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Thursday, August 24
 

8:00am

Registration, Networking and Coffee
Thursday August 24, 2017 8:00am - 9:00am
TBA

9:00am

FARCON 2017 Kickoff
Thursday August 24, 2017 9:00am - 9:15am
TBA

9:30am

Collaboration At Scale: Data Science with Anaconda Python
Data science is a team sport! With data scientists building models, devops engineers maintaining the cluster, developers building applications, and analysts translating results into action, effective collaboration is essential. Unfortunately, it is common for these roles to rely on separate, proprietary software silos. This is what makes the move to open data science so important: it allows organizations to standardize on a common platform for data analysis, application development, and visualization. 

In this talk, we will show you how the free Anaconda Distribution delivers a Python-powered open data science stack that can serve all of your data science collaborators:

  • Rich Jupyter notebooks for interactive development and sharing of analytics in Python and R
  • Interactive dashboards with powerful visualizations using Bokeh and Datashader
  • Easy access to best-in-class AI and machine learning tools like Tensorflow, Theano, and Scikit-Learn
  • Full exploitation of multicore, GPU, and parallel computing resources using Numba, Dask, and Spark
  • Access to established data sources including Hadoop, SQL, S3, and Azure

Speakers
avatar for Michael Grant

Michael Grant

Senior Solution Architect, Anaconda (powered by Continuum)
Michael Grant, a Senior Solution Architect at Continuum Analytics, is a computational mathematician specializing in optimization, signal processing and simulation, and a contributor in classroom, research and commercial settings. He assists clients in the development of advanced... Read More →

Sponsors

Thursday August 24, 2017 9:30am - 10:00am
(2) Johnson McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

9:30am

Digital Marketing: Correct Way to Plan and Forecast
Are you struggling with your online revenue planning? Do you want to optimize your budget and CPC? Are you nervous to go for those weekly and monthly finance calls? Come and join me to find out an answer. In this short presentation, we will show you a simple way to build a marketing model. We will go over a governance process that will help you pinpoint the root cause.

Speakers
avatar for Yashodhan Dhore

Yashodhan Dhore

Director, Web Analytics, Deluxe


Thursday August 24, 2017 9:30am - 10:00am
(4) Ski u Mah McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

9:30am

Modern Data Analytics and Automated Data Warehousing
As organizations become more data-driven, their data analytics teams are struggling to keep up with the deluge of new use-cases. This is because the challenge with Data Analytics is not with the Analytics but with the Data: Analysts are spending a majority of their time finding, accessing, transforming and organizing data, i.e Data Warehousing - rather than on the analytics itself. Infoworks addresses this problem comprehensively, by completely automating Data Warehousing on Big data platforms so Data Analysts and Data Scientists can focus on finding business-critical insights rapidly.

In this presentation, we will focus on a customer’s journey in automating their data warehousing functionality using Infoworks with a real-world use case. The Infoworks platform provides the industry’s first and only automated solution for data warehousing on Big data. Infoworks provides complete functionality from data ingestion, data synchronization and building data models and cubes in a single platform — reducing the time to production from months to days. 

Speakers
avatar for Ted Hirtle

Ted Hirtle

Chief Solutions Architect, Infoworks

Sponsors

Thursday August 24, 2017 9:30am - 10:00am
(6) Minnesota McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

9:30am

Insights for All
Congratulations! You’ve built a model that will revolutionize your business and genuinely improve your customer’s lives (ok, maybe we’re unique there). But how do you get the model from your computer into action? This session will investigate ways to collaborate and communicate effectively with your partners and customers, ensuring that your insights drive change, and increasing your team’s visibility within your organization. We will use real examples of how Sleep Number communicates advanced analytics, IoT and machine learning model insights both internally and to our customers.

Speakers
avatar for Katy Campbell

Katy Campbell

Sr. Mgr Consumer Insights, Sleep Number
Data scientist with a background in marketing analytics, consumer insights, forecasting, CPG, retail, and durables. Talk to me about ways to drive action from IoT and big data, consumer demographics and customer behavior/voice.


Thursday August 24, 2017 9:30am - 10:00am
(3) Thomas Swain McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

9:30am

Over Half of Analytics Projects Fail: What Separates Those That Succeed?
According to recent research by Gartner, More than 50% of analytics projects fail. In addition, when I asked a number of leading chief analytics officers about their work, I found that most had not seen a significant bottom line impact. Given this – what is the best way to really deliver value from your analytics projects and make a meaningful impact on your organization? Also, what are the common pitfalls in analytics project and what can you do to over come them?

Speakers
avatar for Mohammed Aaser

Mohammed Aaser

VP, Strategy and Marketing Analytics, Ameriprise Financial


Thursday August 24, 2017 9:30am - 10:00am
(1) Memorial McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

9:30am

Startup Showcase
The FARCON Startup Showcase features several fintech and retail tech startups. Each will give a six-minute pitch and take questions from the audience.


