June 22-24 event in San Jose, Calif., to focus on the business of big data.

INFORMS is launching a new topical conference that will put the focus squarely on the business of big data – how organizations can transition from being data-rich to decision-smart. The INFORMS Big Data Conference will be held June 22-24 at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, Calif. The conference is organized around tracks on “Big Data Case Studies,” “Big Data 101” and “Emerging Trends in Big Data.” 

Bill Franks

Case studies of big data projects that illustrate the complete journey from business problem to analytics solutions will be a major component of the conference. Sessions on big data 101 will offer tutorials on how to navigate the big data ecosystem, how to select and use the right technologies, as well as the challenges of building data science teams. Critical topics such as ethics and privacy requirements will also be addressed. Other sessions on the program will look into the future, exploring emerging technologies and business trends. 

The committee has hand-picked speakers (see sidebar) to address defined topics in an intensive program geared to the interests of business decision-makers, IT managers and analytics professionals. Poster sessions, technology workshops, tutorials and panel discussions will also be part of the program, as well as facilitated networking opportunities.

Michael Svilar

Bill Franks, chief analytics officer at Teradata Corporation, and Michael Svilar, managing director, delivery lead and capability lead at Accenture, will deliver keynote presentations. At Teradata and throughout his career, Franks has focused on

translating complex analytics into terms that business users can understand and then helping organizations implement the results effectively within their processes. He is the author of the book “Taming the Big Data Tidal Wave”and holds a patent in forecasting analytics. For more than 30 years, Svilar has run analytics projects across multiple industries including retail, communications, financial services, automotive, consumer packaged goods and electronics.

Early registration rates will be available until May 23. Rooms are being held at the Marriott San Jose at a discounted rate until May 26. Conference organizers anticipate that rooms will sell quickly and advise attendees to make reservations early, well before the cut-off date. After that date, reservations will be accepted at prevailing rates on a room available basis.

Visit for more information on the INFORMS Big Data Conference. 

Program tracks and speakers


Track: Big Data Case Studies
•Google – Behdad Masih, quantitative analyst
• HERE, a Nokia Business – Toby Tennent, product development manager
• Exponent®, Inc. – Juergen Klenk, principal scientist
• Kabbage, Inc. – Pinar Donmez, chief data scientist
• U.S. Census Bureau – Cavan Capps, big data lead
• Merck & Co., Inc. – John E. Koch, director of informatics
• Intel Corp. – Link C. Jaw, Internet-of-things solutions group
• JP Morgan Intelligent Solutions – Govind Nagubandi, data scientist
• Analytics Media Group (AMG)  – Alan Papir, software engineer
• Teradata Aster – Lee Paries, vice president, Central & Western U.S.
• Bell Laboratories – Marina Thottan, director
• Alpine Data Labs – William C. Ford, lead data scientist

Track: Big Data 101
• Amazon – Vikram Garlapati, manager, solutions architect
• Northwestern University – Diego Klabjan, professor, industrial engineering & management sciences; director, master of science in analytics program
• Kaiser Permanente – Anton J. Mobley, MS, security data scientist
• Booz Allen Hamilton – Peter Guerra, BS, principal

• IBM – Kevin Foster, MS, big data solutions architect
• Koverse, Inc. – Paul Brown, MS, CEO and founder
• Verizon Wireless – Anne Robinson, Ph.D., director, supply
chain strategy & analytics
• Booz Allen Hamilton – Brian Keller, Ph.D., data scientist

Track: Emerging Trends in Big Data
• IBM – Rob High, BA, chief technology officer, Watson
solutions, IBM fellow and vice president
• LinkedIn Corp. – Simon Zhang, MD & MBA, senior director, business analytics
• SAS – Paul Kent, B Commerce (WITS), vice president, big data
• Univ. of California Berkeley – Ion Stoica, Ph.D., professor, Univ. of California Berkeley; CEO, Databricks; CTO, Conviva
• Kaggle – Anthony Goldbloom, B Commerce, founder and CEO
• SAP – Chris Hallenbeck, global vice president
• Pivotal – Kaushik Das, senior principal data scientist
• GraphLab – Shawn Scully, data scientist