Chicago CDAO Executive Summit

December 11, 2018 | Hyatt Regency Chicago

December 11, 2018
Hyatt Regency Chicago

Collaborate with your peers

Get together with Chicago's top CDAOs to tackle shared business challenges and critical priorities facing your role today. Participate in this one-day, local program with peer-driven topics and interactive discussions with your true C-level peers.

Join your peers to discuss the most critical issues impacting CDAOs today:

Adopting D&A strategies and operating models that deliver business value in volatile environments

Generating measurable economic benefits to the business from data assets and advanced analytics

Becoming a master change agent and driving data literacy across the enterprise

Chicago CDAO Governing Body

The Governing Body Co-Chairs shape the summit agenda, ensuring that all content is driven by CDAOs, for CDAOs.

Governing Body Co-Chairs

Mike Jennings

Walgreens Boots Alliance
Sr. Director, Data Architecture, Global Enterprise Architecture

Andrea Marks

Chief Analytics Officer

Gokula Mishra

McDonald's Corporation
Senior Director, Global Data & Analytics & Supply Chain

Bernie O'Connor

Anixter International Inc.
Director, Information Technology

What to Expect

Interactive Sessions

Hear from CDAO practitioners and thought leaders on how they're solving critical challenges impacting your role today in Keynote sessions, and join smaller, interactive discussions with your peers in Breakout and Boardroom sessions.

Community Networking

Make new connections and catch up with old friends in casual conversations during dedicated time for networking designed to better acquaint you with your Chicago CDAO community.

Peer-to-Peer Meetings

Connect with like-minded peers in a private, one-on-one setting through Evanta's Peer-to-Peer Meetings. You will be matched with peers in your community based on your shared interests and priorities.


December 10, 2018

December 11, 2018

6:00pm - 8:30pm  Governing Body Welcome Reception

Leading with Data-Driven Decisions

Evan Sinar headshot

Evan Sinar

Chief Scientist


Pressure to excel in people analytics is growing more intense—yet organizations still struggle to find measurable returns from Big Data. Evan Sinar recently led a global research study with more than 25,000 leaders and 2,500 HR professionals that reinforces how leading with data-driven decisions can result in stronger strategies and higher returns. How can leaders own and maximize the value of people analytics, and prepare for the age of AI, in today’s data-rich business context?

In this keynote, you’ll explore:

  • Success, trends, and impact of people analytics practices
  • Cultural traits of a data-driven enterprise and what skills leaders need to prepare for AI
  • How CDOs can work with CHROs to drive high-impact talent decisions

7:00am - 7:45am  Registration & Breakfast

8:30am - 9:00am  Networking Break

9:00am - 9:50am  Breakout Session

Navistar – Intersecting Manufacturing, Technology and Data

Ashish Bayas headshot

Ashish Bayas



Dan Pikelny headshot

Dan Pikelny



How do you drive an evolutionary process through a 185 year old manufacturing company? For Navistar it was to force evolution to occur through the selection of the right people, technology and processes.

In this session you’ll learn

  • Efficient adjustment strategies that are short and continuous
  • Communication tactics to leadership
  • When your data ecosystem is ready for emerging technology

9:00am - 9:50am  Breakout Session

Creating a Culture of Innovation with ML & AI

Adam Kornick headshot

Adam Kornick

Chief Data Technologist

Allstate Insurance Company

Prashant Mehrotra headshot

Prashant Mehrotra

Head of AI Center of Excellence

Allstate Insurance Company

Machine learning (ML) initiatives demand a data strategy that is comprehensive in supporting data preparation.  Without effective strategy, the resulting system may become full of tangled data pipelines.

In this session you’ll discover:

  • Data strategy plans that focus on data preparation for ML initiatives
  • The wider culture of innovation and case studies using AI
  • How to avoid data integration issues through stakeholder alignment

9:00am - 9:50am  Executive Boardroom

Agile Data Makeover – Best Practices in Data Engineering

Don Fleschut headshot

Don Fleschut

Chief Data Officer

Ryerson, Inc.

