By: Eric Siegel, Program Chair, Predictive Analytics World for Business
In anticipation of her upcoming keynote address at Predictive Analytics World for Business Las Vegas, June 16-20, 2019, we asked Jennifer Lewis Priestley, Professor of Applied Statistics and Data Science at Kennesaw State University, a few questions about incorporating predictive analytics into business. Catch a glimpse of her presentation, Finding Analytical Talent – What You Don’t Know About Working with Universities, and see what’s in store at the PAW Business conference in Las Vegas.
Q: In your work with predictive analytics, what behavior or outcome do your models predict?
A: As the Associate Dean of a Graduate College at a research university, I oversee several of our masters and doctoral programs that teach analytics and data science to the next generation. All of our students engage with companies to solve data-centric problems. We work with organizations aligned with healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, and retail. Our corporate partners include Equifax, GE, Coca Cola, SPANX, and Georgia Pacific. While there are nuances with each problem domain…ultimately everyone is trying to do the same thing – take massive amounts of data (traditional and alternative, structured and unstructured) and improve their decision making. In most cases, while the context of the predictions are different, the methodological approaches are the same. For example, predicting if someone will default on their loan is methodologically very similar to predicting if someone will purchase a product…or develop cancer.
Q: How does predictive analytics deliver value at your organization – what is one specific way in which it actively drives decisions or operations?
A: Our students work with organizations in variety of capacities. Several of our masters students recently engaged in a project with an autolender which used alternative data to improve the accuracy of their lending decisions.
Q: Sneak preview: Please tell us a take-away that you will provide during your talk at Predictive Analytics World.
A: While there are over 200 universities with masters-level programs in analytics and data science, most companies are struggling to find (and retain) deep analytical talent. In this talk, a university dean, with 12 years of work experience with Accenture, VISA EU and MasterCard, will explain how companies can work with universities to help close the talent gap. Specific issues related to data privacy, intellectual property, efficient recruiting…and how to even get started talking to a university…will be addressed.
Don’t miss Jennifer’s keynote address, Finding Analytical Talent – What You Don’t Know About Working with Universities, at PAW Business on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 from 1:30 to 2:10 PM. Click here to register for attendance.
By: Eric Siegel, Conference Chair, Predictive Analytics World for Business