On Friday, Sept. 8, the second annual Day for Data symposium will gather industry leaders and academia together for a practical exploration of business analytics. The event is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. EDT in Virginia Tech's Owens Ballroom.

“Virginia Tech is a leader in advanced analytics programs and capabilities,” said Jay Winkeler, executive director of the Center for Business Analytics. “Building off the success from last year, Day for Data will be bigger and bolder, with a focus on the AI [artificial intelligence] revolution happening all around us.”

The conference, hosted by the Pamplin College of Business’s Center for Business Analytics, is an opportunity for shared learning and thought leadership in the field of business analytics. Corporate leaders and university faculty converge to fill a robust agenda with expertise in a wide range of topics including generative AI and large language models, advanced data analytics, digital privacy, business leadership and intelligence, and more.

Beyond the rich learning component, Day for Data also lends itself to opportunities for professional advancement. With a strong turnout expected from both academia and industry, the event offers students a chance to see the real-world applications of their studies and companies an opportunity to scout for emerging talent.

“The interaction between students, faculty, and corporations is critical to harnessing the power of analytics and showing how skilled professionals translate analytics into meaningful business decisions,” said Winkeler. “For industry professionals, it is a chance to tell their success stories and gain critical exposure to a talented student and faculty population.”

The symposium will begin with opening remarks by Saonee Sarker, Richard E. Sorensen Dean for the Pamplin College of Business, followed by a keynote address from Andrew Allwine, senior director of data optimization for Norfolk Southern. During the session, Allwine will share his strategies for aggregating and translating complex datasets into actionable insights and tangible return on investment for organizational decision-makers.

Key contributions by faculty working within Pamplin include a session led by Voices of Privacy, an initiative spearheaded by Professors France Bélanger and Donna Wertalik that seeks to prepare society to manage their information privacy amid the challenging modern digital landscape, as well as a research poster session highlighting the latest research in the field.

After a lunch and networking break, Keith Johnson, director of solutions architecture for partner systems integrators at Amazon Web Services, will deliver a presentation and live demonstration of Amazon’s latest innovations with generative AI and large language models. Tracy Jones, data strategy and management executive for Guidehouse, will follow with a session on the opportunities and threats of artificial intelligence implementation, including case studies of organizations that neglected ethical principles and suffered consequences.

Both experts will return to join Kevin Davis, chief growth officer for MarathonTS, and Cayce Myers, director of graduate studies for the School of Communication at Virginia Tech, for a panel discussion and interactive conversation on artificial intelligence, including ethical, legal, and technical considerations. Day for Data will conclude with a networking reception.

Day for Data 2023 is sponsored by Norfolk Southern, Guidehouse, MarathonTS, Ernst & Young, and Amazon Web Services. 

For more information on Day for Data and to register, please visit the event page.