Russell Simmons headshot

Russell Simmons

Director, Global Data & Analytics

Shell Oil Company

Todd Goldman headshot

Todd Goldman

Vice President


Every enterprise understands the urgency of digital transformation and the central role that data plays in the process. In a world where analytics agility is a key competitive edge and big data expertise is scarce, data engineering challenges have intensified as digitization proliferates real-time flow of data across a multitude of platforms.

In this boardroom, you’ll discuss:

  • The pervasive data engineering demands for better flexibility within the enterprise
  • Different strategies for diverse data management and governance demands
  • Eliminating big data complexities on premise and in the cloud

Executive boardrooms are intimate and interactive sessions designed to foster dynamic dialogue around a specific, strategic topic. These private, closed-door discussions encourage attendee participation and are limited to 15 attendees (seating priority is given to CDOs). To reserve your seat, please contact: Joseph Nattress at 971-222-2379 or

9:50am - 10:20am  Networking Break

10:20am - 11:10am  Breakout Session

Developing Predictive Analytics for Competitive Advantage

Amy Feltheimer headshot

Amy Feltheimer

Data Visualization & Business Intelligence Manager

Caterpillar Inc.

Daniel Organ headshot

Daniel Organ

Advanced Analytics Manager

Caterpillar Inc.

Innovative organizations are not only aware of their data, they’re layering in technologies that provide predictive, prescriptive techniques.  This approach is helping them optimize their future strategies, actions and decisions.

In this session, you’ll learn:

  • How to lay & sustain the strategic foundations of a data culture
  • The evolving realm of predictive and prescriptive analytics
  • Tactics to communicate and visualize data effectively

10:20am - 11:10am  Breakout Session

Diversity & Data – How JLL Leveraged Data to Drive Progress

Mary Bilbrey headshot

Mary Bilbrey

Chief Human Resources Officer


Luke Barnard headshot

Luke Barnard

Manager, HR Analytics


Diversity of backgrounds, thought, and perspectives is critical to creating innovation and competitive advantage. However, moving the needle can be difficult.

In this session, you’ll learn how JLL:

  • Created and communicated the business case for increased diversity
  • Partnered HR Leadership with Data Analytics teams to drive insights and action
  • Created a data-driven D&I culture

10:20am - 11:10am  Executive Boardroom

Better Data Prep For More Effective Analytics and Governance Outcomes

Laté Lawson headshot

Laté Lawson

Sr. Dir Customer Information Design & Operations

W.W. Grainger

Guru Rao headshot

Guru Rao

Chief Analytics and Data Officer

FBAlliance Insurance

Tim Suther headshot

Tim Suther

Senior Vice President & General Manager, Data Solutions

Change Health Care

Mariann McDonagh headshot

Mariann McDonagh


erwin, Inc.

Research shows that more than 80% of analyst time is spent on data collection and only 20% on generating actual results. And for 4 out of 5 CDOs, changing this equation is their number one priority.

In this boardroom, we’ll tackle:

  • The biggest challenges in generating a reliable data pipeline
  • Requirements for every data user across the value chain
  • How data mapping and automation are key change agents in this ongoing process

Executive boardrooms are intimate and interactive sessions designed to foster dynamic dialogue around a specific, strategic topic. These private, closed-door discussions encourage attendee participation and are limited to 15 attendees (seating priority is given to CDOs). To reserve your seat, please contact: Joseph Nattress at 971-222-2379 or

11:10am - 11:40am  Networking Break

7:45am - 8:30pm  Keynote

Serving Up Data Monetization Across the Enterprise

Gokula Mishra headshot

Gokula Mishra

Senior Director, Global Data & Analytics & Supply Chain

McDonald's Corporation

With the evolution of today’s information economy and advance of big data and analytics technologies, organizations are spending enormous amounts of resources to generate, collect, store, and manage their growing data assets. Despite this effort and investment, many organizations still struggle to achieve tangible business value from their untapped data investments.  To remain competitive, organizations must identify opportunities to monetize their data – driving real value for their customers, partners and internal stakeholders.