Thursday August 24, 2017 9:30am - 11:45am
(5) Heritage Gallery McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

10:00am

Break
Thursday August 24, 2017 10:00am - 10:15am
TBA

10:15am

Data with a Sole: Retail Analytics at Allen Edmonds
Allen Edmonds has been handcrafting fine welted Made in the USA shoes since 1922. Today, they continue to follow the same 212-step manufacturing process invented by Elbert W. Allen and Bill "Pops" Edmonds when they opened their first factory on the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin nearly a century ago.

Shoe size is more than length. Width is just as important. Allen Edmonds have big, small, narrow, wide and everything in between. Every Allen Edmonds shoe style is sold in over 300 color, style and width combinations. Over the past 2 years, Allen Edmonds have handled over 100,000 unique SKUs, in over 100 locations, presenting some unique challenges for a specialty retailer. 

Join eCapital Advisors and Allen Edmonds, as we share the journey to implement IBM Planning Analytics, and how it has enhanced the timeliness of their access to information, and made real-time data-driven decision making a reality.

Speakers
avatar for Connie Walsh

Connie Walsh

Director, Retail Inventory, Planning & Analysis, Allen Edmonds
Connie Walsh is a Planning and Analytics Veteran with 25+ years experience in Retail Merchandise;  including strategy and analysis, systems development and implementation, IT business liaison, merchandise planning, financial planning, product buying and inventory management. Ms... Read More →

Sponsors

Thursday August 24, 2017 10:15am - 11:00am
(6) Minnesota McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

10:15am

Annuities Risks: Policyholders Behaviors
Behavioral analytics in financial services have been long-established to help predict what customers are looking for or how to help advisors sell products. Such innovative products involve risks for the financial firm taking such liabilities. Interestingly, predictive analytics have not been traditionally used by individual insurance writers but the conditions are changing. This session will describe new tools considered in understanding the risks undertaken and an articulation of the increase in model complexity that occurs as more and more stochastic elements are introduced

Speakers
VG

Valerie Gingras

Actuarial Director, Ameriprise Financial
PJ

Philip Jones

SVP Quantitative Strategies, Ameriprise Financial
avatar for Siyue Wu

Siyue Wu

Senior Financial Analyst, Ameriprise Financial Services


Thursday August 24, 2017 10:15am - 11:00am
(7) Gateway McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

10:15am

Better Together: Using Qual and Quant to Deliver a Better Customer Experience
It requires a strong balance of qualitative and quantitative analysis to effectively drive your customer experience improvements. Learn how Allianz combined these two, along with journey mapping best practices, to align their broad teams on the top priorities to improve their new customer experience.

Speakers
avatar for Angelica Bonacci

Angelica Bonacci

Director, Market and Customer Insights, Allianz
avatar for Jim Tincher

Jim Tincher

Chief Journey Mapper, Heart of the Customer


Thursday August 24, 2017 10:15am - 11:00am
(3) Thomas Swain McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

10:15am

A Discussion About How Machine Learning can Create Better User Experiences (Taping of Data Skeptic Podcast)
Whether or not to bring machine learning into your organization is now a sink or swim decision. Leveraging machine learning tools is the winning strategy, but only when you're able to pose the right question. The Data Skeptic podcast explores the methodologies and implementations of data science solutions, and in this live interview, host Kyle Polich will interview Dr. Joseph Konstan from the University of Minnesota about these topics, specifically in the area of recommender systems.

Most people have experienced both the delight of a good recommendation and the befuddlement of a repetitive, seemingly childish, or random suggestion. How can we better leverage machine learning to solve these problems? How can we make machines that better understand us? Where is recommendation technology headed?

Check out Data Skeptic podcast at www.dataskeptic.com.

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Joseph Konstan

Dr. Joseph Konstan

Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Distinguished University Teaching Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota
avatar for Kyle Polich

Kyle Polich

Data Scientist, Data Skeptic


Thursday August 24, 2017 10:15am - 11:00am
(4) Ski u Mah McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

10:15am

Meijer Journey to Becoming a Sentient Enterprise
The Meijer Logical Data Warehouse (LDW) is a critical component of the data-eco system at Meijer. The LDW is driving a vision of the future of its analytics.  In this brief discussion,Tim Zeitter will describe how Meijer has matured in terms of using data to interact with its customers in a smarter way through the use of advanced analytics. We will see how Meijer’s maturity for using data aligns with the “Sentient Enterprise” blueprint: adopting a behavior-centric mindset, fostering collaboration, building repeatable processes, and using algorithms at scale that empower it business to be more productive and agile.

Speakers
avatar for Tim Zeitter

Tim Zeitter

Technical Manager Enterprise Data Warehouse, Meijer

Sponsors
avatar for Teradata

Teradata

Sustaining Sponsor


Thursday August 24, 2017 10:15am - 11:00am
(2) Johnson McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

10:15am

How Do I Get Started With This Data?
Many people want to be able to analyze data, but don't know where to start. In this introductory talk, we'll use open source Python to import and munge/clean the data, develop visualizations to further understand it, and tackle a problem. We'll be using Continuum Analytics' Anaconda Python distribution, which is freely available, so bring a laptop to participate!

