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“Big Data” is often referred to as an entity’s information asset. Big data coupled with business analytics in today’s business environment impacts all areas in business decision making and related business strategies. Business analytics can boost an entity’s marketing analysis of customer buying behavior, advance supply chain efficiencies, enhance the planning and analysis for financial decisions, improve risk management, as well as have a major impact in accounting and transform the audit process.
The all-day conference will consist of presentations by business professionals with expertise in data analytics with the 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 The Dow Chemical Company, Microsoft, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Cisco Systems, Inc., Gongos, Inc., EY, and SAS institute.​

2017 Data Analytics Conference

Friday, September 22, 2017
9:30 am to 5:00 pm
Grawn Hall Atrium


asiala.pngDave Asiala
Director Global Business Insight
The Dow Chemical Company

Dave Asiala is the Director for Global Business Insight at The Dow Chemical Company. Dave is responsible for Dow’s business insight strategy and implementation globally.
Dave brings more than 30 years to Dow where he has worked with Supply Chain, Commercial, Procurement, R&D, Finance, HR, and Public Affairs functions as well as having been the IT Director for several business divisions.  He led the Global IT governance committee responsible for IT enablement for several years. Dave led Dow’s SAP implementation in Latin America.  Prior to that he led Dow’s SAP Basis support teams globally and introduced ‘Follow the Sun’ support for Dow’s R/2 implementations. Early in his career, Dave led projects on the standardization of mainframe software allowing data center consolidation and higher productivity.
Dave holds a Bachelors in Physics and Mathematics from Alma College. He also completed executive education at the Thunderbird American Graduate School of International Management in 1999. Dave has guest lectured at Michigan State University in the business and engineering schools.  He is currently the Board Secretary of the Midland Country Club and a member of Technical Advisory Board for the Midland Research Institute for Value Chain Consulting.  Dave previously served on the boards of the ChemITC and EPCGlobal; both industry standards organizations.

erdman.jpgPamela Erdman
Sr. Manager, IoT and Digitization Partner GTM
Cisco Systems, Inc.

In prior roles at Cisco, Pamela has lead the global relationship with IBM in Financial Services Industry, and the global relationship with Computer Associates.
Pamela’s career also includes executive coaching, leadership management development, sales training as well as team building and strategic planning.
She has a BA in Psychology and an MA in Industrial and Labor Relations. She is a board member of the SE Chapter of American Society of Alliance Professionals as well as a member of the Technology Association of Georgia and Women In Technology. Pamela develops go-to-market strategies to assist Cisco’s partners with building the sales and technical capabilities needed to deliver data driven IoT and Digital solutions.

coffman.jpgMartin Coffman
Senior Associate

Martin has experience executing audit support, internal audit support, and consulting solutions through CAATs. He has participated in an industry shift from spreadsheets to data visualization; from the plug and chug method of data auditing in ACL to audit automation and transformation; and from basic analytics to data insights and predictive modeling. In 2012, Martin earned his Bachelors in Management Information Systems from the University of Texas at Austin. Although he is a native of Texas, Martin is a proud transplant into the city of Detroit.

heist.jpgGreg Heist
Chief Innovation Officer
Gongos, Inc.

A practitioner with 25 years of experience, Greg drives the innovation strategy at Gongos. From trend exploration to platform development, he fuels the company’s innovative spirit, helping both colleagues and clients activate on “decision intelligence.”
Greg leads the company’s Innovation Think Tank, spearheads the development of strategic partnerships, and collaborates with its developers and external experts. While a visionary at heart, Greg believes our industry is in the midst of a revolution, and plans to help pave the way.

means.jpgRod Means
Cloud Solution Architect

Rod has over 15 years of experience as an IT professional. His skills encompass Cloud and Data infrastructure solution design and management. Throughout his career, he has taken great pride in developing innovation solutions for organizations to modernize their platform and produce revenue generating products.
Rod is a 2003 graduate of Central Michigan University and CMU football alumni. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration as a double major in Management Information Systems and Production Operations Management.

miller.jpgLonnie Miller
Principal Industry Consultant
SAS Institute

Lonnie Miller is an Industry Principal with SAS Institute’s automotive sector. He primarily focuses on helping clients understand the opportunities and risks with emerging technology and competitive market dynamics in the automotive and broader manufacturing sector. Lonnie’s 25+ year career stems from his interest in understanding buyer behavior and attitudes while simplifying complex issues for various business roles. Having authored several market studies and white papers on customer loyalty, hybrid vehicles and other automotive trends and consumer viewpoints, Lonnie enjoys the challenge of applying analytical and technical solutions in an advisory role to his clients so they operate more competitively and financially sound.
Lonnie holds a B.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Michigan-Flint and an M.A. in Advertising from Michigan State University. You can find him on LinkedIn at

tollison.jpgKevin Tollison
Advisory Services Manager

Kevin is experience in advanced analytics, machine learning, data integration and visualization. He has helped design and implement various projects with rapid development and ongoing industrialization needs, focused on risk management and process improvement within finance, marketing and product development.
 Kevin led the development and management of EY’s Analytics as a Service platform, EY Synapse; an offering where EY provides hosted solutions to clients over the web. In this role, he facilitated business stakeholder committees, managed the operations team to support over 50 engagements and worked with IT to establish and enhance the platform.

wright.jpgNick Wright
Data Scientist
Gongos, Inc.

As a data scientist with an entrepreneurial approach to solving clients’ consumer-minded challenges, Nick has touched many advanced data analysis projects, including path-to-purchase analysis, sentiment analysis, out of stock and sales forecasting, and customer segmentation.
Beyond hands-on experience with process automation, machine learning, and ongoing data shenanigans, Nick evangelizes Gongos, Inc.’s °Communities® proprietary online platform. He works closely with the business development team, while identifying client readiness and desire to create flexible solutions that fuel an insight engine to drive decisions from product development and marketing, to innovation and strategic initiatives.

Data Analytics Conference 2017 Presentations