SAS Global Forum Executive Conference Sessions
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March 23-26
Washington, DC

Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center

Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Whatever industry you are in, or executive position you hold, you will find relevant content to choose from in our 21 Breakout Sessions. Each session will feature a speaker or a panel of speakers who will share best practices on how analytics helped their organizations achieve their performance goals.

Monday, March 24
1:30 p.m.

Achieving Innovative Health Care Transformation

US Department of Health and Human Services

The Role of Analytics in Customer-Centricity at Walmart


Modernizing Analytics to Enhance Business Efficiency


Assessing Your Organizational Maturity

Dow Chemical, Wyndham Exchange and Rentals

Introducing the Visual Organization

Phil Simon, author and technology thought leader

The Leading Edges of Customer Experience Management

Harvard Business Review


How Rogers Media Turns Big Data Into Real-Time Customer Insights

Rogers Media Inc.


2:30 p.m.

Data Sharing and Data Transparency to Advance the Common Good

Sanofi US and Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

Big Data and Big Dollars: Turning Operational Data Into Revenue Leveraging Data Governance Principles

Canada Post

Cybersecurity – Your Brand Depends on It

Ally Financial Inc., IRS, Zeichner Ellman & Krause LLP

Developing a Strategy and a Road Map to Achieve Your Business Objectives


See the Value: Revelations Through Data Visualization


Using Analytics to Unlock the Value in the Consumer Conversation

Walt Disney Resorts

Putting Data at the Center of the Business


3:30 p.m.

The New Analytics Advantage: True Insights from Text

Oklahoma State University

Quantitative Creativity: Addressing Old Problems in Unthinkable New Ways


Enterprise Compliance and Model Risk Governance

Ally Financial Inc., Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Managing Your Analytical Talent

Ford Motor Credit Co., North Carolina State University

Using Data Visualization to Improve the Workforce

University of Louisiana System

Digital Intelligence, Integrated Marketing Analytics and Customer Experience Management


Real-World Data Management: Improving the Tracking and Monitoring of Survey Data for Improved Analytic Outcomes

US Census Bureau

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Breakout Session Descriptions

1:30 p.m.

Achieving Innovative Health Care Transformation
Presenter: Bryan Sivak, Chief Technology Officer, US Department of Health and Human Services

With increasing volumes of data being made available to the health care community amid mandated new approaches to care delivery and payment, there is great risk: failure to gain new insights into opportunities for health care improvement because of uninspired and too-traditional approaches to problem solving.

The US Department of Health and Human Services is using the HHS IDEA Lab to both analytically expand views of a problem and expedite realization of proposed solutions. Find out how public-private partnerships, startups and the HHS staff utilize data and analytics to tackle some of the industry’s most complex challenges.

The Role of Analytics in Customer-Centricity at Walmart
Presenters:Sterling Price, Director of Customer Analytics, Walmart; and Gene Gsell, Vice President of Retail and Manufacturing, SAS

Each week, more than 245 million customers and members visit Walmart’s 11,000 stores under 69 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 10 countries. Find out how analytics plays a role in the innovative thinking, leadership through service, and above all, the Walmart commitment to saving people money so they can live better. Join Gene Gsell of SAS as he chats with Walmart’s Sterling Price about best practices for gaining customer insights and making them available to functional areas across the organization so the best possible information about the customer can be part of all major decisions.

Modernizing Analytics to Enhance Business Efficiency
Presenter: Sterling Green, Vice President of Business Intelligence, Delivery Services, Enterprise Data and Integration, SunTrust

Are your business and IT leaders on the same page? What is your strategy for architectural modernization and business efficiency?

How your customers want to use their data today is ever-changing. How do you keep up with the challenge of ensuring your environment has the information they want readily available coupled with the security needed for data integrity? SunTrust, a leader in financial services, tells how business modernization enhanced its internal effectiveness. Along with SAS, it reaped great benefits for business and IT.

Learn how to:

  • Identify key performance challenges along the journey.
  • Improve cost efficiencies, data accuracy, governance and management.
  • Gain insights with analytics.
  • Adopt the latest architectural techniques.

