WSU to host symposium on big data and business analytics, help Michigan companies use big data to take action

Big data is the key enabler for the next wave of innovation and growth across all sectors, and Wayne State University's Big Data & Business Analytics Group is ready to help business and information technology executives, decision-makers and marketing professionals learn how to use big data to take action, seize new growth opportunities and make their organizations more efficient.

The group - made up of renowned experts dedicated to solving real-life business problems in collaboration with regional industry - will host its Big Data & Business Analytics Symposium: From Analytics to Action on Wednesday, March 26, at Wayne State's McGregor Memorial Conference Center.

The symposium will focus on pragmatic issues faced while deploying big data strategies to drive business success. It will have a special focus on managing and analyzing the data captured through product development, manufacturing, distribution, marketing, sales and service in a global setting.

"Early adopters have demonstrated the transformative potential of big data, but extracting value from big data is no ordinary task," says Satyendra Rana, visiting professor and one of the founding directors of the Big Data & Business Analytics Group. "Companies have to overcome entrenched cultural barriers and must foster close collaboration among an interdisciplinary team of experts."

"Big data management and analytics require a slew of advanced concepts, tools and technologies, and the required skills are hard to come by," says Ratna Babu Chinnam, Wayne State industrial and systems engineering professor and also a founding director of the group. 

According to Chinnam, symposium attendees will learn how to identify big data opportunities, develop business cases and use analytics to drive business success. The symposium also seeks to provide a clear distinction between legacy analytics pervasive in industry and the emerging next-generation tools, technologies and processes that will form the foundation for a new wave of innovation and growth.

In addition to Wayne State experts, the symposium will feature keynotes speeches, panel discussions and case studies featuring a number of leading industry experts who have successfully put analytics into action at their respective companies. Confirmed speakers and panelists include:

  • Jim Anderson, president and CEO, Urban Science
  • Steven Ambrose, vice president and CIO, DTE Energy
  • Devavrat Bapat, director of supply chain reliability, Johnson & Johnson 
  • Rob Bigini, vice president of operations, Comrise
  • Grace Bochenek, chief technology officer, U.S. Army Materiel Command
  • Michael Caverreta, technical leader of predictive analytics/data science, Ford Motor Company
  • Kevin Cooper, manager of risk analytics, Ford Motor Credit Company
  • Bryan Goodman, technical leader of data science and optimization, Ford Motor Company
  • Rohit Jain, database chief and distinguished technologist, HP
  • Jack Jordan, director of quality initiatives and advanced analytics, Henry Ford Health System
  • Arijit Sengupta, CEO, BeyondCore
  • Radhika Subramanian, CEO, Emcien
  • Kevin VanHowe, director of global financials and EDW, General Motors
  • Joseph Vermette, director of enterprise data management, General Motors
  • Flavio Vilanustre, vice president of technology architecture and product, LexusNexis
  • Heather Woodward-Hagg, director of the Center for Applied Systems Engineering, Veterans Administration

About Big Data & Business Analytics at Wayne State University

The Big Data & Business Analytics Group includes more than 30 faculty members and 50+ research students from various university departments who collaborate on big data and business analytics projects. The team is structured by six focus areas that cover the entire big data and analytics life cycle from acquiring big data to extracting business value from it: big data value management, methods and techniques, integration and management, automotive and defense analytics, healthcare analytics, and service analytics.

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