Florida Business Analytics Forum

2017 Florida Business Analytics Forum

April 4, 2017

Speaker Line-Up

Ron Kohavi

Ron Kohavi - Online Controlled Experiments: Pitfalls and Scaling (Lessons from Amazon and Microsoft)

Ron Kohavi is a distinguished engineer and general manager for Microsoft's Analysis and Experimentation team at Microsoft's Artificial Intelligence and Research group. He is widely known for his work on A/B testing, or online controlled experiments. Algorithms, predictive models, user-interface changes, and performance improvements are all evaluated today with large-scale controlled experiments, a theme that is now commonly seen at many companies, including Amazon, Booking.com, Facebook, Google, Groupon, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Netflix, Uber, and Yahoo! On a given day, hundreds of experiments run concurrently at Microsoft, helping evaluate ideas with scientific rigor. Kohavi has a PhD in machine learning from Stanford University. His papers have 31,000+ citations and three are in the top 1,000 most-cited papers in computer science. Kohavi was listed as the fifth most influential scholar in artificial intelligence for 2016.

About His Talk

The Internet provides developers of connected software, including websites, applications, and devices, ran unprecedented opportunity to accelerate innovation by evaluating ideas quickly and accurately using trustworthy controlled experiments (e.g., A/B tests). While the theory of a controlled experiment is simple, and dates back to the 1920s, the deployment and mining of online controlled experiments at scale (e.g., hundreds of experiments run daily at Microsoft) and deployment of online controlled experiments across dozens of web sites and applications has taught us many practical lessons. Kohavi will share real examples, pitfalls, and discuss scale challenges.


Ragdav Madhavan

Raghav Madhavan - Analytics on Wall Street

Raghav Madhavan is managing director and chief data scientist at Global Research at UBS in New York. Raghav has spent more than 20 years applying machine learning and analytics at financial services firms on Wall Street. He was with Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan (serving there as chief data scientist and managing director) before joining UBS. Madhavan, as he is known, is an out-of-the-box thinker who applies novel techniques for hard Wall Street problems. He has a PhD from New York University and has worked on and pioneered a large range of data science applications in financial services from the mid 90s onward for now more than 20 years.

About His Talk

Being one of the earliest data scientists on Wall Street, his talk will provide a history of analytics in Wall Street and highlight the various roles of data science in financial services over the years.


Omar Besbes

Omar Besbes - Analytics Chasing Technology in Online Advertising

Omar Besbes is an associate professor in the Decision, Risk & Operations division at the Graduate School of Business, Columbia University. His research interests are in the area of data-driven decision-making with a focus on applications in e-commerce, pricing and revenue management, online advertising, operations management and service systems. Besbes is a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique (France) and received a M.Sc. from Stanford University and a PhD from Columbia University. Before joining Columbia, he was on the faculty at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He has been selected as the best "40 Under 40" b-school professors worldwide by Poets & Quants.

About His Talk

At the core of all modern marketing is the use of data and analytics. Besbes will present the transformation that has taken place in recent years in the space of online display advertising and use some of his research to discuss the current and future role of analytics.


Regional Panelists

Tracy Bell

Tracy Bell - Bank of America

Tracy Bell is senior vice president of enterprise media monitoring at Bank of America. A proud USF alumna, Bell has spent the last decade leading Bank of America's media analytics efforts by applying innovative approaches to massive amounts of unstructured data to gather insights that can affect every single function at the bank. She will discuss her experience transforming a very large and messy pile of human expression into actionable insights – a task that requires a unique and creative approach. The challenges are significant but so is the payoff.


Brian Fuhrer

Brian Fuhrer - Nielsen

Brian Fuhrer is a senior vice president focusing on product leadership for Nielsen. He is responsible for Nielsen's national and cross-platform television audience measurement initiatives supporting major media clients, Internet companies, and advertising agencies. Nielsen's cross-platform efforts include identifying and measuring the opportunities digital media creates for traditional media and advertising clients. Fuhrer has also led a Nielsen data initiative with USF that helped created a unique research alliance.


Joe Kwo

Joe Kwo - Fintech

Joe Kwo is chief information officer at Fintech. Fintech processes more than $25 billion worth of beverage alcohol transactions nationwide annually and is one of Tampa's fastest growing companies, whose growth has come from analytics. Kwo is an alumnus of USF's Executive MBA program who is leading the transformation of the company from a payment platform to one-source solution platform for beverage alcohol industry, including data and analytics. Kwo's experience in analytics has spanned from working on fruit fly infestation data to human behavior, personality traits and now beverage alcohol data.


Jim Stikeleather

Jim Stikeleather - Thought Leader

Jim Stikeleather is a USF trustee and current student in the Doctor of Business Administration program at USF's Muma College of Business. He has written extensively on data and analytics for Harvard Business Review and other outlets popular among thought leaders in the business community. Stikeleather previously served as chief innovation officer at Dell and has had a remarkable career pioneering innovation and the use of data in companies large and small. He is a sought-after speaker and thought leader in the areas of analytics and creativity.