New Frontiers and Opportunities in Customer Analytics

Friday, October 14, 2016

WCAI would like to extend our deepest thanks to all who attended and presented at this event! In the coming weeks we will be posting content from the day, stay tuned!

Review takeaways and “a-ha” moments from the event with #wcaiconf


Friday, October 14, 2016,
8:00 – 5:30pm

The Rainier Club
820 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
WCAI logo
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About the Conference

The customer analytics landscape is constantly changing. This day-long conference is designed to discuss best practices when it comes to new sources of data, advanced analytics methods, and business problems that can now be solved.

Both industry and academic experts will present cutting-edge content that addresses new challenges in the analytics world.

Pre-Conference Reception

All attendees are invited to join WCAI for a Pre-Conference Reception at the Arctic Club the night before from 6 – 8pm, on October 13. Light snacks and drinks will be provided. Please let us know if you’ll attend using the provided space during registration.


The registration price for this event is $695. This includes admission to the Pre-Conference Reception.

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

Conference Leadership

Eric Bradlow,
Faculty Director
 Colleen - Crop Colleen O’Neill,
Executive Director


Email: Phone: 215.746.4162



Industry Agnostic


Keynote Speaker

Aimee Johnson, Senior VP, Customer Relationship Management for StarbucksBio

Aimee Johnson is senior vice president, Customer Relationship Management for
Starbucks. Aimee leads all aspects of Starbucks groundbreaking customer loyalty program, My Starbucks Rewards, including customer analytics, personalization, loyalty innovation, loyalty partnership marketing and customer data governance and privacy. She is responsible for My Starbucks rewards program design and execution and using data to drive superior, personalized customer experiences that result in brand loyalty.

Aimee joined Starbucks in 2004, and held a wide range of leadership positions in the company’s marketing organization, including the Tea, Brewed Coffee, Espresso, Frappuccino, Packaged Coffee, VIA and Starbucks Card businesses. In 2012, she took on the role of vice president, Loyalty, with responsibility for the My Starbucks Rewards program and customer analytics. In 2015, she was promoted to senior vice president, with additional responsibilities for personalization, marketing partnerships, and an expanded customer data role.

Prior to joining Starbucks in 2004, Aimee held several consumer marketing leadership positions at Campbell Soup Company. Brands she led included V8 and V8 Splash, Campbell’s Condensed Soups and Prego Italian Pasta Sauces.

Aimee holds a Master of Business degree in marketing from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Tech. She is a proud Coffee Master. Her favorite coffee beverage is a Grande Flat White and her favorite brewed coffee is Guatemala Casi Cielo. Her favorite things to do when she’s not working are spending time with her husband and two young children, road biking, listening to live music and dining out with friends.

Jarvis Bowers WG92Bio

Vice President, Digital Marketing

Holland America Line

Jarvis Bowers is the Vice President, Digital Marketing for Holland America Line. In this newly created role, he is responsible for working with the digital and marketing teams to lead the development of next-generation digital communications and analytics.
Most recently Bowers was at Expedia where he led the global loyalty marketing team. Prior to that he was Vice President, Digital, for SunPower Corporation – a leading solar energy enterprise. He also served as Senior Director in Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, where he led customer and product strategy for the Xbox Store. Bowers has held marketing leadership roles at ESPN Digital Media, American Express, AT&T Wireless and Sony Electronics.
Bowers holds an MBA from the Wharton School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College.

Eric BradlowBio

Professor of Marketing, Economics, Education, and Statistics

The Wharton School

Professor Eric T. Bradlow is the K.P. Chao Professor, Professor of Marketing, Statistics and Education, Chairperson, Wharton Marketing Department, Vice-Dean and Director of Wharton Doctoral Programs, and Co-Director of the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative. An applied statistician, Professor Bradlow uses high-powered statistical models to solve problems on everything from Internet search engines to product assortment issues. Specifically, his research interests include Bayesian modeling, statistical computing, and developing new methodology for unique data structures with application to business problems.
Eric was recently named a fellow of the American Statistical Association, American Educational Research Association, is past chair of the American Statistical Association Section on Statistics in Marketing, past Editor-in-Chief of Marketing Science, is a past statistical fellow of Bell Labs, and worked at DuPont Corporation’s Corporate Marketing and Business Research Division and the Educational Testing Service.
His teaching interests include courses in Statistics, Marketing Research, Marketing Management and PhD Data Analysis, as well as any material related to customer analytics.
Professor Bradlow earned his PhD and Master’s degrees in Mathematical Statistics from Harvard University and his BS in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Anne-Marie DavidsonBio

Senior Marketing Research Analyst


Anne-Marie Davidson’s career has been entirely within primary customer and market research fields.  Currently, she is a Senior Marketing Research Analyst at REI, where she has been lucky enough to work for the last 11 years.  She began her career as an analyst at the first market research firm in Prague, learning research as the country learned market economies.  Since then, she has continue to hone her skills at various vendor- and client-side companies in Washington.  Most recently she completed her master’s degree through Northwestern University in Predictive Analytics and is now working on bridging the primary customer voice with their transactional and analytical components.

