Tech Cities 2015
Pandora Data Scientist Talks Online Advertising
Dr. David Reiley is a principal scientist at Pandora, and a pioneer in the use of field experiments in economics. In the era of Big Data, Reiley stresses the importance of data quality, gained by conducting controlled experiments. He’s taught analysts at Yahoo!, Google, L'Oreal, Allstate, Bank of America, the Royal Australian Air Force, and other organizations to do the same, encouraging them to adopt a careful analytics mindset.
Reiley’s keynote presentation will focus on measuring true causal effects of online advertising, including offline purchases. He’ll share examples, techniques for improvement, and realistic hopes for good measurement in this important topic.
12:30 - 1:00 Registration
Carlson School Atrium
1:00 - 1:45 Keynote address: Field Experiments in Online Advertising
David Reiley, Data Scientist at Pandora
1:45 - 2:00 break & transition
Ingenuity EducationInsight Region Talent
2:00 - 3:00 breakout sessions
- Inside Target Cartwheel
- Data Analytics: From Campus to Corporate
- Analytics in Digital Marketing
- LinkedIn Economic Graph: Uncovering Talent Trends in MN
- Workplace Culture: Women in Tech
3:00 - 3:15 break & transition
3:15 - 4:15 breakout sessions
- The Practice of Innovation and Invention
- Start-up State
- Workforce Development: Teaching, Training, and Hiring Across the Spectrum
- Navigating the Land of 10,000 Inventions
- Supporting Innovators in the Tech Cities
- Hiring Global Tech Talent
4:15 - 5:30 Networking Reception
Carlson School Atrium
Keynote Address: Field Experiments in Online Advertising
Although advertising pays for many consumer services, measuring the effects of advertising has always been tricky. Online advertising generates terabytes of data, which industry analysts eagerly examine in order to provide advice on advertising strategy. But analysts often reach misleading conclusions from observational data, due to implicit identifying assumptions that turn out to be far from correct.
In the era of Big Data, David Reiley stresses the importance of data quality over quantity. Controlled experiments allow for systematic variation in advertising exposure, making it possible to measure true causal effects. Reiley will share experiments conducted at Yahoo!, where his teams succeeded in measuring true causal effects of advertising on online and offline purchases. He'll share examples, techniques for improvement, and realistic hopes for good measurement in this important area.
- Dr. David Reiley, Data Scientist, Pandora
Inside Target Cartwheel
First hatched in 2011, the idea for Target's Cartwheel app endured months of refinement and internal discussion. Deep organizational process and waterfall methodology took over, leading to a big, bloated team structure that favored documentation and status meetings over the beautiful mess of nimble innovation. It was unclear whether or not Cartwheel would be a success. In a future-changing move, a small team of focused engineers and business people came together to reinvent the Cartwheel organization, and the app shipped to the public on May 7, 2013. Since then, the team has carefully refined and cared for the "little app that could," making saving money easier for 13.3 million guests and contributing to substantial sales growth.
- Sarah Peterson, Senior Group Manager and Cartwheel Product Lead, Target
The Practice of Innovation and Invention
In a rapidly changing (digital) economy, every C-suite in the country knows they need to find the next 's-curve' of disruptive growth to stay alive. Innovation is constantly talked about and while some companies are doing it well, many struggle with how to think about innovation as part of their organization.
Innovation isn't a department or an initiative, it's a practice that is core to business and requires energy, capital, and time. Innovation begins with core values that flow through an organization, empowering teams at every level. It rewards intelligent risk and doesn't penalize 'failure'. Innovation is purposeful and makes use of smart methods to ensure the most promising ideas see the light of day.
During this session, GoKart Labs will lead a discussion about developing a practice and culture of innovation. We'll also provide a glimpse at some of the methods we've used to unlock innovation and provide a roadmap for what to do next. This won't be a passive session and your participation will be an important part of the experience.
- A.J. Meyer, Cofounder and Partner, GoKart Labs
From initial idea to viable business, rapid expansion, and beyond, the stories behind start-up ventures captivate the entreprenuerial spirit in us all. Dan Grigsby, Justin Kaufenberg, and Ryan Broshar will discuss the trends and opportunities for early-stage tech entrepreneurship in the Twin Cities.
- Ryan Broshar, seed-stage investor at Confluence Capital
- Justin Kaufenberg, CEO and Cofounder, Sport Ngin
- Dan Grigsby, founder of Merchant Plant, Mobile Orchard and Drivetrain
- Mark Bennett, CEO/Founder, Microgigantic
- John Stavig (moderator), Director of the Gary S. Holmes Center for Entreprenuership at the Carlson School of Management
Data Analytics: From Campus to Corporate
In late 2012, Harvard Business Review declared data scientist the "sexiest job of the 21st century." Indeed, the demand for analytics professionals has skyrocketed. The University of Minnesota has responded with new programs to prepare students for careers in this field. Meet faculty members at the helm of this new curriculum as they discuss degree options, academic origins, and what students (and employers) can expect from such programs.
- Dr. Gediminas Adomavicius, Professor of Information and Decision Sciences, Faculty Director, MS in Business Analytics, Carlson School of Management
- Dr. Dan Boley, Professor of Computer Science, Director of Graduate Studies, MS in Data Science, College of Science and Engineering
- Brian Isle, Senior Fellow,Technology Leadership Institute
- Mark Sexton, IBM
- Sean Larson, Medtronic
- Ellen Trader (moderator), Professional Director, MS in Business Analytics Experiential Learning Program
Workforce Development: Teaching, Training, and Hiring Across the Spectrum
A competitive workforce is key to growth and prosperity in Minnesota. Learn about some of the programs that help support Minnesota's technology economy. From accelerated learning to employer-designed programs, and from internships to initiatives that target specific groups, Minnesota offers a range of options for people to train for tech careers. Hiring managers will also be interested in these options.
