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J.C. Herz      

Co-Founder & CEO of Ion Channel; Fellow at the National Security Institute; Author of "Joystick Nation" and "Learning to Breathe Fire"

JC Herz is the COO of Ion Channel, and has served on federal advisory and research boards for more than a decade. She co-chairs the NTIA (Department of Commerce) Software Transparency Standards and Formats working group. She has served as a White House Special Consultant to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and as an advisor to DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office. Herz co-authored the Pentagon’s Open Technology Development roadmap spearheaded by Sue Payton, then head of acquisitions for the Air Force. Herz served on the National Academy of Science’s (NAS) Standing Committee on Technology Insight (TIGER), a future-trends council for the intelligence community, the National Science Foundation’s Federal Advisory Committee for Education and Human Resources, and the National Research Council’s committee on IT and Creative Practice.

Herz wrote the book on the video game industry, Joystick Nation: How Videogames Ate Our Quarters, Won Our Hearts, and Rewired Our Minds . As The New York Times' computer game critic, she wrote weekly essays about computer games as technology, design, and popular culture, and helped to formulate the critical language around this emerging medium, which rivals Hollywood in commercial terms and continues to outpace other forms of entertainment in the minds, hearts, and wallets of the 21st-century youth.

Her latest books are Learning to Breathe Fire: The Rise of CrossFit, which illuminates the sports subculture, and the Primal Future of Fitness and A Dark & Dismal Flower, written with her daughter, Eve Scott.

Herz is the founder of Batchtags LLC, which provides large data analytics and interactive visualization and decision support technologies and services to Fortune 500 companies and the federal government. Herz is also a Fellow at the National Security Institute.

Speech Topics

Office Hour with J.C. Herz

Visual analytics: How to go from eye candy to actual decision support; Corporate fear factor: Dealing with the business/management obstacles to analytics; In-house vs. outsourcing: How to think about build vs. buy for big data

OODA Loop: How to Understand the Use Cases for Big Data

This talk uses the OODA Loop concept (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) as a framework to categorize Big Data use cases and data-driven services and the front-ends to those services. Rather than starting with the underlying technology or the data sources, the OODA loop starts with WHY the user needs information. It answers the question of when a black box beats an analytic tool, and vice versa.

Ammunition for the CFO: How to be a Hard-Nosed Business Customer for Analytics

Big data analytics are in the hockey stick phase of media buzz, and there is pressure to buy these technologies just because everyone else seems to be doing it (or at least, thats what we read in the business magazines), or because all the cool kids are doing it. But when you have to justify a business decision to invest hundreds of thousands or millions or tens of millions of dollars in IT and services, thats not enough. This presentation lays out some clear, concrete gating conditions for when it makes sense to pull the trigger on big data initiatives, and how they should be procured, depending on the use case, the data assets, and the resources available.

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