Assessing Your Organizational Maturity
Presenters: David Asiala, Global Business Director, Business Insight and Analytics, Dow Chemical; Jeremy TerBush, Vice President of Global Analytics, Wyndham Exchange and Rentals; and Aiman Zeid, Head of Organizational Transformation Services for Global Business, Consulting, SAS

Progressive organizations recognize the value of analytics and are aggressively transforming their environments to become analytically driven competitors. In this session, the expert panelists will share their experiences on how they assessed their environments. The panel will focus on the need and value of assessing your organizational maturity as the first step toward a strategy for promoting the use of analytics across the enterprise to achieve business objectives.

Introducing the Visual Organization
Presenter: Phil Simon, author and technology thought leader

Far too many enterprises continue to depend exclusively on reporting stalwarts like Microsoft Excel, static dashboards, basic query applications and even traditional business intelligence tools. And they are missing out on tremendous opportunities.

A relative handful of organizations have realized that today’s ever-increasing data streams, volumes and velocity require new applications. In turn, these new tools promote a different mindset – one based upon data discovery and exploration, not conventional enterprise reporting.
Join award-winning author Phil Simon as he discusses ideas from his newly released book The Visual Organization: Data Visualization, Big Data, and the Quest for Better Decisions.

The Leading Edges of Customer Experience Management
Presenter: Angelia Herrin, Editor of Special Projects and Research at Harvard Business Review

Harvard Business Review Analytic Services set out to describe the current global state and emerging trends in delivering superior customer experience across an explosion of channels while meeting new market demands for real-time, increasingly customized execution. This research, based on a blend of quantitative results and qualitative interviews, examines how forward-looking organizations:

  • Take a strategic view of customer experience management, designing, implementing and managing customer experience in a disciplined way.
  • Overcome challenges such as channel explosion, deluge of data and emerging technology risk.
  • Develop best practices around customer understanding, measurement, design and strategy to create a culture of shared customer experience behaviors.

A preliminary view into the results of this research reveals the common challenges faced by executives around the world, and the recognized best practices and barriers to overcome for effective customer experience management.

How Rogers Media Turns Big Data Into Real-Time Customer Insights
Presenter: Chris Dingle, Senior Director of Audience Solutions, Rogers Media Inc.

In this session, you’ll learn how Rogers Media collects, organizes and derives real-time advertising optimization from big data to deliver superior campaign performance. Hear examples of measuring buyer sentiment, segmentation, changes in buyer behavior and best practices for using data in Apache Hadoop with SAS.

2:30 p.m.

Data Sharing and Data Transparency to Advance the Common Good
Presenters: Kald Abdallah, Vice President, Sanofi US; and Mike Wirth, Special Adviser to Virginia’s Health Secretary Bill Hazel

This session will focus on lessons learned from successful large-scale data sharing efforts to improve the delivery of social services in Virginia and to advance the fight against cancer with Project Data Sphere, a collaborative effort between leading pharmaceutical companies working to share clinical data in an open research forum.

Big Data and Big Dollars: Turning Operational Data Into Revenue Leveraging Data Governance Principles
Presenter: James Smith, Director of Digital Assets, Canada Post

Canada Post, which manages one of Canada’s most sophisticated logistics data environments, realized that the operational address data that powers delivery can be converted into unique business solutions.

The road to transform an address database into a highly-valuable commercial asset required many elements, including: the transformation of disparate data elements through modeling; augmenting of internal data with third-party partnerships; and, most importantly, the development of unique governance rules that delivered privacy best practices as well as data protection.

Converting operational data to drive new revenue streams is achievable today. Learn how Canada Post navigated this road map to meet both internal and external expectations.

Cybersecurity – Your Brand Depends on It
Presenters:Jim Candelmo, Executive Compliance Director and BSA/AML Officer, Ally Financial Inc.; Richard Weber, Chief of Criminal Investigation, IRS; DavidChenkin, Managing Partner, Zeichner Ellman & Krause LLP; and Bryan Harris, Director of Cyberanalytics Research and Development, SAS

We have recently seen a significant increase in high-profile data breaches that is forcing industry and governments to rethink regulations, compliance and liability.Criminals are using every technique and technology at their disposal – including fraud, money laundering and cyberattacks – to steal more money or disrupt your operations. Cybersecurity is no longer just an IT issue, but rather a critical asset to protect your brand, business continuity and legal liability.

