” continued Cochran. “We do this to give attendees the broadest possible range of exposures. Analytics has such a wide range of potential applications that almost anybody who attends the Culverhouse Business Analytics Symposium will benefit.”

The speakers that spoke at the event are as follows:

  • Kjersten Moody, Vice President and Chief Data and Analytics Officer at State Farm, “The Analytics for Making and Keeping Promises”
  • Kevin Cooper, Director, Smart Mobility Analytics at Ford Motor Company, “Emerging Analytics”
  • Darlene Bohn, Manager, Business Operations Analytics at Lockheed Martin, “Utilizing Analytics to Simplify Program Management”
  • Giulio Girardi, Supervisory Financial Economist, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, “The SEC’s Use of Data Analytics”
  • Piyush Mehrotra, Chief, NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Division, NASA Ames Research Center, “Data Analytics in Support of NASA’s Mission”
  • Sarah Kalicin, Data Scientist at Intel Corporation, “The Cultural Challenge Around Analytic Adoption: How We Can Lead the Way”
  • Rob King, Senior Vice President of Original Content at ESPN, “The Myth of the Mass Audience”
  • Gregg Chapman, Director of Resorts Revenue Management at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, “The Disney Analytics Transformation”

To learn more about the speakers and the presentations they gave and to sign up for updates about next year’s event, visit the symposium’s website here. Video interviews with each speaker are forthcoming.

Thank you to the Alabama Transportation Institute, Delta Air Lines, Booz, Allen and Hamilton, and Culverhouse College of Business Manderson Graduate School of Business for sponsoring the event.