Data Analytics Conference 
Is Data the New Soil?

February 28th, 2020
Grawn Hall Atrium • 9 AM - 4 PM

In the digital economy, we generate copious amounts of data. Today smartphones, as well the Internet, have made data generation ubiquitous. Virtually every activity creates a digital footprint. Harnessing the power of data has become key to sustainable growth and innovation. Data is not just an asset to be mined but fertile ground from which business users and customers can be offered value as well as a myriad of new services. As author and speaker David McCandless put it, “Data is the new oil? No: Data is the new soil.” 

We invite you to an all-day conference consisting of presentations by business professionals with expertise in data analytics. It will focus on explaining big data/data analytics and the impact this issue is having in all areas of business decision-making and related business strategies. Speakers include individuals from Dow, PwC, and Stryker.

*A $10 no-show fee will be charged to students who you cancel after February 14, 2020.
Cancellations can be made by emailing

Conference Schedule
8:30 AM
Registration & Breakfast in the Grawn Hall Atrium
9:00 AM
9:15 AM

Keynote Speakers:

Jim Nesbitt, Jennifer Frame, and Ashley DuPuis, Dow Inc.

"Growing a More Sustainable Future with Data Analytics"

10:00 AM
10:30 AM
12:00 PM
Lunch & Networking
12:15 PM

Lunch Speaker:

Marty Porea, PwC 

"Data Analytics: The End to End Process"

1:30 PM
3:00 PM
Concluding Remarks
Conference Workshops
Model Discovery using Genetic Algorithms
Ken Desloover, Central Michigan University

One technique that can be applied to complex problems where you suspect there are relationships, but those relationships are non-linear and/or interact with one another, is to use genetic algorithms to determine potential models. Genetic algorithms mimic biological genetics, where model formulas are the “DNA”, and survival of the fittest techniques determine the best models. This demonstration shows how genetic algorithms have been applied to generate models of US stock market indices with some success.

Influencing Business Mindsets with Data Analytics: Tips and Tricks
Keith Bates and Mallory Quinnell, Stryker

Businesses are complex and ever-changing, but the rate at which data grows is much, much faster.  Development of the data pipelines and statistical models for the perfect set of beautiful graphs? Not so fast.  So how do you wrangle the growing landscape of data to meet the business expectations of quick, valuable insights? Imperfectly.

The Power of Data Visualization
Lisa Lyons and Leah Stuckey, PwC

The value of data comes from the actionable insights that can be drawn from it. Learn to apply the key concepts of data visualization and discover how it can be used as a tool of communication in your call to action. PowerBI to be used as a visualization tool during this workshop.

Data Science Made Clearer: Demystifying Fuzzy Match
Lisa Lyons and Leah Stuckey, PwC

Even among data analytics professionals, the threshold of data science can seem insurmountable. However, in the same way that data analytics has emerged from its own field to a skill set that will become pervasive among every professional, so too may the foundation of data science move from an elite class of specialists to another tool in the professional’s repertoire. This session aims to break down the mystique of a single data science technique, the fuzzy match, and through hands-on experience, help each learner build confidence that they too can further problem solve through the basics of data science.

Data Science Overview: Unique Features and Case Studies
Dr. Carl Lee, Central Michigan University

The fast growing of data generation in the modern society has created unlimited opportunities for companies in searching for unique niches. The use of data science techniques is becoming essential for companies to search for such niches from the sea of big data. The term “ data science” was first referenced in the Proceedings of 5th Conference of the International Federation of Classification Society in 1996. However, the core idea of data science was promoted by Tukey in early 1970’s, when he attempted to distinguish between theoretical vs. empirical evidence. The journey of data science as an area of study is evolving and growing due to the advancement of technology and the rapid growth of data in volume, variety and velocity. In this workshop, a brief history of ‘Big Data” and “Data Science” will be presented, some strategies of conducting business analytics projects will be discussed. Unique features of data science projects will be discussed. Some case studies will be presented to demonstrate the use of these modern analytics techniques.

