Carl H. Lindner College of BusinessCarl H. Lindner College of BusinessUniversity of Cincinnati

Carl H. Lindner College of Business

Predictive Analytics Day

Center for Business Analytics


"Predictive Analytics Day"
February 29, 2016


Featuring predictive analytics at Disney, a roadmap to predictive analytics from SAS, and what's hot in sports analytics.  A lunch panel discussion will cover analytics at Cincinnati Reds, Cincinnati Bengals and the UC Bearcats

Tangeman University Center on the campus of the University of Cincinnati.
7:30AM - 4:30PM

The day will kickoff with a networking breakfast where attendees will get to meet fellow analytics professionals as well as master's students from the University of Cincinnati programs in Information Systems and Business Analytics.

Three speakers will present in the AM session with a lunch time panel discussion on sports analytics in Cincinnati, and the PM will be tutorials and solutions presentations from analytics companies. 

This event has ended

Topics and Speakers

1. "Applying Analytics: It’s More than Magic"McKay Curtis: Sr Principal on the Decision Science Team at the Walt Disney Company

  • Abstract: Providing great analytics is not enough by itself to ensure it is applied by your client. Having an engaged client throughout the development process can ensure that analytics tools make their way into the daily lives of end users. In this talk, some best practices to achieve this are discussed. This has proven to be very fruitful for the Disney Decision Science team and two examples are described to illustrate the power of client engagement to ensure successful adoption of analytics tools.

2. "A Roadmap to Predictive Analytics: Best-in-Class and Emerging Techniques"- Jorge Silva: Senior Research Statistician Developer, Enterprise Miner R&D SAS

  • Abstract: Analytics are ubiquitous in the business world, and picking the right method, algorithm or technology for the problem at hand can be a challenge. In this presentation we will review some of the best-in-class supervised and unsupervised methods available for a variety of applications, including market segmentation and rare event prediction. In addition, we will cover emerging techniques devised for highly challenging tasks, such as product recommendation and pattern recognition in images and video. Thanks to recent advances in machine learning – for instance, collaborative filtering, deep learning and ensembles -- these problems are now tractable at scale using commodity hardware.

3. "Sports Analytics – What’s New? What’s Hot?" - Dr. Dave Schrader, Teradata (retired)

  • Abstract:This survey talk describes the current state of data analytics for 5 major professional sports – baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer, as well as analytics used by trainers and strength coaches. Topics include:
    • Sport is Big Business – how much money is involved?
    • The field of Sports Analytics is hot – what’s table stakes? What’s cutting-edge?
    • How do analytics from traditional marketing apply to sports business operations?
    • How can video and sensor technologies provide opportunities for improving team operations?
    • What are the latest research results for individual and team play dynamics?
    • What can business people learn from sports analytics, and vice-versa?


Lunch "Sports Analytics" Panel:  Moderated by Dave Schrader

Cincinnati Reds, Bengals, Bearcats
  • Chris Calo, Senior Business Analyst at the Cincinnati Reds
  • Geoff Smith, Analytics Advisor to the Cincinnati Bengals
  • Brandon Sosna, Director, Strategic Relations and Associate Director, Marketing for the UC Bearcats


Tutorials and Solutions in Predictive Analytics

  • SAS: Demonstration of SAS Forecast Server using an applied example within the Health and Life Sciences industry - George Habek, SAS
  • ThinkVine will focus on key challenges faced by marketers and their partners in marketing analytics.  We’ll cover marketers’ context and our methodological approaches to attribution and optimization.  Damon Ragusa, ThinkVine
  • FICO:  Integrating and Deploying Predictive Analytics for Speed, Scale and Stability:  From scoring and classification tools, to the powerful capability of integrating predictive analytics with optimization. All of this in a platform that allows decision makers to interact with the models, visualize results and compare scenarios, while reducing development and deployment time. A win-win-win for decision makers, IT and analytics teams. Zahir Balaporia, Solutions Partner FICO

All meals and parking are included in the registration fee

Event Fee:  $125

Keynote Speakers

McKay Curtis Disney

McKay Curtis: Sr Principal on the Decision Science Team at the Walt Disney Company

His current focus is to improve business practices for partners at Disney through the integration of predictive and prescriptive analytics into daily work processes. Prior to joining the Walt Disney Company five years ago, McKay worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Washington developing statistical methods for the analysis data from Alzheimer’s patients.  McKay earned a Ph.D. in Statistics from North Carolina State University where he focused on Bayesian methods in variable selection and shape-restricted regression.


