Successful Applications of Customer Analytics

New: Pre-conference workshops, May 10, 2017
Workshop Admission: $125
Full-day conference Admission: $695

The Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative continues to be a hub for all things analytics, which is why we’re proud to announce the 2017 installment of our day-long conference filled with practical applications to demonstrate the real-world impact of analytics.

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May 10 – 11, 2017

The Logan Hotel
1 Logan Square
Philadelphia, PA 19103
WCAI logo
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About the Conference


Conference Admission

Workshop Admission
$125.00 per workshop

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To give audiences a better picture of this year’s event, WCAI Faculty Director, Eric Bradlow, and WCAI Senior Fellow, Raghu Iyengar, sat down to talk about the 2017 installment of “Successful Applications of Customer Analytics.”

What’s new this year?

Not only will the 2017 conference feature industry experts and fresh new content, but we’ll also introduce a half day of technical workshops on Wednesday, May 10; see agenda for details. The workshops will be located on Wharton’s campus while the “main event” will take place at The Logan Hotel in center city the following day on May 11. This portion of the conference will follow a similar layout to last year. You can view last year’s event here. 

See agenda for more workshop details


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“There aren’t many events like the WCAI conference. While many events talk about customers and data, the WCAI conference is the only event that I’ve been to that really helps you make customer analytics actionable. The detailed presentations, quality of speakers, and free-sharing of ideas makes this an extremely actionable event. I walked away with a looong list of contacts and topics to learn about.” 

-Justin Cutroni
Analytics Evangelist 

“For those on an analytical journey, the WCAI Conference is an invaluable resource for learning from the first-hand experiences of world-class organizations and for building meaningful relationships with peers across a diverse pool of industries” 

-Steven Elinson
Director of Corporate Applications & Business Intelligence
IPC / Subway

About WCAI

The Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative (WCAI) is the world’s preeminent academic research center focusing on the development and application of customer analytics methods. Through WCAI’s innovative research opportunity program, world-class scholars collaborate with leading-edge businesses to ask and analyze critical questions. WCAI’s R&D “crowdsourcing” approach enables academic researchers from around the world to help companies understand how to better monetize the individual-level data they collect about customers through the development and application of new predictive models. For more, visit


Eric Bradlow, Faculty Director
rahgu.headshot Raghu IyengarSenior Fellow
ColleenONeill-Bio-242x242 Colleen O’Neill, Executive Director


Email: Phone: 215.746.4160




2:00 - 5:00 PM

Day 1: Technical Workshops

Wednesday, May 10 | Wharton Campus

2:00 - 5:00 PM

Applied Predictive Modeling

Wednesday, May 10 | Wharton Campus

For analysts who are experienced at manipulating, summarizing and reporting historical data using tools like SQL or Tableau, the next step is learning how to use predictive models to answer forward-looking questions like, “Which customers are most likely to respond to my offers?” or “How likely is it that this customer will purchase again?”. Many of the advanced analytics projects presented at the WCAI Conference include substantial modeling components and this workshop is designed to help the experienced business intelligence or analytics professional develop skills in predictive modeling. This workshop will introduce participants to the concepts of predictive modeling using the workhorse tools: linear regression and logistic regression.

2:00 - 5:00 PM

Intro to Python

Wednesday, May 10 | Wharton Campus

Whether you have experience in programming or are looking to get started for the first time, getting involved in the Python community will put you on the fast track to honing your skills as a programmer. In this workshop, you’ll learn all about Python – including how to get started, what advantages Python provides as a programming language, the essentials of the language, and how to use Jupyter Notebook to write, run, and share Python code.
Participants will get to work through multiple in-class exercises, including data analysis problems.

– A foundational knowledge of programming
– A good understanding of basic to intermediate Python
– Ability to use different data analysis libraries (csv, Pandas) to read in datasets
– Basic data science techniques for cleaning, analyzing, visualizing, and communicating valuable insights from a dataset
– Experience with Jupyter Notebook

Required Software:
Jupyter Notebook (includes interactive Python interpreter and script editor) – to install, download Anaconda here: (Python 3.5 version)


2:00 - 5:00 PM

“Is my advertising working?”

