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DETROIT – Wayne State University will host its fourth annual Big Data and Business Analytics Symposium on March 23 and 24 at the WSU Student Center. More than 100 leading companies in varied fields such as health care, finance, information technology, energy, automotive, manufacturing and supply chain management will converge to discuss how big data strategies can drive business success.

As in years past, the conference agenda is built around the case studies of top practitioners and industry leaders. The symposium, which will stretch to two full days of activities this year, also presents keynote addresses from big data and analytics experts as well as tutorials, networking receptions, panel discussions and a startup company showcase — a new feature for the event.

“The panel sessions will create some rich discussions that will provide some clarity on big data, and we will complement these conversations with case studies where companies can report on real experiences and share best practices,” said Ratna Babu Chinnam, professor and co-director for the Big Data and Business Analytics Group at Wayne State University.

The philosophy of sharing and open discussion is at the core of this year’s event theme, “Doing it Right.” Chinnam explains that many companies launch data analysis initiatives that are not only expensive but also do not provide sufficient insight for developing sound strategies in marketing, product development, distribution sales or service.

“It’s not about companies coming in and saying ‘this is the right way to do it,’” said Chinnam. “We want them to tell others what they’ve done, what experiences they had with various projects, and what were the lessons learned so that others can benefit.”

Since its inception in 2014, the symposium has provided a platform for businesses and data-intensive individuals to learn new ways to navigate the vastly expanding big data space. It is estimated that more than 90 percent of the world’s data was generated in the last two years. The Big Data and Business Analytics Group at Wayne State was formed to develop innovative answers as to how to manage and leverage this information — as evidenced by the success of the symposium, which saw over 300 attendees in 2016. The group is anticipating up to 400 guests this year.

Wayne State’s commitment to leadership in big data was taken a step further when the WSU Board of Governors approved a new Master of Science program in Data Science and Business Analytics, a collaboration between the College of Engineering and the Mike Ilitch School of Business that will launch this fall.

Early bird registration for the Big Data and Business Analytics Symposium ends March 5. Learn more about the event at bigdata.wayne.edu/symposium.