A Student's Perspective of Attending the WIA Conference

Last year I had the wonderful opportunity of being sponsored as a student attendee to the Women in Analytics conference. As one of the first conferences I’ve attended as a student, it certainly exceeded my expectations and hopefully, I can provide you a glimpse of its benefit.

The first talk we heard last year was also one of the most inspiring: given by Robin Davies, the Director of Global Data Insights & Analytics at Ford, she discussed the rise in data surrounding the auto industry and how it would shape future customer interactions. As if on cue, we saw Google’s Waymo begin their early rider program in Phoenix near the end of this past year, just one exciting result of data analytics and AI being applied in the auto industry.

Luckily, if cars aren’t your cup of tea, there were plenty of other industries represented and will continue to be this year. WIA 2019 speakers come from institutions locally such as Nationwide, Cardinal Health, and OSU, and range all the way to the west coast, including representatives from Microsoft and Sandford University. As someone personally interested in healthcare, I had the opportunity to chat with Dr. Karen Amstutz last year, Chief Medical Officer of Magellan Health, after her talk on digitizing healthcare.

Whether you are a total beginner when it comes to analytics or want to grow your technical skills, you should feel right at home in the analytics community and the breakout sessions provided. If you want to learn about visualization, how to strategically apply analytics more broadly, or even develop more technical skills surrounding deep learning, there will be valuable content and connections to take advantage of throughout the conference.

One last thing to note: If you are a guy reading this, don’t be scared away! Speaking as a guy myself, it’s important that we encourage women in the field. And I think you will take home just as much, if not more, than the other attendees.


J.T. Bassett
J.T is a Senior at The Ohio State University majoring in Industrial & Systems Engineering, Data Analytics Track. He is also the President of the Big Data & Analytics Association (BDAA) at The Ohio State University.