Inside our fifth annual Melbourne Business Analytics Conference
One of Melbourne Business School's biggest events will be back in person this year – safety permitting.
After a hiatus in 2020 due to COVID-19 and a virtual conference last year, Australia's biggest data analytics industry event is returning in person.
The Melbourne Business Analytics Conference will return to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre this year on Tuesday, October 11.
One of Melbourne Business School's largest annual events, the theme of this year's conference is "Learning and Unlearning: Thriving Businesses In Times of Rapid Change".
For Professor Yalçın Akçay, the new Director of the Centre for Business Analytics, the theme is an opportunity to explore the impact of the last few years.
"The theme is about how data and analytics can be key drivers of organisational and even societal success in an environment where there is massive uncertainty and disruptions," he says.
"Over the past few decades, organisations perfected the way they conduct business and may have even gotten a little 'too comfortable'.
"The COVID-19 pandemic triggered many businesses to revisit their existing strategies and learn new ways of doing business, just to survive – many of which were centred around big data and analytics.
"Organisations also had to 'unlearn' some of their existing business practices to adapt to the rapidly changing business environment. Some of the business practices which drove success in the past turned out to be useless, and sometimes detrimental, for their business during the pandemic.
"These organisations quickly realised that they needed to adopt the mindset and principles of data-driven decision making to future-proof their business."
Local and international guest speakers
More than 15 high-profile speakers have been booked to deliver at the conference so far, including:
- Professor Oded Netzer, Professor of Business, Columbia Business School
- Dr Andreas Weigend, Former Chief Scientist, Amazon
- Professor Christine Kilpatrick AO, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Melbourne Hospital
- David Koczkar, Chief Executive Officer, Medibank
- Ryan Oliver, Senior Director, Twitter Next, Twitter
Professor Akçay says one of the personal highlights he is looking forward to will be hearing from Dr Weigend, whose list of industry achievements is legendary.
"Andreas is a former Chief Scientist at Amazon where he worked directly with Jeff Bezos and Andy Jassy, advised Angela Merkel and Olaf Scholz as a member of the Digitalrat, the Digital Council of Germany, and coached Jack Ma at Alibaba," he says.
"He is the author of the bestseller Data for the People, available in eight languages. As an advisor and consultant, he helps organisations ask the right questions, leveraging data and analytics.
"In simple words, he helps companies to 'figure out what to do with data'. I think this basic question is going to resonate with a lot of people."
New $10,000 prize for practitioners
This year's Melbourne Business Analytics Conference will also mark the first awarding of the inaugural Practice Prize, established to recognise outstanding applications of business analytics with significant organisational impact.
Professor Akçay says the prize had already drawn submissions from around the world.
"For our inaugural competition, we received an amazing response with initial submissions from all around the world, including Australia, US, Singapore and Turkey," he says.
"I wholeheartedly invite everyone to witness these cutting-edge practical applications of analytics with significant impact."
Finalists for the prize will make their presentations in a special session at the conference, with the winner receiving a $10,000 prize. The expert judging panel will include:
- Jane Livesey, CEO, Cognizant Australia
- Christelle Young, Chief Strategy & Analytics Officer, L'Oréal ANZ
- Dan Adelman, Charles I. Clough, Jr. Professor of Operations Management, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
- Michael Smith, Chair of Management (Econometrics), Melbourne Business School
- Steve Tadelis, Professor of Economics and Sarin Chair in Strategy and Leadership, Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley
- Christopher S. Tang, UCLA Distinguished Professor and Edward W. Carter Chair in Business Administration, UCLA Center for Global Management
To learn more and book tickets, visit the Melbourne Business Analytics Conference page.
For more analytics information and research, visit our Centre for Business Analytics page.