As you learn more about marketing, big data is a term you will inevitably come across. The days of relying on intuition and guesswork for key business decisions are fading away: savvy business owners are learning how to leverage big data for better marketing, better decision-making and better company operations. Those who do not utilize data-driven marketing are being left behind.
For the people who are just entering the industry, the rise of data-driven marketing represents a great opportunity. But first you need to understand just what leveraging big data means.
Defined broadly, big data refers to the vast volumes of data generated through everyday business operations. The permeation of technology has allowed the records from everyday business operations to be recorded, and can include anything from records of customer purchases to patient records and customer service complaints. The data is “big” because there is so much of it – so big that many companies are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information coming at any one time.
Within that data are the hidden insights that can help a business to improve its operations and better understand its customers. But with the massive amounts of data available, it can be difficult to figure out what data is important to analyze. As a result, many companies are now hiring analysts and opening up new positions to people skilled in leveraging data for business decisions. This is a fast-growing field where jobs demand is growing faster than supply: IBM estimates that by 2015 there will be 4.4 million data scientist roles available globally, but only one-third will be filled (Click here to read more).
The BCITMA is all about professional development: we present you with all the important business insights that could drive your future career. That’s why you should come to the BCITMA Regional Conference, where you will learn from the experts how data is changing the way businesses operate everyday – and how you can take advantage of this trend to jumpstart your career. The Regional Conference is one of the biggest events for career development that the BCITMA will hold; in fact, it is so jam-packed with valuable business information and opportunities that we can only host it once a year!
The BCITMA Regional Conference
The BCITMA Regional Conference is taking place on Saturday, January 16 from 8:00am – 3:00pm at the BCIT Downtown Campus. An annual event, each year’s Regional Conference brings together a plethora of industry professionals and business students from multiple universities for a day of speakers, competitions and networking. This year’s Regionals promises to be bigger than ever, with four speaker sessions and a total of five different speakers from many different backgrounds. Where ever your interests lie, the Regional Conference can provide you with the industry insights and connections needed to succeed.
The theme of this year’s event is “Dominating Digital Data”: you will learn everything about how digital data is changing business in ways that were unthinkable less than a decade ago. Whether it is how to increase profitability, improve advertising reach or to carry out everyday tasks such as payroll and customer service more efficiently, harnessing data is helping businesses to improve their operations. Learn the concepts and skills that will help you be at the forefront of data-driven business, from the professionals who specialize in this field.
Who are these professionals? Keep reading to find out!
Matt St. John
Matt St. John has extensive knowledge and experience in the field of business analytics. He graduated from Carleton University with a degree in Business and Management of Information Systems (MIS), going on to get a Certificate in Web Intelligence from UBC and an Executive MBA from SFU.
Matt has worked for a number of respected companies in a diverse array of industries, such as Westin Hotels, Fairmont Hotels, Bodog, Full Tilt Poker, and Lululemon Athletica. He is currently the Senior Manager in Digital and E-commerce Analytics for Best Buy Canada.
You can find out more about Matt from his LinkedIn Page.
David Jenkins is currently the VP of Data-Driven Marketing at Traction on Demand, a business consulting and cloud development company based in Burnaby, BC. David specializes in leveraging data to improve the performance of a company; he has over 20 years of experience in optimizing databases, data integration, operations and marketing. Before his current position as an executive in Traction on Demand, he has worked at a variety of companies such as Shell, Telus, and BuildDirect.
Traction on Demand has experienced phenomenal growth, from 5 employees in 2010 to over 150 employees in 2015. The company was also recognized as the 3rd best place to work in Canada; employees have access to gym facilities, massage therapy and a dedicated office space for them to work with their children.
You can find out more about David from his LinkedIn Page.
Jason Goto is currently the President of AnalysisWorks, where he provides consultation services to help companies make better decisions. He specializes in what he calls evidence-based management consulting, where he leverages factual data to bring key company stakeholders together and help them come up with solutions that are both realistic and innovative.
Before working at AnalysisWorks, Jason was an educator at the University of British Columbia, where he taught statistics, simulation methods and consulting practices. He was also the Associate Director for the Center of Operations Excellence, where he led students on applied research projects. Jason has a Master Degree in Science from UBC and a degree in Engineering from the University of Waterloo.
