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Data Events: Past Events

Past Data Events

Thursday, February 15, 2024

The Cyberindustrialization of Romance Fraud and Catfishing

Join us for a special Love Data Week edition of Data in the ATL, where we will hear from Georgia State University’s Volkan Topalli. Dr. Topalli is a professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies and part of Georgia State’s Evidence-Based Cybersecurity Research Group. He will discuss his and his colleagues' research on online-dating fraud and catfishing.


Friday, Sept. 29, 2023

Layla BellowsThe Atlanta BeltLine: Visualizing Inequities & Programming for Improvement with Layla Bellows, Community Data Analyst, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.

Layla supports the BeltLine's equity efforts by acquiring, analyzing, and ultimately visualizing information about neighborhoods and residents surrounding the BeltLine. Prior to this role, Layla was a senior data analyst at the Atlanta Regional Commission and Neighborhood Nexus, where she specialized in developing interactive community data explorers and data communication. Layla holds a master’s in geography from Georgia State University, where she examined environmental gentrification and displacement; she also holds a master’s in journalism from the University of Missouri and a bachelor’s in psychology from Oglethorpe University.

Friday, November 4, 2022

Busloads of Data: Collecting, Processing, and Using Bus Ridership Data

MARTA is one of the largest public transit systems in the United States, serving 38 rail stations and 113 bus routes. Since its inception in 1972 as a bus system, MARTA has moved over 3.5 billion people throughout the Atlanta Metro, helping create a more sustainable region. Join us for the next Data in the ATL, as we learn how MARTA collects, processes, and uses data to plan bus routes, amenities, and to stay compliant with its stakeholders. 

Guests include:

  • Chris Wyczalkowski - MARTA Director of Customer Insights
  • Corentin Auguin - MARTA Senior Transit System Planner
  • Andrew Pofahl – MARTA Operations Planning Analyst

Friday, April 8, 2022

Trees Atlanta - Utilizing Data to Conserve & Grow Atlanta’s Tree Canopy

Video YouTube icon (59:55)

Since 1985 Trees Atlanta has planted over 140,000 trees along the city's streets and community spaces; working with its dedicated volunteer base to protect and grow the metro area's tree canopy. The non-profit utilizes data software (such as ArcGIS and Salesforce) to plan, execute, and document projects ranging from tree plantings to summer camps. Join us as Trees Atlanta’s Data Manager, James Moy discusses how the organization uses data in their urban forestry efforts and how students can leverage their data skills as career skills. Following the presentation there will be a Q&A. 

Friday, February 18, 2022

NCR Data Scientists Kun Zhu and Nimeelitha AkkirajuA Conversation with NCR Data Scientists - 
"Using Practical Machine Learning to Transform a 100-Year-Old Industrial Compan

With Kun Zhu, Ph.D., Senior Manager of Data Science & Product Manager and 
Nimeelitha Akkiraju, Data Scientist & Recent GSU Graduate, NCR Corporation

Video YouTube icon (41:49)

Using predictive modeling, data analytics, and machine learning, NCR is transforming the technology used by restaurants, retailers, and banks around the globe. Headquartered in midtown Atlanta with over 34,000 employees in 160 countries, NCR is both the #1 global Point of Sale (POS) software provider for retail and hospitality and the #1 provider of ATM software. Join us as we welcome Kun Zhu and his team who are leveraging data science to enhance connected services and technology used by the world’s businesses.




Friday, November 12, 2021

Homeless people in tents in urban settingOvercoming Data Challenges in the Fight Against Homelessness 
Video YouTube icon (57:44)

It can be difficult to collect data on people with unstable housing. Yet, that data can be crucial to both understanding the needs of those who are unhoused and for directing funding to help those who are experiencing homelessness. In this panel we will hear from professionals from a variety of fields (academic, community, governmental) about how they collect and utilize data to understand and shape solutions on issues related to housing inequity. Panelists: 

  • Melissa Austin is the Chief Operating Officer at Partners for HOME
  • Kara Tsukerman worked on the Atlanta Youth Count at GSU where she is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology. She is also an ORISE Fellow at the CDC researching human trafficking prevention. 