In this keynote presentation you’ll discover:

  • How to define data monetization for both internal and external uses
  • First hand experiences for monetizing data and obtaining business value
  • Communicating your mission to internal stakeholders and partners

2:10pm - 2:30pm  Networking Break

2:30pm - 3:20pm  Breakout Session

A Practical Approach to Starting Your Data Journey

Chad Stallings headshot

Chad Stallings


Federal Signal

In the last 10 years, more than 90% of the world’s data was created.  This session will give technology and data leaders a practical approach to getting started on or continuing your data journey even when you feel like the headwinds are blowing strong against you.  

In this session you’ll discover:

  • How to move forward with a data strategy, among so many other priorities
  • Business communication tactics to get leadership to listen
  • Talent and technology best practices to encourage data monetization and advanced analytics

2:30pm - 3:20pm  Breakout Session

Data Security from the Lake to the Cloud

Waqas Akkawi headshot

Waqas Akkawi



Bernie O'Connor headshot

Bernie O'Connor

Director, Information Technology

Anixter International Inc.

Warning: Your data is not all neatly defined, structured, organized and secured in your datacenter. Determining or defining the data that matters most for a business to thrive. Hear from a CISO as they disclose how security and data leaders can collaborate effectively. 

In this session, you'll discuss:

  • Find out best practices in where data should be stored
  • How to communicate data governance to the wider team and define data uses and risks
  • Discuss how to be compliant and ensure data security

2:30pm - 3:20pm  Executive Boardroom

Building Enterprise Digital Transformation Through the Data Team

Joe DeCosmo headshot

Joe DeCosmo

Chief Analytics Officer


Nalini Polavarapu headshot

Nalini Polavarapu

Enterprise Data Science Strategy Lead


The data leader is often the key to create profit, as they guide companies through innovation to achieve value for customers and drive digital transformation. The role of the data leader has become as much a cultural battle as it is a technical one. In this session, discuss the best communication strategies of how you can be that force for change.

In this boardroom you'll discuss:

  • How data teams are participating in digital transformation and the possible talent gap?
  • Strategies to position your team to drive data literacy and digital transformation
  • Communication strategies to use and integrate the data team into future digital projects 

Executive boardrooms are intimate and interactive sessions designed to foster dynamic dialogue around a specific, strategic topic. These private, closed-door discussions encourage attendee participation and are limited to 15 attendees (seating priority is given to CDOs). To reserve your seat, please contact: Joseph Nattress at 971-222-2379 or

3:20pm - 3:40pm  Networking Break

3:40pm - 4:20pm  Keynote

Aggregating Data to Assess Buyer DNA

Wes Chaar headshot

Wes Chaar

Chief Data & Analytics Officer

Catalina Marketing Corporation

Zubin Singh headshot

Zubin Singh

Global Lead for Digital Innovation

Catalina Marketing Corporation

Kevin Hunter headshot

Kevin Hunter

Chief Product Officer

Catalina Marketing Corporation

Marta Cyhan headshot

Marta Cyhan

Chief Marketing Officer

Catalina Marketing Corporation

In a world of fragmentation, consumers are harder to reach than ever. Yet, data capture and personalization are stagnating for many brands, despite new opportunities for breakthroughs. Advances in data collection, AI and cross-channel personalization make it possible to engage shoppers at scale based on their Buyer DNA.  Hear from Catalina’s Chief Data and Analytics Officer, Head of Digital Product Management and Innovation, and Chief Marketing Officer on how their company optimizes data from 650 million shopper IDs to drive sales and loyalty.

