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Many thanks to the following companies for their support of theCharlotte Chamber’s economic development efforts.PLATINUM SPONSORSSILVER SPONSORSBRONZE SPONSORSAd Art Company, TheArtistic Images, Inc.Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLPBryan Cave LLPBurkert Contromatic Corp.Carolina Handling, LLCCarolina Legal Staffing, LLCCompass Group North AmericaDiscoverReady LLCFirst Citizens BankG4S Secure Solutions (USA) Inc.Garden City GroupGrant Thornton LLPHaynes and Boone, LLPHendrick Automotive GroupHollander Home Fashions, Inc.Huron LegalInsight Global, Inc. A Staffing Services Co.Lincoln HarrisLouis Raphael — Kizan International, Inc.Moore & Van Allen PLLCNational Print Group Inc.Otis Elevator CompanyPerformance TeamPhillips-Van Heusen Corp.Rust Consulting, Inc.Shearman & SterlingSidley Austin LLPSpecial CounselStanley Convergent Security SolutionsSteelFab, Inc.UGL ServicesWeyco Group2Charlotte: Big Data & AnalyticsCharlotte Chamber Economic Development charlottechamber.com330 South Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202 USA | 704.378.1300 | twitter.com/cltecondevcharlottechamber.com


THOUGHT LEADER: TIM BELK, BELK‘Channeling’ the FutureBelk Inc. Steps Up to Fund Higher EducationTo begin understanding why the country’s largest privatelyowned department store chain cares about big data andanalytics, listen to its chief executive officer and chairman:“Suppose you shop at Belk, you might want to start yourpurchase on your iPad and then finish on your iPhone if you’reon the go,” said Tim Belk, who runs Charlotte-based BelkInc. “Or, you might want to do something from your desktop(computer) or go to the store. That’s four channels right there.”Today many large retailers are keenly focused on what’s called“omnichannel retailing.” They want customers to make purchasesjust as easily from an electronic device as from a traditionalstore. “We want our customers to be able to move seamlesslyamong a lot of channels,” Belk said, “and we want to put allour inventory in front of you no matter where you are.”The company also wants to be able to mine this data and otherdata it has — from social media, charge cards and call centers — toimprove everything from sales and product selections to efficiencyand customer satisfaction. “We are just at the beginning stagesof this,” said Belk, whose company has 301 stores in 16 states.In 2013, the company hired its first executive over omnichannelretailing, Dorlisa Flur, and it stepped forward to make the largestgift to date to the Belk College of Business at UNC Charlotte —$5 million to bolster teaching and research inanalytics and innovation, a gift that includes creatingan endowed chair for marketing analytics.Belk, who chaired the Charlotte Chamber in 2009,sees the gift to UNC Charlotte accelerating the learningcurve not only at his business but in the region.“We would like to see other companies do somethingsimilar to what Belk did in making an investment,” he said.“They can help build the data analytics curriculum like weare doing, and UNC Charlotte can be an important sourceof labor for them and a jobs generator for the region.”One role of the new marketing analytics chair is to developa learn-work-hire program to produce graduates skilledin big data and analytics. “It’s a new and emerging fieldand the demand outstrips the supply,” Belk said.Among many future applications, he sees analytics helpinghis company refine customer service. “Imagine our salesassociates having an electronic clientele book that automaticallysends emails to customers when something they wantcomes in,” Belk said. “Or, imagine the sales associate doingan algorithm search on his iPhone for the blue shirt in thesize you want and finding out the closest store, the lowestcost and the quickest delivery. That would be terrific.”charlottechamber.com Charlotte: Big Data & Analytics 7