Wednesday, May 10 | Wharton Campus

Better tracking technology and marketing analytics are rapidly making it possible to determine whether advertising produces the consumer behaviors we want. In this workshop we will introduce the most popular strategies for assessing advertising performance:

– Holdout experiments
– Attribution rules such as last-click and first-click
– Algorithmic attribution and other model-based approaches
– Marketing mix modeling and other time series methods

By working through specific examples, participants will develop a better understanding of how each method works, as well as the potential pitfalls of each method. While a three-hour workshop is too short to develop deep expertise in these methods, our goal is to train marketers to be smart consumers of attribution analysis. While the focus of the workshop will be on understanding the methods and interpreting results, examples will be worked in the R Statistical language and participants who know R will be provided with data and encouraged to follow along to learn the mechanics. Participants who don’t know R will still be able to follow along as we interpret and discuss model outputs.

6:30 - 8:30 PM

Opening Reception

The Logan Hotel

Thursday, May 11

Day 2: Full-Day Conference

The Logan Hotel | Thursday, May 11

8:00 - 9:00 AM

Registration & Breakfast

9:00 – 9:05 AM


Colleen O’Neill, WCAI Executive Director

9:05 – 9:15 AM

Dean's Remarks

Dean Geoffrey Garrett

9:15 – 9:25 AM

Vice Provost's Remarks

Beth Winkelstein, Vice Provost of Education

9:25 - 10:00 AM

Keynote Address

Hilary Mason, Founder of Fast Forward Labs
10:00 -10:15 AM  Q&A

10:15 - 10:35 AM

Morning Break

Sponsored by Revelwood


10:35 - 11:00 AM

Session 1

Zachery Anderson, Electronic Arts
11:00 – 11:10 AM Q&A

11:10 - 11:35 AM

Session 2: Television, Search and Digital Advertising

Shawndra Hill, Microsoft
11:35 – 11:45 AM Q&A

11:45 – 12:10 PM

Session 3: A Dynamic Model of Customer Efficiency

Gary W. Class, Wells Fargo
12:10-12:20 PM Q&A

12:20 – 12:25 PM

Lunch Sponsor Presentation: Alix Partners

12:25 – 1:25 PM


1:25 – 1:50 PM

Session 4

Betty Li, Netflix
1:50 – 2:00 PM Q&A

2:00 - 2:25 PM

Session 5: Cognitive Innovation on Programmatic Media

Ari Sheinkin, IBM
2:25 – 2:35 PM Q&A

2:35 - 2:55 PM

Afternoon Break

2:55 - 3:20 PM

Session 6

Kathy Koontz, Teradata with Ravi Kandikonda, Comcast
3:20 – 3:30 PM

3:30 – 3:55 PM

Session 7

Matt Horton, Major League Baseball Advanced Media
3:55 – 4:05 PM Q&A

4:05 - 4:15 PM

Closing Remarks

Eric Bradlow, The Wharton School

4:15- 6:00 PM

Closing Reception


Keynote Speaker

Hilary MasonBio

Hilary is Founder and CEO of Fast Forward Labs, a machine intelligence research company, and Data Scientist in Residence at Accel Partners. Previously, Hilary was Chief Scientist at bitly. She co-hosts DataGotham, a conference for New York’s home-grown data community, and co-founded HackNY, a non-profit that helps engineering students find opportunities in New York’s creative technical economy. She’s on the board of the Anita Borg Institute and an advisor to several companies including Sparkfun Electronics, Wildcard, and Wonder. Hilary served on Mayor Bloomberg’s Technology Advisory Board and is a member of Brooklyn hacker collective NYC Resistor.

Zachery AndersonBio

Vice President of Global Analytics and Insights

Electronic Arts

Zachery is the Vice President of Global Analytics and Insights at Electronic Arts (EA), the world’s largest Video Game Company. He is responsible for leading Consumer Insights, UX Research, Data Science, Studio Analytics, and Marketing Analytics for EA. His team uses in-game behavioral data, traditional consumer research, lab work, and online advertising data to provoke and inspire EA’s development and marketing teams to think and act “Player First”. Prior to joining EA in 2007, Zachery was head of consulting and modeling for J.D. Power and Associates’ PIN group, Corporate Economist for Nissan North America, and Economist for the private investment company Fremont Group.

Zachery’s work has been highlighted in the Harvard Business Review and the MIT Sloan Management Review. His work has won many awards including the INFORMS Marketing Science Practice and while at Nissan he was recognized by the US Federal Reserve for the Best Industry Forecast.

