March 26, 2021

Thank you for joining the virtual Great Lakes Data & Analytics Summit!

Thank you to all our attendees, sponsors, and speakers who joined us for the 9th annual Great Lakes Data & Analytics Summit on March 9-11, 2021. This year’s event looked VERY different from past events – as everything was completely virtual. We held the 2020 Summit only a few days before the entire country went into COVID-19 lockdown, and boy, what a year this has been!

We had to reimagine a 1-day, multi-track event that has always brought together local analytics practitioners into a virtual experience that would still provide value, connections, and resources. The virtual event transformed into a three-day event, where each day offered three-hours of live content from practitioners and the leading experts in the field. A keynote speaker opened each day followed by breakout sessions that featured case studies using the latest technology.

Regardless of the format or virtual platform, we had a great line-up of speakers who joined us to discuss their experience in a wide range of topics from machine learning operations, to embedded analytics applications, to how businesses have used analytics in response to COVID-19 restrictions. Many of these insightful case studies and discussions came from local companies like AAA Life Insurance, Stellantis (formerly FCA), Steelcase, General Motors, and Signet Jewelers.

We also had two great keynotes from some of the leading experts in the data & analytics field. The “data analytics” day was kicked off by Wayne Eckerson, President of the Eckerson Group. Based on his 30-years of experience in data and analytics, Wayne articulated the past, present, and future of data and analytics. He discussed how there is a growing data divide between data "laggards" and data "leaders" and identified the key issues that prevent organizations from delivering value with data, and discuss new game-changing techniques and technologies that promise to change the equation. We were also joined by Susan Meldahl, Director of Business Programs at Microsoft to kick off the “data engineering” day. Susan is a seasoned data strategy veteran and has played a lead role in developing Microsoft's own corporate Data Strategy. Her expertise has been pivotal in turning Microsoft's Data Strategy journey into a repeatable global solution. Susan took a deep dive into this entire process and provided valuable insights into their data transformation journey.  

You can watch all the recordings from the Summit HERE

We were joined by great sponsors that participated in a virtual exhibit hall and gave informative presentations and workshops. Sponsors included Celonis, DataRobot, Dataiku, Incorta, Microsoft, Qlik, Talend and TIBCO. A big thank you to our sponsors - we can’t put on this event without them!

Thank you again to all our attendees, speakers, and sponsors who were able to join us for a great week of learning new strategies, hearing from some top experts in the analytics field, and hopefully making a few connections along the way! Recorded session from the event will be available on our website in early April!


SAVE THE DATE: We are optimistically looking forward to hosting the 10th annual Great Lakes Data & Analytics Summit in-person in March 2022


About WIT

WIT is an analytics and automation consulting firm celebrating our 25th anniversary this year. We help our clients build solutions to maximize the value of their data and analytics assets, and automate key business processes. WIT proudly hosts the Great Lakes Summit events. Planning these local events is a true labor of love for our team and every year we aim to bring you engaging speakers, feature innovative technologies, and provide an intimate experience that fosters networking and new connections. For more information, visit

Tagged: Business Analytics, Data Management, Data Trends, Data Visualization, Great Lakes Summit, Analytics Technology

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