PROFILE: DEREK WANG, TASTE ANALYTICSAn EntrepreneurMakes Data VisualWhile local businesses, UNC Charlotte and theAnalytics & Big Data Society are prime movers on bigdata and analytics within the region, a significant partof the story also rests with people like Derek Wang.Wang began Taste Analytics after finishing hisdoctorate in computer science at UNC Charlotte in2011 and understanding the growing analytics hungeramong businesses and other organizations.Analytics is “fertile ground for business startupsrequiring low capital and high skill,” said Yi Deng,dean of UNC Charlotte’s College of Computing andInformatics.Taste Analytics combines data analytics and interactivevisualization in a specialized field known as “visualanalytics,” which was Wang’s doctoral research specialty.The field still keeps him busy as associate director of theCharlotte Visualization Center, located in the College ofComputing and Informatics. He also mentors graduatestudents as a full-time research assistant professor.“Interaction is the key,” Wang said. “All analytics needto be placed in front of humans in a way that they canmake decisions from the information. We want humansto interact with their data and ‘taste’ the big data. Weare not going to orchestrate your thoughts. But ratherwe are in a facilitation role by putting data in a morehuman, graspable format.”Taste Analytics assembles and crunches data and thendisplays it through interactive visualization techniquesfor desktop computers, smartphones or other devices.“We want the data to speak, anywhere and anytime,”Wang said.The university’s strong data visualization program luredWang, a native of Beijing, to Charlotte for his doctoralwork. Then in 2005, when the U.S. Department ofHomeland Security (DHS) started visual analytics centersaround the country — including one at UNC Charlotte —the field took off.Wang incorporated Taste Analytics in 2012 and hastwo full-time and four part-time employees as of mid-2013. The firm serves a wide variety of customers butfocuses most of its energy on serving clients in education,government and banking.The company projects a release of late 2013/early 2014for its News Briefing app for consumers who use Appledevices.8Charlotte: Big Data & Analytics charlottechamber.com


“We want humans to interactwith their data and ‘taste’ thebig data. We are not going toorchestrate your thoughts. Butrather we are in a facilitationrole by putting data in a morehuman, graspable form.”~ Derek WangCharlotte: Big Data & Analytics 9


“I firmly believe Charlotte can be ananalytics hub for the region and even forthe U.S.,” he said. “We have a lot goingfor us here — the biggest thing is thedifferent types of industries. They requirestrong data and analytics skills.“Charlotte is also a great location,” headded. “It’s a couple of hours to the seaand the mountains, and the weather isgreat. I think the location has a lot ofattraction to high-powered talent.”With the hiring of Naidoo in early 2012,CHS began centralizing and expanding itsanalytics function. Yet, as of mid-October2013, DA 2 had 12 openings. “If you gettwo or three resumes per position you’rereally lucky,” Naidoo said.“Now we are starting to look for peoplewho have a data scientist background— they know how to program, knowstatistical analysis, understand businessconcepts and then can communicate inmeaningful ways to people who takecare of patients,” he said.Improving patient care and reducingcosts have been the main drivers of thehospital system’s increased focus on bigdata and analytics. System leaders areparticularly interested in mining theirown data to see factors that predictpatient outcomes.DA 2 recently tapped its clinical, billingand scheduling data to come up with apredictive readmission risk model. Dataanalysts used nearly 40 factors to identifyones that tend to determine if a patientwill be readmitted to the hospital.“Now our care managers can utilize thisinformation to identify patients at risk inreal time, organize resources and lay outtransition plans to reduce readmissionrates,” Naidoo said.charlottechamber.com Charlotte: Big Data & Analytics 11


