Experts in big data gearing up for seventh annual summit at Wayne State University in March

More than 100 leading companies in health care, finance, information technology, energy, automotive, manufacturing, supply chain management and other fields will converge in Midtown Detroit to discuss how big data strategies can drive business success during the seventh annual AI, Big Data and Analytics Summit, hosted by Wayne State University October 19 and 20*.

The conference agenda is anchored by case studies from top practitioners and industry leaders eager to share best practices and learn from one another’s successes and failures in the rapidly expanding big data space. It will include a series of tutorials as well as a keynote address from Thierry Pellegrino, vice president of business strategy at Dell, the event’s top sponsor.

“In spite of all the talk about big data and artificial intelligence in the popular press for nearly a decade, what we are noticing is that a majority of mainstream companies in the Midwest are still in their infancy in transitioning to a data-driven enterprise,” said Ratna Babu Chinnam, professor of industrial and systems engineering and co-director for the AI, Big Data and Analytics Group at Wayne State University. “It is clear to us that we need to keep fostering critical discussions with the business community on how best to make this transition through our summits, workshops and collaborations.”

Chinnam expects more than 30 companies to present at the 2020 event, including tech giants and summit sponsors Google and Microsoft. Representatives from Amazon, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Siemens, Donyati, TD Ameritrade and Henry Ford Health System also highlight the two-day agenda.

The summit has grown substantially since its inception in 2014. Last year, over 500 registrants and 150 companies gathered to benefit from a level of business-to-business interfacing unmatched by other big data events in the region.

“What makes this event unique is the interaction of people, the sharing of ideas and being able to bring a community together to have a good dialogue around big data,” said Nick Curcuru, vice president of MasterCard and a past keynote speaker.

Wayne State University devotes significant resources to develop innovative solutions to big data challenges — as evidenced not only by the success of the summit, but also by the growth of its master of science program in data science and business analytics, a collaboration between the College of Engineering and the Mike Ilitch School of Business.

Learn more about the summit at


*This event, originally scheduled for March 19 and 20, was postponed amid concerns regarding the spread of coronavirus.


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