Britt Technology Impact Series

Getting To Know You: Big Brands & Big Data

February 7, 2013 • Tuck School of Business • TECH@TUCK

Getting To Know You: Big Brands & Big Data Photo

Experts from a range of companies explored how big data will change a trip to the mall, online shopping or a vacation to Las Vegas. The discussion covered the kinds of information that companies can and will use to better serve and understand their customers. This exploration also sought insights into what is already changing and what will change as big data allows enterprises to dig deeper into consumer preferences. Companies, of course, want to better target would-be patrons without eroding consumers’ sense of privacy.


Michael Angus T’87, Group Head, Global Payment Strategy, MasterCard Advisors
Michael Angus is Group Head, Global Payment Strategy. In this role, he leads the Global Payments Strategy Knowledge Center in MasterCard Advisors. His team works with MasterCard clients around the world to develop and implement successful strategies across their payments businesses.

Michael has been a management consultant for over two decades and for the last 15 years he has focused on the financial services sector and the business of payments. He led regional strategy practices at Gemini Consulting and The Capital Markets Company and co-led the Global Payments Practice at Capgemini.

Michael has spent half his consulting career based in Europe and half based in the U.S. He has helped senor bank executives improve their payments businesses at many of the top banks in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America. He has worked with banks on every facet of the business of payments from helping a multi-national bank create, build and run its global wholesale payments line of business to establishing strategies and governance for new payments opportunities, including healthcare. Michael received an M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business.

Sudev Balakrishnan T’07, Director, eCommerce & Product Management, Bluefly, Inc. 
BlueFLySudev Balakrishnan T’07 is director of ecommerce & product management at Bluefly Inc., the online retailer of off-price designs and contemporary apparel & accessories. Balakrishnan is responsible for site content, product and BI teams. Among his achievements in his current role, which he has held since 2011, Balakrishnan has increased the New York-based company’s email file by optimizing online email acquisition. He also developed the mobile site in August 2012 that delivered a large gain in transactional growth. Balakrishnan also has worked on SEO projects that helped boost traffic to the site. He is a partner at Mojostation LLC, a social commerce consulting firm based in New Jersey. From 2007 to 2010, Balakrishnan worked at British Telecom. While at the telecommunications company, he served in the BT Group MBA Strategy Consultant Program and was nominated to the top 3% management pool. Among his accomplishments, Balakrishnan prepared Al-Noor Ramji, CEO, BT Design, for daily business operations and managed his blog. Balakrishnan also performed causal customer data analysis for more than 200 BT products to improve the customer experience. He also developed BT Group’s 3-5 year strategy (Build/Buy/Partner) for Unified Communications.

Before joining BT, Balakrishnan was product development manager at Savvis/Inkra Networks in Burnaby, British Columbia. From 1999-2002, he was at Ericsson/Siara Systems in Vancouver, British Columbia. Balakrishnan was an intermediate engineer at Motorola Inc. from 1996-1998 in Vancouver. Balakrishnan holds a Bachelor of Computer Science & Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, a Master of Computer Sciences from the University of Victoria and an MBA from The Tuck School at Dartmouth.

Philip DeGisi T’09, Director of Merchandising,, Quidsi, Inc. (an Amazon company) Quidsi
Phil leads the merchandising strategy and execution for Quidsi’s pet specialty site, Phil joined Quidsi in 2011 to launch, overseeing merchandising for the pet consumables business.
In 2012, he moved on to launch and run merchandising for, a kids’ sports & activities site, before returning to in 2013.

Prior to Quidsi, Phil held various digital marketing roles in retail and ad agency environments. Phil was at and was responsible for their paid search advertising and online customer acquisition tactics. Previously, Phil was a media buyer and planner at Greater Than One, a boutique digital ad agency. Phil received his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and his BA from Vassar College with a degree in economics. Phil lives in New York City with his wife, Alanna, whom he met at Tuck.

Alexis HoopesAlexis Hoopes T’06, Director, Online Merchandising, Nordstrom, Inc. Nordstrom
Alexis is the Online Merchandising Manager for Designer Apparel, Shoes and Handbags and Weddings for where she is responsible for the merchandising strategy and execution of these businesses online.  Prior to her current role, Alexis spent 6 years in Corporate Strategy for Nordstrom where she lead the development of merchandising strategy and  execution of corporate growth initiatives. In her strategy role, she worked with leadership on a wide range of strategic initiatives including online growth, service and experience, loyalty and digital business development.

Prior to Nordstrom (and Tuck), Alexis was a management consultant with Deloitte Consulting and spent an year as a Fulbright Fellow in Mexico. She has an MBA from Tuck and undergraduate degree from Whitman College.

Ruben Sigala, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Analytics, Caesars Entertainment Corp.Caesars Entertainment
During his tenure at Caesars, Ruben Sigala has overseen the operations of the revenue management, business intelligence, pricing, and planning and analysis organizations for the division. Prior to working for Caesars, Sigala worked for two years in the cruise line industry overseeing onboard revenue and planning and analysis teams. Sigala also worked for four years consulting to the financial services industry as part of Ernst and Young’s national cash management practice. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas.


Panel Highlights

Experience the highlights from the panel discussion.

Ecommerce and Big Data’s Sudev Balakrishnan Discusses Ecommerce and Big Data with CDS MBA Fellow Vijai Krishnan T’13

Big Data and Payments

MasterCard’s Michael Angus speaks with Nishant Mehta T’13 about Big Data

Luxury Brands and Big Data

Alexis Hoopes T’06, Nordstrom’s Director of Online Merchandising and CDS MBA Fellow, Hannah Yankelevich T’13 discuss big data and brands

Big Data and Online Merchandizing’s Phil Degisi and CDS MBA Fellow, Brent Dance T’13, discuss big data and online shopping.

  • Tuck is ready for this year's Tech@Tuck.

  • Program manager, Tim Paradis, explains why the BTIS is looking at big data this year and introduces the panelists.

  • The panelists prepare for the discussion and questions from the alert crowd.

  • CDS MBA Fellow, Nishant Mehta T'13, trying to find a seat in the crowded room.

  • Professor Powell asks a question of the panel.

  • Nordstrom's Alexis Hoopes T'06 explains the challenges of marrying online data to in-store data.

  • Standing room only.

  • Professor Adner inquires as to how great the possible increases in business are if companies get big data right.

  • Caesar's Ruben Sigala responds that the possible increases are more than substantial and that's why there's a legitimate urgency in getting this right..

  •'s Sudev Balakrishnan T'07 responds to a question from the room.

  • Alexis and Michael chat following the discussion while students and panelists connect in the background.

  • Philip DeGisis T'09 talks about big data in ecommerce with a Tuck student.

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