Rob Cox, Ph.D.

Robert Cox is currently an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UNC Charlotte. His research is focused upon modeling, control, and diagnostics problems that arise within energy conversion. Much of his present work is focused upon minimizing building energy consumption. He is currently the Director of the NSF Industry / University Cooperative Research Center for Sustainably Integrated Buildings and Sites (SIBS). In this role, he and his team work with various partners, including Wells Fargo, Ingersoll Rand, Bank of America, and others to evaluate technologies and strategies for improved energy efficiency in buildings. Dr. Cox also has a number of other open research activities focused on building energy consumption, including activities associated with Envision Charlotte, a non-profit focused on developing public/private partnerships intended to make Charlotte a more sustainable city. In addition to his role at the University, Dr. Cox has spent time through a reassignment of duties as the Vice President of Engineering at SineWatts, Inc, a technology start-up incubated at UNC Charlotte’s PORTAL. He has also received educational awards, including the 2014 IEEE Region 3 Outstanding Educator Award. Dr. Cox is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Tom Davenport

Tom Davenport is the President’s Distinguished Professor of Information Technology and Management at Babson College, the co-founder of the International Institute for Analytics, a Fellow of the MIT Center for Digital Business, and a Senior Advisor to Deloitte Analytics. He teaches analytics and big data in executive programs at Babson, Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan School, and Boston University. He pioneered the concept of “competing on analytics” with his best-selling 2006 Harvard Business Review article (and his 2007 book by the same name). His most recent book is Big Data@Work, from Harvard Business Review Press. It surprises no one that Tom has once again branched into an exciting new topic. He has extended his work on analytics and big data to its logical conclusion–what happens to us humans when smart machines make many important decisions? Davenport and Julia Kirby, his frequent editor at Harvard Business Review, published the lead/cover article in the HBR June 2015 issue. Called “Beyond Automation,” it’s the first article to focus on how individuals and organizations can add value to the work of cognitive technologies. It argues for “augmentation”–people and machines working alongside each other–over automation. Davenport and Kirby will also publish a book on this topic with Harper Business in 2016.

Professor Davenport has written or edited seventeen books and over 100 articles for Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, the Financial Times, and many other publications. He also writes a weekly column for the Wall Street Journal’s Corporate Technology section. Tom has been named one of the top three business/technology analysts in the world, one of the 100 most influential people in the IT industry, and one of the world’s top fifty business school professors by Fortune magazine.

Tom earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University in social science and has taught at the Harvard Business School, the University of Chicago, Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, Boston University, and the University of Texas at Austin.

Sam Ransbotham, Ph.D.

Sam Ransbotham is an associate professor of information systems at Boston College and the MIT Sloan Management Review Guest Editor for the Data and Analytics Big Idea Initiative. In 2014, he was awarded an NSF CAREER Award for his analytics-based research in information security. His recent article “Minding the Analytics Gap” describes how organizations, with more access to useful data and sophisticated analytical methods, face a growing gap between their capacity to produce analytical results and their ability to apply them effectively to business issues. Sam was awarded one of eleven inaugural Google and WPP Marketing Awards to support research into how online media influences consumer behavior, attitudes, and decision-making. He received his PhD, MSM, and BChE degrees all from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

David Kiron

David Kiron is the executive editor of MIT Sloan Management Review where he directs The Big Ideas Initiative research program, which examines cross-industry, macro-trends that are transforming the practice of management. Dr. Kiron has co-edited two books on economics, co-authored 20+ journal articles and research reports on management issues related to analytics, sustainability and digital technology, and written 50+ Harvard Business School case studies. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Rochester and a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College.

Steve Ott, Ph.D.

Steve Ott is the Dean of the Belk College of Business and holds the John Crosland, Sr., Distinguished Professor of Real Estate.

Prior to becoming Dean of the Belk College of Business in 2011, Dr. Ott was Director of the Center for Real Estate at UNC Charlotte, where he was instrumental in establishing a strong advisory board; developing an M.B.A. and MSRE curriculum in real estate; conducting numerous academic and applied research projects; and in raising an endowment now in excess of $10 million. The Center has recently been named the Childress Klein Center for Real Estate as a result of a $2.5 million gift, and currently is conducting a capital campaign to expand the curriculum; increase the scholarship endowments; and extend the Center’s research capabilities.

Dr. Ott has taught courses in real estate finance and capital markets at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and he has taught seminars in financial theory and corporate finance at the Ph.D. level. He has also delivered professional and executive education programs and has consulted for many companies and professional organizations. Dr. Ott has published in many of the top academic journals in finance and real estate, including the Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, International Real Estate Review, Real Estate Economics, Financial Management, and the Journal of Urban Economics. He has served on the editorial boards of Real Estate Economics and the Journal of Real Estate Portfolio Management. He also has served as a member of the advisory board of the Real Estate Research Institute.

