Elon Business Analytics Conference 2017

Analytics at Work: Turning data into profitable insights

April 5, 2017 | 8:00 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.

DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel Raleigh-Durham Airport at Research Triangle Park
4810 Page Creek Lane, Durham, N.C. 27703


Master Business Practices

  • Learn from presentations by analytics experts on topics such as the changing landscape of analytics, predictive analytics, and the future of analytics.
  • Secure a cross-industry view of high-impact real-world analytics applications and learn how to apply them effectively.
  • Leverage analytics best practices to optimize your business processes and make fact-based business decisions.
  • Gain valuable insights that will help decision makers in your company better understand the value of analytics as a competitive driver.

Advance Your Career

  • Improve your knowledge of the latest analytics trends.
  • Enjoy networking opportunities that provide future directions and contacts that can help you and your business.
  • Learn how to sell analytics to key decision makers and potential users.
  • Conduct a follow-up presentation for your company on best practices and innovative strategies that will open pathways to new possibilities.
  • Meet with Elon faculty and program administrators to learn about the accelerated M.S. in Management, Organizational Analytics program at Elon University.


7:30-9:00 Check-in/Registration
7:30-8:00 Continental Breakfast


Raghu Tadepalli, Dean, Love School of Business


Four Eras in Ten Years: A Revolution in Analytics

Tom Davenport, President’s Distinguished Professor of Information Technology and Management, Babson College; Co-founder of the International Institute for Analytics; Fellow of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy; Senior Advisor, Deloitte Analytics


Buoyant Insights – Deep dive or float in the sea of data

Naveen Yeri, Vice President of Fraud Strategy, Data and Analytics, Wells Fargo


Accelerating Analytics at MetLife

Malene Haxholdt, VP, Enterprise Analytics, GTO Global Data & Analytics Services, MetLife
Jackie Orr, Associate Data Scientist, GTO Global Data & Analytics Services, MetLife


Crossing the Insights to Action Chasm

Amaresh Tripathy, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers

11:30-12:30 Lunch and Networking

The Human Side of Analytics

Elpida Ormanidou, VP Advanced Analytics and Testing, Chico’s FAS, Inc.


Creating an Enterprise Analytics Center of Excellence - A Strategic Asset For Delivering Business Insights

Naveen Venkataraman, Senior Consultant, EY

2:00-2:15 Networking Break

Expert Panel Discussion:
Innovation in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
Presented by the Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership

Robbie Allen, CEO and Founder, Automated Insights (Ai)
Chris Ambrozic, Senior Director, Product & Data Science, Advanced Search & Recommendations Group, TiVo
Shannon Duvall, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Elon University
James C. Lester, Director of the Center for Educational Informatics & Distinguished Professor of Computer Science, N.C. State University

Moderator: Alyssa Martina, Director of the Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Elon University


Closing Remarks & Wrap-up

Bill Burpitt, Associate Dean, Love School of Business


Four Eras in Ten Years: A Revolution in Analytics

TOM DAVENPORT is the President’s Distinguished Professor of Information Technology and Management at Babson College, the co-founder of the International Institute for Analytics, a fellow of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, and a senior advisor to Deloitte Analytics. He teaches analytics and big data in executive programs at Babson, Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan School and Boston University. He pioneered the concept of “competing on analytics” with his best-selling 2006 Harvard Business Review article (and his 2007 book by the same name).

A frequent innovator in the management literature, Davenport has once again branched into an exciting new topic. He has extended his work on analytics and big data to its logical conclusion–what happens to us humans when smart machines make many important decisions? Davenport and Julia Kirby published an HBR lead article in 2015 called “Beyond Automation”-which editors named one of the best of that year-and a book from Harper Business in 2016 called Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines.

Davenport has written or edited 18 books and over 100 articles for Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, the Financial Times, and many other publications. He writes regularly for the online sites of The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and Harvard Business Review. Tom has been named one of the top three business/technology analysts in the world, one of the 100 most influential people in the IT industry, and one of the world’s top fifty business school professors by Fortune magazine.

