Data & Analytics Virtual Summit 2021

August 5, 2021

78 days left

Welcome to Opal Group’s Data & Analytics Virtual Summit, August 5, 2021

Fostering Conclusive Decision-Making: Data & Analytics as an Organizational Mindset

The Data & Analytics Virtual Summit is a gathering of Data & Analytics executives representing enterprise organizations, global brands, government agencies and more. Executives will connect, benchmark, network and focus on key initiatives. During these uncertain times, it’s important to create and maintain relationships with like-minded D&A professionals, and our new Virtual Summit fosters these relationships - all from the safety and comfort of our homes or offices.

Our Summit provides a specialized, strategically-built experience that features unparalleled keynote speaking sessions with thought-leading case studies, highly-interactive panel discussions, and a virtual experience that includes customized networking opportunities and real-time attendee insights.

We believe in creating a memorable, collaborative and effective experience focused on continuous improvement for Chief Data & Analytics Officers, Chief Data Officers, Chief Analytics Officers, and other top executives in data, analytics, artificial intelligence, business intelligence, IT and data governance.

Join us! Interested in attending, speaking or sponsoring? Contact Bobby Swartout at (212) 532-9898 ext. 248 or email

Current as of May 13, 2021

2021 Speakers

Inderpal Bhandari, Global Chief Data Officer, IBM Corporation

Dr. Satyam Priyadarshy, Chief Data Scientist, Halliburton USA

Phanii Pydimarri, Head of Global Data Strategy & Analytics, Bose

Adita Karkera, Deputy State Chief Data Officer, State of Arkansas

Charles Li, Chief Data Officer for Training & Supply, Shell

Ravi Achukola, AVP, Global IT Digital, Enterprise Data & Analytics , Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Pradipta Saha, Executive Director - Global Supply Chain Business Insights & Analytics, The Estée Lauder Companies

Allen Thompson, VP Data & Analytics, Hanover Insurance

Jose Murillo, Chief Analytics Officer, Banorte

Solomon Madadha, SVP - Wealth Management Data Analytics & Governance, Regions Bank

Marius Moscovici, CEO, Metric Insights

Mike Smitheman, VP Sales & Marketing, Metric Insights

Meena Thanikachalam, Head of Data Strategy, Architecture & Analytics, Ally

Aleksandar Lazarevic, VP of Advanced Analytics & Data Engineering, Stanley Black & Decker


Virtual Welcome / Opening Remarks


Opening Keynote Presentation


Creating a Data-Driven Mindset: Embracing Data & Analytics as the Basis for All Business Decisions


Data-driven organizations are committed to gathering data concerning all aspects of the business. By enabling employees at every level to use the right data at the right time, data can foster conclusive decision-making and becomes part of the companies’ competitive advantage. Data has become a basic enterprise asset that enables better, faster, cheaper business processes, and truly data-driven organizations are committed to gathering data concerning all aspects of the business. By enabling employees at every level to use the right data at the right time, data can foster conclusive decision-making and becomes part of the companies’ competitive advantage. However, many organizations don’t have a solid, company-wide data strategy in place and continue to keep information siloed.


Join us in this informative session as we discuss best practices for becoming truly data-driven, such as:


  • Putting data and analysis front and center in everyday business processes in order to build meaningful collaborations throughout the organization
  • Making the commitment to treat data as a strategic asset and ensure that analytics projects tie back to critical business efforts
  • Empowering users with the structure, governance, and facilitation of training that’s needed to solve business problems with data and analytics
  • Making data skills a top priority in recruiting, developing, and retaining organizational talent

Keynote Presentation


Prioritizing Data Literacy: Getting from Data to Outcomes


As data continues to grow in importance for organizations across industries, data literacy has become an increasingly crucial skill, even for those who are not data analysts, data engineers, or data scientists. By thinking through the full classification of decision types, organizations can prioritize their data-driven decision-making and strike the appropriate balance of human judgment and computing power for each type of decision. When working to develop true proficiency in data interpretation and communication, it’s critical to create and maintain a certain mindset for approaching data and data-related problems to facilitate the development of data literacy.