A Gentle Introduction to Neural Networks (No calc needed)
Paul Dunn, Central Michigan University

Knowing the calculus behind neural networks is like knowing how to engineer and build a microwave, but what the business world needs are people who know how to use a microwave not how to build one. This talk will provide a basic understanding of how neural networks function without going into the calculus behind them. Examples will be provided in R so audience members have a better understanding of neural networks and how they can be used to solve problems. Best of all: no calculus needed.

Exploring Sustainability with Data Science and Analytics
Joe Czyzyk, Jim Nesbitt, Ameya Dhaygude, Barnali Bhattacharjee, and Tyler Walker, Dow Inc.

Sustainability themes related to Protecting our Planet will be explored in this workshop through a series of data & analytics case studies. Participants will be teamed to explore one of a number of unique sustainability challenges that are faced by the world and the level of intervention required to impact the trends. Each group will challenged to analyze the data, craft a compelling visualization and story tell as part of their debrief to the room based on their findings.

Healthcare Analytics
Marla Tribble and Andy Richardson, Priority Health

Ever wonder how data is used in health care? This workshop will describe the role of an analyst at Priority Health, a health insurance company. In this workshop, we will describe many of the methodologies and techniques used in our daily analytics, as well as showing some of the tools used in these approaches.

Conference Speakers

DAC_speakers_Jackie Cutsinger.png Keith Bates
Senior Manager, Business Enablement,

Keith leads a team focused on enabling technologies that maximize cross-functional teams’ abilities to deliver value. He is passionate about the practical and agile application of data in day to day business processes and decision making. He brings 17 years’ experience in roles delivering value through a variety of technologies including tools focused on Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, and Analytics. Keith holds a B.A. in Computer Information Systems and Minors in Business Administration/Mathematics from Western Michigan University. Keith also holds an MBA in Business Administration from Phoenix University.

DAC_speakers_Kevin Deemter.png Barnali Bhattacharjee
Data Scientist
Dow Inc.

Barnali Bhattacharjee has been working as a Data Scientist in the Advanced Analytics group at Dow Inc. since early 2018. Her work focuses on developing innovative and data-driven solutions for a wide array of business problems, with an emphasis on marketing, sales, supply chain, and procurement, and has expertise in predictive modeling, machine learning, and strategic decision making. Prior to joining Dow, Barnali received her Master’s in Statistics from Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur in 2010, another Master’s in Business Analytics in 2017 from Michigan State University, and worked for 5 years in Retail & Corporate Banking leading and developing data science solutions.

DAC_Speakers_Barry Keating.png Joe Czyzyk
Data Scientist
Dow Inc.

Joe Czyzyk is a data scientist in the Advanced Analytics group at Dow applying mathematics to support data-driven decision making in the company. He has overseen opportunity identification, the automation of data collection, execution of mathematical models and result delivery to business clients. Problem areas include pricing, cross-selling applications of Dow products, customer intelligence, physical hedging in purchasing, workforce planning and demand forecasting. He has applied a number of techniques to convert data into knowledge; some of these techniques include time series analysis, visualization, survival analysis, many types of statistical models, Markov models, simulation models, and optimization models. Prior to Dow Joe worked at Central Michigan Research Corporation and CMU doing analytics consulting projects with many Michigan companies. He also taught a class in CMU’s online MBA program. He has a Ph.D. from Northwestern University in Industrial Engineering / Management Science focusing on optimization methods as well as degrees in applied mathematics and mathematics. He completed a post-doc at Argonne National Laboratory where he wrote software for solving optimization problems and web-based educational modules on the topic of optimization.

DAC_speakers_Erika McBride.png Ken Desloover
Professor of Information Systems
Central Michigan University

Ken has over 35 years of experience in industry in Information Systems, including application development, software testing, telecommunications, process control, and Six Sigma. He retired from The Dow Chemical Company in 2014. Ken is currently an Instructor at CMU in the Business Information Systems department, teaching introductory management information systems, Six Sigma, and advanced data analytics and database courses. Ken holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a Master of Science in Computer Engineering, both from the University of Michigan, and is a certified Six Sigma DFSS Master Black Belt (MBB).

