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Keynote Presentations


Opening Keynote: My Journey from Advancement Data Analyst to Data Scientist

Wednesday, August 8 | 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

In this session, Renée will answer the questions “What is data science? How can data science be applied in our industry? And do I need to go back to school to become a Data Scientist?” by detailing her own path from Data Analyst in University Advancement to Data Scientist at a Higher-Ed startup, and passing on advice that she’s collected throughout her learning journey. She’ll discuss the learning community she developed and engages with on Twitter, and how you can take advantage of social media and the vast learning resources available online to learn data science without becoming overwhelmed. Renee will discuss data science project ideas related to fundraising and alumni engagement, and will be happy to take your questions about applying data science at your institution!

Attendees will learn:

  • What is Data Science?
  • Technical and non-technical topics to study if you want to become a data scientist in this industry, and resources available for learning these topics.
  • Development-related data science project ideas to benefit your career and your institutionDAS Keynote.png

About Renée Teate

Renée Teate is the host and creator of the Becoming a Data Scientist Podcast and the popular @becomingdatasci Twitter account. She got her start in Advancement at James Madison University, and now does Data Science at HelioCampus, a higher ed analytics start-up. She is a graduate of James Madison University and the University of Virginia, and lives in Harrisonburg, VA. Before officially becoming a Data Scientist, Renee worked with databases for over 10 years as a relational database designer, SQL developer, and Data Analyst. She enjoys encouraging people from a variety of career backgrounds to learn about data science and machine learning, and is happy to chat with you about how to transition into a data science career path yourself!


Closing Keynotes: Oh, the Good We Will Do

Thursday, August 9 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Having spent two days learning innovative ways to help raise more money, DAS attendees will close out the program discussing what that money is for - their organization's mission.

David Lawson and Lori Hood Lawson, author and editor of Big Good: Philanthropy in the Age of Big Data & Cognitive Computing, will share how your skills can be used to increase student success, membership retention, and the health of your community to name just a few. By seeing beyond the money, you can understand what really drives philanthropy - impact.

Hear from David and Lori on what to expect during their keynote presentation. 

About David M. Lawson:

David has been a leader in bringing technology and insights to the philanthropic community for a generation. He created the first asset-based wealth screening service as well as the first software to manage screening data. In 1997, he founded Prospect Information Network (P!N), which became the largest wealth screening company before being purchased in 2004. P!N received the InfoCommerce Model of Excellence Award and introduced the first Software-as-a-Service application to support fundraising analytics.

David is CEO and co-founder of NewSci, LLC. In 2014, he was among the early application developers approved to use IBM Watson. This work and subsequent projects encompassing multiple aspects of Big Data and Cognitive Computing led David to write Big Good: Philanthropy in the Age of Big Data & Cognitive Computing.

David is the recipient of the Apra Distinguished Service Award and the CASE Crystal Apple Award for Teaching Excellence. He is an Advisory Board Member of the University of Central Florida Master of Science in Data Analytics program. David is a contributing author to People to People Fundraising: Social Networking and Web 2.0 for Charities, and Major Donors: Finding Big Gifts in Your Database and Online. A frequent speaker, David has presented at numerous conferences including the AFP International Conference, AASP Summit, AHP International Conference, Cloud Expo, Apra International Conference, and CASE. He is also a co-founder of Domi Station, a business incubator in Tallahassee, Florida, and a co-founder of WorkingPhilanthropy.com, LLC.

About Lori Hood Lawson:

As Co-Founder and CEO of WorkingPhilanthropy.com, Lori helps to keep the nonprofit sector current in the latest issues and trends. Previously, Lori served as Director of Strategic Solutions for Kintera P!N, where she managed a team of consultants, serving more than 300 nonprofit organizations in identification of prospective donors via wealth screening. While at Kintera, she also helped bring to market P!N’s desktop product as a web-based solution. Before joining P!N, Lori enjoyed the role of Associate Director of Research for The Florida State University Foundation, where she received the Administrator of the Year Award and served on the New Employee Orientation Committee and The Committee for Acknowledgement and Recognition of Employee Excellence. Lori is a member of the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement International (APRA) where she serves as a member and former chair for its Ethics Committee; member and former co-chair of its Online Curriculum Committee; and member of its Body of Knowledge committee. She has served on the board of the Florida chapter of APRA, most recently as President and Director-at-Large. Lori also is a member of the Association of Advancement Services Professionals Best Practices Committee for Prospect Development and a member of ARMA International. She was a member of the fundraising operations certification task force and served as adjunct faculty and mentor for the fundraising operations certification program at Rice University’s Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership. She holds a master’s degree from The Florida State University School of Information and a bachelor’s degree from Emory University. She is a voracious reader, a frequent author of articles and blogs, and a speaker at industry conferences. She also served as Editor Big Good: Philanthropy in the Age of Big Data & Cognitive Computing.