You can find out more about Jason from his LinkedIn Page.
Mikkel Strojer has extensive experience in creative design, marketing, advertising and brand management. His professional career started in Denmark, where he worked at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation: first as a distribution manager, then a strategic planner and finally as a Marketing Project Manager. Mikkel then went on to work at the full-service advertising agency BOCCA in Cophenagan, and was also the Head of Marketing for the Copenhagen Metro.
Currently Mikkel is the Vice President of Brand and Fan Engagement for the Whitecaps FC, Vancouver’s professional soccer team. He is responsible for all marketing-related activities for the Whitecaps FC, which includes branding, events, business intelligence and digital marketing. Mikkel’s work has won a number of industry awards for excellence in social media and sports marketing.
You can find out more about Mikkel from his LinkedIn Page.
Christopher Bromley is currently the Club Analyst and Manager of Business Intelligence at Vancouver Whitecaps FC. He is a sports enthusiast who has also worked as a Digital Media Strategist for the Whitecaps FC.
Christopher has an extensive background in media communications and visual design. He holds two Bachelor degrees, one in Design and Visual Communications from York University and another in Communication and Media Studies from Simon Fraser University. Before working at Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Christopher was also a publicist at Headlines Theater.
You can find out more about Christopher from his LinkedIn Page.
Sales and Case Study Competition
Looking for something more participatory? If you want to challenge yourself and develop many valuable business skills along the way, the Regional Conference features a Sales Competition and a Case Study Competition. Each competition is open to business students from BCIT as well as other post-secondary institutions such as UBC and SFU; the diverse array of students who will be participating provides great networking opportunities and a chance to test yourself against other institutions. There are even cash prizes for the winners!
In fact, it will not just be BCIT faculty that will be judging the competitions. The Sales Competition is sponsored by Teksystems, while the Case Study Competition is sponsored by Centra (click here for more info on our sponsors). Both Teksystems and Centra will have representatives judging their respective competitions and providing feedback to participants. You will gain valuable analytical, sales and presentation skills from the professionals who have successfully applied these skills to business.
These companies are here because they want to meet students. In fact, they are paying for the privilege of having representatives at the conference – that is what sponsorship means. Instead of you having to go out and find these companies on your own, the Regional Conference brings together all the professionals who want to meet you; take this chance to really make an impression on the people who can impact where you go after BCIT.
The BCITMA Regional Conference is one of the largest events that the club holds, devoted entirely to the kind of professional development that you cannot get from the classroom. There will be industry speakers, skill-based competitions, networking opportunities and valuable career insights – exactly the kind of exposure you expect from the BCITMA.
This year’s conference will be bigger than ever: 2 competitions, 5 speakers and 4 different speaker sessions about how you can harness modern data for a business. All of this will be in 1 place, the 2016 BCITMA Regionals!
To review, here are the details for Regionals 2016:
- Theme: Dominating Digital Data
- When: Saturday, January 16, 2016
- Time: 8:00AM-3:00PM (Case and Sales competition starts at 8, speakers start at 10)
- Where: BCIT Downtown Campus, Rooms 280-284
- Who: BCIT Students & students from around BC
- Admission: $15 Early Bird Ticket (Before January 8th); $20 Regular Ticket
Space is limited for this event, so be sure to get your tickets by clicking here.
Likewise, if you are interested in the sales or case study competition, you can register for it by clicking on the links below.
For more information on the Regional Conference and other events coming up in the future, be sure to check out the Regionals Event page and BCITMA page on Facebook; it is the best place to stay updated on what we are doing next.
The BCITMA Regional Conference is one of the largest career-oriented events that the club holds each year, and it would not be possible without the work of our VP of Integrated Marketing. Please give a special thank you to Nikki Nguyen and the Director of Regionals Sarah Westwood, who worked tirelessly to secure event speakers and make this year’s Regionals possible.
This event would also not be possible without the support of our sponsors, who have provided expertise, resources and personnel to help benefit the next generation of business leaders. You can read more about our sponsors here.