Dr. Beverly Wright leads Business Analytics Center at Scheller College of Business, and is Chief Analytics Officer at Aspirent Consulting.  Beverly brings over twenty years of marketing research, analytics, and insights experience from corporate, consulting and academia. In her consultative roles for both nonprofits and for profit businesses, she solves critical issues through the use of modeling and advanced analytics. Her academic experience spans over a decade with a strong emphasis toward community engagement and experiential learning.  She's also worked for companies within or leading Marketing Analysis departments. Beverly earned a PhD in Marketing Science, a Master of Science degree in Analytical Methods, and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Decision Sciences from Georgia State University and regularly presents at professional and academic conferences, as well as publishes articles in various business journals.






Dave Elliott @ Google

Nikolaos Vasiloglou holds a PhD from the department of  Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. His thesis was focused on salable machine learning over massive datasets. After graduating from Georgia Tech he founded Analytics1305 LLC and Ismion Inc. He has architected and developed the PaperBoat machine learning library which has been successfully integrated and used in the LogicBlox and HPCCSystems platforms. In the past, he organized and Chaired MLConf , a series of conferences in machine learning held in New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Atlanta and in his spare time, continues to offer training in the U.S.  through "MLTrain" and the "Learning Machine Learning by example meetup"  to integrate ML concepts in practice. Niko has served as a ML consultant to Predictix, Revolution Analytics, Damballa, Tapad and LexisNexis and he helps local Atlanta startups with machine learning systems. His work has resulted in patents and production systems.


  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon

Tshilidzi Marwala @ University of Johannesburg

Wes Chaar is the Senior Vice President of Analytics, Data and Decision Sciences at Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

Wes attained his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He has more than 20 years of expertise in the Analytics, Data and Decision Sciences fields. He has applied his skills to work on various Revenue Management, Pricing, Channel Distribution, Consumer Choice Modeling, Scheduling, CRM and other problems.

He has published in various journals and proceedings (e.g. IEEE Transactions, M&SOM, AAS, etc.) and presented at various conferences. His work experience covers the Airlines, Hospitality, Online Retail and Mediasectors, where he held various research, consulting, management and leadership positions.


Mohamed Aly @ Seeloz

  • Grey Twitter Icon

Dave Elliott is a technology evangelist and a Machine Learning Architect for cloud platform at Google. In this role he engages communities to inspire them to try new products and technologies, embrace new ideas, and he is the voice of those communities to product and engineering teams. Prior to Google, Elliott was a Chief Cloud Evangelist at Symantec where he advocated for new architectures in data and storage. Mr. Elliott was an early advocate of cloud computing while at Sun Microsystems in the 1990s and has spent his career helping companies understand and embrace emerging technologies. 


Prior to Symantec, Elliott served as GM Americas at Arkeia Software, an innovator in data protection for virtual and cloud environments. Earlier, Mr. Elliott was responsible for Strategic Development for Iomega Corporations’ PSS Business Unit, and held positions at Blue Martini Software and with management consulting firm A.T. Kearney.   Mr. Elliott holds an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley and an BA in Quantitative Economics & Decision Sciences from the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Mohamed Aly is the Founder & CEO of Seeloz Inc. He is a data scientist with large industrial experience in building large-scale statistical modeling and machine learning platforms providing efficient solutions for complex business problems.

Before founding Seeloz, Dr. Aly had a track record of assuming R&D roles at Yahoo! Research and Google Research, teaming up with world-class scientists and engineers to develop web-scale user modeling platforms for behavioral targeting and contextual advertising.

Throughout his career, Dr. Aly developed experience in applying machine learning to tackle various business needs of enterprises spanning different industry verticals. Examples applications are user modeling, computational advertising, targeting, and data-driven performance optimization, among others.


On the academic level, Dr. Aly has a record of publishing research studies in large-scale user modeling in top-tier academic venues for Internet and data mining research such as the World Wide Wed Conference (WWW), the Knowledge and Data Discovery Conference (KDD), the Web Search & Data Mining Conference (WSDM) and the Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM).

Skyler Speakman is a Research Scientist at IBM Research -- Africa.  His projects use data science to impact the lives of millions of people on the continent.  He believes that data collected through phones and drones will fundamentally change service delivery and African development in the next decade.  Skyler completed a Ph.D. in Information Systems at Carnegie Mellon University as well as a M.S. in Machine Learning.  He also holds masters in Mathematics, Statistics, and Public Policy.  He lives in Nairobi, Kenya with his wife and two young sons.