Friday, October 15, 2021

Eviction Map of Atlanta metroUsing Data to Address Evictions and Equity Theft in Metro Atlanta 
Video YouTube icon (58:51)

In this panel discussion, we will hear from professionals from a variety of backgrounds (legal, governmental, and journalism), who are all using data to better understand and address the growing instances of both eviction and “equity theft” in the Atlanta area. “Equity theft” is a type of real estate fraud that occurs when someone tries to steal the equity a homeowner has built up in their home. Join us, as we get a glimpse of the data difficulties and data solutions related to housing inequity in our community. Panelists: 

Friday, November 13, 2020

Shawn WilliamsData Analysts are in High Demand, So Expand Your Career Horizons!
With Shawn Williams, Analytics Energy Procurement Supervisor, UPS

Video YouTube icon (31:43)

Join GSU alumnus Shawn Williams (B.S., Economics; Spanish minor, 2018) as he shares his experiences working as a data analyst for two Atlanta-based Fortune 500 companies – UPS and Delta Air Lines – as well as other meaningful co-op and internship opportunities while at GSU that led to his early career successes. Shawn will discuss both the skills and training he has acquired along the way, and also the positive feedback and encouragement from faculty and other mentors that led him to pursue a career in data analytics. Shawn encourages students to be open to data careers, which require technical and quantitative skills, but also the critical thinking and problem-solving skills they gain and put into practice while at GSU.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Rebecca ParshallLeveraging Data to Advance Education for All Metro Atlanta Students
With Rebecca Parshall, Program Officer, Learn4Life

Video YouTube icon (38:30) | Slides

At Learn4Life, Rebecca and her team partner with local school systems, communities, businesses, and non-profits to leverage data in order to measure our region's progress and determine where to focus finite resources in the education of our children. Learn4Life's open data dashboard provides easy access to our region’s most critical education indicators, allowing citizens, policy makers, and leaders to analyze data for eight school districts in metro Atlanta. As Rebecca explains it, "we use this data as a flashlight – not as a hammer – to shine light on and lift up schools that are showing extraordinary progress for our most historically underserved students." Rebecca earned her Master’s in Special Education from Loyola Marymount and B.A. in Humanities from Walla Walla University, and is presently pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Administration & Policy from the University of Georgia.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Jeffrey JohnsonTransportation GIS Solutions for the City of Atlanta
with Jeffrey M. Johnson, GIS Manager, City of Atlanta 

As the Geographic Information Systems Manager for the City of Atlanta, Jeffrey provides cutting-edge geospatial solutions for better decision making in daily operations, including resource conservation, infrastructure management, and transportation improvements citywide. A lifelong Atlanta native who earned his M.A. and B.A. in Geography from Georgia State, Jeffrey has made civic engagement and bettering his city central themes of his life and work.


Friday, November 8, 2019

Jingjing CannonNatural Language Processing for Business Analytics
with Jingjing Cannon, Data Scientist at The Home Depot

As a data scientist at The Home Depot, Jingjing's passions and career come together as she explores cutting-edge areas of data science involving predictive modeling, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. In her current position, she focuses on interactions between computers and human ("natural") language to better understand customers' emotions and experience. Jingjing is currently working towards her Ph.D. in Computational Neuroscience at GSU, where she is investigating artificial neuronal networks to understand how behaviors are controlled. She earned her M.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology & Neuroscience from GSU and bachelor's in Biology from Hubei University.

Friday, October 18, 2019 

Ginneh BaughVisualizing Our Challenges and Turning Data into Knowledge
with Ginneh Baugh, Vice President for Strategic Impact,
United Way of Greater Atlanta

Join us as Ginneh Baugh from the United Way of Greater Atlanta discusses the development of the Child Well-Being Index, a collection of data and interactive map that the community can use to assess how its children, the families that support them, and the community that surrounds them, are doing. Ginneh's areas of expertise are in turning data into knowledge, using evaluation and program outcome measurement to develop better strategies, and communicating results to champion improvements for low-income children and families. She earned her Master's in Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University and B.A. in African American Studies from the University of Georgia.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Yanni LoukissasAll Data Are Local: Thinking Critically in a Data-Driven Society
with Yanni Loukissas, Assistant Professor of Digital Media, School of Literature, Media & Communication, Georgia Tech

Yanni Loukissas helps creative people think critically about the social implications of emerging technologies. In his new book, All Data Are Local (MIT Press, 2019), he argues that practitioners (in academia and beyond) who want to make sense of unfamiliar data must begin to think in terms of data settings – defined by the contexts in which data are made and used – not simply data sets. At Georgia Tech, Dr. Loukissas teaches courses involving civic data, computational media, and visual culture and design, and directs the Local Data Design Lab focusing on bridging disconnected areas of data studies and data visualization. He earned his Ph.D. and M.S, both in Design & Computation, from MIT and Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell. 