Speakers
avatar for Brian Kreeger

Brian Kreeger

Data Scientist, C.H. Robinson


Thursday August 24, 2017 10:15am - 11:00am
(1) Memorial McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

11:00am

Break
Thursday August 24, 2017 11:00am - 11:15am
TBA

11:15am

Marketing Incrementality: Climbing the Everest of Optimization
In an age where the customer journey has multiple, fragmented touchpoints, is it possible to measure whether an individual touchpoint could make or break the purchase? That’s the challenge that incrementality attempts to solve. Join us to learn how current measurement paradigms fall short in one or more critical areas, and how an incremental methodology can help fill those gaps.

Speakers
avatar for Brandon Wishnow

Brandon Wishnow

EVP, Measurement & Activation, Ovative/group

Sponsors

Thursday August 24, 2017 11:15am - 11:45am
(2) Johnson McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

11:15am

The Physics of Brand
The Physics of Brand is crossing typical industry thresholds and garnering attention from branding, marketing and financial valuation professionals alike. As the authors merge the world of physics and branding, you'll be introduced to three models illustrating how brands aggregate value for brand owners, people and society. These models frame new ways to assess the value of brands, articulate smarter strategies and design memorable retail moments. The authors leave a smile in your mind as they weave neuroscience, micro and macro-economics and complex systems into a narrative equally rewarding for finance as it is for marketing leaders. It’s a brand-new way of thinking.

Speakers
avatar for Aaron Keller

Aaron Keller

Author - The Physics of Brand / CEO, Capsule
avatar for Renee Marino

Renee Marino

Author - The Physics of Brand / Managing Member, Cupitor Consulting


Thursday August 24, 2017 11:15am - 11:45am
(3) Thomas Swain McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

11:15am

Surviving the Retail Apocalypse: Bringing Digital Methods to Physical Retail
Retails massive disruption is due – at least in part- to digital competition. And one of digital’s huge advantages is data and analytics. Digital is comprehensively measurable. And that measurement drives a discipline of testing and continuous improvement that has served the digital channel well. The same discipline can help optimize customer experiences in stores and on-location in any business. And taking advantage of that is critical to surviving today’s challenges. 

There are now technologies that provide measurement of the in-premise customer journey. Accurately and comprehensively. The data they create is remarkably similar to digital data. It’s the behavioral story of their journey and it’s of immense value in optimizing the customer experience. 

In this session, we’ll look at the underlying technologies, the type of data they create, the analytic methods that apply, and the parallels to digital that can make tackling in-store location analytics easier. This is a great introduction to the newest discipline of customer analytics and the techniques for bringing it to life and solving its unique challenges.

Speakers
avatar for Gary Angel

Gary Angel

CEO, Digital Mortar


Thursday August 24, 2017 11:15am - 11:45am
(4) Ski u Mah McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

11:15am

Future Proof Your Machine Learning and Advanced Analytics Platforms with Vertica SQL Database
Vertica is the fastest, open architecture and advanced analytics ANSI SQL database which is independent of underlying infrastructure. Even with exponentially growing volume and velocity of data sets, you can utilize the versatility and capability of Vertica as a distributed computation platform with performance at scale. The Vertica platform combines SQL with advanced analytics which reduces data movement required to use a separate analytics engine as well as mitigate potential security breaches. Vertica also provides an integration with selected specialty analytics engines, in particular the Spark framework.

Speakers
avatar for Andrius Markvaldas

Andrius Markvaldas

Senior Big Data Engineer, HPE Vertica
Andrius Markvaldas has over 20 years of information technology and data management experience on a variety of different platforms. Prior to joining HP, Andrius defined enterprise data strategies, as well as built and managed world-class data capabilities for proprietary trading firms. His broad experience includes engineering large-scale multi-petabyte data systems with extreme performance requirements. He is currently in presales and solution architecture with the HPE... Read More →

Sponsors

Thursday August 24, 2017 11:15am - 11:45am
(6) Minnesota McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

11:15am

Executive Panel: Analytics, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence Impact on Retail and Financial Industries from the Executive Perspective
Moderator
avatar for Ali Wing

Ali Wing

Former Chief Marketing Officer & EVP Digital Channels, Ascena Retail

Speakers
avatar for Mohammed Aaser

Mohammed Aaser

VP, Strategy and Marketing Analytics, Ameriprise Financial
avatar for Eric Bibelnieks

Eric Bibelnieks

VP Customer Analytics, maurices
avatar for Julie Joyce

Julie Joyce

VP & Actuary - Loss Analytics, Travelers


Thursday August 24, 2017 11:15am - 12:30pm
(1) Memorial McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

11:45am

Break
Thursday August 24, 2017 11:45am - 12:00pm
TBA

12:00pm

Being Strategic with Analytics in the Face of Digital Disruption
Using analytics is smart. But are you being strategic about how you use analytics in the face of a digital transformation? Every industry is being transformed by data, architecture, and algorithms; make sure your company is being smart about resources and prioritization. To think strategically, I’ll present a framework and practical steps you can use to lead the transformation instead of playing catch-up.

