Diving Into Data: Harnessing the Power of Information
"Dr. Niall Gaffney, former Hubble Space Telescope data scientist: The Hubble Telescope Project is a great example of using data for discoveries not intended. We are demonstrating how the same techniques can be applied to foster business discoveries."
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 11:30AM - 1:00PM
Commons Learning Center, J.J. Pickle Research Campus, The University of Texas at Austin Li'l Tex, Room 1.122
J. J. Pickle Research Campus, The University of Texas at Austin
The era of Big Data is upon us.
We are now collecting data at a rate faster than we can manage it using traditional tools. But data unto itself is of no intrinsic value: Its real significance lies in how we harness and apply it. Research analytics make it possible to identify trends and insights that are not otherwise readily apparent — variables that are often described as “unknown unknowns.”
Many business leaders don’t understand why they should care about big data and data analytics, or they don’t realize how it affects their organizations. Others buy into the business need but are intimidated by the first step: figuring out how to get a company into big data without sinking the ship.
Join us on January 22 for a conversation with Dr. Niall Gaffney, director of Data Intensive Computing at Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), and Dr. Michael Hasler, program director for the MS degree in Business Analytics, IROM, at the McCombs School of Business. The two experts will share their perspectives, expertise and advice on the future of data in business, and after the presentation, you are invited to tour the facilities of TACC.
Dr. Gaffney, a former Hubble Space Telescope data scientist, will explore how science and engineering researchers have been using data analysis to answer fundamental questions about life, the universe, and everything.
He will discuss:
- Some ways researchers gain insights from their data, even if it was gathered for completely different purposes
- The mythology currently associated with data
- The questions and the answers data analytics can reveal
Gaffney will also share examples of how TACC's staff can collaborate with companies to get the best value out of their data, and he will describe how TACC leverages its facilities to carry out research with data on many different scales.
Dr. Hasler will recommend some logical first steps for enhancing a company’s foray into business analytics, whether those steps include big data or not. He will make a case for using big data analytics in a business environment by highlighting examples of well-known companies that have successfully leveraged big data into bigger opportunities.REGISTER TODAY Guest Speakers
Niall Gaffney is the Director of Data Intensive Computing at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin. Gaffney most recently served as the principal computer scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) for the Hubble Space Telescope data archive and the Hubble Legacy Archive Project.
Gaffney has managed some of the richest astronomical data ever recorded in terms of scientific and public impact. In his new role at TACC, Gaffney will oversee the center's "Big Data" strategy, which includes storage and storage systems, data collections, analytics (data mining and statistics), and architectures for data driven science and data intensive computing.
Gaffney's most recent work at STScI, included responsibility for creating and managing the systems for archiving, cataloging, discovering, visualizing and distributing data from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Kepler project, the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer, and the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope. Previously, he worked for the McDonald Observatory focusing on systems integration, remote observation planning systems, and the data systems during the construction and commissioning of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope. He has authored numerous papers and publications on data software systems.
Gaffney earned his doctor's, master's and bachelor's degrees in astronomy from The University of Texas at Austin. He was a NASA Graduate Student Research Project Recipient and earned a McDonald Observatory Graduate Research Fellowship.
Michael Hasler is the program director of the M.S. in Business Analytics in IROM at McCombs School of Business, where he teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses. Previously he served as Associate Academic Director for the Supply Chain Management Center of Excellence.
The bulk of his professional experience was in the auto industry in Supply Chain and Operations, and he moved to high technology in the semiconductor equipment industry with Applied Materials in Austin. While at Applied he helped launch their Supply Chain Management activity, led operations for a $1 billion division, and was the Head of Global Materials Operations. As one of the operations executives at Applied, he was chosen to help create and lead Applied Materials' Leadership Development program.
With his bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from General Motors Institute (now Kettering University), Mike spent over twenty years in the auto industry working for different companies including General Motors and Nissan; as well as owning a company that was part of the auto, defense, and engineering industries. During this time, he attended the University of Virginia as a GM Fellow, where he obtained a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Engineering in Systems Engineering.
- Data is valuable if you ask the right questions of it
- Data preservation is important, because lost data has no value
- It is difficult to predict how specific types of data will be used in the future
- Big data isn’t required — but the right data is
- Analytics can be used to improve performance in every business