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June 19 : Maher Lahmer (Google) Topic: Data Science.. with Users in Mind

  • Wednesday, June 19, 2019
  • 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM
  • University of Minnesota - Carlson Analytics Lab.


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Topic: Data Science.. with Users in Mind


Data Science is a fast growing profession that is at the intersection of business, analytics and technical talent.  Executives of all business functions have been eager to invest in data science to develop novel competitive data applications and introduce transformational capabilities to their functions.  Yet, the gap between expectations and outcomes is a recurrent C-level conversation topic. In this talk, we look beyond the hype, and focus on how we make data science impactful by keeping the users in mind.  We discuss how the collaboration with business stakeholders is key to users’ adoption and the success of the project, and share some best practices data scientists can follow. In particular, we recommend alignment across multiple dimensions to set the right expectations before commitment, at kick-off, and during solution development.  We provide examples from experience working on a recent project to increase effectiveness of the Google Customer Solutions organization. The talk will start with a light and fun introduction to Google and end with a discussion around Google’s culture and careers.



Maher Lahmar is the Head of Data Science at Google Customer Solutions. He leads a team of data scientists who help drive revenue growth and operational effectiveness in the Sales and Marketing organizations of Google Ads.


Prior to Google, he served as a Senior Offering Manager within the Watson Customer Engagement organization where he drove the strategy and development of omni-channel solutions catering to retail.  Prior to joining IBM, he acted as the Director of Global Customer Insights and Analytics at Walmart leading the development of a suite of Assortment Planning tools and managing the Test and Measurement CoE for Walmart US and Sam’s Club.  He also worked at Target where he lead a team of data scientists and collaborated with vendors on developing and implementing advanced analytical solutions for merchandising and pricing stakeholders.  


At earlier stages of his career, Maher held a Scientist position at PROS, a Pricing and Revenue Optimization software company where he developed predictive analytical solutions for Fortune 500 clients. He also served as a faculty at the University of Houston and University of Minnesota. 


Maher holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Minnesota and is a Certified Agile Practitioner. He has been a member of Informs (Institute of Operations Research and Management Sciences) since 1998 and served as the General Chair of the 2017 Informs Analytics Conference.


8:30 Registration & Networking
9:00 Opening Remarks
9:15 - 11:30  Presentation

11:30 - 11:45  Open Q&A



Carlson School of Management

321 19th AVE S, Minneapolis, MN 55455

Room: 2-207 (2nd Floor, North side)

Instructions/Parking: To get there park in the 19th Avenue Parking Ramp. Park on the 3rd level and walk across the skyway. The skyway takes you to the 2nd floor of Carlson. It will be the room on the right as you are walking into the school.






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