Meet the 2016 Speakers



tom davenport

IIA Co-Founder and Analytics Thought Leader, Tom Davenport helps guide IIA’s research efforts. He is the President’s Distinguished Professor of IT and Management at Babson College, and a research fellow at the MIT Center for Digital Business. Tom’s “Competing on Analytics” idea was named by Harvard Business Review as one of the twelve most important management ideas of the past decade and the related article was named one of the ten ‘must read’ articles in HBR’s 75 year history. His most recent book, co-authored with Julia Kirby, is Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines.


kim stevenson

Kimberly “Kim” Stevenson is corporate vice president of Intel Corporation and chief operating officer for the Client and Internet of Things Businesses and Systems Architecture (CISA) Group. The CISA organization is responsible for aligning technology, engineering, product design and business direction to extend Intel’s strategy and speed execution across the client device and IoT segments – all core to growth in the smart and connected computing era. Stevenson is responsible for CISA’s operational excellence, strategic planning process and related cross-company coordination. She also serves on Intel’s management committee.


ralph greco

Ralph Greco is the Director of Business Analytics Initiative at Fisher College of Business. He comes to Fisher after 25+ years working in technology.  He is a two time graduate of The Ohio State (Industrial and Systems Engineering) and has worked for IBM, Accenture and Sterling Commerce (later acquired by IBM). Greco works closely with college leadership, faculty, and staff to design and implement applied curriculum in the area of analytics for undergraduate students, graduate students, and practicing managers through executive education.  Greco is also part of the team helping to shape and execute a strategic plan for analytics at the college, including building relationships with partner companies and organizations through outreach and development efforts.



THO Nguyen

Tho Nguyen is a Business Solutions Manager at Teradata Corporation. With more than 15 years in the information technology industry, Tho works closely with R&D, partners and customers to drive and deliver value-added business solutions in analytics, data warehousing and data management. His combined technical and business background includes extensive experience in product management, global marketing and strategic alliance management. Tho holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University and an MBA degree in International Business from the University of Bristol, England.

Tho is authoring a book Leaders and Innovators: How Data-Driven Organizations Are Winning with Analytics which will be available in September 2016. It focuses on analytics and data management in an integrated environment with real world customer stories.


Analise Polsky

Analise Polsky is a Business Solutions Manager for SAS Best Practices. Her keen understanding of people in diverse cultures gives her depth and insight into data-driven and organizational challenges. As a Thought Leader for SAS Best Practices, she couples her diverse experience as an anthropologist and certified data whiz, to build core assets and deliver dynamic presentations. Her areas of focus include data visualization, organizational culture and change management, as well as data quality and data stewardship. Her multi-lingual background offers a unique ability to help organizations assess strengths and incumbent skills in order to drive strategic shifts in culture, policy and governance, globally. Analise puts the skills she learned while living in the Amazon to use in the corporate jungle – showing organizations how to evolve data practices and principles to meet ever-changing data demands.


alfred essa

Alfred Essa is VP of Research and Data Science at McGraw-Hill Education. At MHE he leads the data science and research practice. He has extensive experience in industry and academia, including serving as Director of Analytics Strategy at Desire2Learn, Assoc. Vice Chancellor and Deputy CIO at Minnesota State Colleges & Universities, and CIO at MIT's Sloan School of Management. At MIT he was the Principal Investigator of the iLearn project, a research initiative jointly funded by MIT and Microsoft.  In his spare time he enjoys playing internet blitz chess and drinking scotch, sometimes together.



Matt Fernandez

Matthew “Matt” Fernandez is CEO and co-founder of Simple Emotion, a software startup providing unique and powerful audio analysis. Simple Emotion is empowering computers to understand emotions in the human voice; its algorithms exceed research gold standards and competitors by 50% (when comparing emotion prediction accuracy). Simple Emotion can also extract demographics and other types of information from speech signals. The company's analytics can understand customer interactions in an entirely new way and provide valuable business insights. Matt holds a Bachelors of Engineering in Computer Science from Stanford.


Patrick Moore

Patrick is the Executive Director and leader of the US Market’s Investment Analytics & Decision Sciences Team at Merck.

The primary mission of the group is to provide Merck’s US Market leaders with analytically-based recommendations regarding the optimal level and mix of investments in direct selling, promotion and discounts/rebates to maximize business performance.  The IA&DS team serves the entire US portfolio including Primary Care & Women’s Health, Hospital & Specialty, Oncology and Vaccines.       