Speakers
avatar for Rebeccah Stay

Rebeccah Stay

Principal Consultant, AIM Consulting Group


Thursday August 24, 2017 12:00pm - 12:30pm
(2) Johnson McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

12:00pm

Current and Future Trends in AI Content Creation
AI is taking over all sorts of industries and creating new opportunities. The amount of generated data and interoperability is increasing the effectiveness of content creation. You are reading AI generated content all the time from Google, Associated Press, Fox, Yahoo, and others related to sports, finance, and stats. This session will cover how AI is currently being used to create content throughout the web with a focus on Artificial Intelligence in Content Marketing. Some discussion on new techniques and how NLP is used in content creation will be covered. We will cover tactics that we are using to create reviews based on a combination of automated testing of products and AI generated reviews. This session will also include how leading companies and industries are effectively creating AI generated content.  Finally we will wrap up with where AI generated content is moving towards in the future.

Speakers
avatar for Frank Bell

Frank Bell

Founder, IT Strategists


Thursday August 24, 2017 12:00pm - 12:30pm
(4) Ski u Mah McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

12:00pm

Startup Panel: What Must Financial and Retail Startups Do to Succeed Today?
Moderator
avatar for Kevin Spanbauer

Kevin Spanbauer

Founding Mentor, MESA

Speakers
avatar for Eric Martell

Eric Martell

Managing Director, gener8tor Minneapolis
avatar for Jeremy Neren

Jeremy Neren

CEO, GrocerKey
avatar for Charlie Youakim

Charlie Youakim

CEO, Sezzle


Thursday August 24, 2017 12:00pm - 12:30pm
(5) Heritage Gallery McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

12:00pm

Performing Analytics with the Data You Have, Not the Data You Wish You Had
A common barrier to completing an analytics project is the mindset that a particular set of data, which is not currently available, is required to complete the analysis. In some cases, the missing data may be necessary. However, in many cases the selection of a different technique or a re-framing of the problem can lead to a viable solution using just the data on hand. This talk will focus on the art of re-framing analytics projects and the selection of techniques that fit the available data. Practical examples from 20+ years of marketing analytics projects from retail and finance will be used throughout the talk to highlight the points being made.

Speakers
avatar for Robert Cooley

Robert Cooley

Optimine, CTO


Thursday August 24, 2017 12:00pm - 12:30pm
(3) Thomas Swain McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

12:00pm

Stein’s Paradox: There’s a Better Estimator
When estimating the mean vector for 3 or more variables there is a better estimate of the mean then taking the arithmetic mean of your data for each of your variables to produce an estimate of the mean vector.  We will discuss why this result was controversial after discover in 1955 and work through an example using the James-Stein estimator (a “better estimator”) on financial asset class data. Area: Statistics, Finance  

Speakers
avatar for Dan Balter

Dan Balter

Investment Strategy Analyst, U.S. Bank


Thursday August 24, 2017 12:00pm - 12:30pm
(6) Minnesota McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

12:30pm

Lunch
Thursday August 24, 2017 12:30pm - 1:30pm
TBA

1:30pm

Customer First Data Science Through Analytics, Product Management, and Customer Experience
Delivering a customer first data science experience should be the goal of any analytics team. This customer could be an internal or external but the questions and process are the same. This session will cover how analytics can learn from practices of product management and customer experience professionals to deliver world class customer first data science.

Speakers
avatar for Dave Mathias

Dave Mathias

Chair / Board Member, FARCon / MinneAnalytics


Thursday August 24, 2017 1:30pm - 2:00pm
(1) Memorial McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

1:30pm

Counterintuitive Tips to Conquer the Productivity Paradox in Analytics
Fortune, Forrester, and the Fuqua School have all recently questioned if companies are really getting their expected returns from increased analytic investments. How can you spend more in analytics and get less? How can you devote additional people to do more analyses of higher sophistication and not get a larger impact? That is the productivity paradox in analytics.

If you are looking for new ways to add incremental value to your organization through analytics--rather than just confirm decisions executives have already made--this talk is for you. In this high energy presentation, Jason will share examples vetted by both research and practical experience that help organizations gain true business value from analytics. At the end you may find that ‘partnering with losers’ and ‘building more models to do less’ may be just the counterintuitive ideas you need.

Speakers
avatar for Jason McNellis

Jason McNellis

VP of Analytics & Data Science, Centriam


Thursday August 24, 2017 1:30pm - 2:00pm
(3) Thomas Swain McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

1:30pm

Data Scientists are not Storytellers: Strategic Management of Analytic Resources
We’ve all heard it: To become a better data scientist, you must become a better storyteller. But is it true? If the wrong business question is asked, if the wrong analysis is done, or if the outcome isn’t actionable, then the storytelling talents of the data scientist become meaningless. This talk brings a systems perspective to analytic projects within the organization, specifically how to maximize the ROI of data science initiatives. For the analyst, we introduce safe* workplace skepticism techniques and reaffirm the scientific method. For the business, we provide a primer on analytic prioritization and expected behaviors for a high performing covfefe of data science unicorns.

