Big Data Conference

Big data has proven to be a powerful tool, opening new business opportunities and transforming the way companies connect with consumers. Businesses are being disrupted through innovations such as chatbots, personal assistants, autonomous vehicles, smart homes, and smart cities.

This year’s Big Data Conference will focus on innovation, showcasing insights from some of the most influential business leaders currently driving their industries forward. With the rise of new experiences such as VR and AR, new platforms for data storage, analysis, and security, data-driven business initiatives are transforming entertainment, media, health care, energy, financial services, retail, and agriculture industries.

Organized by the Easton Center and the Center for MEMES at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, the conference provides a unique blend of business cases with best practices and innovation in business, technology, and media.

2016 Highlights


"I was really impressed by the quality of the speakers and the thought that went into discussions."
--Jason Lee, Principal, Bain & Co.

"I have been to many conferences and networking events - this was superior, the information and guest speakers were awesome!"
-- Sherri Freeman, Business Development Manager, Edge Skills

Sue Baumgarten
Big Data Conference: Value is derived when data is turned into insights, then translated action
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Big Data Conference
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Confirmed Speakers


Steve Canepa ('90)
General Manager - Global Telecommunications Media & Entertainment, IBM

Mr. Canepa is responsible for the P&L of a market-leading global organization working with firms in the Telecommunications, Cable, Entertainment, On-line, Games, Advertising, Broadcast, Publishing, Satellite, Sports, Music, Search, & Social segments. Steve has grown the business into one of the largest providers of solutions and services to the Industry and IBM’s top performing Industry Division. He is a trusted advisor to customers and partners regarding transformation in the Digital era.

Steve’s career has been centered on innovation and highlighted by increasingly complex leadership roles in General Management, Sales, Strategy, Marketing, Consulting and Business Development. A highly effective team builder who inspires lasting relationships with empowered employees, clients and partners, Steve is adept at scaling profitable multi-billion dollar global organizations.

A long-serving member of IBM’s Global Leadership Team, he serves on the IBM Global Transformation Team. Steve is a member of IBM’s Sales Leadership Team, Industry Academy and is IBM’s Senior Location Executive for the Los Angeles area. Steve has held a number of significant leadership positions in IBM’s Sales, Product and Services divisions. Over his career, he has also worked with customers in the Finance, Electronics and Retail Industries.

Steve has been an active member of many Boards, including Digital Domain (culminating with the successful sale of the business). He is currently serving on the Boards of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the technology committee of NATAS (EMMY), USC’s Annenberg Innovation Lab and USC’s Marshall Center for Global Innovation. He has also served on MusiCares (Grammy Foundation), Digital Hollywood and a number of other Industry Boards.  With a commitment to the welfare of children, he has been a long serving member of the Boards of the Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Fund and Junior Achievement of So CA.

Steve earned two BA degrees from UCLA, in Economics and Political Science (with national honors), and also a MBA in Corporate Finance from UCLA’s Anderson School (with highest honors). He has also completed studies in the Wharton School’s financial management program and Harvard University’s executive curriculum on strategy formation.

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Keith Chen
Head of Economic Research, Uber (past)

Keith Chen is a tenured associate professor of economics at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. His research blurs traditional disciplinary boundaries in both subject and methodology, bringing unorthodox tools to bear on problems at the intersection of economics, psychology and biology.

In early work examining the evolutionary origins of economic behavior, he has shown that when monkeys are taught to use money, they display many of the hallmark biases of human economic behavior, suggesting that some of our most fundamental biases are evolutionarily ancient.

Professor Chen's most recent work focuses on how people's economic choices are influenced by the structure of their language. His work has shown that how a person's language encodes future events influences future-oriented behaviors as diverse as saving, smoking and safe sex.

Professor Chen also advises numerous companies on topics at the intersection of behavioral economics, business strategy, product design and dynamic pricing. He currently serves as head of economic research for Uber, where, among other projects, he designed Uber's "surge" pricing model.

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Pavandeep Kalra
Director of Data Science, Azure Machine Learning, Microsoft

Pavandeep Kalra is currently a Director Data Science at Azure Machine Learning in Microsoft where he is leading a team to create cutting edge machine learning solutions on the cloud with various customers & partners. 

Prior to Microsoft he has led various teams at Nokia, Oracle, Goldman Sachs & multiple startups. Pavandeep has over eight pending patent applications, and holds degrees from the Wharton and Engineering Schools of the University of Pennsylvania.

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8:30 - 9:00 a.m. Registration & Breakfast
9:00 a.m. Welcome

Guillaume Roels, Associate Professor in DOTM, Faculty Director, Easton Technology Management Center, UCLA Anderson School of Management

Vandana Mangal, Executive Director, Easton Technology Management Center, UCLA Anderson

9:00 - 9:10 a.m. Opening Remarks: Jason Lee, Principal, Bain & Co.
9:10 - 9:55 a.m. Keynote: Steve Canepa ('90), General Manager, IBM
9:55 - 11:10 a.m. Panel: How is Machine Learning Expected to Increase the Impact on Big Data Solutions?

Andrew Parker (UCLA PhD '10), Senior Data Scientist, Netflix
Dirk Beyer, VP Data Science Research, Neustar Inc.
Eric Haller, EVP & Global Head, Experian DataLabs
Matt Hersh ('08), Head of Business Development, Factual
Peter Allen ('06), US Market Leader, Cognitive Engagement Solutions, IBM

Moderator: Vandana Mangal, Executive Director, Easton Technology Management Center, UCLA Anderson

11:10 - 11:20 a.m.

Networking Break

11:20 - 11:30 a.m. Judy D. Olian

Dean and John E. Anderson Chair in Management, UCLA Anderson School of Management

11:30 - 12:15 p.m. Fireside Chat: Pavandeep Kalra, Director of Data Science, Microsoft

Guillaume Roels, Associate Professor in DOTM, Faculty Director, Easton Technology Management Center, UCLA Anderson School of Management

12:15 - 1:15 p.m.

Lunch and Networking

1:15 - 2:30 p.m. Panel: How does a Technology Like VR Play a Key Role in Making Big Data and Its Insights More Accessible to Key Decision Makers?

Angela Haddad, VR Creative Director, One Third Blue & SilVR Thread
Kimberly Cooper, CEO, Prologue Immersive
Sami Ramly, VR Product & Program Lead, WeVR
Steven Kan ('06), Head of Global Strategy - AR & VR, Google
Vince Cacace, Founder & CEO, Vertebrae

Moderator: Michael Malentiza ('13), Senior Manager, Live Nation

2:30 - 3:15 p.m. Keynote: Keith Chen, Head of Economic Research, Uber (past)
3:15 - 3:30 p.m.


*Schedule Subject to Change


Who should attend

This conference is for technologists, managers, directors, executives, entrepreneurs who are either providing technology solutions for their organization or using data analytics to make business decisions across all functional areas.

Click here to learn more about last year's Big Data Conference.


Sponsored By





Supported By

Easton Technology Management center           Center for Media Entertainment and Sports

Presented By

Easton Technology Management center Center for Media Entertainment and Sports