Patrick has over 20 years of experience delivering analytic insights to optimize commercial investments and inform key strategic choices in the US Market.  He has built a recognized analytic center of excellence that has most recently pioneered the use of predictive analytic techniques to measure contract performance, optimize sales force deployments and assess long range staffing requirements   In addition to his functional experience, Patrick has been a key contributing leader on a number of broad transformational initiatives in the commercial area.

Prior to Merck, Patrick worked as a health services research consultant for acute care hospitals, public health agencies and managed care providers in the New York area. He holds a Ph.D. in Applied Research & Evaluation from Hofstra University and an undergraduate degree from DeSales University.


Parag Chitalia

Parag brings 25 years of leadership experience in Analytics and Value Chain Consulting.

He is currently Senior Director, Advanced Analytics at VMware, in Palo Alto, CA. He is responsible for providing best-in-class analytical services for driving profitable growth for VMware. Amongst other functions, the global analytics team at VMware supports sales, marketing, digital, order management, global services, pricing, and channel analytics. The cross functional team of analysts across VMW drives significant measured business impact.

Prior to VMware, Parag served as the Director of Dell Global Analytics (captive analytics center of excellence) in Bangalore, India for eight years, where he built an internal analytics team spanning multiple functions. Before Dell, he consulted with over 200 Global Fortune 500 companies during his 12+ years with i2 Technologies in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and 6 years with CSX Corporation/Sea-Land across the USA.

Parag holds a Master of Science degree in Management Science from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and a Bachelor of Technology degree in Mechanical Engineering from IIT-Bombay.

Despite extensive business travel, Parag and his family still love the thrill of experiencing new places and cultures and adventure sports.


Kira Barclay

Kira H. Barclay is Director of Analytics at John Deere Financial World Headquarters in Johnston, Iowa.

Barclay oversees customer and channel analytics at John Deere Financial. She leads a team of analytics professionals whose mission is to drive sales opportunities and deliver distinctive and sustainable competitive advantages for John Deere. In addition, she leads the development and execution of the John Deere Financial data and analytics strategy and develops processes and tactics to support strategic priorities.

Barclay’s career with John Deere Financial began as an intern in Risk Analytics and throughout her tenure, she’s held positions of increasing responsibility in Risk Analytics and Market Pricing. She worked for the John Deere Construction and Forestry Division as Manager, Discounts and Incentives and most recently served as Director, Advanced Analytics Strategy.

John Deere Financial is one of the largest providers of financial services to agricultural and construction customers, supporting John Deere around the world with more than 1.7 million accounts and a managed worldwide portfolio of nearly $39 billion. In addition to providing receivables and equipment financing to help facilitate the sale of John Deere agricultural, construction, forestry, turf, and utility equipment, John Deere Financial offers revolving payment-based solutions and crop input financing. Today, John Deere Financial has approximately 2,200 employees worldwide and offers retail finance programs in more than 50 countries.


Jennifer Schmidt

Jenny Schmidt is a Strategic Workforce Planning Program Manager at John Deere. Her background in Accounting and 10 years of experience in Human Resources allows her to provide guidance to business leaders in identifying workforce needs in multiple areas of the organization. Jenny has spent the last 3 years focused in the area of strategic workforce planning and has supported various groups across the company including engineering, legal, information technology, and several business units within the Engine and Agriculture divisions. She also has helped lead the development of talent strategies in key capability areas such as agronomy and analytics. Jenny holds a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and an MBA with emphasis in Strategic Management and Organizational Behavior.


Dan Magestro

Daniel Magestro, Ph.D., is the Vice President, Research Director at the International Institute for Analytics. An accomplished analytics executive with experience in healthcare, banking and insurance, Dan manages IIA’s robust research agenda and leads IIA’s international network of faculty experts and interface with IIA’s global community of analytics practitioners.

Prior to joining IIA, Dan managed multiple analytics teams at Cardinal Health in Columbus, Ohio, where he built an analytics center of excellence to serve the company’s large Pharmaceutical Division. He has also held analytics roles at JP Morgan Chase, Nationwide Insurance, and Investor Analytics. Since 2010, he has served as an Adjunct Professor at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, where he teaches courses on data analysis and advises the university on analytics initiatives. Dan came to business from science; he holds a Ph.D. in nuclear physics and authored several research publications.