In this engaging session we will discuss some strategies for developing and enhancing a data-driven mindset, such as:


  • Developing an awareness of what measures are included in the data, any filters that are applied, and the mechanisms used to actually collect the data – in order to truly understand what questions can, and cannot, be addressed by the data
  • Forming a core understanding of what the data is actually used for – to cut down on the amount of data you will eventually need to analyze, and make it easier to provide insights to your stakeholders
  • Identifying the multitude of decisions that are made across the organization, and prioritizing the data enhancement opportunities to determine who should lead decision-making going forward
  • Making data literacy a top-down organizational imperative in order to: increase data-driven maturity, reduce costs, and minimize turnaround time – without impacting the probability of making the right decisions
  • Utilizing data warehouses, lakes and pipelines to ensure that the data is relevant, reliable, repeatable and recognized as coming from an authoritative source

Panel Discussion


The Talent Landscape: Growing Data and Analytics Teams in the Organization


While many companies are hiring data scientists and other types of analytical and artificial intelligence talent, there is little consensus within and across companies about the qualifications for such roles. Companies need to devote considerable attention to classifying and certifying the different types of data and analytics jobs that they have and need. With data becoming a key element of all organizational decision-making, identifying the right talent to lead data and analytics initiatives is critical.


Join this highly interactive panel as we discuss strategies for acquiring and retaining top data and analytics talent, such as:


  • Expanding the talent pool by working with universities directly on data and analytics educational programs
  • Building and nurturing communities within the organization to effectively develop employees for the data teams
  • Making internal investments directed at assessing, hiring, and motivating the company’s data and analytics talent
  • Building community and knowledge-sharing approaches among the data and analytics professionals
  • Creating job-mapping initiatives that will lead to a clearer vision for how individuals can move around, upskill, and grow their career paths

Lunch & Learn


Select a topic and join us for an informal and interactive group session where we’ll discuss challenges and strategy implementations that are top of mind for today’s data and analytics practitioners

Leveraging AI to Help to Ensure that Data is a Source of Value for the Organization


When it comes to artificial intelligence (AI), there is no such thing as data overload. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – the more data, the better. Because AI systems have the ability to process enormous amounts of data, and their accuracy increases along with data volume, the demand for data continues to grow. As the lifeblood of AI, data is critical to helping you get the business insights you need to move your business forward.


In this session we will discuss ways to lay out the groundwork for successful integration of AI, such as:


  • Determining the most important areas in which AI can benefit the business
  • Ensuring that your IT infrastructure can handle the change
  • Investing in your employees’ knowledge of AI and its impact on data
  • Defining KPI’s and implementing a reporting mechanism that will help determine whether the platform can do what it promises to do
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Keynote Presentation


Implementing Predictive Analytics to Forecast Revenue and Improve Marketing Campaigns


For the past few decades, business intelligence tools have been essential for companies wanting to stay ahead of the competition. The natural evolution of business intelligence, predictive analytics provides a deeper understanding of future trends, relying on historical data and statistical models. As with AI, however, it is only as good as the input and the reasoning behind the algorithm used.


In this engaging session we will discuss some of the steps necessary to properly execute the implementation of Predictive Analytics, such as:


  • Setting out expected outcomes and clear deliverables
  • Defining data collection and analysis processes
  • Democratizing modeling and making it available to business analysts and data scientists
  • Interpreting and integrating data into daily routines
  • Monitoring the data periodically to confirm its significance

Keynote Presentation


Implementing an Agile Approach to Data Unification


Data unification is an incredibly complex process and one of the biggest challenges many large organizations face today. Trying to combine all of the data across your organization into one master source is incredibly difficult to achieve at scale, particularly when hundreds of thousands of datasets are involved. Because of this data mastering crisis, there is an immediate need for organizations that provide agile and curated datasets.