Friday, March 29, 2019

Pat WarnerTracking Storms and Real-Time Data at Waffle House
with Pat Warner, Director of PR and External Affairs, Waffle House, Inc.

Waffle House prides itself on keeping its 1,900+ locations open 24/7, 365 days a year – even through hurricanes and natural disasters. When a Waffle House goes offline, something major has probably happened in that community. This is why the Federal Emergency Management Agency uses something called the “Waffle House Index” to determine the extent of damage or flooding in an area once a storm hits. The company has established its own Waffle House Storm Center where team members track the latest models from the National Hurricane Center and match them against restaurant locations, providing an indication of impact on those locations and how and where to stage their response teams. As Director of PR and External Affairs, Pat Warner uses data to tell the Waffle House story and help get resources where they can do the most good. Pat has over 19 years of experience in communications at Waffle House and earned his B.S. in Broadcast Journalism from Middle Tennessee State University.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Karen CramerEmpowering Non-Profits Through Data
with Karen Cramer, Director of Performance Measurement, TechBridge, Inc.

TechBridge is an ATL-based non-profit organization whose mission is to help other non-profits be more impactful through technology and data. At TechBridge, Karen helps organizations define and implement their data strategy in order to better realize their missions and goals. She is passionate about data sharing and building data collaboratives across the broader non-profit community that allow for the better coordination of services and the matching of service demand and capacity. Among her recent accomplishments, Karen co-founded the non-profit Helping Mamas, a baby supplies bank in the metro area and winner of United Way Atlanta's 2015 Spark Prize. She earned her Bachelor of Social Work degree from James Madison University and M.S. in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Thomas PriceMaking Data Accessible and Understandable
with Thomas Price, Data Strategist, Atlanta Public Schools

As a Data Strategist for Atlanta Public Schools, Thomas Price (M.A., GSU, 2015) works extensively with data visualization, statistical modeling, and data analysis consulting. He strives to make data more accessible and understandable with the goal of applying data-based strategies that improve educational outcomes for APS. His experience also includes work on K-12 education policy for the state of Georgia and instructional support for GSU's Department of Economics. He holds an M.A. in Economics from GSU's Andrew Young School of Policy Studies and a B.A. in Government & Economics from the University of Texas at Austin. Presently, he is a Strategic Data Project Agency Fellow at the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Karen HinsonTelling the Story with Data at Chick-fil-A
with Karen Hinson, Business Analyst, Chick-fil-A

As an analyst in Chick-fil-A's Field Analysis & Performance Reporting group, Karen is responsible for producing reports and dashboards that measure the health of the business. She began using Tableau in 2013 and has been hooked ever since. She was part of an initial team of analysts who incited a movement at Chick-fil-A around data visualization. Today, she continues to serve as a champion Tableau user within the company, hosting user groups and development days. She enjoys creating simple, intuitive visualizations that "tell the story" behind Chick-fil-A's menu, sales, and profits. Karen earned her B.Sc. in finance from the University of South Carolina and her M.B.A. from Georgia Tech. She is also a regular speaker at the annual Tableau Conference.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Becca AndersonAnalyzing Audience Data at Cartoon Network
with Becca Anderson, Manager, Digital Analytics, Cartoon Network

Becca is a self-described "data nerd" with experience in product and audience analytics. Her love of data and enthusiasm for media and entertainment, brought her first to Turner, and now to Cartoon Network. With specialties in behavioral and technological quantitative research methods, digital product usability and statistical modeling, she is able to apply her expertise to better understand current and future audiences and synthesize audience data into actionable strategy. Before joining Cartoon Network, Becca held data and digital analytics positions at CNN, CNNMoney, and Turner. She holds a B.A. in psychology from Flagler College, an M.S. in Management Information Systems from the University of South Florida, and a Ph.D. in Information Science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Charlie Miller

Data Wrangling at The Coca-Cola Company
with Charlie Miller, Finance Manager, Controls, Policies, and Governance
The Coca-Cola Company

At The Coca-Cola Company, Charlie analyzes, visualizes, and wrangles data in critical areas of finance, controls, policies, and governance. Among his talents, he is skilled in financial consolidation systems, change management, IT audit, risk management, IT governance, team leadership, and project management. He is also an experienced user of Tableau data visualization software and the suite of Salesforce customer relationship management products. Among his professional and service activities, Charlie serves as President of the Coca-Cola Tableau Analytics Group and is active in Toastmasters International. Charlie earned a B.B.A in International Business & Management Information Systems from the University of Georgia, and went on to receive a Professional Graduate Certificate in Business Communication from Harvard University. 