Davenport earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University in social science, and has taught at the Harvard Business School, the University of Chicago, Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, Boston University, and the University of Texas at Austin.

Buoyant Insights – Deep dive or float in the sea of data

As the vice president of fraud strategy, data and analytics, NAVEEN YERI leads the fraud risk management strategy, data and analytics function at Wells Fargo, and is responsible for delivering decision recommendations to proactively manage fraud detection and prevention. Yeri has been in the banking, insurance and information technology sectors for over 17 years, and has served Norfolk Southern Corp, Bank of America, IBM and StateFarm in his prior roles. He has led programs in the areas of consumer marketing and risk analytics, real-time events and triggers blending data at-rest and in-motion, and choreographing Next Best Offers leveraging structured and unstructured big data streams. Yeri has an M.S. in Industrial Engineering and an MBA in Finance/Marketing, is Six Sigma Blackbelt Certified, and holds seven patents.

Accelerating Analytics at MetLife

MALENE HAXHOLDT joined MetLife in August 2015 as the vice president for enterprise analytics in the global analytics and data services organization. She is responsible for the Accelerating Analytics Program focused on driving business results through applying advanced analytics and fostering a culture of collaboration and leverage of best practices globally. Prior to joining MetLife, Haxholdt spent more than 15 years in the field of applying advanced analytics in multiple business domains and industries working for SAS Institute in Denmark. She was responsible for developing an EMEA hub of analytical consultants. In 2011, Haxholdt left Denmark to join the SAS Institute headquarters in the U.S. to lead the global marketing program for the analytics portfolio at SAS. Haxholdt holds an M.S. in Statistics from Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, and has studied cross cultural business behavior at the Singapore Institute of Management.

JACKIE ORR is an associate data scientist with MetLife’s Global Technology & Operations group located in Cary, North Carolina. In her role, Orr works on a variety of projects where she applies analytics approaches to business challenges in areas such as global security and marketing. Orr is a recent Elon University graduate with a B.S.B.A. in Management with a concentration in organizational analytics. She began her career at MetLife as a project lead in regional application development where she was responsible for metrics tracking and visualization for roughly 30 applications. After six months in the application development space, Orr moved to the Enterprise Analytics Center of Excellence under Malene Haxholdt, vice president for enterprise analytics.

Crossing the Insights to Action Chasm

AMARESH TRIPATHY is a principal in PwC’s advisory group. He founded the firm's advanced analytics practice, which he helps to manage. Tripathy has helped Fortune 500 companies in multiple industries (healthcare, retail & consumer, communications) to use bottoms-up data analytics in strategic decision making. His work has focused on developing growth and pricing strategies, defining market entry plans, understanding customer behavior to increase profitability, improve marketing efficiency, developing operations strategy and streamlining distribution. Tripathy is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, and has written papers on using predictive analytics and institutionalizing evidence based decision making culture in organizations. He received his bachelor's degree in Engineering from the National Institute of Technology and has a graduate degree in Transportation Systems Engineering from the University of Texas-Austin.

The Human Side of Analytics

ELPIDA ORMANIDOU recently joined the Chico's team as the vice president of advanced analytics and testing to help build and strengthen internal capability around advanced modeling, web analytics and testing. Before Chico’s, Ormanidou worked for Walmart for over 2 years. She started her career at Sam’s Club as a member trends analyst, and with a team of internal and external scientists developed new analytical framework for the membership organization resulting in the company’s member-centric strategy. She then worked as a senior pricing manager before joining Walmart in 2008, where she spearheaded an effort to standardize the HR data analysis processes, making it faster and more accurate while ensuring confidentiality and data integrity. Outside of work, Ormanidou enjoys spending time with her daughter Ioanna, painting, and volunteering with local community support groups. She has both a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and a master’s degree in transportation and logistics from the University of Arkansas.