DAC_speakers_Ben Worsley.png Ameya Dhaygude
Data Scientist
Dow Inc.

Ameya has been working with Dow Inc. as a Data Scientist for the past eight years. His focus areas are building scalable statistical and analytical solutions in the Supply Chain and Purchasing domains. Ameya has expertise in time series analysis, operations research, and machine learning methods. He is leading development of data science and analytics tools for the raw materials pricing, demand planning, inventory management, and logistics management processes at Dow. Ameya has a Master’s in Industrial Engineering from the Oklahoma State University.

DAC_speakers_Erika McBride.png Paul Dunn
Professor of Information Systems
Central Michigan University

Paul Dunn is a lecturer in Information Systems at Central Michigan University. He received his Master’s in Information Resource Management from Central Michigan University. He has over 25 years of experience in client/server programming, database design and administration, and system administration. His research interests are big data, NoSQL, and data analytics.

DAC_speakers_Erika McBride.png Ashley DuPuis
Workforce Insights Consultant
Dow Inc.

Ashley works as a Talent Analytics Consultant within Dow’s Workforce Insights team. Her role helps drive overall insights from people data and provides strategic direction for corporate employee experience initiatives. She is a member of Dow’s internal review board and an external advocacy team promoting inclusion efforts for women.

Before joining the Dow team in 2018, Ashley worked as a faculty member at CMU within the College of Business Administration. She was a member of the Management Department, responsible for teaching HR courses.

She has a PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Central Michigan University. She is a member of the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Academy of Management. Ashley lives in Sanford, MI with her husband, three dogs, and boards her horse nearby.

DAC_speakers_Erika McBride.png Jennifer Frame
Senior HR Director
Dow Inc.

Dr. Frame leads the Leadership, Learning, and Workforce Insights teams within the Global HR Center of Expertise at Dow, Inc. Her team focuses on optimizing leader effectiveness and employee growth and development, as well as analyzing workforce issues and trends to generate actionable insights in support of a positive employee experience and driving business growth.

Prior to her current role, she was responsible for HR operations for Switzerland, Central Europe, and Greater Russia and served as Director of Talent Management for EMEA. Through her career, her roles have spanned HR disciplines including Organizational Effectiveness, Talent Management, Learning, Diversity & Inclusion, and Talent Acquisition/Recruiting, as well as Geographic HR operations roles.

Jennifer is a member of Dow’s HR Leadership Team, the Society for Human Resource Management, The Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology, and serves on the board of The Mayflower Group. She holds a B.A. from The University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Colorado State University. She resides in Midland, Michigan with her husband and two children.

DAC_speakers_Erika McBride.png Dr. Carl Lee
Professor of Statustics
Central Michigan University

Professor Carl Lee is the founding chair of the department of Statistics, Actuarial and Data Sciences at Central Michigan University. He is a Dow Chemical Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, and has been an active statistical consultant over 30 years. He started working on data science projects since early 2000. His research areas include statistical distributions, modeling, data mining and applications. He has published over 100 refereed research papers. He is a co-founder and co-chief editor of the Journal of Statistical Distributions and Applications published by SpringerOpen. Dr. Lee is one of the pioneer statistics educators involving with Statistics Education Reform since early 2000 and was the founding member of the Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education (CAUSE) and the founder of the Undergraduate Statistics Project Competition in 2006 (known as USPROC). He has received various honors and awards including an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association, Elected member of International Statistical Institute, The National Haimo Award of the Mathematical Association of America for Distinguished Teaching, the Michigan Section Outstanding Teaching Award of MAA, the CMU’s President’s Outstanding Research Award, and University Distinguished Service Award.

DAC_speakers_Erika McBride.png Lisa Lyons
Digital Risk Solutions

Lisa is a Senior Associate out of the Detroit office in PwC’s Digital Risk Solutions practice that focuses on Tech Enabled Audit, Audit Analytics, and Financial Services. Lisa graduated from the University of Michigan in 2016 with a major in Information Analytics and User Experience and a minor in Computer Science and Entrepreneurship. Prior to starting at PwC in April 2019, she was doing marketing analytics for Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas.