THOUGHT LEADER: KELLY ROSS, LOWE’STalent as Tipping PointLowe’s Joins Local Push onBig Data and AnalyticsAnticipating the need for talent and education has spurred Lowe’sHome Improvement to join the regional economic developmentpush on big data and analytics.That’s the word from Kelly Ross, who keeps an eye on analytics assenior vice president of finance and measurement for the Fortune500 retailer based in Mooresville, N.C., just north of Charlotte.Though Lowe’s hasn’t had trouble attracting talent so far, includingrelocations of midlevel managers from around the country, the firmsees a challenge on the horizon.“We anticipate the demand for data scientists and analyticstalent is going to grow much faster than the supply to fillthose positions,” Ross said. “Ultimately, the value of big data isderived by its ability to improve the decisions we make, eitherby identifying new market opportunities or improving a businessprocess. And turning data into insights is ultimately done bypeople.”The data explosion/talent gap has led Ross to become active inCharlotte’s Analytics & Big Data Society (see page 18) and to begintalks with UNC Charlotte leaders who are ramping up what theuniversity offers.Lowe’s has long used its own data to help manage store inventory,decide product assortments, determine staffing levels and more.“What has changed in the past 10 years is the explosion of onlinedata — people shopping our website, being mobile and usingsocial media,” Ross said.“Lowe’s used to be a single-channel operation; you would drive to astore and buy something,” he continued. “Now we want to be ableto sell and fulfill a customer’s need the way they want it, whether it’susing a PC at home or a mobile device or going into a store.”Lowe’s also wants to use data to help customers manage andimprove their homes. Establishing the “My Lowe’s” online programis a step in that direction. The program helps customers recordtheir purchases, warranties and product information, plan projects,create wish lists and more. “We want to help customers manage— and love — their homes,” Ross said.Knowing that Lowe’s is one of many major organizations inCharlotte ramping up its analytics function, Ross believes theregion is on the cusp of developing a new growth industry.“What makes me optimistic is the focus of the Charlotte Chamberand that UNC Charlotte is creating partnerships with industry as itdevelops an analytics infrastructure in Charlotte,” Ross said. “I don’tknow if we’ll ever be a Silicon Valley, but I think we can becomeknown in the region and Southeast over the next 10 years.”12Charlotte: Big Data & Analytics charlottechamber.com


“We anticipate the demand for datascientists and analytics talent is goingto grow much faster than the supplyto fill those positions. What makes meoptimistic is the focus of the CharlotteChamber and that UNC Charlotte iscreating partnerships with industry as itdevelops an analytics infrastructure.”~ Kelly Rosscharlottechamber.com Charlotte: Big Data & Analytics 13


This page: Philip Dubois, Chancellorof UNC Charlotte; Opposite: Yi Deng,Dean of UNC Charlotte’s College ofComputing and InformaticsUNC Charlotte — What Will DSBA Do?While UNC Charlotte has had analyticsrelatedcourses for years withina variety of degree programs, itsData Science and Business Analytics(DSBA) effort is providing a muchhigher concentration of courses anda more intense focus on the topic.The university is working closely withregional businesses and organizations tocreate education, training and researchprograms to meet the DSBA need.Leading UNC Charlotte’s effort is theCollege of Computing and Informatics andthe Belk College of Business, with strategicinput from the College of Health andHuman Services. The DSBA is focused onthe following:Increasing Graduate Degree ProgramsUNC Charlotte wants to develop the datascientists, analysts and managers whombusinesses and other organizations needto evaluate, present and communicatedata in meaningful ways.Adding Executive Education andProfessional DevelopmentCertificate programs and other courseswill allow organizations to send existingemployees for DSBA education.Creating an Industry-UniversityConsortiumThe consortium will be made up ofresearch partnerships between theuniversity and industry, spurring newideas and technology within companiesand in the marketplace.Current Degrees With DSBAComponentsThe number of UNC Charlotte degreeswith analytics and big data componentsis substantial and will continue to growbased on the DSBA initiative. Here arethe offerings as of fall 2013.14Charlotte: Big Data & Analyticscharlottechamber.com


