Love School of Business organizes Business Analytics Conference

Participants learned from industry experts how to turn business analytics into profitable insights.

More than 90 professionals and graduate students participated in the second annual Elon Business Analytics Conference, held April 6, 2016, in Durham, N.C.

Hosted by the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business’ MBA and M.S. in Management programs and the Elon Center for Organizational Analytics, the conference featured presentations from industry leaders who shared analytics best practices for optimizing business processes. Participants heard from analytics providers, including SAS, Amazon Web Services, IBM Advanced Analytics and Teradata.  Also presenting were managers of firms that utilize business analytics, including United Guaranty, Progressive Insurance and Go2Market Analytics.

Anu Brookins, vice president of customer insights and analytics at Belk, delivered the keynote presentation, “Leading with Customer Insights.” Brookins discussed the art and science of analytics and shared insights from her 25 years in the analytics field.

“Analytics is answering the business questions,” Brookins said. “It’s not about the tool or technique. It’s about relevant, actionable, simple, focused insights.”

She emphasized the need to link the “what” to the “why” when deriving actionable insights. 

“A big part of the job is customer insights – gaining a deeper understanding into why customers are doing what they are doing,” Brookins said. “[At Belk,] we were able to influence strategy all because of our analysis. That insight drives people to take action.”

The conference also included the following presentations:

Big Data Analytics in the Cloud
Presented by Larry Pizette, Senior Manager Solutions Architecture at Amazon Web Services

Next Generation Data Platform
Presented by Suzanne Bryant, Chief Data Officer at United Guaranty

The Ins and Outs of Web Analytics at Progressive Insurance
Presented by Kaitlin Marvin, Digital Analytics Architect at Progressive Insurance

How Big Data and a Big Idea Revitalized a Small Museum
Presented by Heidi Lanford, CEO & President of Go2Market Analytics, and David Smith, Founder of Immortology

Outthinking the Competition: How Cognitive Analytics and Operational Excellence are Changing the Competitive Landscape
Presented by James A. Moncure II, Global Activation Leader for IBM Advanced Analytics and Cognitive Business Initiative

Consultant Panel Discussion: “Analytics – How and Why”
Presented by Scott Langfeldt, Senior Analytic Consultant at Teradata, Heidi Landord, CEO & President of Go2Market Analytics, and Jeff Thomas, Principal Industry Consultant at SAS Retail & CPG Practice

“The Business Analytics Conference serves the mission of the university by providing excellent educational opportunities for the community,” said Bill Burpitt, associate dean of the Love School of Business. “We offer this conference in response to the great demand for analytics skills across the nation, and particularly among the many professionals in the Triangle.”

The next Business Analytics Conference will be held April 2017.