Big Data = Big Opportunities for Area Businesses, Careers of the Future

From Politics to Supply Chain to Media and Health Care, Big Data is Changing Everything

GREEN BAY – It’s no secret that big data is a big deal for businesses of all sizes in our technology and data-driven society. Understanding the full potential of what big data can deliver and the explosive need of organizations and businesses for big data expertise will take center stage in Wisconsin this week when national experts and several major Green Bay corporations, community organizations and federal agencies — including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) — come together for “SAS Day at UWGB 2016 Workshop: Analytics: Big Data, Big Applications and Big Brother.”

The Austin E. Cofrin School of Business together with Statistical Analysis System (SAS) is hosting the two-day analytics and SAS workshop Thursday, May 5 (7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Friday, May 6 (7:30 a.m. to noon) at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay campus. SAS is one of the world’s largest providers of advanced analytics and business intelligence.

“It’s important to have an event of this caliber here in Northeast Wisconsin,” says University of Wisconsin–Green Bay Associate Prof. Gaurav Bansal of the Cofrin School of Business. “It provides a unique opportunity to learn about the latest techniques from well-respected experts as well as a forum to network with professionals from different business areas and organizations about their data science applications and challenges.”

Recognizing the region’s rapidly growing need for qualified data scientists, the University added a collaborative online master’s in data science degree in Fall 2015. According to Bansal, in it’s first year the Master of Science in Data Science program has already exceeded enrollment targets. It is a true interdisciplinary program, catering to the spirit of data science and drawing in experts from different fields including management, computer science, math, statistics and more.

Big data is the science of taking vast amounts of data and turning it into usable information and insight that helps organizations make decisions and measure performance. Degrees in data science teach students how to clean, organize, analyze and interpret structured as well as unstructured data, deriving knowledge and communicating discoveries clearly.

According to the McKinsey Global Institute, a U.S.-based think tank focused on the research of major challenges and trends changing the world, there will be a shortage of talent necessary for organizations to take advantage of big data. By 2018, the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions.

“Today’s community and business problems are inherently interdisciplinary in nature,” says Bansal, a data scientist and academic director of the University’s Data Science program. “It’s fascinating to learn about all the ways data science is transforming not only organizations and businesses but is also driving social change and connecting disciplines together – ranging from community to health care to finance and e-commerce.”

Companies in Northeast Wisconsin and beyond are already utilizing big data analytics to influence strategic planning, understand and serve their customers better, lower costs, drive efficiencies, and improve operations. Wisconsin organizations/experts who are sharing the application of big data within their organizations and industry sectors at this week’s workshop include:

  • Adam Hardy, Achieve Brown County – Community/Non-Profit Analytics
  • Bob Gremley, Schneider – Supply Chain Analytics
  • Chris Elfner, Bellin Health System – Health Analytics
  • Eric Litke, Gannett/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin – Media analytics/data-driven investigative journalism
  • Faisal Rahman, Associated Bank – Financial/fraud analytics
  • John Kumm, FBI – Crime Analytics
  • Tina Norman and John Papendick, Ameriprise Auto & Home Insurance – Human Resources and Insurance Analytics
  • Andrew De Waal and George Habek, SAS – Political Science Analytics (Text Mining of GOP Presidential Debates) and Health (ER) Analytics

The two-day schedule and a list of speakers, workshops and registration information are available at

For more information about the University of Wisconsin’s Master’s of Data Science program visit

About the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,700 students. The University transforms lives and communities through exceptional and award-winning teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities, and a problem-solving approach to education. For more information, visit


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