Friday, April 27, 2018

Debra LamDebra Lam
Managing Director, Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation
Institute for People and Technology (IPaT), Georgia Tech

In this newly-created role at Georgia Tech, Debra drives smart cities and urban innovation happening in Atlanta and beyond. Prior to this, she served as Pittsburgh's first ever Chief of Innovation & Performance in which she oversaw all technology, sustainability, performance, and innovation functions of city government. She also crafted that city's first strategic plan for innovation, the Inclusive Innovation Roadmap. She is a founding leader of the MetroLab Network, a city-university collaborative for urban innovation, of which the City of Atlanta, Georgia State University, and Georgia Tech are members. Debra has lived and worked in cities around the world and as is a graduate of Georgetown University, with master's in public policy, sustainable development from the University of California, Berkeley. More about Debra Lam.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Katherine ZitschKatherine Zitsch
Director, Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District
Manager of Natural Resources, Atlanta Regional Commission

A professional environmental systems engineer, Katherine has more than 20 years of water resources experience in areas of regional water planning, water and wastewater treatment, storm water, water reuse, and water conservation. Providing leadership for the 15-county Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District, she and her colleagues use data to look at water management in a holistic fashion, protecting water quality and supply for the District and downstream communities as well. She has championed the metro area's interests in the tri-state water dispute as well as the implementation of the Metropolitan River Protection Act, protecting a corridor along the Chattahoochee River for future generations. Katherine is intimately involved in using data to project future water supply needs for the metropolitan Atlanta region and then working to ensure water supply is available to meet those needs. She earned her B.S. in civil engineering and M.S. in environmental systems engineering from Clemson University.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Hanah Goldberg​Hanah Goldberg
Director of Research, GEEARS: Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students

Hanah Goldberg (M.Ed., Ph.D., GSU) is an educator and researcher who directs research initiatives for GEEARS, a non-profit organization established to help business, civic, and government leaders maximize the economic return on Georgia's investments in early care and learning. Through her work with GEEARS, she has helped develop a suite of online data tools, the Readiness Radar, which allows citizens and other decision makers to explore a range of information relevant to early childhood and school readiness in Georgia. Most recently, she and colleagues launched the ATL ACCESS Map, which visualizes supply, demand, and gaps related to child care in the metro area. Hanah is a graduate of Emory University, with a master’s in early childhood education and Ph.D. in educational psychology from Georgia State. More about Hanah Goldberg


 Hanah's slides 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Arthi RaoArthi Rao
American Cancer Society

As Senior Research Scientist for Geospatial Research within the Statistics and Evaluation Center at the American Cancer Society, Arthi leads research projects in understanding community-level determinants of access to cancer treatment, cancer screening, and identifying vulnerable communities for public health interventions. She performs all aspects of geospatial analytics including statistical analysis, modeling, Python scripting, mapping and tool development for initiatives across ACS.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Landon ReedLandon Reed with David Emory
Conveyal Transportation Consultancy

Conveyal is a start-up transportation and land-use analysis consultancy based in Washington, D.C., with offices in Atlanta, Paris, Portland, and New York City. Landon is Project Lead, Data Tools and David is Co-Founder and Principal at Conveyal. Together, they are building open source, next generation tools for sustainable transportation, with particular focus on multimodal routing and trip planning, transportation network analysis, and data management and visualization.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Mike CarnathanMike Carnathan
Atlanta Regional Commission and Neighborhood Nexus

Mike is Manager of the Research & Analytics Division at the Atlanta Regional Commission and is one of the founders of Neighborhood Nexus, a community intelligence system providing data, tools and expertise as a catalyst to create opportunity for all of the Atlanta region’s citizens. The goal is to foster a data-driven decision-making culture in the Atlanta region and beyond. Mike helps members of our community tell their story better through a data-driven approach.

Data Literacy as a Tool for Social Justice - Video YouTube icon

How can data literacy be used as a tool for for social change? When does data and its use become its own social justice issue?

We explored those questions and more in this panel discussion. Panelists included:


Finding Beauty in Data: the Intersection of Data & Art - Video YouTube icon

Can data be beautiful? Can it evoke as much emotion and passion as art? 

We explored the intersection of data & art with these panelists:

For more information

Supports GSU students, faculty, and staff in the areas of data analysis tools & methods, data visualization, finding data & statistics, data collection, and data cleaning & management.