In this interactive workshop we will discuss some of the principles for scalable data unification, such as:


  • Ingesting data and performing data cleaning
  • Performing schema integration and entity consolidation
  • Performing classification and other complex analytics
  • Exporting unified data to one or more downstream systems

Keynote Presentation


Data & Analytics as the Centerpiece of Organizational Strategy


Leading organizations – regardless of industry – are utilizing data and analytics as competitive weapons and modernization catalysts. Information as an asset is critical moving forward, and must become a competitive differentiator for leading organizations as they focus on digital transformation. However, many companies continue to struggle under the weight of traditional operating models that fail to see data and analytics as a primary organizational asset, and instead discount the true potential.


Join us in this informative session as we discuss best practices for making data and analytics the centerpiece of enterprise strategy, by:


  • Collecting examples of the internal and external economic benefits from data and analytics that your organization has generated
  • Committing to the information management and advanced analytics skills and technology investments that are necessary to realize that potential of data and analytics
  • Measuring and communicating the value of the organization’s information assets to help shift the culture into believing and behaving as if information is an actual asset
  • Building advanced analytics competencies beyond traditional business intelligence and embedding them throughout the business

Keynote Presentation


Utilizing Data Storytelling to Influence Decisions and Drive Change


In today’s economy, and with all of the uncertainly as to the future of business, being able to communicate effectively with data is no longer seen as simply a luxury – it’s a critical business element. There are two important factors to consider when trying to engage your organizational audience: how to transform your data into a visual communication tool; and, developing ways to captivate your audience with an effective narrative in order to tell the story with data. In addition, utilizing data storytelling creates a way for anybody in the organization – regardless of level or skill set – to understand and use data in their jobs on a daily basis.


Join us in this engaging session as we discuss best practices for implementing and utilizing data storytelling, such as:


  • Developing a true understanding of your audience and choosing the best visualization techniques in order to give maximum information with the least amount of effort
  • Understanding what your company truly wants to communicate, and what actions you’re looking to drive
  • Determining which communication method will be most effective for your intended audience(s) – bar chart, animation, color schemes, screen sharing, etc.
  • Reducing the cognitive load and using visuals that will be familiar to the audience
  • Aligning the story with the needs and knowledge level of the audience

Panel Discussion


Reshaping the Workforce Composition to Be Certain that Your Organization Experiences a Successful Data Transformation


It’s critical to create an organization with updated data and analytics roles that are fit for the future, as the expanding importance of data and analytics generates strategic challenges for company leadership. In the business of the future, there are new responsibilities and requirements for data and analytic leadership, and it’s necessary to develop skillsets in new areas such as AI and machine learning. In addition to leadership direction, it’s important to develop new roles that are effective in the process of transforming your data and analytics functions.


In this informative session, we’ll discuss the key roles to focus on for developing your data and analytics workforce of the future, such as:


  • Data-driven developers that will aid the organization in effective ways to manage data and analytics assets
  • Data scientists and engineers that can investigate and scrutinize data variations in order to detect errors and anomalies in your data sets
  • Data and analytics architects that can improve the organizational design of information assignments that are shared throughout the company
  • IT product managers to help executive and IT leadership agree on how to effectively utilize data and analytics to generate revenue and drive business

End of Summit

The W Chicago - City Center
172 W Adams, Chicago, IL 60603

Please contact your business development associate to reserve your hotel room.

1 user/pass
Data & Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Business Intelligence, IT, and Data Governance Practitioners Complimentary*

*Subject to Opal Group’s verification and approval. Practitioners representing consumer brand organizations within the following areas may qualify for a complimentary pass: Data & Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Business Intelligence, IT, and Data Governance. Click Register Now to reserve your seat for the live sessions or access to on-demand, post-event.

*Executives representing solution provider organizations can attend through sponsorship. For sponsorship opportunities, contact

Sponsorship Opportunities

More networking, greater interactions, bigger ROI:

One of the biggest challenges that companies face is standing out from the crowd and getting exposure with executives from leading organizations. Your company has the perfect solution to some of the biggest challenges that L&D and talent executives are facing, but how do you grab their attention and present your success stories?

