The University of Akron, College of Business - 2019 Business Analytics - Innovation Summit

Driving Value with Business Analytics: A 360° Perspective

September 27, 2019

Quaker Station, The University of Akron
Registration fee: $75
Check out sponsorship opportunities below.

Although Business Data Analytics and Big Data have been hot topics since at least 2007, ten years later a New Vantage Partner survey of Fortune-1000 C-Suite executives reported that almost half (48%) were “achieving measurable results from big data initiatives.” This year’s Business Analytics Innovation Summit will tackle the critical question of how to produce benefits from Business Analytics initiatives. Although we tend to think of technology as a magic bullet, someone has to load the gun, aim at the right target, fire, and make sure the target is hit. In practice, this means that we must pay attention to the following:


The six speakers scheduled to present at the Innovation Summit this year will tell their stories of deriving business benefits by using Business Analytics in their organizations. Their presentations may highlight some of these areas. We plan to open and close the Summit with an introduction and summary of the connections across the presentations that drive home how to get benefits.

Free parking, breakfast and boxed lunch are included in the program.



Registration, Breakfast, Networking


Scott Arbogast, Managing Partner and COO – Blue Chip Consulting Group, Master of Ceremony
Dr. Susan Hanlon, Interim Dean, College of Business Administration


Applying a Framework to Plan the Analytics Journey in order to Get to Real Results Sooner
Abdou Ayoub, Managing Director – Paragon Shift


Path to Brilliance: Building an Analytical Center of Excellence at Signet Jewelers
Gary Gruccio, Director of Enterprise & Market Analytics – Signet Jewelers


Coffee/Networking Break


The Data Dilemma in Healthcare AI
Kevin Mooney, Senior Director, Enterprise Data Governance – The Cleveland Clinic Foundation


Winning in Analytics with Agility and Generosity
Matt Loveless, Director, IS Analytics & Data Science – The J.M. Smucker Company


Coffee/Networking Break


Keynote Panel
Data @ Progressive

Jason Albers, Data Management & Analytics GM - Progressive Insurance

Category Management Essential – The Value of Data Driven Experiences
Simone Gabbianelli, Global IT Director, Digital & Analytics – The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company


Dr. William McHenry, Associate Professor, Management, UA College of Business Administration


Closing Remarks & Summary


Networking Lunch (boxed lunches)


Abdou Ayoub, Managing Director, Paragon Shift

Applying a Framework to Plan the Analytics Journey to Get to Real Results Sooner

Abdou AyoubDetermining what possible business opportunities can be addressed by using analytics is a challenge in itself; prioritizing which ones to start with is always a debate. By applying a framework to assess which initiatives are possible, how long they will take to deploy and the impact on the business; you can streamline the decision-making process so that it is driven by facts rather than personal preferences.

Abdou Ayoub is the Managing Director of Paragon Shift, a data analytics and AI solutions firm which he founded in 2010. Abdou started his career with Deloitte Consulting out of the Cleveland office working with clients in the America’s and Europe and later transferred to the Deloitte Middle East practice where he was based in Beirut and serving clients across the Gulf region across multiple industries. Abdou holds a Master’s in Engineering and Management from The Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University and Bachelor of Engineering from Youngstown State University.

Gary Gruccio, Director of Enterprise & Market Analytics Signet Jewelers

Path to Brilliance: Building an Analytical Center of Excellence at Signet Jewelers

Gary GruccioSignet Jewelers is in the midst of a three-year corporate strategic turnaround plan called Path to Brilliance. Analytics is key to delivering the Culture of Agility and Efficiency, but delivering on this goal takes more than just purchasing software, it is about changing the hearts and minds of the user community and gaining executive buy-in. Gary will present how he has encountered and overcome process challenges, how he is seeking to build a true community of passionate analysts, how we have gone from a siloed departmental approach to analytics to an Enterprise Analytics department that is empowering users with Alteryx and Tableau.

Gary grew up in northeast Ohio where he currently lives with his wife and kids. He's always had a passion for data geospatial data which led him to get his BS and MA in Geography from the University of Akron. In 1996, he joined the U.S. Census Bureau in Detroit on the TIGER product for Census 2000. After the Census, he joined Signet Jewelers to work on geospatial analytics. He's held various roles within Marketing and Real Estate and currently leads a team of enthusiastic analysts as the Director of Enterprise and Market Analytics.

Kevin Mooney, Senior Director, Enterprise Data Governance, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation

The Data Dilemma in Healthcare AI

Kevin MooneyThere is a very peculiar dilemma that has been vexing many industries related to its need to use more sophisticated analytics to run their business, which requires larger and richer sets of Data. In healthcare, knowing the patients, or personalizing healthcare services, is an important ingredient in treating patients and can be attained through a carefully crafted blending of process, people and tools, ultimately strengthening the foundation of clinical care, and also leading to a more holistic relationship to the patients served. The utilization of tools such as AI can be highly beneficial, but also may have grave consequences if proper controls are not understood and followed. Alignment of providers and vendors, the right processes and appropriately vetted tools, is critical to the ultimate goal of building trust, and providing better care at a lower cost.