*Disclaimer: Depending on corporate culture, these techniques may backfire.

Speakers
avatar for Mike Olson

Mike Olson

President and Co-Founder, Zuben AI


Thursday August 24, 2017 1:30pm - 2:00pm
(4) Ski u Mah McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

1:30pm

Deserted Island Data Science: How to Survive and Thrive With Your Analytics
How does an internal analytics or BI Team develop strategies to create an appetite for advanced analytics within your organization? RBC Wealth Management will share how they helped develop an internal culture of advanced analytics by harnessing the power of organizational knowledge, applied statistics, and data visualization. Visualization was utilized to inspire interest, and advanced segmentation techniques (K Means and hierarchical clustering) were utilized to develop applicable insights for executives. This successful proof of concept illustrated that effective data science can be achieved efficiently. The presentation will be applicable to both the business side (strategies for getting your data science in front of executives) to the technical side (in depth breakdown of advanced analytic methods). By starting small, having a plan, and clear deliverables, we were able to establish credibility and define a process that we would love to share with other organizations.

Speakers
avatar for Daniel Prager

Daniel Prager

Consultant
avatar for Jaskaran Singh

Jaskaran Singh

Consultant
avatar for Shawn Spott

Shawn Spott

VP, Senior Manager Reporting and Visualization, RBC Wealth Management


Thursday August 24, 2017 1:30pm - 2:00pm
(5) Heritage Gallery McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

1:30pm

From Guts to Glory: The Evolution of Site Selection at Northern Tools
Long a catalog and web‐based purveyor of tools, machinery and specialty products for the DIYer and farmer along with construction and contractor businesses large and small, Northern Tool & Equipment began operating stores in 1981 with the company’s founding. Local commercial real estate reps and brokers provided individual market insights and guided location decisions in those early days along with a heavy dose of the company’s street smarts, gut instinct and entrepreneurial risk.

As the need to open stores at a quicker pace and grow outside its early regional footprints arose, the company began experimenting with various GIS and demographic data system to add a sense of speed to the decision‐making process and provide relativity to the new markets and sites. These systems improved the speed of data delivery but did not add much to the accuracy of projecting sales for new stores. At the same time, data delivery became more cumbersome and time consuming over time as more and more data was loaded into systems in an attempt to increase learning.

Fast forward to today – NTE has taken its site and market analysis functions to the cloud. At present, systems are up and running. There is no more reliance on the speed of a desktop computer’s C:\ drive and painstaking queries of our SAS data warehouse to answer site/market analysis questions. Questions that took days, maybe even a week to answer, are now forwarded to decision makers in a matter of hours or half days. New systems are quick and nimble while being available from any robust web connection making fieldwork much more meaningful in real time. Are the sales forecasts any more accurate? Stay tuned.

Speakers
avatar for David Drymon

David Drymon

Market Research Manager, Northern Tool & Equipment


Thursday August 24, 2017 1:30pm - 2:00pm
(2) Johnson McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

1:30pm

The Style and Content of Firm-Generated Posts on Social Media
This research examines how firms can generate engagement on their product pages on Facebook, and whether there is a difference in how firms can generate engagement on their product pages based on users’ level of involvement with the product, and the functional and hedonic properties of products. Using the firm’s posts as a driver of engagement on its product pages on Facebook, we study the relationship between the style (i.e., formal vs. informal) and content (i.e., business related vs non-business related) of a given post submitted by a firm on its Facebook page and the level of user engagement measured as the number of positive and negative comments on the post.

The analysis was conducted on 57,000 posts from product pages of Fortune 1,000 companies. The key finding from the analysis is that in the environment of Facebook all types of products generate greater engagement from informal posts; however, in the content dimension “incongruous” posts, i.e., posts that differ from the type of content that would be expected on a given product page, generate greater engagement. The analysis has important implications for how firms should engage with customers on Facebook based on the characteristics of their product.

Speakers
avatar for Scott Schanke

Scott Schanke

PhD Student, University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management


Thursday August 24, 2017 1:30pm - 2:00pm
(6) Minnesota McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

2:00pm

Break
Thursday August 24, 2017 2:00pm - 2:15pm
TBA

2:15pm

Content-Based Image Retrieval and Visual Search in Retail
Content-Based image retrieval is the ability to retrieve images based on either similar images or a word-based query. Visual search is the ability to find items within images. This talk will provide an overview of the concepts involved, along with a guide on how to implement one of the approaches using open-source tools.

Speakers
avatar for Rudy Agovic

Rudy Agovic

CEO, Reliancy


Thursday August 24, 2017 2:15pm - 3:00pm
(7) Gateway McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

2:15pm

How to Move Your Analytics to the Cloud
THE Cloud. Everyone is talking about the possibilities once your analytics are organized and stored on the cloud. But what’s the best way to make the move?

Our Data Nerd, Chad Dvoracek, will review obstacles and strategies in moving your analytics solutions to the cloud. From business incentives to technology options, we will cover our experiences and lessons learned in deploying applications in the cloud and strategies for creating a flexible and evolving analytics environment. Miriam Graf, from Infor/Birst will review some successful deployments and key benefits afforded by cloud.