Join a panel of compliance, investigative and cybersecurity professionals to discuss the business implications of cybercrime and gain valuable insight into organizational preparedness from a diverse set of perspectives.

Developing a Strategy and a Road Map to Achieve Your Business Objectives
Presenters: Mark Pitts, Senior Vice President of Analytics,SourceHOV; Aiman Zeid, Head of Organizational Transformation Services for Global Business Consulting, SAS; and Kimberly Nevala, Director of Business Strategy, SAS

Successful deployment of analytics requires organizations to develop an enterprise strategy to maximize the business value from their investments. The execution of the strategic objectives is managed through a deployment road map. In this session, the panel will discuss how to create a winning strategy and road map.

See the Value: Revelations Through Data Visualization
Presenter: Rajeeve Kaul, former Senior Vice President, OfficeMax

In a competitive industry with increasing availability of data, the ability to quickly explore and visualize is vital. At OfficeMax, SAS Visual Analytics provided the platform to reveal new patterns, trends and relationships, enabling visualization with large amounts of data and across multiple projects. In an increasingly multichannel world, this capability can be used by business leaders to inform go-to-market strategy.
Key topics include:

  • Pinpointed questions versus general exploration.
  • Cost to iterate analysis.
  • Analysis cycle time from beginning to end.
  • Insight into recommendations.
  • Integrated and open environment.
  • Learning hurdles along the journey.

Using Analytics to Unlock the Value in the Consumer Conversation
Presenter: Ed Gaffin, Director of Marketing Analytics, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

Listen to how Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Sales and Marketing has expanded its use of analytics to capture insight into what its guests are talking about as they explore, plan and enjoy their Disney vacations. The breadth of data assets across all Parks and Resorts business units – such as Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort and Disney Cruise Line – was vast, complex and held the insights for tremendous personalization for the customers visiting these Disney properties.

Learn how Disney created a process to consolidate insight generated across multiple analytic departments into a common framework to better serve its various sales and marketing organizations.

Putting Data at the Center of the Business
Presenters: Tom Reilly, Chief Executive Officer, Cloudera; and Paul Kent, Vice President of Big Data, SAS

Today’s business realities demand a new approach. Companies realize the need to be analytics-driven. Yet, how do you store sizable, diverse information at a reasonable cost?

Hadoop is the answer. Hailed as the new panacea for organizations overflowing with data, Hadoop offers a solution at a fraction of the cost of traditional approaches.

Worried about data security, governance, openness and management? Put your concerns to rest. Cloudera, a market leader, offers a flexible, practical way to leverage the benefits of Hadoop. This session highlights market trends, your existing investments, and how Cloudera and SAS offer a cost-effective, data-centered business solution led by analytics.

3:30 p.m.

The New Analytics Advantage: True Insights from Text
Presenter: Goutam Chakraborty, Professor of Marketing in the Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University

Most organizations will achieve marginal improvement from tweaking existing analytic models. To drive true insights and to gain substantial improvement from existing analysis efforts, text analytics is proving to be a new advantage. In this session, you’ll learn why and hear real-world examples of how text insights have been applied.

The session will be presented by author and Oklahoma State University marketing professor, Goutam Chakraborty, PhD. Chakraborty’s most recent book is Text Mining and Analysis. He received the 2013 SAS Distinguished Professor Award and currently teaches the popular SAS Business Knowledge Series course Text Analytics and Sentiment Mining Using SAS.

Quantitative Creativity: Addressing Old Problems in Unthinkable New Ways
Presenter: Anthony Volpe, Chief Corporate Analytics Officer, Lenovo

Quantitative creativity is the single most important ingredient in building and sustaining competitive differentiation through the use of big data and analytics. It is distinct from both data scientist and mathematical/statistical expert: It is about asking more precise and impactful questions, and answering them using innovative data elements, models and visualizations. Quantitative creativity is both a personal and organizational characteristic that needs to be properly managed, fostered and rewarded.

