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Microsoft Data Insights Summit

Featured Speakers

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Special guest speaker

Stephen Dubner

Bestselling Author, Freakonomics series

Stephen Dubner is an award-winning author, journalist, and radio and TV personality. He is best-known as co-author of the books in the Freakonomics series, including Freakonomics, SuperFreakonomics, Think Like a Freak and When to Rob a Bank. They have sold more than seven million copies in more than 40 countries. Dubner is also the host of the Freakonomics Radio podcast, which gets five million downloads a month.

Freakonomics, published in 2005, was an instant international bestseller and cultural phenomenon. SuperFreakonomics followed in 2009, to similar acclaim, and in 2010 a documentary film version of Freakonomics was chosen as the closing film of the Tribeca Film Festival. The third book in the Freak trilogy, Think Like a Freak, was published in 2014 and immediately took up a long residency near the top of international bestseller lists. In 2015, marking the 10-year anniversary of this phenomenal series, When to Rob a Bank was published as a collection of the most popular Freakonomics.com blog posts.

Stephen maintains the popular Freakonomics blog, which has been called “the most readable economics blog in the universe.” He has appeared widely on television, including as a regular contributor to ABC News and as host of the Emmy-nominated NFL Network program, Football Freakonomics.

Stephen is also the author of several other books, including Turbulent Souls/Choosing My Religion (1998), Confessions of a Hero-Worshiper (2003), and the children's book The Boy With Two Belly Buttons (2007). His journalism has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Time, and elsewhere, and has been anthologized in The Best American Sports Writing, The Best American Crime Writing, and others. Turbulent Souls is currently being developed as a film.

Special guest speaker Stephen Dubner

Special guest speaker Steven Levitt

Special guest speaker

Steven Levitt

Bestselling Author, Freakonomics series

Steven Levitt is a tenured professor in the University of Chicago's economics department (he received tenure after only two years) and was the 2003 recipient of the American Economic Association’s prestigious John Bates Clark Medal, given to the country's best economist under 40.

Steven is co-author of the New York Times bestselling Freakonomics series, published in 2005, which instantly became a cultural phenomenon. Hailed by critics and readers alike, it went on to spend more than eight years on The New York Times bestseller list, having sold more than seven million copies around the world, in more than 40 countries. Steven and his co-author Stephen Dubner have appeared widely on television and maintain the popular Freakonomics blog, which can be found on The New York Times website. Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, Steven shows how economics is, at root, the study of incentives— that is, how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. Freakonomics showed that the modern world, despite a great deal of complexity and downright deceit, is not impenetrable, is not unknowable, and—if the right questions are asked—is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking.

A book that was even bolder, funnier, and more surprising than the first, SuperFreakonomics retained that off-kilter sensibility, but also tackled a host of issues at the very center of modern society: terrorism, global warming, altruism, and more. Released in October 2010, the illustrated edition of SuperFreakonomics employed photographs, drawings, and graphs that led readers to see the world in a bold, fresh way.

Steven’s third book with Dubner, Think Like A Freak, was released in May 2014 and also became an instant New York Times bestseller. Their latest book is called When To Rob A Bank and was released in May 2015.

Steven has an enormous curiosity and is set on course by personal experiences and the incongruities he sees in everyday life. He is an intuitionist. He sifts through a pile of data to find a story that no one else has found and devises ways to measure an effect that veteran economists have declared un-measurable.

Keynote speakers

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James Phillips

Corporate Vice President, Business Intelligence Products Group, Microsoft

James Phillips is Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Business Applications, Platform and Intelligence (BAPI) organization, which has more than 2,500 team members across the globe. His teams build and operate a wide range of products and services that contribute billions of dollars in revenue annually. They include Azure App Service, PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, Azure Portal, the Dynamics ERP family of products (AX, NAV, GP and SL), and Microsoft's business intelligence product line — including Power BI, Power BI Desktop, Power BI Mobile (iOS, Android and Windows apps), and SQL Server Reporting and Analysis services.

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Alberto Cairo

Knight Chair at the University of Miami, Renowned Data Visualization Professor, Author, Designer and Journalist

Known for his award-winning global achievements in infographics and multimedia as a professor, author, journalist, and designer, Alberto Cairo serves as the Knight Chair in Visual Journalism at the School of Communication at the University of Miami (UM). He is also the director of the Visualization Program of UM’s Center for Computational Science. Praised for his ability to explain in clear terms how to work with data, discover the stories hidden within, and share those stories with the world, Alberto transforms elementary principles of data and scientific reasoning into tools that can be used in daily life.