THOUGHT LEADER: PHILIP DUBOIS, UNC CHARLOTTESeizing the MomentUNC Charlotte Targets Talent Shortage, Regional ProwessIn 2011, Yi Deng, dean of the UNCCharlotte College of Computing andInformatics, and Joan Lorden, universityprovost, made an important visit to theschool’s chancellor. They wanted to tellPhilip Dubois about the talent squeeze inbig data and analytics and the potentialfor UNC Charlotte to become the pivotalleadership partner to regional businesses.Dubois, whose university is the state’s urbanresearch institution, was all ears. “Yi andJoan stated how big data was emerging asa major national need and that shortageswere projected to emerge in banking andfinance, retail, health care and energy,which are fundamentals of our regionaleconomy,” Dubois recalled. Furthermore,local executives were eager for universityleadership and education.“It’s the job of a chancellor to appropriategood ideas when you hear them,” Duboissaid, noting that this was one.Soon after, the trio and other universityleaders began focusing on how to growresources to make UNC Charlotte theregion’s go-to educational institution forbig data and analytics. With related coursesalready in many degree programs and theCollege of Computing and Informaticsbeing the largest IT college in the statebased on several measures, the universitywas well positioned.“We have the capacity and horsepower todo this,” Dubois said. “Our strategy wasto raise local awareness, to approach theCharlotte Chamber early on, develop alegislative strategy and to get UNC systemPresident Tom Ross on board.”Today, those goals have been accomplished,and Dubois still marvels at how UNC systemsupport fell neatly in place.Independent of the university, the UNCBoard of Governors (to which Tom Rossreports) identified data science andanalytics as one of its six “game-changing”strategies. Ross allocated funds this year tosupport the UNC Charlotte effort. “It wasserendipitous,” Dubois said.One major Charlotte business has steppedup as well. In early 2013, retailer Belk Inc.announced it was giving the Belk College ofBusiness $5 million over five years to helpgrow curriculum and research in analyticsand innovation (see page 7).The university expects morebusinesses to step forward withgifts, whether to the businesscollege, the College ofComputing and Informatics(CCI), the College of Healthand Human Resources orother academic areas thatare increasing offerings aspart of what UNC Charlottecalls its Data Science andBusiness Analytics (DSBA)initiative.“The DSBA has incredible momentum,”noted Steve Ott, dean of the businesscollege, in an article for UNC Charlottemagazine. “Companies from a wide rangeof industries are eager to learn moreabout how they can leverage data to drivestrategy, and we’re confident that the DSBAprovides solutions to the key challenges ofthe big data economy.”Said CCI Dean Yi Deng,“The DSBA initiativeresponds to thechallenges ofbig data andwill position theCharlotte regionas a leading hubfor innovationand economicdevelopment.”charlottechamber.com Charlotte: Big Data & Analytics 15