Chris is applying data science techniques and AI algorithms to his PhD in Computational Neuroscience in the efforts of building a theoretical framework for understanding the brain. Passionate towards both AI and neuroscience research, Chris has found the perfect blend in computational neuroscience at the University of Cape Town. Chris hopes the greatest mystery of our time – the brain – can be ‘solved’ through the application of AI algorithms and theory to how we think, while at the time developing new AI algorithms inspired by neurobiological intelligence. As part of ongoing efforts to expand computational neuroscience in South Africa, he has been trained by and collaborated with researchers from establishments such as Oxford University, University College London, University of Cape Town, and Google DeepMind. When not applying AI to his PhD, Chris is furthering his knowledge through MOOCs, building scientific capacity in South Africa, and consulting as a machine learning specialist for Q Division (qdivision.co.za) in Cape Town for innovative solutions to complex problems

Chris Currin @ UCT

Skyler Speakman @ IBM

  • Grey Twitter Icon

Tshilidzi Marwala is currently the Vice-Chancellor and Principal Elect and was a Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation at the University of Johannesburg. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (magna cum laude) from Case Western Reserve University (USA), a Master of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pretoria, a PhD in Engineering from Cambridge University, was a post-doctoral research associate at the Imperial College (London) and completed a Program for Leadership Development at Harvard Business School. His research include the theory and application of computational intelligence to engineering, computer science, finance, social science and medicine. He has received more than 45 awards including the Order of Mapungubwe. His writings and opinions have appeared in the New Scientist, The Economist and Time Magazine.

Alex Conway @ NumberBoost

Alex is the founder & CTO of NumberBoost, a data science company that builds deep learning applications. He has an honours degree in actuarial science and a MSc in statistics from UCT. He organizes the Cape Town Deep Learning Meet-up and has built computer vision systems that run at scale in production predicting labels for millions of images per day.

  • Grey Twitter Icon

Marc van Heerden @ Bain

  • Grey Twitter Icon

Frans Cronje @ DataProphet

  • Grey Twitter Icon

Frans is the Managing Director and Co-founder of DataProphet, a Cape Town based consultancy, specialising in the development of bespoke machine learning algorithms. Since founding DataProphet in 2014, Frans has been involved in a wide range of machine learning projects spanning emotion recognition with computer vision to eDiscovery with Natural Language Processing.


Prior to starting DataProphet, Frans completed his Master’s of Science in Mathematical Statistics and his Honours in Actuarial Science at the University of Cape Town; in addition to working at the management consultancy, Bain and Company.

Marc is a Senior Specialist in the Advanced Analytics Group, located in Johannesburg. Marc’s expertise includes statistics and programming. Prior to joining Bain, he worked for in analytics roles at Discovery, Vodafone and Uber. He has experience with wellness and loyalty programs, life insurance and the design and management of non-traditional product features.

Marc has a BSc in Actuarial and Financial Mathematics from the University of Pretoria and is currently completing a Bsc(Hons) in Data Analytics at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Cameron Bradley @ GA Tech

Cameron Bradley is a Researcher at Georgia Tech. Prior to studying at Georgia Tech, Cameron spent 4 years as a Senior Data Analyst at Jewelry Television, a home shopping network that sells jewelry and loose gemstones. Cameron’s expertise is predictive analytics and regression modeling. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from Brigham Young University in 2013.

Paula Sartini @ BrandQuantum

As CEO of BrandQuantum, Paula believes passionately in the alchemic power of branding, design and technology. Turning the ordinary into the extraordinary and crafting winning go-to-market plans she looks at businesses through an economic lens and uses the power of design and technology to achieve real business results. She is a branding and social network analysis evangelist. 

During 2007 Paula was voted the top woman manager in SA by the Corporate Research Foundation’s Leading Managers Awards (and 9th overall in SA). In 2006 she took her brand design agency to number #1, with a double win as Brand Design Agency of the Year awarded by both Financial Mail and FinWeek. During 2016, Paula was voted a Finalist in the MTN Women in ICT - Partnership for Change Awards, in the Innovation category.

Theunis Jansen van Rensburg @ Wonga

Theunis is Head of Analytics at Wonga SA with hands on experience within a multitude and diverse range of Big Data projects. He has a genuine interest in data driven solutions, predictive analytics and data analysis. 

Richard Barry @ Polymorph

Richard is the CEO of Polymorph Systems. He is an experienced digital specialist with a proven record of delivering solutions from concept to built.

A passion for creating user focused products and customer centric teams. Ensuring the best product is developed through constant conversation and iteration.