Zachery’s undergraduate degree in Political Science and Communications is from Southern Illinois University. His graduate work was at UCLA, in Economics and Political Science, where he studied game theory with Nobel Prize Winner Lloyd Shapley.

Greg Bethardy, Ph.D.Bio

Senior Data Scientist - Workshop Instructor


Dr. Greg Bethardy is a Senior Data Scientist within the Teradata Aster Advanced Analytics Strategy & Adoption Team. He has a career-long interest in distributed computing, from high-performance computing on massively parallel Unix/Linux platforms to highly available business clusters for disaster recovery. He has worked with Fortune 500 clients designing and selling solutions and analytics that enable Businesses across all industry verticals. Greg holds a B.A. in Chemistry, from The University of Akron; a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics, from The University of Akron; and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Theoretical Chemistry Group at Argonne National Lab/US D.O.E.

Gary ClassBio

Senior Vice President

Wells Fargo

In his work with the Virtual Channels Group management team, Mr. Class is responsible for strategic business analysis regarding the digital banking and phone channels.  Mr. Class analyzes customer preferences and behaviors to help Wells Fargo respond to customers’ banking needs and to develop new financial services that can be accessed anytime, anywhere.

Key milestones include the bank-wide adoption of customer-centric cross-sell potential, probability of attrition & Customer Lifetime Value models. A recent focus is the development & deployment of “CSI360”, a Customer-centric channel interaction “big data analytics” environment.

Previously, Mr. Class was responsible for Branch & ATM location planning & analysis throughout the Wells Fargo franchise and played a lead role in the development of Wells Fargo’s innovative branch delivery strategy, including the offsite ATM and supermarket banking program. In addition, Mr. Class was responsible for development of branch staffing & scheduling applications as well as database marketing and lead delivery tools.

Mr. Class received his MBA in Finance from the Haas School, University of California, Berkeley and his B.A. cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania.

Elea McDonnell FeitBio

Assistant Professor of Marketing - Technical Workshop Instructor

Drexel University

Elea McDonnell Feit is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Drexel University and a Senior Fellow of Marketing at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Much of her career has focused on developing new quantitative methods and bringing them into practice, first working in product design at General Motors, then commercializing new methods at the marketing analytics firm, The Modellers, and most recently as the Executive Director of the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative, where she built the academic-industry partnership program. She enjoys making analytics and statistics accessible to a broad audience and has recently co-authored a book on R for Marketing Research and Analytics with Chris Chapman. She holds a PhD in Marketing from the University of Michigan, an MS in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University and a BA in Mathematics from University of Pennsylvania.

Kyle GroveBio

Chief Data Scientist -- Workshop Instructor


Kyle Grove is the Chief Data Scientist at Teradata dedicated to Wells Fargo, with a background in statistical natural language processing, machine learning, and behavioral science. He has built multiple systems for Wells Fargo and other customers that employ machine learning over unstructured data to predict high-stakes decisions for enhancing compliance and marketing functions.

Shawndra HillBio

Senior Researcher

Microsoft Research NYC

Shawndra Hill is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research NYC.  Before joining Microsoft, she was an Assistant Professor in the Operations and Information Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where she is still an Annenberg Public Policy Center Distinguished Research Fellow, a Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative Senior Fellow, and a core member of the Penn Social Media and Health Innovation Lab.  Generally, she researches the value to companies of mining data on consumers, including how consumers interact with each other on social media — for targeted marketing, advertising, health and fraud detection purposes. Her current research focuses on the interactions between TV content and Social Media Dr. Hill holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Spelman College, a B.E.E. from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Information Systems from NYU’s Stern School of Business.

Matt HortonBio

Director of Advanced Analytics

Major League Baseball Advanced Media

Matt Horton is the Director of Advanced Analytics at Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM). In his 10+ years at MLBAM Matt has been involved in numerous analytic projects (email revenue optimization, predicting ticket buyers’ future behavior and MLB.TV subscriber churn prevention).
Prior to joining MLBAM Matt worked for Rosetta and Accenture.  He has a BS in Statistics from the University of Tennessee and a Masters in Applied Statistics from Cornell University.

Ravi KandikondaBio

Vice President of Marketing Strategy & Planning


Ravi Kandikonda is the Vice President of Marketing Strategy & Planning for Comcast’s consumer business lines.  In this role, Ravi leads strategic planning, marketing analytics, customer insights and campaign execution for the $50bn annual revenue business. Previously, Ravi was the Managing Director of CRM and Analytics team at the storied marketing agency Ogilvy & Mather.  While at Ogilvy, Ravi was based out of North America and Asia leading engagements for several well-known brands in Retail, Technology, CPG and Telecom verticals.

