Big Data and Business Analytics Symposium continues to grow in its fourth year

Last month, the fourth annual Big Data and Business Analytics Symposium brought together a record number of top-level academic and industry leaders from across the United States to discuss how big data strategies can drive business success.

“We had close to 600 registrations and 175 companies represented at the event,” said Ratna Babu Chinnam, professor and co-director of the Big Data and Business Analytics Group at Wayne State. “The predominant feedback is that the event was a phenomenal success.”

The two-day conference agenda was built around case studies of top practitioners in areas ranging from health care to privacy and security. Attendees also enjoyed the various tutorials, networking receptions and panel discussions, as well as a keynote address each day.

“I found the symposium refreshing, as so many real-world case studies were presented,” said Nick Curcuru, vice president of global big data practice at MasterCard and one of the symposium’s panel speakers. “And there were no sales pitches.”

An added feature this year was the Startup Showcase, which gave several new companies a platform to demonstrate what they are doing in the big data sector and expand their industry network.

Wayne State students were also engaged in the conference, not only as attendees but also in the poster session, which allowed students across all engineering disciplines to display their innovative research projects.

“I was thoroughly impressed with so many young people involved in data science, applications and frameworks. Their enthusiasm was evident,” said Janis E. Landry-Lane, a global sales executive for IBM Systems and a case study presenter.

Chinnam and other WSU dignitaries took the opportunity to further illustrate the university’s commitment to leadership in big data by sharing information about the new master of science program in data science and business analytics, a collaboration between the College of Engineering and the Mike Ilitch School of Business that will launch this fall.

For more on the symposium and the new master’s program visit


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