In this keynote you will discover:

  • The most valuable data to collect across digital touchpoints
  • Reaching shoppers at the right time and place across channels
  • Using AI and machine learning to process Big Data on the Cloud at scale

4:20pm - 5:00pm  Closing Reception & Prize Drawing

11:40am - 12:50pm  Keynote

From Post-Fact to Data Literacy - Trends a CDO Can't Ignore

Dan Sommer headshot

Dan Sommer

Global Lead of Market Intelligence Program


Gartner and others have said it; Data Literacy, or the lack thereof, is one of the biggest inhibitors to success in analytic projects, according to CDOs. Too often there is analysis paralysis, and a growing gap between the data that comes out of the exhaust, and our ability to consume it. It prompts the question we should have never had to ask; are organizations getting any better at all in making data driven decisions?

In this keynote you'll learn:

  • How corporate data literacy has a direct correlation with enterprise value and performance
  • How the data gap can be closed, from an individual, organizational and societal perspective
  • How the CDO can be the key enabler

12:50pm - 1:20pm  Networking Break

1:20pm - 2:10pm  Breakout Session

Making AI Real: Operational Strategies for Artificial Intelligence

Monte Zweben headshot

Monte Zweben


Splice Machine

Making AI Real: Operational Strategies for Artificial Intelligence

Organizations' ambition to employ artificial intelligence (AI) is reaching critical mass, as many businesses identify it to be in their short- or middle-term plans, but still see themselves as unready to implement it. Learn from examples in fraud detection, precision medicine and supply chain optimization.

In this session, you’ll discover solutions to:

  • The challenges of ingesting data in real-time
  • The rear-view mirror effect of latency between real-time business data and ML models
  • The talent challenges of enabling IT to leverage scale out architectures

1:20pm - 2:10pm  Breakout Session

Benchmarking the Best Practices in Data Governance

Mike Jennings headshot

Mike Jennings

Sr. Director, Data Architecture, Global Enterprise Architecture

Walgreens Boots Alliance

Bryan Tabiadon headshot

Bryan Tabiadon

Vice President, Data Mgmt & Analytics

FTD Companies Inc

Successfully implementing governance requires both leadership and execution. Great data leaders understand that executing governance programs requires process, discipline and creativity.

Key takeaways from this peer led session include:

  • How data leaders can monetize their data and mitigate risks
  • How data leaders can design or adjust their governance and master data management (MDM)
  • How data leaders can determine the effectiveness of their data and analytics governance

1:20pm - 2:10pm  Executive Boardroom

Best Practices in Predictive Analytics & Data Team Collaboration

Andrea Marks headshot

Andrea Marks

Chief Analytics Officer


Jorge Balestra headshot

Jorge Balestra

Director - Advanced Analytics Center of Excellence

Kraft Heinz Company

Krishna Iyer headshot

Krishna Iyer

Chief Data Scientist

State of Illinois

Jeff Grossman headshot

Jeff Grossman

VP Customer Solutions & Success


To unleash the power of predictive analytics, organizations must understand the objectives, techniques and the limits of these models. Specific data strategies are needed and the whole company must collaborate.

In this boardroom you'll discuss:

  • Where leading organizations are using predictive analytics to achieve better bottom-line
  • How to set business goals and understand which specific predictions are going to help
  • Why an organizational plan — not just a technical plan — for execution on insights is crucial

Executive boardrooms are intimate and interactive sessions designed to foster dynamic dialogue around a specific, strategic topic. These private, closed-door discussions encourage attendee participation and are limited to 15 attendees (seating priority is given to CDOs). To reserve your seat, please contact: Joseph Nattress at 971-222-2379 or

December 10, 2018

December 11, 2018

We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming in-person gathering

Evanta cares about the health and safety of our community. Please review the following recommendations prior to attending the gathering.


Venue & Accommodation

Hyatt Regency Chicago

Your Community Partners

National Thought Leader
Keynote Sponsor
Presenting Sponsor
National Sponsor

Community Program Manager

For inquiries related to this community, please reach out to your dedicated contact.

Joseph Nattress

Senior Program Manager – Territory Specialist