Jason GowansBio

VP of Marketing Analytics and Technology for Nordstrom


Jason Gowans is the Vice President of Marketing Analytics and Technology for Nordstrom. Previously, as Director of the Data Lab at Nordstrom, Jason lead the team that built data products aimed at driving new customer acquisition, improving the existing customer experience, and creating incremental revenue for the company via product recommenders, site content segmentation, targeted marketing, and personalization features on paid (social, search, display) and owned media (site, email).

Prior to Nordstrom, Jason co-founded Aerobatic, a Continuous Deployment platform for modern websites. He also co-founded Härnu, a global discussion platform with users in more than 100 countries. Earlier in his career, Jason lead the Client Services team at DS-IQ and was Senior Director of Professional Services at MicroStrategy, a leading Business Intelligence software provider. Jason holds a BSc. degree in Computer Information Systems from Nicholls State University.

Raghu IyengarBio

Associate Professor of Marketing

The Wharton School

Professor Raghu Iyengar’s research interests fall in two domains: pricing and social influence. In the area of pricing, his work focuses on the impact of multi-part pricing schemes on consumer response. The success of such pricing mechanisms to extract consumer surplus depends on how consumers respond to different components. Methodologically, Iyengar has developed novel consumer demand models that capture the effect of multi-part pricing tariffs in a theoretically meaningful way and include contextual factors such as consumers’ uncertainty about usage. Substantively, he has shown that accounting for consumers’ uncertainty is important for firm profits especially when multi-part prices are employed. In the area of social networks, Iyengar has done work that has investigated how and why such influence may be at work. Across several studies, Iyengar has identified the underlying mechanism(s) such as awareness, social learning or social normative pressure that may be at work in different contexts. Understanding the mechanism(s) is important not only theoretically but also managerially, because which customers to target and which ties to activate using what message depends on what mechanism is at work.

Professor Iyengar’s other current research projects focus on the impact of referral coupons on consumer behavior and how changes in loyalty program requirements may change future customer behavior. His research has been published or forthcoming in Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, Psychometrika, Quantitative and Marketing Economics and Experimental Economics. He serves on the Editorial Boards of Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science and the International Journal of Research in Marketing.

Professor Iyengar’s teaching interests are in the area of Marketing Research and Analytics. He earned his PhD and MPhil from Columbia University and his B. Tech. from IIT Kanpur, India.<

Jennifer MarcouBio

GM Office Relationship Marketing and Privacy


Customer-Focused. Data-Driven. People-Centric.

I am passionate about creating great customer experiences and developing people. I love using technology and data to create experiences to delight customers and drive business impact. As General Manager in Office Marketing at Microsoft, I built our relationship marketing and digital acquisition practice. Previously I launched Xbox Rewards to connect with our fans. I honed my customer focus at American Express for 17 years, launching products such as the “Plum Card” from Open. I am driven by the greater impact I have when I coach people to reach their inner potential. My favorite quote is from Maya Angelou, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” That is my mantra for the lasting impact I want to have on customers, partners and colleagues.

Rahul PathakBio

General Manager of Amazon EMR

Amazon Web Services

Rahul Pathak is the General Manager of Amazon EMR at AWS. Amazon EMR is a web service for running frameworks like Hadoop, Spark, and Presto on managed clusters in the cloud. During his five years at AWS, Rahul has focused on managed data and analytic services. Prior to taking over the EMR team in December 2014, he was the Principal Product Manager for Amazon Redshift, a fast, fully managed, petabyte-scale data warehouse service in the cloud. He has also worked on Amazon ElastiCache, Amazon RDS, and Amazon RDS Provisioned IOPS. Rahul has over eighteen years of experience in technology and has co-founded two companies, one focused on digital media analytics and the other on IP-geolocation. He holds a degree in Computer Science from MIT and an Executive MBA from the University of Washington. Rahul’s technological specialties include Amazon EMR, Hadoop, Spark, Presto, Hive, Big Data, Data Warehousing, Relational database management systems, product management, Memcached, AWS, Amazon Web Services, Startups, Oracle, MySQL, MPP, Redshift, RDS, AWS, and cloud computing.

Mikael WeigeltBio

Director of Operations Insight

T-Mobile USA

Mikael Weigelt is currently Director of Operations Insight at T-Mobile USA.  In this role, Mikael is responsible for delivering customer service insights based on analytics with the objective to drive customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.  Prior to T-Mobile, Mikael managed teams for Amazon in supply chain planning, Level (3) in network capacity planning, as well as PROS Revenue Management in revenue management optimization.  Mikael holds a Ph.D. in Operations Management, a MS in Statistics and an MBA all three from the University of Washington, as well as a master in industrial engineering from the Technische Universitaet in Berlin.