The Data & Analytics Virtual Summit is the perfect platform to gain valuable exposure for your brand with exclusive access to key decision makers and like-minded executives. The attendees at the Summit areall facing the same challenges, and this is an outstanding forum to benchmark and share ideas with practitioners from several different industry verticals. The virtual event provides a specialized, strategically-built experience for cutting-edge thought-leaders and solution providers to engage, interact, and build long lasting relationships.

Solution providers at the Summit have the opportunity to showcase their brand as a thought-leader in the Data & Analytics industry while developing new business relationships through unparalleled speaking sessions and virtual roundtables. Learn more about sponsored thought leadership opportunities by contacting

  • Defining an Effective Framework to Turn Data and Analytics into Quantifiable Results
  • Implementing an Effective Data Governance Plan to Ensures that Your Data is Managed Efficiently and Strategically
  • Developing a Data-Driven Foundation that Becomes a Key Component of Organizational Culture
  • Utilizing Data-Driven Decision-Making to Improve Organizational Alignment and Grow the Business
  • Making Data & Analytics Strategies a Routine Boardroom Discussion Topic
  • Women in Data & Analytics – Improving Talent and Leadership in Your Data Organization
  • Advocating and Developing Data Literacy to Support a Data Driven Workforce
  • Managing Organizational Data During Times of Uncertainty
  • Implementing an Agile Approach to Data Unification
  • Utilizing Analytics to Improve Customer Engagement and Gain a Competitive Advantage
  • Prescheduled One-to-One Meetings:
    Each participating solution provider and attendees will have pre-summit access to our matching software that allows you to completely customize your meeting agenda. The password-protected website provides the information needed to make your selections on who you want to meet with.

  • Exceptional Networking Opportunities:
    We strive to maximize your face-to-face time by providing a multitude of avenues to engage the senior executives in attendance. The agenda incorporates an off-site networking activity, networking luncheons and cocktail reception. Leverage the meeting’s intimate atmosphere to build strong personal relationships with current and future clients.

The Data & Analytics Virtual Summit is an exclusive event for Data, Analytics and Digital practitioners from Fortune 1000 and leading organizations across the world.


Chief Data Officer
Chief Analytics Officer
Chief Digital Officer
Chief Data Scientist
Chief Data Architect
SVP/VP/Head of Data & Analytics
SVP/VP/Head of Business Insights and Analytics
SVP/VP/Head of Artificial Intelligence
SVP/VP/Head of Business Intelligence
SVP/VP/Head of Machine Learning


To request your invitation today, please contact Bobby Swartout at 212-532-9898 ext 248 or email

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      This experience was amazing. It was personal, conversational and relational. It expanded my knowledge and more importantly, my network. Laura Vostad

      POET, Dir. L&D

      What I enjoyed most was that the number of attendees was big enough to provide me a wealth of information, but small enough to allow me to network with almost everyone at the conference. I walked away with pages of notes, many new contacts and met some great vendors that we will likely do business with in the future. Shelby Pyatt

      Rayonier, VP, HR & IT

      By far, this was the most engaging, value added convening of leaders. It was the right mix of experience, learning, and networking. I absolutely enjoyed the Disney Tour and the book exchange was brilliant. The roundtables were also an added bonus. Sharahn Monk

      Worldpay, US Market Leader, Learning and Development

      Great event, very well organized with relevant speakers and potential business partners. I would recommend to anyone. Shawn Dingle

      Sonic Automotive, Senior Training Director

      OPAL is first class. It was the best Conference that I ever attended from the standpoint of speaker quality, organization, and venue. They really seem to care! John Barbieri

      Sompo International, VP, Human Resources

      I thought the whole conference was so well run and that the OPAL team did an amazing job. I would definitely love to attend another event! Tennille Boyer

      Blue Ocean Brain

      Excellent line-up of speakers Connie Keys

      Campbell Soup, Head of Culture & Learning