PROFILE: JARED LAWRENCE, DUKE ENERGYPart of Charlotte’s ‘Analytics Movement’In 2010, Jared Lawrence joined his group atDuke Energy to help the company sharpenits retail customer strategy. Little did herealize that in just three years he would bespending about 40 percent of his time withdata and analytics.“I love it,” said Lawrence, whose title todayis general manager of customer planningand analytics. “I have an engineeringbackground so that helped me adjust.”While Lawrence believes Duke Energy is inthe top half or higher among the nation’selectrical utilities in applying analyticsto operations, utilities “still lag otherindustries that have had a more competitiveimperative to develop it,” noted Lawrence,citing banking, health care and retail asexamples.That’s one of the reasons he has becomeactive in Charlotte’s Analytics & Big DataSociety. “I love getting together and havingdialogue on challenges we are facing andlearning from each other,” he said.“There seems to be a strong communitysense around the analytics movement inCharlotte,” Lawrence continued. “It is reallya sense we all need to work together to liftthe tide and cultivate the city’s reputation asan analytics hub.”Duke Energy already applies analytics inmany ways. Among them are designingcustomer services and contact strategies,gaining insights about employee satisfactionand retirement trends and helpingcustomers and the company reduce coststhrough grid-modernization programs.As the company grows its analyticsfunction, “we are finding we need to goto the market to tap some of those datascience experts, people who have the talentto develop new algorithms to extract valuefrom big data,” Lawrence said.He believes that Charlotte’s cluster ofcompanies in the energy industry will be astrong factor in advancing analytics locally.“Mainly the (energy) companies that locatedhere are in infrastructure, engineering anddevelopment; the analytics capability reallycomplements that,” he said. “Analytics isabout using assets more effectively.”COURTESY OF DUKE ENERGYPROFILE: DOUG VINSON, PACTERAFortune 500 Are Big Charlotte DrawNot long after Pactera TechnologyInternational announced its U.S.headquarters in Charlotte, the automatedmessage at its local office noted thecompany provides “soup to nuts” techservices for clients. Then, the message listed“predictive analytics” first in a short list ofexamples.COURTESY OF PACTERA“This is a hot area,” said Doug Vinson,Pactera’s vice president of sales andmarketing in Charlotte. “It’s one thing togather data, but most clients are interestedin what is going to happen in the future,banks in particular.”Predictive analytics is part of the bigdata and analytics emphasis in theCharlotte region. “The past 10 to 12 yearscompanies have been acquiring softwareto automate, and at the core of thatsoftware are databases,” Vinson said. “Allthat data can be captured, and companiesare wising up to use that data to makeanalytical decisions.”Based in Beijing, Pactera has approximately24,000 employees worldwide and is thelargest IT consulting firm in China based onnumber of employees.The company announced Charlotte as itsU.S. hub in April 2013 mainly becauseof Fortune 500 companies in the region,Vinson noted. Pactera already had strongrelationships with several such companies,having acquired them through a formerCharlotte-based management consultingfirm named Nouveon, which a Pacterapredecessor bought in 2011, he said.“Our organization in China deals mainlywith the Fortune 500,” Vinson continued.“Its largest vertical (market) is financialservices with a very technological focus.Nouveon was built around high-levelmanagement consulting; now Pactera cancomplement that with technology.”In Charlotte, Pactera is addingapproximately 200 employees to theapproximately 60 it already employsnear SouthPark Mall. Most of the newhires will work directly with clients. “Weare looking for technical expertise, anunderstanding of the industry they’reworking in and social skills — our clientsexpect good communication,” Vinsonsaid.16Charlotte: Big Data & Analyticscharlottechamber.com


PROFILE: SEAN CASSIDY, PREMIEREager for Local Software DevelopersSean Cassidy hopes the day comes whenhe can do his job without flying all overthe country.The manager of Enterprise ProviderAnalytics at Premier — a Charlotte-basedalliance of approximately 2,900 hospitalsand approximately 100,000 other healthcare providers — leads a team that helpsmembers gain knowledge and capabilitiesin analytics related to patient care. Premieralso focuses on analytics related to supplychain management.With one of the nation’s largest healthcare databases, Premier has informationon one in four hospital discharges in thecountry and adds approximately 2.5 milliontransactions to the database daily, saidTodd Wilkes, Premier’s vice president ofEnterprise Solution Development, speakingto a N.C. Technology Association meetingin August 2013.One of Cassidy’s big tasks is checking outthe latest analytical software in patientcare and making recommendations tomembers. “I’m on airplanes a lot going toBoston, San Francisco, Austin and Dallas,”he said. “I would rather stay here and tuckmy kids in at night.”He hopes an increase in local softwareentrepreneurs will be a by-product ofCharlotte’s momentum in big data andanalytics. “We are interested in peoplewho are building solutions, who arecreating analytically focused softwareorganizations. That will (also) create a lotof value for the city of Charlotte,” he said.Rising costs and shifting reimbursementmodels are driving change in health care.“Having to connect the dots betweencosts and the quality side and thepatient experience side is a fairly newdevelopment,” Cassidy says. “It’s causing aperspective change among our providers.They are in the early stages of the journey.”“They are focused on understanding thehealth, costs and general well-being ofpopulations they serve,” he said. “This iswhy it’s an analytical problem. In the past,the industry looked at individual patientsand individual episodes of care.”COURTESY OF PREMIERcharlottechamber.com Charlotte: Big Data & Analytics 17