Confirmed Attendees

Analysis Team, Inc.
Angelo State University
Coast Capital Savings Credit Union
Critical Mass
Lightbridge Inc.
Microsoft Corporation
Microsoft, Skype
National IPA
Slalom Consulting
Stakana Analytics
The Brierley Group
United Advantage NW FCU
The Wharton School


The Rainier Club

In the rough and tumble days of Seattle in 1888, a trio of business pioneers and visionaries—Thomas Burke, William Peters and John Leary—established The Rainier Club. Their civic-mindedness was fueled by the desire to have a private place where they and other leaders of the community could entertain, socialize and do business.

Now over 125 years later, the Club still serves its original capacity, but in a much-improved style and setting. The mansion on Fourth and Columbia has housed The Rainier Club for over a century. As a private social club, this elegant sanctuary has been a home-away-from-home to thousands of business executives, civic leaders, artists and cultural dignitaries.

The Club’s diverse men and women members reflect the thought leaders, entrepreneurs and change agents of our modern community. The organization they represent stands as a bridge to Seattle’s past and future—a gathering place for exchanging ideas, building relationships and brokering business that will continue to shape the character and direction of our city, the region, and the world.


820 4th Avenue, Seattle, WA, United States

820 4th Avenue, Seattle, WA, United States


8:30 - 9:30AM

Registration & Breakfast

9:30 - 9:45AM


Colleen O’Neill, Executive Director, WCAI

9:45- 10:25AM

The Starbucks Digital Flywheel: Driving customer-centric loyalty from analytics through our digital assets and into our stores.

Aimee Johnson, Starbucks

The Starbucks Mission is “to inspire and nurture the human spirit- one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time”.  We will explore how Starbucks uses data and its digital assets to amplify and multiply this mission, driving Brand Love and the trust and respect of its customers.

10:25 -10:40AM Q&A


10:40 - 11:05AM

Why Smart Data, Not Big Data, is the Driving Force Behind Successful Customer Analytics

Eric Bradlow, The Wharton School

Profitable business decisions arise from better, newer, technology-enabled data sets and data-driven decision making. Yet, the potential of analyzing customer data is often shifted to “Big Data” with unclear value expectations.  Professor Bradlow will discuss how collecting the right data is more valuable than just collecting more data. He will share examples from his award-winning research including data on in-store RFID based and eye-tracking data, as well as leading-edge companies which are doing the same.

11:05 -11:15AM Q&A

11:15 - 11:30AM

Morning Break

11:30 - 11:55AM

Big Data on Amazon Web Services

Rahul Pathak, Amazon Elastic MapReduce

AWS provides a comprehensive suite of services that make it easy and cost effective to analyze data at petabyte scale and beyond. Rahul Pathak, GM for Amazon EMR will discuss the AWS Big Data Platform, the analytic frameworks most commonly used in AWS and how companies across the globe, both big and small, apply these frameworks and web services to gain deeper insights into their business and continue to push the threshold of data analysis.

11:55 – 12:05PM Q&A

12:05 – 12:30PM

Analytics Over Time: Chasing 1:1

Jarvis Bowers, Holland America Line

Over time, the elusive goal of 1-to-1 marketing has become closer and closer.  Despite significant advances in marketing and database technology, strategic, organizational, and cultural challenges remain that prevent companies from realizing its full potential.  We’re still trying to meet consumers’ expectation of connectedness and personalization and yet despite the petabytes of available data, many are no closer to managing meaningful relationships with their customers than they were 20 years ago. This presentation will focus on how past practices helped us arrive today’s practices and how current practices will influence future innovations in customer analytics.

12:30-12:40PM Q&A

12:40 – 1:40PM


1:40 – 2:10PM

Retail Panel moderated by Eric Bradlow

Featuring Anne-Marie Davidson, Jason Gowans, and Mikael Weigelt

Moderated by Eric Bradlow, The Wharton School

2:10 – 2:25PM Q&A

2:25 - 2:50PM

Firm Actions and Field Experiments

Raghu Iyengar, The Wharton School

In recent years, firms have begun tailoring their offers to engage customers. Such customization can be expensive and hence it is important to assess its benefit. Professor Iyengar is here to show the usefulness of A/B testing for validating the impact of marketing actions. Across different marketing contexts, he shows that field experiments provide a way of determining the intended and, the more surprising, unintended consequences of marketing actions. The results from such experiments also provide guidelines on how marketing actions should be customized to enhance the overall revenue from customers.

2:50 – 3:00PM Q&A

3:00 - 3:20 PM

Afternoon Break

3:20 - 3:45 PM

How to Build Relationships through Data

Jennifer Marcou, Microsoft

How do you build true relationships with customers in a digital world? How do you turn data and insights into communications? How do you create and nurture fans? This presentation will focus on how to use data and insights to create profitable customer engagement and ultimately a strong connection to the brand.

3:45-3:55PM Q&A

3:55 - 4:00PM

Closing Remarks

4:00 - 5:30PM

Closing Reception