Our Top-Performing Virtual Meetups From 2020

Use Cases & Projects, Dataiku Company, Featured Catie Grasso

Dataiku Meetups were designed to bring data enthusiasts together to foster knowledge-sharing and the intellectual growth of the data community. They showcase the work of talented data professionals across industries to help attendees uncover insider tips and tricks to transform data into actionable insights. They are open to anyone — data professionals, scientists, engineers, analysts, students, and so on.

With the onset of the global health crisis, the Dataiku team behind the curtain was determined to still run our Meetups, but in a virtual setting. On March 26, we hosted our first virtual Meetup which featured Karthik Ramasamy, Machine Learning Engineer at Google Cloud, and resulted in 170+ live attendees and a number of inquisitive questions from the audience. In this article, we highlight the six most popular virtual Meetups from 2020 so you can check them out for yourself!

1. Recommender Systems at Etsy: Current Trends and Evolution

In this talk, Moumita Bhattacharya, Senior Data Scientist at Etsy, shares an overview of recommender systems — including traditional content-based and collaborative filtering — and top trends and breakthroughs in the space. She also provides an overview of her work at Etsy developing recommendation systems to show relevant items to Etsy users, notably of the journey from linear ranking models to a non-linear deep neural network ranking model, and the challenges her team faced along the way.

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2. Driving Diversity in Data Science and Analytics

2020 brought a fierce reckoning of racial injustice, underscoring that long-term change comes from everyone — as individuals, global citizens, companies, and Dataiku. Relatedly, does the current demographic composition of the data science field indicate a promising future of diversity, equity, and inclusion? This panel — in which everyone spoke from an underrepresented group in STEM, either female and/or BIPOC — analyzes the state of diversity in data science, why historic inequities matter, and what teams and organizations can do to be better.

They touch on a lack of STEM education for underrepresented groups early on in life, opportunities of mentorship for women or those who identify as BIPOC in data science, and how they can better catch up to gender balance policies. Panel representatives include:

  • Afyia Miller, Advanced Analytics Manager at Janssen
  • Vanessa Martin, Advanced Analytics Manager at Janssen
  • Polly Mitchell-Guthrie, VP of Industry Outreach & Thought Leadership at Kinaxis
  • Dr. Fay Cobb Payton, Professor of IT/Analytics at NC State University

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3. Big Data and AI in Finance ft. RBC, ATB Financial, and Scotiabank

AI is utilized across the financial institution value chain, from the sell side (i.e., investment banking, stockbrokers) to the buy side (i.e., asset managers and hedge funds). This talk covers how financial services firms leverage machine learning, alternative data, and other forms of advanced analytics to tackle use cases including but not limited to credit decisions, risk management, fraud prevention, trading, personalized banking, process automation, and more. The fireside chat panelists include Fouad Yousif, Senior Manager, Data Scientist at RBC; Dhruv Mayank, Data Science Manager at ATB Financial; and Zain Abbas, Senior Data Scientist at Scotiabank.

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4. Data Science in the Sports World ft. NBA and ESPN Speakers

Sports analytics is generally defined as using data related to any sports or game and has only recently started to come into the limelight. Despite the sports industry being so rich in data, adoption of advanced analytics in sports has been rather opaque and the untapped potential is vast. In this fireside chat, Paul Sabin (Senior Sports Analytics Specialist, ESPN) and Ruchir Pandya (Senior Data Scientist, NBA) discuss how advanced analytics and predictive modeling can outperform regular legacy processes for sports analysis. They also touch on how state-of-the-art models outperform older methods and the resulting consequences that have reshaped sports business.

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5. How Data Can Propel Business Growth and Drive Cost Reduction With Airbnb

This virtual Meetup features Cassie Cao, Data Science Manager at Airbnb. She built the Airbnb Luxury Data Science team from scratch and now leads a new data science team focused on driving customer service cost reduction. She discusses how data can be the catalyst behind both topics — new business category growth and cost reduction — along with the techniques she implemented to address them.

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6. Strategy and Marketing Attribution Models With Squarespace

At Squarespace, the data science team works to help the company make more strategic decisions through data. The data science and marketing teams work together closely to ensure that they quantify the impact of their marketing decisions and use data to optimize marketing spend allocation. In this fireside chat-style virtual Meetup, Squarespace Data Scientists Braden Purcell and Omar Abboud and Data and Operations Lead Nate Lawson share an overview of marketing data science at Squarespace, as well as examples of how they have improved the quality of their checkout survey that serves as a key input to their marketing attribution model.

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As evidenced by the above roundup, our Meetups cover a wide range of data-centric topics, from thought-leadership talks about the future of data to presentations of business use cases and technical walkthroughs. If you are interested in collaborating with us and presenting at a future Dataiku meetup, get in touch here to learn more.

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