Speakers
avatar for Chad Dvoracek

Chad Dvoracek

Data Engineer, The Nerdery
Creative and strategic data engineer with a focus on big data/cloud architecture. Solutions to include multi-tenant, cloud based software, providing integrated big data, data warehouse and real-time analytics. 
avatar for Miriam Graf

Miriam Graf

Senior Director, North American Solutions Consulting, Birst/Infor
Miriam has spent 25+ years helping companies implement analytic solutions. Miriam’s experience encompasses all aspects of BI solution delivery - from data management and warehousing to dashboard deployment and user adoption. For the last 5 years she has focused on multi-tenant cloud architectures that dramatically lower the cost of ownership and speed the time to... Read More →

Sponsors
avatar for Nerdery

Nerdery

Sustaining Sponsor


Thursday August 24, 2017 2:15pm - 3:00pm
(6) Minnesota McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

2:15pm

Recommender Systems: Beyond Machine Learning
Recommender systems help users find items of interest and help websites and marketers select items to promote. Today's recommender systems incorporate sophisticated technology to model user preferences, model item properties, and leverage the experiences of a large community of users in the service of better recommendations. Yet all too often better recommendations - at least by traditional measures of accuracy and precision - fail to meet the goal of improving user experience. 

This talk will take a look at successes and failures in moving beyond basic machine learning approaches to recommender systems to emphasize factors tied to user behavior and experience. Along the way, we will explore a generalizable approach to combining human-centered evaluation with data mining and machine learning techniques.

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Joseph Konstan

Dr. Joseph Konstan

Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Distinguished University Teaching Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota


Thursday August 24, 2017 2:15pm - 3:00pm
(1) Memorial McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

2:15pm

Riding the Self-Serve Wave to Change Enterprise BI Culture
Back in 2016, Gartner published that they changed how they measured BI platforms, noting a change in the tools and the industry to enable more self-service. Terms like self-service data prep and self-service analytics started being used more and more. The shift in industry spoke of the reduction of the reliance on IT in this new world, and furthermore less reliance on experienced BI professionals to build solutions. Our question is - what if IT and experienced BI folks rode that self-service wave right alongside the business - what happens then? That is what we have been doing within our team at Wells Fargo, and we will show how this is a pretty fun ride to be on.  

Speakers
avatar for Brian Cariveau

Brian Cariveau

VP, Technology Manager, Wells Fargo
avatar for Matt Dubay

Matt Dubay

Analytics Consultant, Wells Fargo


Thursday August 24, 2017 2:15pm - 3:00pm
(3) Thomas Swain McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

2:15pm

The New Way: Connected Planning
We believe that our world is better when we connect communities of people with data. Data that enhances decision-making. Decision-making in dynamic environments. We do this by going through a connected planning journey.

Speakers
avatar for Brian Corcoran

Brian Corcoran

Senior Solutions Consultant, Anaplan
Brian is the Americas Finance Leader for the Solutions Consulting team at Anaplan. He joined Anaplan in 2015 and is based out of Chicago. Prior to Anaplan, Brian was a consultant for Huron Consulting Group, focusing on strategic planning implementations and corporate development offerings across multiple industries including insurance, oil and gas, governmental contracting, airlines, higher education and publishing. Brian helps lead... Read More →
avatar for Hanyul Lee

Hanyul Lee

Strategic Account Executive, Anaplan
Hanyul Lee has spent the past 15 years leading and contributing to startup, hypergrowth and publicly-traded organizations across sales, services and operations. He currently is a Strategic Account Executive at Anaplan based in New York City and is a leading thinker within Anaplan&rsquo... Read More →

Sponsors

Thursday August 24, 2017 2:15pm - 3:00pm
(2) Johnson McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

2:15pm

When a “What If” Becomes a Reality
What if a fast-growing startup asked you to build their data science and data engineering from scratch? No legacy data, tooling or infrastructure to support. You get executive support, excited and helpful peers and the freedom to make the choices you want. The catch is that you have to deliver results quickly and you cannot fail. How would you do it? What would it look like? Gartner research is forecasting that 60% of data projects in 2017 will fail to make it to production. So what are the key decisions you'd make to ensure success? I found myself in this situation earlier this year when I joined the When I Work team. In this talk I'll walk through how we are rising to meet this challenge and working aggressively to build world class data science and engineering at When I Work.

Speakers
avatar for Scott Ernst, Ph.D.

Scott Ernst, Ph.D.

Director of Data Science and Data Engineering, When I Work


Thursday August 24, 2017 2:15pm - 3:00pm
(4) Ski u Mah McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

2:15pm

The Information Generation: How Millennials Are Redefining the Future of Analytics and Data Science
In this panel discussion, four leaders will share their vision of how analytics and data science is shaping the future of their respective industries. The discussion will focus on innovative strategies & how they are being utilized in their industry today, future trends & how they see their industry growing in the data space, and new ways employers and students together can prepare for the advancing need of analytical talent in the workforce. 