Kevin is a Senior Director of the Enterprise Data Governance Office and is responsible for developing the strategic and cultural framework related to managing high quality reliable data, in compliance with law and regulation. Prior to this appointment, from 2005 through 2017, Kevin was the Lead IT Commercial Counsel for Cleveland Clinic, Chair of its IT Practice Group and heavily engaged in the strategy and implementation of Cleveland Clinic's technology, analytics, telemedicine, EMR, cloud, digital health, privacy, cybersecurity, intellectual property and strategic alliance initiatives. Kevin is also one of the founders, and current Secretary and Director on the Board of the Northeast Ohio Cyber Consortium. Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic, Kevin served as in-house counsel at several other organizations, specializing in technology, intellectual property and commercial law.

Matt Loveless, Director, IS Analytics & Data Science, The J.M. Smucker Company

Winning in Analytics with Agility and Collaboration

Matt LovelessFor most, the first word that comes to mind when discussing analytical success is often not culture, but at The J.M. Smucker Company, it is essential to our ability to deliver truly meaningful, actionable insights. We will walk through four use cases that reflect how we have leveraged a culture dedicated to creating agility and encouraging collaboration to identify, develop and implement new programs and capabilities that offer unique value to our Company and those we partner with.

Matt Loveless, Director, Analytics and Data Science within the Information Services department at The J.M. Smucker Company, has successfully managed progressively responsible roles at the Company over the past 15 years. In that time, he has done everything from pulling cables in the Company’s data center to designing complex enterprise platforms. In his current role, Matt oversees a talented team of data scientists, machine learning engineers, developers and analysts who strive to deliver transformational capabilities that will help power the Company’s continued growth while supporting its purpose - Feeding Connections That Help Us Thrive – Life Tastes Better Together.

Jason Albers, Data Management & Analytics GM, Progressive Insurance

Data @ Progressive

Jason AlbersJason will share how Progressive views the value of data. As a result of recent trends in technology, AI/ML, and tools, further leveraging data as a strategic asset at Progressive has never been more important. Through the company’s investments in data offense and defense, data has become part of their DNA. Jason will share several use cases to give more insight into the people and tools at Progressive.

Jason is a Information technology leader with more than 20 years of experience having a significant focus on application development and delivery, enterprise architecture, and infrastructure and operations. Jason has a successful history in building successful organizations and implementing strategy and business process through establishing strong relationships, trust, and influence. Jason’s current role is in Business Analytics and Artificial Intelligence as the Data Management & Analytics GM.


Simone Gabbianelli, Global IT Director, Digital & Analytics, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Category Management Essential – The Value of Data Driven Experiences

Simone GabbianelliFor over 120 years, Goodyear has been at the forefront of an ever-changing mobility industry by putting customers at the center of everything it does. In the digital world, Goodyear is enhancing the value it provides to customers through a data-driven approach that helps to optimize their operations and ability to grow sales. The company has an innovative program to collaboratively share knowledge and data, which in turn allows its wholesale customers to tailor spending to local market demand, have the correct inventory in stock, and improve working capital.

Simone Gabbianelli is Global IT Director, Digital & Analytics for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, a position he has held since November 2018. In this role, he is responsible for leading a team focused on developing and implementing new digital innovations, as well as realizing business opportunities by applying data and analytics to drive operational improvements. Simone joined Goodyear in Italy in 2000 as a network engineer for the Y2K bug. He has held numerous roles of increasing responsibility in the company’s EMEA business unit, including leading the region’s customer facing and analytics team immediately prior to his current appointment. Simone is passionate about technology, Agile methodology, DevOps and data.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Table Sponsor, $750: Table (8) + Program mention w/ small logo

Blue Sponsor, $1,500: Two Tables (8) + Program mention w/ medium logo + Web/Media

Gold Sponsor, $2,500: Two tables (8) + Program mention w/ large logo + Web/Media + Option to introduce a speaker + one display table

Premier Sponsor, $5,000: Two tables (8) + Program mention w/ half page logo (color w/ ad) + Web/Media + Option to introduce a speaker + Two display tables

Event Sponsor, $10,000: Three tables (8) + Program mention w/ full page logo (color w/ ad) + Web/Media + Option to introduce a speaker + Two display tables + Recognized as event sponsor

To become a sponsor, please email Andrew G. Antonucci, Asst. Dir. Development, or call (330) 972-6376

Current Sponsors

Event Sponsor

Blue Chip

Gold Sponsor

Centric, Snow Flake

Blue Sponsor

Goodyear, Paragon Shit, Westfield

Table Sponsors

  • Accenture
  • Akron Children’s Hospital
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Applied Industrial Technologies
  • Area Wide Protective
  • Blueprint BPT
  • FirstEnergy
  • GOJO
  • Improving
  • InfoCision
  • Success Factors-SAP
  • UA IT Services

About CITe

The Center for Information Technologies and eBusiness (CITe) is a multi-disciplinary center within the College of Business Administration. CITe was created in 2000 with the mission to teach students and develop faculty in the principles and practices of the related disciplines of Information Technology and electronic business. CITe accomplishes its mission by providing scholarships, mentoring, internships & co-op opportunities to students in the information systems discipline, providing resources to conduct research in the IT discipline to faculty, and conducting several outreach activities that promote IT among the local companies.

CITe is made up of an advisory board of Information Technology leaders from the Northeast Ohio region and the College of Business Administration faculty, staff, and students.

Previous Events

Images from 2018 BAIS Conference