Jorge Silva SAS

Jorge Silva Senior Research Statistician Developer, Enterprise Miner R&D, SAS

Jorge received his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from IST Lisbon in 2007. He continued to be involved in academics as a senior research scientist at Duke University, where he applied statistical models to large-scale problems, e.g., unsupervised learning, analysis of multi-modal data, recommender systems and social networks. Since 2012 he is a Senior Research Statistician Developer at SAS, where he develops high-performance distributed machine learning algorithms for Enterprise Miner. He holds multiple US patents and has authored numerous articles in scholarly journals.


Dr Dave Schrader

Dr. Dave Schrader

He spent 32 years in engineering, advanced development, and marketing for high-tech companies, including 24 years at Teradata. His areas of expertise include parallel database systems, marketing and operations analytics, as well as Big Data.  He recently retired but stayed on the Teradata University Network Board of Advisors, where he stays busy giving talks for faculty and students on business analytics and best practices.  Since retiring, he has focused on sports analytics, attending conferences and debriefing experts to create teaching decks and reading assignments to help more students get interested in both the business and operations side of sports analytics, as well as statistics and computer science. Dr. Dave holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Purdue University and is a popular speaker world-wide.


Tutorials and Solutions Presenters

George Habek SAS

George Habek, Analytical Training Consultant, Global Academic Program, SAS

George obtained his B.S. degree in Mathematics & Statistics from Loyola University Chicago and his M.S. degree in Applied Statistics (With Distinction) from DePaul University Chicago. He has more than 18 years of programming & statistical modeling with SAS® plus over 7 years of statistical modeling experience in database marketing.  He also has solid expertise in statistical analysis, data mining, predictive modeling, text mining, forecasting, clustering, and survey analysis.

He is responsible for analytical training, teaching, & consulting on a variety of courses and has solid expertise in statistical analysis, data mining, predictive modeling, text mining, forecasting, clustering, and survey analysis.   His in depth knowledge of SAS® tools includes BASE, STAT, ETS, Enterprise Guide, SAS Studio, Enterprise Miner, Text Miner, Forecast Studio, JMP, Visual Analytics & Visual Statistics.


Damon Ragusa ThinkVine

Damon Ragusa, CEO, ThinkVine

An accomplished entrepreneur and marketing technologist, Damon founded ThinkVine in 2008.  Seeing an opportunity to innovate how companies evaluate the performance of their marketing in an ever increasingly complex environment, Damon led the development of what would become ThinkVine's flagship product.  In early 2009, ThinkVine launched its marketing planning & optimization software and services to the marketplace. ThinkVine was subsequently selected as a leader in the marketing mix modeling space by Forrester Research, an independent research firm. Damon's responsibilities cover the overall leadership of and responsibility for the company's performance, driving ThinkVine's thought leadership platform and contributing to its long-term product vision.

A popular speaker known for his domain expertise and thought leadership, Damon is frequently asked to present at such conferences as ad:tech, American Marketing Association (AMA), Advertising Research Foundation and the Institute for International Research. Damon has held partner and senior level positions at management consulting, marketing science and software development firms. He holds degrees in Quantitative Studies and Psychology and has conducted advanced studies in both Business Administration and Computer Science.


Zahir Balaporia FICO

Zahir Balaporia, CAP Solutions Partner, FICO

Zahir develops customer focused solutions within FICO’s Decision Management Suite. With over 20 years of business and IT operations experience, he brings thought leadership to the development of advanced analytics solutions across analytical domains and industry verticals. He also specializes in change management associated with deploying process disruptive technologies. Before coming to FICO, Zahir was Director of Advanced Planning and Decision Sciences at Schneider, a leading provider of truckload, logistics and intermodal services. His team specialized in the application of advanced analytical techniques for operational, tactical and strategic decision support across the enterprise.

Zahir is a Certified Analytics Professional through INFORMS. He is actively involved with INFORMS serving as President of the Analytics Section, and has served on the advisory council for the Business Analytics Conference for the last nine years. He is acknowledged in the books Competing on Analytics by Davenport and Harris, and The New Know by Thornton May. Zahir has a BS in Computer Engineering, an MS in Industrial Engineering, and is completing an MS in System Dynamics.