Moderator
avatar for Lizzy Foo Kune

Lizzy Foo Kune

Principal Research Analyst, Gartner

Speakers
AD

Anthony Dorn

Insight Strategy and Execution, U.S. Bank
avatar for Seth Greenwood

Seth Greenwood

Data Scientist, C.H. Robinson
avatar for Melissa Gregor

Melissa Gregor

Digital Analytics Manager, UnitedHealthcare
avatar for Jasmine Russell

Jasmine Russell

Founder, Monicat Data | Art


Thursday August 24, 2017 2:15pm - 3:00pm
(5) Heritage Gallery McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

3:00pm

Break
Thursday August 24, 2017 3:00pm - 3:15pm
TBA

3:15pm

TCF Bank Use Case: Engaging Customers with Real-Time Architecture of DataStax
TCF Bank is making the transition from a monolithic mainframe based infrastructure to a micro-service, distributed computing infrastructure.  DataStax enables this micro-services architecture with DataStax Enterprise, the always-on data management platform powered by the best distribution of Apache Cassandra™ plus integrated analytics, graph, search, and more.  With this real-time architecture, TCF can successfully engage with their customers in the defining moments between TCF Bank and their customer.

Speakers
avatar for Manisha Datye

Manisha Datye

VP, Technology Director - Enterprise Services & Integration, TCF Bank
avatar for Patrick McFadin

Patrick McFadin

VP of Developer Relations, DataStax

Sponsors

Thursday August 24, 2017 3:15pm - 4:00pm
(2) Johnson McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

3:15pm

Community Banking Analytics: A Case Study to Approaches in Customer & Product Line Profitability Analysis
Small community banks are feeling the competitive squeeze from larger banking organizations.  For years, they have been successful by relying on selling the same products to a largely rural customer base. But now, with increased competition from larger banks having more creative marketing techniques and internal analytics capabilities, they are struggling to keep pace. Revenue growth has slowed and margins are beginning to shrink. They are starting to second-guess whether they are selling the right products and whether they really understand their customer base anymore.  Understanding product line and customer profitability in banking can drive strategic & tactical activities and it begins with knowing which products are the most & least profitable, and which customers own these products.

How can small banks leverage analytics to gain insights into customer and product line profitability? Where is the best place to get started?  What can they accomplish with limited internal resources?   

Learn how a small family-owned community banking organization approached this challenge and what they were able to accomplish in a short period of time. 

Speakers
avatar for Mike Richter

Mike Richter

Sr. Consultant & Director of Analytics, Charter Solutions
Mike Richter is a senior analytics consultant for Charter Solutions, Inc. with over 25 years’ experience in managing and implementing analytics solutions in a variety of industries, with a primary focus in the Financial Sector, and a passion for helping companies solve analytics... Read More →

Sponsors

Thursday August 24, 2017 3:15pm - 4:00pm
(6) Minnesota McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

3:15pm

The Opportunity for Chatbots in eCommerce
A collection of breakthroughs in machine learning and the public availability of several powerful bot frameworks have exponentially lowered the barrier to entry for developing and deploying chat interfaces. This talk will summarize why now is the right time for chat bots, comment on novel use cases, speculate about low hanging opportunities, and survey the tools and methodologies needed to launch your chatbot project.

Speakers
avatar for Kyle Polich

Kyle Polich

Data Scientist, Data Skeptic


Thursday August 24, 2017 3:15pm - 4:00pm
(5) Heritage Gallery McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

3:15pm

Algorithms, Transparency and Ethics - Now and in the Future
Concerns about privacy, discrimination, and ethics have inched their way into the conversation about the data used in analytics.  When using marketing, consumer, finance, or even publicly available data, these concerns have real implications for data scientists and their internal and external clients.   And, agencies like the Federal Trade Commission and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are paying attention.  Fluctuating between the incredibly insightful, creepy, and downright unlawful, learn about the risks analytics face and some potential steps to mitigate those risks.


Moderator
avatar for Melissa Krasnow

Melissa Krasnow

Partner, VLP Law Group

Speakers
avatar for Rajeev Bukralia

Rajeev Bukralia

Professor, Minnesota State University, Mankato
avatar for Edward Chenard

Edward Chenard

Founder, Cyberian Data
avatar for Sean Larson

Sean Larson

Director Business Insights & Analytics, Medtronic
avatar for Timothy Nagle

Timothy Nagle

Chief Privacy Officer, U.S. Bank


Thursday August 24, 2017 3:15pm - 4:00pm
(4) Ski u Mah McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

3:15pm

Data Science for a Cause: Price Forecasting with ARIMA and Hybrid Ensemble Models to Help Farmers in India
This topic focuses on time series price forecasting techniques using traditional ARIMA and hybrid ensemble machine learning models. This work is done as a part of a Pro Bono effort to help rural farmers living in poverty in India make informed decisions to manage price risk effectively. Predictive models with more than ninety percent accuracy were built with daily time series data to thereby guide farmers make intelligent decisions on holding versus selling of their agricultural commodities.

