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Symposium Participants

Ament, Leslie
Bateman, Leanne
Carver, Rob (keynote)
Dietrich, David
Dinoor, Shlomi
Girelli, Alan
Hao, Haijing
McDougall, John

Keynote Speaker

ROB CARVER, Professor, Business Administration, Stonehill College; Adjunct Professor, International Business School, Brandeis University.

Rob Carver

Robert Carver is Professor of Business Administration at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, and Adjunct Professor at Brandeis University's International Business School in Waltham, Massachusetts. At IBS he has been deeply involved in developing the data analytics specialization. He teaches courses on business analytics as well as general management courses at both Stonehill and Brandeis. Both schools have recognized him with awards for teaching excellence. His primary research interest is statistics education, and he has authored several books on data analysis. He also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Statistics Education. Rob holds an A.B. in political science from Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts and a M.P.P. and Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

Program Abstract

A Statistician Asks Ethical Questions about Big Data Analytics

Like many disruptive innovations, Big Data and the explosive growth in analytics across disciplines are reshaping the conduct of commercial, medical, political and governmental organizations. In profound ways, big data analytics is fundamentally changing numerous social interactions — in ways that hold great promise, in ways that compromise traditional understandings of privacy, and in ways that are at best trivial. Some of the most serious concerns are ethical in nature.

Ethical issues arise in the generation, gathering, and analysis of Big Data, possibly resulting in new guidelines or laws. The news is not all bad: in some domains, the practice of analytics may resolve long-standing injustices or more equitably allocate resources.

To launch this symposium, Prof. Robert Carver considers some of the ethical dimensions of Big Data, bringing a statistician’s concern for faithful representation, respect for human subjects, the risk of erroneous conclusions, accuracy in reporting findings, and for sound logic in the design and conduct of statistical studies.

Session Leaders

LEANNE BATEMAN, Principal Consultant, Beacon Strategy Group; Faculty Chair, Strategic Analytics, Brandeis University.

Leanne Bateman

Leanne Bateman is the Academic Program Chair for the Strategic Analytics degree program at Brandeis University. She is the Principal Consultant with Beacon Strategy Group, a Boston-based management firm specializing in project management services. Leanne draws on more than 20 years of project management and information technology experience across the areas of health care, biotech, information technology, high-tech manufacturing, human resources, construction, senior housing, government and higher education.

Program Abstract

The Application of Analytics in the Student's Academic Lifecycle

Analytics are a powerful tool that can bring valuable insights to light that enable strategic decision making based on those insights. This is as true in higher education as any other industry, and across numerous areas throughout a student’s academic lifecycle.  This lifecycle begins at the point of recruitment and continues through graduation to alumnus status.

In this session, we will discuss specific applications of analytics at various critical points in a student’s academic lifecycle. These applications involve measuring and improving academic performance, including student acquisition, selection and retention; course major/minor selection and curriculum management; academic performance and risk management; faculty effectiveness and instructor/student relationship management; behavioral indications and personal maturity levels; study and learning behaviors and overall potential for degree completion.

Session outcomes will focus on practical applications and approaches that can be readily applied without complex toolsets.

DAVID DIETRICH, Head of Data Science Education, EMC

David Dietrich

David Dietrich is the head of the data science education team at EMC, leading the development of EMC’s new Big Data education offerings. Actively engaged in
defining next generation Big Data Solutions across EMC’s federation of companies, David has co-authored a new book on Big Data and data science and co-developed four courses in EMC’s data science curriculum for aspiring data scientists, heads of data science teams, and executives.

In addition to his work in Big Data education, David is also active in analytics communities and Big Data research projects, such as his recent collaboration with
MIT through the bigdata@csail initiative. He has filed 15 patents related to Big Data over the last 3 years.

Program Abstract

A Holistic Approach to Being Data Science Driven

In the new world of Big Data, confusion persists about what Big Data is, the skills needed to use it, and how organizations are taking advantage of Big Data to drive innovation. In this session, we will discuss:

  • EMC’s approach to teaching Big Data and data science
  • Common skills of people trying to move into data science roles
  • Educating customers at different levels of an organization about Big Data and how to implement data science projects
  • A methodology for successfully implementing data science projects
  • Examples of data science projects from across his organization

LESLIE AMENT, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Research and Principal Analyst, Hypatia Research Group, LLC.

