SAS | The Power to Know

Stafford Masie

Founder ThumbzUp

Stafford is often a guest in the media where he provides insights and views on technology related-matters. He is also much in-demand as a speaker on corporate stages as a technology futurist.

After completing his tertiary computer science studies in Israel in the early 90's, he returned to South Africa and worked for Telkom and Dimension Data. He became country manager for Novell South Africa, later moving to their corporate headquarters in Utah, USA.

Stafford launched Google's South Africa's initial local presence.

Having been in the IT industry for more than 20 years, more than 7 of which were in the USA, he played a significant role in the open source software arena. He has also been responsible for global partnerships and corporate technology strategy in such territories as Latin America, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Europe. Thereafter Stafford joined Novell South Africa and 9 months A self-confessed serial entrepreneur, he is involved in several leading-edge technology start-ups.

Stafford recently unveiled a partnership with ABSA to distribute innovations in the payment acceptance arena. They launched the 'Payment Pebble' and the 'Payment Handset' - Africa's largest and most successful mobile point-of-sale offerings. They have also been launched in other geographical territories.

Stafford is also a non-executive board member of Advtech.

Dr Jeff Yu-Jen Chen

Lecturer, Gordon Institute of Business Science

Dr Jeff Yu-Jen Chen is a full-time faculty member of the Gordon Institute of Business Science. His research and teaching interests include corporate innovation, value creation thinking, digital disruption and human computer interaction. Apart from coaching and advising leaders across different sectors in his private capacity, Jeff serves as the lead faculty of the GIBS - Dimension Data Digital Disruption Collaboration, various customized executive training programmes and strategic dialogue sessions. Prior to joining GIBS, Jeff was employed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for 8 years and spent the prior 4 years managing his family retail stores.

Jeff completed several advanced degrees including MSc in analytical chemistry (Rhodes), PhD in computational chemistry (UCT) and MPhil in management and executive coaching (USB). As he is currently concluding his PhD (WBS) focused on enhancing the collective intelligence for corporate innovation, Jeff is always fascinated by how certain corporates manage to the harness the right balance between co-dependent / independent teams. In his spare time, Jeff enjoys chatting with random strangers and often he stumbled upon many great ideas as the result of these seemingly unrelated conversations.

Ozlem Akpinar

Analytics Business Solutions Manager, SAS

Özlem is working as an Analytics Business Solutions Manager at SAS Turkey office. Prior to joining SAS, she worked as a consultant for various companies in New York and Istanbul.

She holds a doctoral degree in Industrial Engineering from Rutgers University, New Jersey.

Maria Cristina Conti

Principal Business Solutions Manager, SAS

Cristina has been passionate about Analytics ever since her first grade teacher talked about odds probability when tossing a coin!

Ever since, she has focused on building a strong analytics knowledge and experience directed at solving everyday business problems. A lot of her work revolves around the modernization and automation in the modelling lifecycle in all of its depth - including the usage of Big Data and introduction of new modeling techniques. Her experience ranges across different industries as she started out as a biostatistician to move then more into the financial sector, particularly banking risk and marketing departments.

Cristina is enthusiastic about discussing innovative topics and understand how SAS analytics can best apply to enhance the customer’s processes, no matter which individual SAS product will be used! She enjoys speaking at public events and she doesn’t mind keeping in touch with the academic world to understand what’s cooking in the new data scientists’ minds.

Cristina holds a Master’s Degree in Statistics, which she obtained “internationally” having spent part of her time in Spain and in the U.S., preparing her thesis as a visiting scholar at University of California, Berkeley.

Cristina lives in Milan and in her free time she loves to read, watch TV series, go skiing and shopping (mostly for shoes).

Andrew Pease

Principal Business Solutions Manager, SAS

For 16 years at SAS, Andrew has worked to evangelize customers to the power of analytics, while keeping a pragmatic view on project execution. Andrew is currently leading the EMEA analytics team and is passionate about maximum data analysis for tackling the most challenging business issues. Andrew helps financial institutions, major retailers, pharmaceuticals, manufacturers, utilities and public sector organizations to understand and exploit powerful analytic techniques such as decision management, predictive modelling, time-series forecasting, optimization, and text mining.

Andrew currently spends time helping organizations develop analytic roadmaps for dealing with “Big Data”, exploiting Hadoop and using High Performance Analytics to embed analytics in core business processes for strategically consistent decisions across the enterprise. Andrew also thrives in high stakes, customer-facing presales engagements. Finally, Andrew works to spread the word about the latest analytic technologies both internally to SAS, as well as frequently speaking at external events.

Andrew has a master’s degree in clinical psychology with a specialization in experimental design. He lives full time in Leuven, Belgium and enjoys playing the guitar and piano, traveling with his family, and getting in the occasional run to keep in shape.

Tuba Islam

Analytics Solutions Manager, SAS

Tuba Islam is an analytics expert in SAS Global Practice, designing analytical solutions to solve complex business issues in creative and effective ways. She is specialised in predictive modelling, segmentation, text mining, forecasting and analytical life cycle management. Tuba has implemented many successful projects across different industries including rogue trader fraud detection, smart metering analytics, credit risk, churn prediction, rate making and demand forecasting. She has been at SAS for almost 10 years. Before joining SAS she worked in a research institute and developed projects on speech recognition and language identification. She has an engineering background and holds a master’s degree in digital signal processing.

Craig Stephens

Principal Solution Manager: Business Analytics, SAS

Craig has 20 years’ experience in the South African information technology industry with particular reference to Information Management, data and more recently Big Data and High Performance Analytics solutions. He currently holds the position of Principal Solution Manager within the Information Management and Analytics Practice, focusing on SAS Solutions that address business problems related to Big Data, High Performance Analytics and Business Intelligence at SAS Institute South Africa.

Other notable positions he held include tenures at Investec Private Bank and the PBT Group as well as being TOGAF certified. Specialties: Enterprise Architecture, Information Management, Big Data, High Performance Analytics and Business Intelligence.

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Event Details

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

08:30 - 14:45

SAS Institute, 93 Central Road, Houghton, Johannesburg
(View map & directions)


Please contact:

Tyran McEvoy