Dr. Ott earned a Ph.D. in Business with a major in Finance and a minor in Economics. He received an M.S. in Business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. “

Maryalicia Johnson

Maryalicia Johnson is the Executive Director of External Relations who leads the UNC Charlotte’s CCI/DSI Industry Solutions Partnerships for the Data Science Initiative. She is Responsible for the partnerships of 50 corporate IT leaders and scholarship donors.

Johnson has been involved in partnerships, public speaking, communications training and strategic business development from behind the camera and in front of it for more than fifteen years. As a nationally recognized speech coach and award-winning communicator, She has worked with high profile leaders such as high profile governors, mayors, Martin Luther King lll, Miss America, Frank Viola, Carrot Top, Super Bowl players and more. As a veteran crisis communications professional, she has taught over 360 certification hours as Adjunct Instructor with Department of Homeland Security, Emergency Services Institute and Central Florida Fire Academy for Public Information Officer (PIO) training and national spokesperson training.

Sullivan McConnell

Sullivan “Sully” McConnell is Vice President of Business Intelligence and Information Management at Time Warner Cable, where he has responsibility for the Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, and Big Data applications and infrastructure that support the Residential, Commercial, and Media business units.

Mr. McConnell has 20 years of experience directing IT organizations and consulting teams in delivering successful, complex implementations in the Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence, Analytics, and Marketing Automation fields at organizations such as John Alden Life Insurance, Aetna U.S. Healthcare, The Travelers Companies, and Time Warner Cable.

His implementations have received recognition in Computerworld, Beyond Computing magazine, and SkyTV, in addition to receiving Best-In-Class Solution awards from organizations such as Data Management Review, Open Systems Advisory, and Business Intelligence Magazine.

Time Warner Cable, the second-largest cable operator in the U.S., serves more than 14 million subscribers in 28 states, and delivers a broad range of video, voice and high-speed data services to residential and commercial customers.

Bill Franks

Bill Franks is Chief Analytics Officer for Teradata, where he provides insight on trends in the analytics & big data space and helps clients understand how Teradata and its analytic partners can support their efforts. In addition, Franks is a faculty member of the International Institute for Analytics and the author of the books Taming The Big Data Tidal Wave and The Analytics Revolution. He is also a sought after speaker and frequent blogger who has been ranked a top 10 global big data influencer. His work has spanned clients in a variety of industries for companies ranging in size from Fortune 100 companies to small non-profit organizations. You can learn more at

Ahmer Inam

Ahmer Inam is currently the head of advanced analytics for North America at Nike where he draws from over sixteen years of experience in the analytics domain to build data-products that elevate actionable insights and enable Nike’s strategic growth agenda. Prior to Nike, Ahmer was in the analytics advisory practice at PwC focused on Retail and Consumer verticals. As the Director of Predictive Analytics at Sonic Automotive, Ahmer led the development and execution of the company’s analytics vision and strategy. Prior to that, Ahmer led the analytics function at Quaero and held strategic analytics roles at Wells Fargo and Wachovia. Ahmer holds two M.S. degrees, one each in Industrial Engineering and Economics from Texas A&M University, and a B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi, India. Ahmer is also the founding member of Analytics and Big Data Society of Charlotte.

Derek Raghavan, M.D.

Derek Raghavan MD PhD FACP FASCO, President of the Levine Cancer Institute, Charlotte, NC, has served as Director & Frank Rudy Distinguished Chair, Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Chair of Medical Oncology & Associate Director (Clinical Research), University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Professor & Chair of Solid Tumor Oncology/Investigational Therapeutics, Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Having trained in Medicine and Oncology in Australia, Dr. Raghavan completed a PhD at the University of London, and undertook post-doctoral research at the University of Minnesota. In Australia, he developed new approaches to the treatment of cancers of bladder and prostate, and studied the variability of cancer in the laboratory. In the USA, he has served as Chair of the National Cancer Institute Cancer Clinical Investigations Review Committee, Chair of the Veterans Administration Merit Review Board in Oncology, and has been a member of the FDA Oncology Drug Advisory Committee and the NCI Clinical Oncology Review Section. Dr. Raghavan has been Chair of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Cancer Communications Committee and ASCO Health Disparities Task Force, a member of the ASCO Value Task Force, was a member of the Scientific Audit Committee of the EORTC for 7 years, has advised Cancer Research UK, Irish Cancer Society, and the Italian Agency for Cancer Research, has been a member of the Scientific Advisory Board and the Board of Governors of SWOG, and has sat on the International Advisory Board of Deutsche Krebshilfe for 5 years. He has published 300 papers and 12 books and has been on editorial boards of Journal of Clinical Oncology, Clinical Cancer Research, European Journal of Cancer, Journal of Urology, Annals of Oncology, and many others, and has served on the external advisory boards of 10 comprehensive cancer centers. He is the Editor-in-Chief (Medical Oncology) of HemOnc Today. He received the Frank Moran Award for Leadership in Cancer Research from the University of Michigan in 2003, was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2009, and a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in 2010, and received a Statesman Award from ASCO in 2010. He was awarded a research doctorate in medicine (MD) from the University of Sydney in 2012.