Leslie Ament

Leslie Ament is a Customer Intelligence industry analyst who focuses on how organizations capture, manage, analyze and apply actionable insight to improve customer management techniques. Her research encompasses Customer Interaction Management & Engagement, Advanced Analytics, Business Intelligence, Social Intelligence,Text Analytics & GRC. A CRM practitioner, Ament has driven process requirements gathering & implementation for both on-premise & SaaS CRM systems.

She frequently presents at CRM Evolution, IBM Information on Demand, SAP Sapphire and the American Marketing Association, and is published on SandHill.com, destinationCRM. She also hosts the Customer Analytics & Insights Channel on the B-Eye-Network.

Previously, Ament served on management teams & lead global marketing & market research groups at Demantra, Inc. (acquired by Oracle), Arthur D. Little Management Consulting, Harte-Hanks, Banta Corporation, International Thomson Publishing (Chapman & Hall, UK) & Carnegie Hall, Inc. She is a member of the American Marketing Association, Society for Competitive Intelligence Professionals, Customer Relationship Management Association, DataShaping Certified Analytic Professional, Arthur D. Little Alumni Association, and Board Member of the Product Management Association.

Program Abstract

How CRM, Big Data Analytics, and Multi-channel Marketing Enhance Profitability and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Our primary research consistently shows that top performers report double-digit business return on technology investment (ROI) that is tangible for organizations with the most mature levels of experience in multi-channel customer engagement. We regularly survey and interact with business executives that actually utilize, recommend, influence, hold budget or veto power over customer management business processes and/or the purchase of customer management related software and service. Wouldn't you want to know how they did this?

Using case studies and survey analysis, this presentation will provide insights into how and why top performers:

  • Develop best practices for the effective use of multiple information sources for multi-channel customer engagement
  • Align the right key performance indicators (KPIs) with corporate and/or departmental goals
  • Design and effectively manage closed loop business processes
  • Capture and benchmark meaningful metrics across multiple customer channels
  • Leverage customer facing technologies using sophisticated workflows, alerts, personalization, and offers to enhance customer engagement
  • Utilize maturity level benchmarks specific to my industry to set realistic goals for continuous improvement
  • View primary accountability of both IT and marketing functions for the results of these cross-functional programs?
  • Develop or hire a “Marketologist”

Attendees will learn which selection criteria, business process capabilities and decision support best practices are critical in making the right investment for their organization.

HAIJING HAO, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Boston


Haijing Hao got her Ph.D. in Information Systems from Carnegie Mellon 2012, then a tenure track assistant professor at UMass. Boston. She is interested in researching health information systems, patient online reviews, healthcare online communities, technology adoption, econometrical modeling, the Bayesian learning model and business intelligence. Haijing’s research has received a dissertation award at Carnegie Mellon and the best student paper award at Workshop on Health IT and Economics (WHITE). She has presented/published at many international conferences. Haijing also serves on many international conference program committees or top academic journal reviewers.

Program Abstract

Text Mining the Largest Health Online Community in China

There are emerging studies on online health community and online reviews on healthcare providers. According to Health Online Report by Pew Research Center 2013, about 58% American adults have at least one time used the internet to look at health information in the past year. In the U.S., one out of six physicians has been reviewed online (Gao et al. 2012). In Germany, 37% of all German physicians were rated on jameda in 2012 and two thirds of all ratings are in the best category (Emmert and Meier 2013). However there is little empirical study about how Chinese consumers use the internet to search health information, although China is the number one internet population in the world (The World Bank, 2013).

Also, there is very limited study using text mining method to explore what the consumers are thinking about their healthcare providers and the healthcare service. Therefore, in the present study, we text mining the largest online health website in China to explore what are the Chinese consumers commenting
about their doctors. We collected more than 770 thousand public reviews on 112 thousand doctors from the largest healthcare website in China (The Economist, Jul. 24, 2014). Then we particularly analyze the consumers’ qualitative reviews on four specialty areas which received most reviews, Surgeon, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Internal Machine, and Chinese Traditional Medicine, by using topic modeling algorithm, Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA), which has been widely used in many domains, especially in text summarization.