PROFILE: STEVE PAGE, WELLS FARGOWells FargoCranking Up Analytics via a Central PlatformIn 2012, Wells Fargo took a major stepinto the world of big data and analytics— it invested in a centralized technologyplatform to focus on the function.“Despite the hype about big data, it’sreal,” Steve Page of Wells Fargo told aN.C. Technology Association meeting inAugust 2013.“We generate a lot of data, andpeople are interested in it — thegovernment is interested, people inthe bank are interested, regulators areinterested,” said Page, an area managerin technology for the bank. “We havea lot of data from interactions withcustomers, and the importance to thebanking industry is simple. We want tomanage risk better and take better careof customers.”The bank is in the early stages ofemploying big data and analytics in abroad way. Wells Fargo has spent a lot ofmoney with consultants to “show us howto do the work,” Page said, noting thatthe bank is now forming its own internalstaff in this specialty. “Right now whatwe do is not tied hard to deliverables… we are trying to find the rightapplications for big data technology.”One project has already produced a“360-degree” view of customers bycombining online, call center and store(banking locations) data. As a result, WellsFargo was “able to see a pattern that ledto (customer) attrition,” Page said.Among other projects, the bank isexamining data for fraud patterns,mining blog information on the Web andstudying customer emails for positive andnegative messages.“We also have a small project called‘mobile wallet,’” Page explained. Ifsomeone with a cellphone walks by amerchant that does business with WellsFargo, the person could receive noticesof sales and offers on his cellphone.Consumer privacy is a concern, he noted,as with other big data and analyticsapplications related to marketing.18 Charlotte: Big Data & Analyticscharlottechamber.com


Analytics & Big Data SocietySharing Expertise, Eyeing a HubIn 2007 when Rishi Bhatnagar’s companydecided to focus strictly on big data andanalytics, clients didn’t exactly beat down itsdoor. “I wouldn’t say it was overwhelming,”said the co-owner of Syntelli Solutions,which has offices in Charlotte and Dallas.Charlotte was “a little slower adopting thetechnology.”Today is another story. Bhatnagar is the firstpresident of the Analytics & Big Data (ABD)Society, a group formed in 2013 that drawsfrom major industries in Charlotte andincludes leaders from UNC Charlotte as well.The group’s vision is to make the city a hubfor big data and analytics. Bringing togetherindividuals and organizations seeking valuefrom the field and who want to learn fromothers is a key focus of the group. “Wewant to provide a common platform forpeople to share ideas,” Bhatnagar said.Apparently it’s working. When the ABDSociety held a founders’ meeting in February2013 and then an initial general meetingabout three months later, they weregratified at the response. “We anticipatedabout 30 people but wound up with about90,” Bhatnagar said of the first generalmeeting. Attendees came from banks,retailers, health care organizations, analyticssoftware and service providers, the CharlotteChamber, UNC Charlotte and otherorganizations.The program featured a founders’ panelcomprised of Bhatnagar and other ABDboard members, representatives from Bankof America, Duke Energy and the Premierhealth care alliance. The moderator wasfrom Belk Inc. Keynote speakers wereDavid Kiron of the MIT Sloan ManagementReview, Akhil Uniyal from Dell and RichardRodts III from IBM.In late 2013, the ABD Society is upgradingits website, abdsociety.org, and planning adaylong conference for February 2014.Bhatnagar is upbeat about Charlottebecoming a hub for big data and analytics.“Analytics is transforming every industryin this world,” he said. “Charlotte hasthe underpinnings to become a majorplayer. There is a growing educationsystem here; the Raleigh area and itsuniversities are not far; and a lot ofgood businesses here need it.”COURTESY OF RISHI BHATNAGARCOURTESY OF RISHI BHATNAGARcharlottechamber.com Charlotte: Big Data & Analytics 19


Charlotte is one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation.With our great location, world-acclaimed international hub airport,professional sports, low energy costs, diverse and talented labor,and a nationally ranked education system, it’s easy to see whymore businesses are flocking here every year.charlottechamber.com©PATRICKSCHNEIDERPHOTO.COM

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