Enterprise Compliance and Model Risk Governance
Presenters: Raymond L. Wedgeworth, Director of Data Analytics and Control Group, Center for Program Integrity, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Cathy Nanos, Director of Operations for Financial Crimes Intelligence Unit, Ally Financial; and Stu Bradley, Senior Director of Security Intelligence, SAS

Federal savings associations and national banks are expected to ensure that their model risk management policies, procedures and practices are consistent with OCC Bulletin 2011-12. At the same time, model governance practices are under scrutiny for fraud, waste and abuse cases under investigation/prosecution in the insurance and health care industries as well as the public sector. There is an expectation that organizations have both formal programs that encompass model development, implementation and use, and governance and controls related to models. This session will discuss approaches to develop models, processes for model implementation, usage guidelines, model validation procedures, and governance policies and control mechanisms.

Managing Your Analytical Talent
Presenters: Alfredo Cateriano, Vice President of Global Analytics and Chief Analytics Officer, Ford Motor Credit Co.;Michael Rappa, Executive Director of the Institute for Advanced Analytics, North Carolina State University; and Aiman Zeid, Head of Organizational Transformation Services for Global Business, Consulting, SAS

Analytical talent is the most critical enabling factor that progressive organizations use to gain competitive advantage. McKinsey Global Institute predicts the demand for analytical talent in the US could be 50 to 60 percent greater than its projected supply by 2018. The panel will share experiences, discuss how to attract and manage the talent, and explore how universities are promoting the profession.

Using Data Visualization to Improve the Workforce
Presenter: Dr. Sandra K. Woodley, President, University of Louisiana System

Learn how the University of Louisiana system, the largest network of colleges in the state, teamed up with SAS and MyEdu to create a massive data trove that should help make students more marketable to prospective employers and help those companies find the desired types of students. Partnering with companies allows schools to go further than just shepherding students through the credits required to earn a degree. The collaboration could help them get a head start on their careers as early as their freshman year. The idea is to improve workforce creation by matching skills with employee needs.

Digital Intelligence, Integrated Marketing Analytics and Customer Experience Management
Presenters: Suneel Grover, SAS Senior Solutions Architect and Adjunct Professor, School of Business and Decision Science, George Washington University

To deliver comprehensive customer experience insights, organizations seek to merge digital data streams with offline channels and internal data repositories. Web and customer analytics teams are attempting to work together, but their projects struggle to get off the ground due to a clash of approaches and culture from:

  • Data types. Structured, semistructured, unstructured, and identifiable digital visitor data vs. anonymous.
  • Skills. Data scientist vs. digital geek.
  • Analysis. Advanced analytics vs. “good enough” analytics.
  • Approaches to taking action. Data-driven relevance, real-time applications and multichannel optimization.

This session highlights the advancements in digital marketing analytics, visualization and the downstream effect on customer intelligence processes. Learn about capturing, managing and analyzing digital customer data for a holistic view of online and offline experiences that drive the measurement, optimization and execution of customer interactions.

Real-World Data Management: Improving the Tracking and Monitoring of Survey Data for Improved Analytic Outcomes
Presenters: Scott Ankers, Assistant Division Chief, US Census Bureau; and Dan Soceanu, Senior Solutions Architect, SAS

Managing reference data across subject entities is crucial in order to understand context and analyze the data effectively. The US Census Bureau created the Standard Economic Processing System (StEPS), written with SAS, in the mid-1990s. The objective of StEPS was to eliminate redundant processing by combining existing economic survey systems into one system. The next phase of the project, called StEPS II, requires new capabilities and approaches to expand data management and analytical functionality – as well as improving performance and reliability.

Migrating data in StEPS to StEPS II will take advantage of newer, more intuitive and user-friendly capabilities in SAS. This will provide a more powerful and flexible survey data processing environment. Based on user requirements, StEPS II will add improved survey processing capabilities, as well as more standard data fields and values. This will also enable fuller utilization of StEPS and less reliance on legacy survey-specific programs.

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