Big Data Symposium 2018 - Making sense of big data

This is an event in the Ideas in Practice series taking place in London on Thursday 15 March 2018

Big Data Symposium 2018

‘Making Sense of Big Data’

Leeds University Business School would like to invite you to the Big Data Symposium 2018, our 4th big data conference on the theme ‘Making Sense of Big Data’. 

This Symposium provides an opportunity to take part in discussions with some of the world’s leading experts on big data and how it can help businesses. What does big data really mean for business and how do you get real insight out of all the data you have? The worlds of marketing, logistics, finance, human resources, management, R&D and IT, whether public or private sector, are on the brink of major transformation as a result of their potential to exploit big data.  But where is the consumer in all this? Are companies and organisations using data to provide a better customer service and customer experience?  Are competitors creating an edge by their use of data? What about privacy protection for the individual?

A particular theme that we want to emphasize at the Symposium is sharing best practice between academia and businesses regarding data and analytics. Big data can make businesses and organisations more market aware and more efficient, help public sector organisations run more smoothly and effectively, provide the means to make huge advances in medicine and health and bring global markets a lot closer than they have ever been before.  We need to make sure our big data exploitation is both meaningful and ethical with the goal of improving business for the benefit of all.


The Symposium will be hosted by Professor Timothy Devinney, Pro Dean for Research and Innovation and Leadership Chair in International Business at Leeds University Business School.


We have four main themes during the day:

  • Marketing strategy
  • Techniques/Methods (Capability)
  • Supply Chains
  • Analytics and personal decision making

Guest speakers this Ideas in Practice Symposium will include:

Speakers confirmed:

Professor Timothy Devinney, Pro Dean for Research and Innovation, Leadership Chair in International Business, Leeds University Business School

Andy Birtwistle, Director, Supply Chain Practice, Concentra Analytics 

Darren Hariharasegaran, Senior Manager -Data & Analytics, PwC, London

Daniel Schwartz, Assistant Professor of Marketing and Behavioural Economics, Departamento de Ingeniería Industrial, University of Chile

Arjen van Lin, Assistant Professor of Marketing, VU University Amsterdam 

Sharat Mathur, Executive Vice President and Practice Leader, IRI Strategic Analytics, Chicago, USA.


Centre for Decision Research at University of Leeds, cameos of current research.

Event format

9.30am Registration
  Session 1: Data and Marketing – Customer Insight
  Chair: Professor Mat Robson
10.00am Welcome: Mat Robson, Professor of Marketing on behalf of Leeds University Business School
  Keynote presentations and Q&A.
10.10am Sharat Mathur, Executive Vice President and Practice Leader, IRI Strategic Analytics, Chicago, USA
  Presentation Title: Strategic Pricing and Promotion Strategies for Manufacturers and Retailers
10.45am Timothy Devinney, Pro-Dean for Research & Innovation and Leadership Professor in International Business, Leeds University Business School
  Presentation Title: Making Sense of Big Data
11.20am Tea/coffee break
  Session 2: Tools and Techniques
  Chair: Professor Mat Robson
11.40am Darren Hariharasegaran, Senior Manager -Data & Analytics, PwC London with Q&A
  Presentation Title: Connected in the Big Data World
12.10pm Arjen Van Lin, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  Presentation Title: Using Big Data to Gauge the Effects of a Policy Change: Evaluating the effects of the introduction of mandatory warning labels for unhealthier food products
12.45pm Networking Lunch
  Session 3: Decision Research and Analytics
  Chair: Professor Wandi Bruine de Bruin
1.30pm Daniel Schwartz Perlroth, Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Chile
  Presentation Title: How A/B Testing (Randomized Control Trials) Can Lead to Better Decision Making in the Big Data Era
2.15pm Centre for Decision Research at Leeds, showcase of four research projects.
  Presenters: Barbara Summers, Richard Hodgett, Christina Phillips and Sajid Siraj
3.00pm Afternoon Tea and networking
  Session 4: Supply Chains and Use of Big Data
  Session Chair: Professor Timothy Devinney
3.30pm Chee Yew Wong, Professor of Global Supply Chain Management, Leeds University Business School
  Presentation Title: Big Data and Supply Chain Analytics
4.00pm Andy Birtwistle, Director, Supply Chain Practice, Concentra Analytics
  Presentation Title: TBC
4.30pm Professor Mat Robson, Leeds University Business School – wrap up and closing remarks
4.45pm Close of afternoon session

For further information, please contact the Research office at