Ravi is an elected Fellow of The OR Society, London and sits on the advisory boards of Marketing Science Institute, Cambridge and BGSU College of Business, Ohio.

Kathy KoontzBio

Business Consultant—Customer Journey


Kathy Koontz is a Business Consultant—Customer Journey within the Customer Engagement Practice at Teradata. In this role, she assists clients in identifying opportunities and designing solutions to utilize data and analytics to improve customer relationships.

For 10 years prior to joining Teradata, she was Associate Vice President in the Customer Insights & Analytics group at Nationwide Insurance developing capabilities to increase the value and size of the customer portfolio and reinforce Nationwide’s brand promise. Kathy has more than 20 years of experience developing strategy and designing solutions to strengthen customer relationships. Her experience is in retail, insurance/financial services and non-profit industries. She is a graduate of the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism.

Brandon KrakowskyBio

Research Director - Workshop Instructor

Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative

Brandon Krakowsky is the Research Director at the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative, where he leads the Research Opportunity Program. He has an eclectic employment history, including non-profit work, radio broadcasting, audio production, music performance, flash programming, application development, and software engineering. He first worked for Medconference, LLC where he developed and managed large-scale web conferencing applications for the Life Sciences industry. He then worked as a programmer for the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, developing an online implementation of a green building certification system. He was hired by Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship to work with faculty and staff to implement innovative technology solutions. Brandon also serves as President of bleek, LLC, a freelance development company, providing application development services for various universities and multinational companies specializing in technology, information management, and aerospace. Brandon holds an MS in Computer and Information Technology from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Communications and American Studies from Boston College.


Ari SheinkinBio

Marketing Analytics, VP


As IBM Marketing Analytics VP, Ari is responsible for using data driven marketing to grow the business; this includes using advanced analytics to understand client behavior, create sales opportunities, progress leads and optimize marketing mix.  Previously, Ari led IBM’s Client Insights organization responsible for marketing analytics related to clients. He directed Strategy for IBM Global Sales &amp; Distribution. He started his career in film production and was a partner in a successful independent film production company; he directed production of the nationally renowned feature film <em>A More Perfect Union</em>. Ari has a BA from George Washington University and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.

Confirmed Attendees

Allianz Global Investors
Boston University
Capital One
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.
Deep Root Analytics
Electronic Arts, Inc.
Henry Schein
Insights Onward
Michael J Hennessy & Associates
Penn Medicine Development and Alumni Relations
Temple University
Teradata Corporation
The Pennsylvania State University
TradeStation Securities, Inc.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Urban Outfitters
VF Corporation
Wawa Inc.
ZS Associates



Capturing the spirit of our surroundings, THE LOGANSM is an independent hotel that blends sophistication with modern luxury. The Logan is a social hub in the heart of the cultural district, featuring outdoor living spaces, creative culinary experiences, a locally curated art collection and offering high-level, intuitive service.

Philadelphia’s most beloved hotel has undergone a complete transformation. Welcome to the reborn, re-imagined and refined independent luxury hotel of Philadelphia. The Logan is a social magnet, infused with a confident, sophisticated, and artful point of view. The Logan conveys a sense of place, authentic, of the people, without pretense yet city-cultured and sophisticated. A special enclave for business and leisure travelers alike, nowhere else gets you as close to all the action in Philadelphia, or if you choose, providing all you need so you never need leave the hotel. A vibrant hub, here lies Philadelphia’s true heart and soul of the city, teeming with extraordinary people and experiences.

Our hotel block deadline has passed for this event, however, rooms are still available at The Logan.

Visit The Logan’s Website


The Logan Philadelphia, Curio Collection by Hilton, Logan Square, Philadelphia, PA, United States

The Logan Philadelphia, Curio Collection by Hilton, Logan Square, Philadelphia, PA, United States


WCAI is offering our sponsorship opportunities for the 2017 conference. These opportunities provide optimal exposure to top industry representatives from leading organizations.

If you, or your organization, are interested in sponsoring the 2017 conference please review the information in our sponsorship brochure.

View and Download Here

If you have any questions regarding sponsorship, please contact Rachel Dirksen at