- Andrew Wittenborg (moderator), Director of Outreach and Member Engagement, Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA)
- Becky Siekmeier, SciTechsperience Program Director, MHTA
- Mark Hurlburt, President and Cofounder, Prime Digital Academy
- Brad von Bank, Cofounder, Rêve Academy + Rêve Consulting
Analytics in Digital Marketing
Continuing themes from the keynote address, local experts discuss how analytics are changing digital marketing. As some firms build analytics teams to work alongside traditional creative and account groups, other agencies have made analytics the centerpiece of their service offerings. In either case, the mantra for measurement is louder than ever.
- Dave Scamehorn, VP of Marketing Analytics, OLSON
- Lizzy Wilkins, Senior Data Scientist, Nina Hale Inc.
- Mark Price, Managing Partner, LiftPoint Consulting
- Chris Erickson & Shraddha Sonawane (moderators), M.S. in Business Analytics students, University of Minnesota
Navigating the Land of 10,000 Inventions
One of the greatest sources of technical and competitive research comes from patent filings. Nowhere else does a company teach its technology to the public in such a complete manner. In this interactive presentation, SLW patent attorneys break down the analytics to show us:
- Major Minnesota players in innovation
- Recent technology trends in Minnesota
- How Minnesota innovation stacks up to the rest of the U.S.
This presentation will also outline the use of patent analytics to predict competition moves in the market and strategies to maximize the intellectual property value in a company's portfolio.
- David Black, Principal and Patent Attorney, Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner
- Mark Stignani, Senior Attorney and Co-Chair of Portfolio Management & Analytics, Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner
LinkedIn Economic Graph: Uncovering Talent Trends in MN
The LinkedIn Economic Graph, in short, is a digital map of the global economy that can help connect talent with opportunity at massive scale. Recently, LinkedIn worked with the City of New York to provide data that would help the city strategically allocate $10 million in funding to help NYC schools, government, nonprofits, and companies better prepare New Yorkers for in-demand tech jobs and fuel the continuing growth of NYC tech businesses. In this session learn about how the Twin Cities tech industry stacks up through the unique lens of LinkedIn data. How well are we attracting and retaining talent? What specific skills stand out and which are scarce? What companies are helping fuel our growth? Join Nick VanWagner and Mike Jennings, two members of LinkedIn’s Insights team (and U of M alums), for a unique look at our region.
- Nick VanWagner, Director of Insights, LinkedIn
- Mike Jennings, Insights Program Manager, LinkedIn
Supporting Innovators in the Tech Cities
State estimates indicate our regional economy is capable of producing tens of thousands of new jobs by 2020 that we do not have the talent to fill. Demographic shifts coupled with the growing demand for tech professionals have led to new emphasis on developing the workforce of the future. What does our community—be it companies, policy makers, educators or otherwise—need to do to ensure tech professionals reach their full potential here while attracting others to the area?
New partners and major institutional leaders throughout the Minneapolis-St.Paul region are increasingly committed to supporting innovative people. But they don't have the solutions. They need to hear from you. Whether you are a tech entrepreneur, freelancer, or innovator within a major institution, this is an opportunity to share your story and your ideas. Participating in this highly interactive session will make a major impact in the development of a new cross-sector, region-wide effort to make the Tech Cities even greater.
- Matt Lewis, Strategy Manager, GREATER MSP
- Melissa Kjolsing, Director, MN Cup
- Lee George, Director of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships, James J. Hill Center
- Scott Cole, CEO/Co-Founder, Collectivity
- David Berglund, Entrepreneur in Residence, UnitedHealth Group
Workplace Culture: Women in Tech
Women represent a small percentage of tech professionals. This can result in a loss of valuable viewpoints and talent that would benefit tech-related fields, teams, and organizations. Why haven't more women pursued tech careers? Is that trend changing? Join several professionals in a conversation about what can be done to create cultures that inspire women to pursue technology and technical roles.
- Shivangi Powers, Senior Data Analyst, Ovative/Group, and Managing Director for Girls in Tech MSP
- Meghan Wilker, COO, Clockwork Active Media
- Melissa Pint, Director of Technology Services, Target
- Alison Bakken, VP, Platforms Business Operations and PMO, Thomson Reuters
- Emily McAuliffe (moderator), VP, Strategy & Account Director, Clockwork Active Media
- Stacia Zembal (host), Analytics Planner, Carmichael Lynch, and Director of Community Engagement for Girls In Tech MSP
Hiring Global Tech Talent
For companies struggling to find highly skilled candidates for key positions, international talent may be part of the solution. This session will address how to recruit and hire international candidates for roles in the U.S. In addition to making the case for international hiring, panelist will discuss practical and legal matters, such as review processes, visa types, costs, and what to expect along the way.
- Michele Moylan, International Student Career Consultant, University of Minnesota
- Phil Miller, Assistant Dean of MBA Programs, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota
- Piyumi Samaratunga, Immigration Attorney, Felhaber Larson
- Rebecca Gilles, Business Partner, HB Fuller