JOHN MCDOUGALL, Founder & CEO, McDougall Interactive

John McDougall

John McDougall is the founder and CEO of McDougall Interactive, an award-winning agency specializing in SEO, social media, paid search, blogging, content marketing, conversion optimization, PR and, most importantly, fusing them together and tracking return on investment. With a background in music and the arts, he enjoys the blending of art and advertising. Having provided Internet services full-time since 1995, John was among the first to implement search engine optimization. John’s award winning book, Web Marketing On All Cylinders is now available for sale on Amazon.com and is published by Intera Press.

Program Abstract

10 Steps to Tracking Engagement and Influence Online

This presentation will cover why building thought leadership is important in marketing and how to track your progress. Authority marketing is the systematic process of increasing your reputation as an expert in your specific niche. This is done through content marketing, blogging, social media, public relations and off-line activities like writing a book and doing public speaking. These activities will have a significant impact on your website’s ability to rank in the search engines and have something significant to share in social media. Using a variety of tools including Google analytics I will show what authority metrics can be used to directly improve your bottom line.

SHLOMI DINOOR, Principal, ExtensionEngine; Founder, Degology


Shlomi Dinoor is an accomplished technology entrepreneur with almost two decades of experience in diverse disciplines, and proven track record of defining and delivering innovative offerings.

Shlomi, a principal at ExtensionEngine, is also the founder of Degology, the leading operational analytics service for organizations offering online courses. At ExtensionEngine, Shlomi led the HBX project, Harvard Business School’s groundbreaking digital learning initiative. Prior to joining ExtensionEngine, Shlomi served as VP of Engineering at EnergyPoints and the VP of Emerging Technologies at Cyber-Ark where he spearheaded Cyber-Ark’s Innovation Labs. Prior to Cyber-Ark Dinoor held Director of Engineering positions at Verdasys, Netegrity and CA Technologies.

Shlomi holds an MBA from the University of Massachusetts and a B.Sc. in Engineering (cum laude) from Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. Shlomi lives in Newton with his wife and daughter and spends what spare time he has navigating the college application process.

Program Abstract

Show me the Data! How to Improve the Learning Experience Using Operational Analytics

Available online courses are on the rise with millions of participating students. Despite the vast amount of collected data, educators lack transparency and valuable insights for their courses. It makes the task of managing online courses and improving the learning experience an uphill battle.

This session will identify why operational analytics is critical to ensure continuous improvement of students' learning experience. Attendees will be presented with new perspectives, practical approaches, and real world case studies. Specific strategies will be examined, including:

  • How is real input separated from white noise? Engagement buckets (“interested”, “active”, and “addicted”) will be presented, as well as characteristics and significance of each bucket.
  • Are different target audiences adequately addressed? Various segmentation strategies will be discussed.
  • What are the effective learning hours, and how can they be optimized?
  • Can the overall sentiment be detected? Are participants buying into the presented ideas?
  • How to identify participants' activity levels. Can these levels be effectively managed? Strategies for peak management will be reviewed.

The session is intended for organizations offering or planning to offer online courses, looking to better understand the role of operational analytics. Acquired concepts will allow these organizations to better manage their online initiatives, and continuously improve students’ learning experience.

ALAN GIRELLI, Ph.D, Director of the Center for Innovation and Excellence in eLearning (CIEE); University of Massachusetts Boston


Alan Girelli earned his Ph.D. in Composition and Rhetoric, Graduate Studies in English, UMass Amherst, focusing on electronic rhetorics and networked communication systems. Girelli directs the Center for Innovation and Excellence in eLearning (CIEE), housed with the College of Advancing and Professional Studies (CAPS) at the UMass Boston. Girelli has been involved with UMass Boston distance education programming since 1996 (before the advent of online education).  He has taught online, on-ground, and blended writing and instructional design courses at the graduate and undergraduate level for UMass Boston, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and ITT Technologies.  His research interests include online learning, learning analytics, competency based education and alternate credentialing, open educational resources, and transnational educational models.

Program Abstract

The Open Data Analytics Initiative

Our presentation crosses two related areas of applied research in Learning: data mining for educators and tools and approaches in learning analytics.

This session will be of interest to professionals in each of the following fields:

  • Instructional Design
  • Academic Support Services
  • Institutional Research
  • Enrollment Services
  • LMS administration
  • Data Architecture and Analytics

Members of the ODAI team from the UMass Boston and Patheer.Com will describe our two-year project to develop a prototype learning analytics engine suitable for cross-platform comparison and reporting of analogous data collected from disparate learning management systems (ie. Blackboard, Canvas, Desire to Learn, Sakai, Moodle).

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