Featured speakers

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Amanda Cofsky

Program Manager, Microsoft

Amanda Cofsky is a program manager for the Power BI Desktop team. Her main focus is on enabling analysts to create beautiful and insightful visualizations. You may also know her from the Power BI blogs and YouTube videos where she walks through how to use all the new and exciting features in Power BI.

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Brian Jones

Group Program Manager for Excel, Microsoft

Brian Jones runs the Excel Program Management team, and has been in the Office engineering organization for more than 17 years. He’s worked on Word, VBA, file formats, Office and SharePoint extensibility, Office web add-ins, Forms, and Access. Brian is passionate about building tools that help people solve problems, and sees Excel as the premier application in the Office suite for people who want to gain deeper insights and get things done.

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Chris Webb

Director, Crossjoin Consulting Ltd

Chris Webb is an independent consultant and trainer specializing in Microsoft Power BI and SQL Server Analysis Services. He is the author of Power Query for Power BI and Excel and a co-author of SQL Server Analysis Services

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Danielle Dean

Senior Data Scientist Lead, Microsoft

Danielle Dean, PhD is a Senior Data Scientist Lead at Microsoft Corp. in the Algorithms and Data Science Group within the Cloud and Enterprise Division. She currently leads an international team of data scientists and engineers to build predictive analytics and machine learning solutions for external companies utilizing the Cortana Intelligence Suite. Before working at Microsoft, Danielle was a data scientist at Nokia, where she produced business value and insights from big data, through data mining & statistical modeling on data-driven projects that impacted a range of businesses, products and initiatives. Danielle completed her Ph.D. in quantitative psychology with a concentration in biostatistics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015, where she studied the application of multi-level event history models to understand the timing and processes leading to events between dyads within social networks.

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Jennifer Stirrup

Data Whisperer, Data Relish Ltd

Jennifer Stirrup, recently named as one of the top 10 most influential Business Intelligence female experts in the world by Solutions Review, is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP, and PASS Director-At-Large, and a well-known Business Intelligence and Data Visualization expert, author, data strategist, and community advocate. She has also been peer-recognized as one of the top 100 most global influential tweeters on big data and analytics topics.

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Justyna Lucznik

Program Manager, Microsoft

Justyna Lucznik is a Program Manager in the Business Applications Platform Group. Justyna works on developing and evangelizing solution templates which bring together the Microsoft Azure stack, as well as Power BI and PowerApps

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Kim Manis

Group Program Manager, Power BI Desktop, Microsoft

Kim Manis is Group Program Manager for the Power BI Desktop team. Her team is focused on unlocking new capabilities for data analysts to model, explore, and visualize their data. Before her time on the Power BI team, Kim worked on all sorts of products ranging from productivity software, social networks, and online retail.

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Marco Russo

Consultant and Mentor, SQLBI

Marco Russo is a Business Intelligence consultant and mentor. He has worked with Analysis Services since 1999, and written several books about Power Pivot, Power BI, Analysis Services Tabular, and the DAX language. With Alberto Ferrari, he writes the content published on www.sqlbi.com, mentoring companies’ users about the new Microsoft BI technologies. Marco is also a speaker at international conferences such as Microsoft Ignite, PASS Summit, PASS BA Conference, and SQLBits.

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Rob Collie

President, PowerPivotPro

Rob Collie spent the first 14 years of his career at Microsoft as an engineering leader on Excel, Bing, and SQL. Subsequently he founded PowerPivotPro, the world’s first consulting company focused solely on Microsoft’s self-service BI and analytics platform (Power BI and Power Pivot)

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Romi Koifman

Program Manager, Microsoft

Romi Koifman is a Program Manager on the Microsoft Business Intelligence team. Romi joined Microsoft in 2013 and has been part of the Business Intelligence team from its early days. Romi started as a young 18 year-old developer. Over the years she evolved as a development team leader, system analysis, and product architect. In her current role on the Power BI Mobile team she is driving customer initiatives to generate success stories and collect feedback that is integrated into Power BI. In addition to her role as a Program Manager, Romi engages with the Power BI community through the Power BI blogs and other channels.