DAC_speakers_Erika McBride.png Jim Nesbitt
Advanced Analytics Associate Director
Dow Inc.

Jim Nesbitt, the Advanced Analytics Associate Director for Dow Inc., has the privilege of leading Data Scientists focused on turning data into profit through the development and application of advanced analytics models and the leverage of human centered design techniques to integrate their use through visualizations and other deployment strategies into business decision making processes. Based in Midland, Michigan, Jim is a Systems Design Engineer with an MBA and has a track record of 29+ years applying information technology innovation for Dow. With experience that spans a range of technologies; methodologies such as Agile and Waterfall; functional areas including I/S, EH&S & Sustainability, HR, Global Reporting and Advanced Analytics; and practices including development, project management, service management, user experience, data mining & modelling, and Six Sigma Master Black Belt.

DAC_speakers_Erika McBride.png Marty Porea
Digital Risk Solutions

Marty is a part of PwC’s Digital Risk Solutions practice specializing in SAP Security and Governance, Risk, and Compliance solutions based in Detroit, Michigan. He works with global teams on a vast array of SAP landscapes to implement, strengthen, and govern their security infrastructure. Marty enjoys using data to tell stories and strives to take complex data and visualize it in ways that provide new insights that lead to actions. Marty holds a Master’s degree in Information Systems from Central Michigan University, as well as Bachelor’s degrees in Management and Banking & Finance from Northwood University.

DAC_speakers_Erika McBride.png Mallory Quinnell
Staff Data Analytics Engineer, Business Enablement

Mallory works to enable Stryker to ask questions about the performance of its products, driving intelligent business and engineering decisions. With strengths in R, SAS, SQL, Tableau, and Power BI, she is passionate about solving technical problems with data pipelines, statistics, and visualizations. Mallory has worked with data from multiple viewpoints in the medical device industry for 10 years, and she holds a BSE and MSE in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

DAC_speakers_Erika McBride.png Andy Richardson
Data Scientist
Priority Health

Andy Richardson has been an analyst at Priority Health for over 8 years. He spends much of his time putting his statistics degree to work by evaluating and monitoring health outcomes for many of the care management initiatives deployed at Priority Health. Andy is also responsible for developing many of the predictive algorithms in use for these programs. Andy earned both his B.A in music and statistics and M.S in Biostatistics from Grand Valley State University.

DAC_speakers_Erika McBride.png Leah Stuckey
Digital Risk Solutions

Leah is an Associate in PwC’s Digital Risk Solutions practice based in Cincinnati, OH. She focuses on audit analytics, data visualization and data transformation, and loves the opportunity to teach others the power of data! Leah attended the University of Dayton and graduated in May 2017 with Accounting and MIS majors along with a Spanish minor. Leah started at PwC in September 2017 and became a licensed CPA in August 2018.

DAC_speakers_Erika McBride.png Marla Tribble
Senior Analyst
Priority Health

Marla Tribble is a Senior Analyst at Priority Health in Grand Rapids, MI. Her initial passion was always in healthcare but as she took a couple programming courses she uncovered another passion. What better way to combine the two than to become an analyst at an integrated health system? Using a population health approach Marla helps to identify opportunities for providers to better care for their patients. Her work has helped in the development of a number of successful strategies. Using predictive analytics to find those patients with emerging risk and pin point the gaps in care, is one of the most exciting aspects of her career—turning risk into opportunity. Marla earned her BS in Biomedical Sciences from Central Michigan University and an MS in Medical and Bioinformatics from Grand Valley State University.

DAC_speakers_Erika McBride.png Tyler Walker
Data Scientist
Dow Inc.

Tyler has been with Dow Inc. company full time for a year and a half, working as a rotational employee in the Advanced Analytics department within DSA. He has a bachelor’s of Science in Information from the University of Michigan. Before joining Dow, Tyler was a co-op at a technology consulting company in Detroit servicing clients with innovative data science solutions.