Creating an Enterprise Analytics Center of Excellence - A Strategic Asset For Delivering Business Insights

NAVEEN VENKATARAMAN is a senior consultant at EY working with clients to develop and execute business strategy using advanced analytics. He is a trusted client adviser with expertise in customer strategy and operations across power & utilities, health insurance, financial services, and technology sectors. Venkataraman's focus at EY is on energy, power and utilities operations, including customer and marketing strategy, transmission and grid operations, and renewable energy. His work covers operational transformation of businesses, program management, sales support, client relationship management and team leadership. Venkataraman's generalist experiences at EY include developing business strategy for healthcare customer service operations, automotive asset optimization, and trade promotion optimization for consumer products. Venkataraman has over nine years of experience working in the U.S., Japan, the Middle East and India. He received an MBA from Babson College, and is pursuing a Masters in Analytics from the University of Chicago. In his spare time, he practices Aikido and plays chess.

Expert Panel Discussion: Innovation in the Age of Artifical Intelligence

ROBBIE ALLEN is the founder and CEO of Automated Insights. The company’s Wordsmith NLG platform is revolutionizing the way professionals generate content with data. Wordsmith helps data-driven industries, including financial services, ecommerce, real estate, business intelligence, and media, achieve content scale, efficiency, and personalization for clients including the Associated Press, Allstate, the Orlando Magic, and Yahoo. Allen drives the company’s strategic vision, oversees engineering and research, and ensures the company continues to be named one of the best places to work in the Raleigh-Durham area, an honor it’s received from the Triangle Business Journal four years in a row. In 2015, Allen was named the North Carolina Technology Association’s Tech Exec of the Year. He started writing code to automate the writing process while working at Cisco, where he was a distinguished engineer, the company’s top technical position. He has authored or coauthored 10 books about enterprise software and software development and spoken at numerous events including Strata, SXSW and the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium. Allen has two engineering master’s degrees from MIT and was recently appointed an adjunct professor at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.

CHRIS AMBROZIC, senior director, product & data science, advanced search & recommendations group at TiVo, joined the company in January 2014 as the senior director of product and data science. Over the past 15 years, Ambrozic's work experience has included management roles in applications engineering, sales, product, and business development. He has worked across multiple industries including pharmaceuticals and biopharma, semiconductors, medical devices, chemical manufacturing, and media discovery, covering both software and hardware based solutions. Throughout his career, Ambrozic has been passionate about the application of data analytics solutions that drive real-time decision making and optimization. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Waterloo.

SHANNON DUVALL is an associate professor of computer science at Elon University. She completed her Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence from Duke University, where she was part of the Natural Language team that created PROVERB, the first automated crossword-puzzle-solver. After graduate school she worked at MITRE Corporation as an AI engineer, creating intelligent systems for military communications. Now at Elon, Duvall teaches at all levels of the curriculum, including courses on artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. Her current research is in using machine learning to create interactive spaces for children with disabilities.

JAMES C. LESTER is a Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Center for Educational Informatics at North Carolina State University. He is a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). His research focuses on transforming education with technology-rich learning environments. Utilizing artificial intelligence, game technologies, and computational linguistics, he designs, develops, fields, and evaluates next-generation learning technologies for K-12 science, literacy, and computer science education. His work on personalized learning ranges from game-based learning environments and intelligent tutoring systems to affective computing, computational models of narrative, and natural language tutorial dialogue. The adaptive learning environments he and his colleagues develop have been used by thousands of students in K-12 classrooms throughout the US and internationally. Lester has been recognized with the Best Paper Awards at the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, the ACM International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment, and the International Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation, and Personalization. He has served as editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education. He is an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, and serves on the steering committee of IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies and on the editorial board of Metacognition and Learning.


>>Register here

Registration Fees (March 5-April 5, 2017):
Professionals: $120 per person
Elon faculty, staff and students: $75 per person

Fee includes conference materials, a continental breakfast and lunch.

Cancellation policy: Cancellations should be sent to jallison3@elon.edu. Cancellations received after 5 p.m. on March 22, 2017 will not be eligible for a refund.


Contact Haya Ajjan, associate professor of management information systems, at hajjan@elon.edu or (704) 996-8643.