2019 Great Lakes BI Summit Speakers

BI Summit 2019

Featured Keynote Speakers

Chris Surdak, Surdak & co  

Digital Transformation: What It Is, What It Isn’t and Why It’s Imperative

From Big Data and Hadoop, to Blockchains and Chatbots, many organization struggle to adapt to an endless flow of business fads. At first glance, Digital Transformation appears to be yet another fad, blending apps, social media and Internets of Things in a mystical brew of profits derived from vast quantities of data. However, author, engineer and futurist Christopher Surdak argues that Digital Transformation is neither a fad of a buzzword, rather, it is a social, technical and economic phenomenon of historic significance. In this presentation, Surdak will discuss how the Digital Transformation of our world is both understandable and inevitable. Drawing from historical examples he will show how the changes in our world parallel those of the Industrial Revolution and how our society is undergoing a similar, fundamental change; only hundreds of times faster. Finally, he will discuss specific actions that you can take, today, to begin adapting to competition in the digital era.

Chris Surdak, JD is and award-winning author, innovator, disrupter, engineer and strategist. He is the President of Surdak & Co. - a technology, business and regulatory consultancy. Chris is an industry-recognized expert in big data and analytics, cognitive computing, robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, organizational dynamics, and digital transformation with over 20 years of experience.

Chris began his career with Lockheed Martin, where he was a spacecraft systems engineer and rocket scientist. Since then, he has held leadership roles with leading companies such as Accenture, Siemens, Dell, Citibank, HP, and Ernst & Young. Chris is also the author of the books: Jerk: Twelve Steps to Rule the World (2016), Data Crush: How the Information Tidal Wave Is Creating New Business Opportunities (2014), and The Care and Feeding of BOTS, which is set to be released in early 2019.


Alberto Cairo, University of Miami

How Charts Lie —Getting Smarter about Visual Information

In the past few decades, data visualization has become a mainstream language for exploration and communication. Researchers and professionals in multiple disciplines, from the sciences to journalism, have adopted it because of its power to make patterns and trends visible. However, do we really read charts well? Maybe not. This talk reveals the most common types of mistakes people make when seeing graphs, maps, and diagrams, and explains how to become a better chart reader.

artificial intelligence, machine learning, business intelligence, digital marketing, return on investment

Alberto Cairo, Knight Chair in Visual Journalism at the University of Miami. Cairo is the director of the visualization program at UM’s Center for Computational Science, worked previously as director of infographics and multimedia at news publications in Spain and Brazil, and as a professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. As a noted author, freelancer and consultant for companies such as Google, Cairo will share his insight as outlined in his upcoming book How Charts Lie: Getting Smarter About Visual Information, which is set to be released Fall of 2019. 

Cairo’s other published works include, The Functional Art: An Introduction to Information Graphics and Visualization (2012) and The Truthful Art: Data, Charts, and Maps for Communication (2016).

2019 Session Speakers