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Thursday, June 8, 2017 - 8:45am to 9:45am

Big Data: The Magic to Attain New Heights

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There is magic in Big Data. There are also goblins, fairies, and rainbow-colored unicorns. The problem is to take all that data and turn it into magical insights that help make your software products better and help the business grow. Ken Johnston has been employing data for decision-making for years in service operations, cloud development, A/B testing, and recently with business intelligence. Ken shares examples of building big data infrastructures, using telemetry to predict and react to service outages, deploying A/B experiments to drive post sales monetization, mining text data for customer sentiment, and catching recall class bugs with near real-time data. Because the skills needed to do all this are uncommon today, Ken shares his secrets for recruiting, training, and retaining the right kind of data analysts. It’s all there in the data—you just need a realistic Big Data strategy, the right tools, and the right people to get the value out of the data you already have at hand. Oh, and a little pixie dust never hurts either.

Ken Johnston
Microsoft

Ken Johnston is a principal data science manager on the Microsoft core data science team where he and his team focus their research on Windows post sales monetization and device usage in the commercial and education segments. Since joining Microsoft in 1998 Ken’s roles have included GPM for Bing data quality and measurements; group manager for Bing shopping and data operations; test lead and test manager on MSN, hosted exchange, subscription and billing platform, and office products. He previously served as the Microsoft director of test excellence. Ken is a frequent presenter, a regular blogger, coauthor of How We Test Software at Microsoft, and contributor to Experiences of Test Automation: Case Studies of Software Test Automation. Contact Ken on Twitter @rkjohnston.