Speakers
avatar for Devi Kayanam

Devi Kayanam

Data Science and Analytics Lead, Target


Thursday August 24, 2017 3:15pm - 4:00pm
(1) Memorial McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

3:15pm

Step into the future with AWS Step Function
In this hands on training, you will learn how to extract, transform and load data from an API into parquet files in S3 using lambdas run in parallel with step functions. This is a performant and cost effective solution to extract and store your data for analysis at scale.

Speakers
avatar for Dana Engebretson

Dana Engebretson

Data Scientist, SPS Commerce


Thursday August 24, 2017 3:15pm - 4:00pm
(7) Gateway McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

3:15pm

Understanding Style and Retail Personalization at Stitch Fix
Stitch Fix is a personalized styling service and eCommerce company. We serve a diverse suite of clients who vary across size, body shape, geography, and of course style. Carrying a range of inventory to suit these myriad preferences is critical to our business model. This session will give an introduction to some of the statistical & machine learning methodologies that help us understand our clients’ preferences. 

Speakers
avatar for Erin Boyle, Ph.D.

Erin Boyle, Ph.D.

Data Scientist (Merchandise Product Development), Stitch FIx


Thursday August 24, 2017 3:15pm - 4:00pm
(3) Thomas Swain McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

4:00pm

Break
Thursday August 24, 2017 4:00pm - 4:15pm
TBA

4:15pm

Driving Customer Engagement through Loyalty
maurices implemented a data-driven loyalty program to increase customer engagement. Today, the program is a major component of maurices’ marketing strategy and the program continues to expand functionality. Attend this session to learn how they stood up the new program, leverage the data, analytics, and contact strategy to increase customer engagement, results to date, and future directions.

Speakers
avatar for Eric Bibelnieks

Eric Bibelnieks

VP Customer Analytics, maurices


Thursday August 24, 2017 4:15pm - 4:45pm
(3) Thomas Swain McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

4:15pm

The Importance of Data Strategy and Governance for Data Science Success
What makes a sustainable and successful data science team is often not the ability to code or write algorithms but having the right strategy and governance practices in place. Often the missing piece in most data science projects and teams, data strategy and governance is what helps teams deliver great products and really be a driver of business success. This presentation walks through a number of key areas of strategy and governance to help a data science team be successful in deliver success year after year and staying out of the 80% of data science teams that fail to deliver business results.

Speakers
avatar for Edward Chenard

Edward Chenard

Founder, Cyberian Data


Thursday August 24, 2017 4:15pm - 4:45pm
(1) Memorial McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

4:15pm

Making Retail Great Again: Leveraging the Physical Web for Intelligent Customer Experience
The tension between physical retail and digital retail is usually attributed to the inherent analytical and behavioral advantages of the digital medium. The underlying forces operating in physical retail and digital retail are subtle and complex. Customer experience in either medium is more important than the particular medium. Modern customers expect a rich and contextual experience that is derived from their interaction history. New forms of physical retail are emerging and the space is transforming in ways that provide a differentiated customer experience.

Relevant experience in physical retail is readily available with the emergence of the Physical Web. The Physical Web enables immediate and frictionless interaction between customers and physical objects / locations. Physical retailers can engage and satisfy customers with relevant and timely data that is harvested from Physical Web interactions; they can map customer data from online behavior to integrate customer perceptions and purchasing patterns across all media. The Physical Web can extend and amplify the power of data centricity and a customer-centric analytical orientation.

This session will provide insight into the contextual experience adaptations of early adopters and fast followers in the early majority; it will identify the obstacles that may cause slow followers to get left behind in the late majority -- or worse. Technical practitioners will identify with quantified examples of the Physical Web; non-technical practitioners will identify with the strategic importance of weaving Physical Web customer interactions and online behavior into the emerging physical environment.

Speakers
avatar for David Quimby

David Quimby

Principal, Virtual Coast
David Quimby is the founder of Adaptive Avenue (a Web middleware innovation) and Collabrious (an emerging model for boosting innovation ecosystems). He is a software entrepreneur and a patented inventor in the Web middleware / user experience domain. He is a mathematical economis... Read More →
avatar for Kent Strand

Kent Strand

Managing Partner, Accredent


Thursday August 24, 2017 4:15pm - 4:45pm
(5) Heritage Gallery McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

4:15pm

Next Best Action: How to Optimize Time and Money in a Multi-Model Environment
As an organization grows in its analytic maturity, optimization becomes a more pressing issue. But many groups, having spent their focus on forecasting or predictive analytics, are unsure how to take their first steps in prescriptive analytics. This talk presents a high-level approach for setting up multiple models in an optimization (linear programing) framework including two real world case studies from big finance. The analytic-minded business owner should learn enough to spot opportunity within his or her organization; the enterprising analytics practitioner will be equipped with the tools and steps for implementing their first optimization routine.

Speakers
avatar for Evan Stanelle

Evan Stanelle

Managing Director, Digifi


Thursday August 24, 2017 4:15pm - 4:45pm
(4) Ski u Mah McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

4:45pm

Networking Social Hour
Thursday August 24, 2017 4:45pm - 6:30pm
TBA
 

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