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Chicago TDWI Chapter Meeting, August 21st, 2015

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Dear Chicago BI/DW and Analytics Professionals,
We cordially invite you to attend our upcoming TDWI Chicago Chapter meeting on August 21st, 2015. Come meet other local professionals, swap business cards, share ideas, and exchange career advice while listening to quality presentations in a vendor-neutral setting, which is the hallmark of TDWI education. Our speakers will be DW/BI end-users reporting on their success and lessons learned implementing various BI tools or projects. Please see our detailed meeting agenda below.


Friday, August 21, 2015



IBM Chicago Center
71 South Wacker Drive, 6th Floor
Chicago, IL  60606


“The Easy Path to Data Lake, Watson Analytics Natural Language, Apache Spark In-memory Hadoop”

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8:30 - 8:45 am

Arrivals and Networking
Opening remarks by Dave L. Majcher , TDWI, Chapter President

8:45 - 9:00 am

TDWI Sponsors

 9:00 – 9:45 am

Presentation: “An Easier Path to the Data Lake”
Brad Ganas, Sales Engineer, Snowflake Computing


For organizations interested in embarking on a journey to build the highly sought data lake, there’s been largely one road to travel – Hadoop. For some, the deployment path has been relatively smooth. For others it’s been many miles of rough road.  In this discussion we'll explore the three major tenets of the modern data lake, what challenges people are facing while deploying HDFS-based data lakes, and an alternative approach that may better-align to your initiatives.

9:45 – 10:00 am

Question and answer session

10:00 – 10:45 am

Presentation: “Introduction to IBM Watson Analytics"
Phil Preede, IBM Watson Analytics Evangelist


IBM Watson Analytics delivers a unified analytics experience on the cloud and helps you focus on the drivers that matter most in your business. By automating the steps of data access and refinement, predictive analysis, and visual storytelling, Watson Analytics immediately identifies and explains hidden patterns and relationships to accelerate your understanding of why things happened and what's likely to happen. Because Watson Analytics features natural language dialogue, you can ask the right questions and get results in the familiar terms of your business. Just as the first spreadsheet made financial calculations easier for anyone with a PC, Watson Analytics opens up the world of advanced analytics to all business users on the cloud.

10:45 - 11:00 am

Question and answer session

11:00 – 11:40 am

Presentation: “Apache Spark”
Frank Wilkinson, Hadoop Hunter for IBM


Abstract:    Apache Spark is an in-memory compute engine that delivers eye-opening speed and flexibility to data scientists and developers working with big data at scale.

11:40 – 11:50 am

Question and answer session

11:50 – Noon

Closing comments and wrap-up

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Space is limited so sign up early!

To become a member at a 10% discount, please click here and use priority code: chicpt1.
For more information about TDWI Membership, contact [email protected].
To contact a Chapter officer, click on name of the officer located on the top right hand column of this page.

Bios of Presenters

Brad Ganas is an Information Management professional with 18 years’ experience in the Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, and Analytics disciplines.  He has worked in both sales and delivery of DW/BI solutions and products in multiple verticals.  His focus has been on positioning and implementation of Big Data platforms in organizations.  He has a strong commitment to helping organizations use data more strategically to increase revenue, decrease costs, drive improved efficiencies and leverage new opportunities.  Brad currently runs the Presales organization for Snowflake Computing, a newly formed company offering an elastic data warehouse platform in the cloud.

Phil Preede is the region technical manager for business analytics in the mid-west and has been with IBM for the past 10 years. Phil specializes in several of the IBM business analytics offerings including Cognos, SPSS, TM1, and is a Watson Analytics evangelist. Before IBM, Phil was a business Intelligence and data warehouse consulting implementing projects at many of the top firms in Chicago and Wisconsin.

Frank Wilkinson is a professional with more than 15 years of IT/Technical Sales experience complemented with over 10 years management experience ranging in scope from Strategist, Pre Sales Director, Infrastructure/IT and Architecture to Multi-National Production Environments. With extensive experience in network operations, data center operations / management, infrastructure management, network design, end-user customer service and project implementation. He is a visionary change agent demonstrating leadership, operational readiness, and collaborative strategic planning. He has a proven and strong record of success in managing complex portfolios of IT investments across organizational and geographical boundaries. Frank has a proven record of accomplishment of delivering expert strategy and vision for complex environments, such as; Enterprise Storage, Virtualization, Enterprise LAN, WAN, VOIP architecture, design, governance, compliance solutions and frameworks.


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