Free Workshop – From Big Data to Big Knowledge: Decision Support for C-Suite Clients

6 February 2014 – Information professionals seeking ways to maximize their value to busy executives will find plenty of insights in day-long educational programs sponsored by SLA and Drexel University. The first workshop will be held on Drexel’s Philadelphia campus on Thursday, February 27th, from 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST, and is free for SLA members and students of Drexel.

The Web is well on its way to becoming an open-source knowledge platform, while more internal information is also being opened up to data analytics.  Availability of vast new open-source datasets, along with new techniques in semantic annotation, search, and data integration, are driving this transformation.

Information professionals are uniquely positioned to leverage these new resources to enable decision support of internal clients, while judiciously considering issues of privacy and data quality.  On the other hand, failing to understand and leverage these new datasets and techniques may threaten the relevance of an information professional in the workplace.

This hands-on workshop features faculty whose research and teaching in the fields of computer science and knowledge management offer a framework to understand the transition from Big Data to Big Knowledge.

The first workshop will be held in Philadelphia on Thursday, February 27 from 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST at Drexel’s main campus (Paul Peck Center, 32nd & Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104).  


The workshop will be repeated in Washington DC on Friday, April 25 at Drexel’s DC Office (801 17th Street, Suite 420, Washington, DC 20006).  The second workshop will be simulcast for virtual participants to benefit SLA’s diverse international membership.

These workshops are the result of a partnership between SLA and Drexel University and are free for SLA members and Drexel students.  Lunch and networking breaks are included. Advanced registration is required.

“SLA consistently seeks to provide the support and learning tools our members can utilize to become more strategic, indispensable arms of their organizations,” said SLA CEO Janice Lachance. “And this partnership is more than a step in the right direction. It allows us to team up with a leading educational institution in our field to have a tangible and ongoing impact on the careers of information professionals throughout the world.”

The workshops will be conducted by leading Drexel faculty members and a practicing librarian who have made an impact in a variety of different fields:

Richards, LoriLori Richards, Ph.D. is an assistant professor whose areas of expertise include information governance under emerging technologies, cloud computing, and electronic records management.  Lori’s presentation will provide actionable examples of how information professionals can have an impact that reaches the executives of their organizations.


SiftarTim Siftar, MSIS, MS(LIS) is the liaison librarian for Education, Math, Physics, and Computing & Informatics at Drexel University Libraries where he offers consultations and trainings for students and faculty. Tim will moderate contributions from local information professionals speaking about their roles guiding sound decision-making within their organizations.


Stoyanovich, juliaJulia Stoyanovich, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor whose research interests are in data and knowledge management, big data, semantic search and ranking, ranked data, workflows and provenance, and biological data management. Julia’s focus is on developing novel information discovery approaches, with the goal of helping the user identify relevant information, and ultimately transform that information into knowledge.


ZachLisl Zach, Ph.D. is an associate teaching professor focusing on the nature of information use in organizations. Dr. Zach has carried out numerous user needs assessments, task analyses, benchmarking studies, and program evaluations and has developed a deep understanding of data collection, analysis, and presentation. For the workshop Lisl will draw upon her personal expertise in various fields.


About Drexel University: Founded in 1891 in Philadelphia, Drexel is the nation’s 15th largest private university and is ranked among the best national universities by U.S. News & World Report. Drexel is widely recognized for its focus on experiential learning through its co-operative education program and translational research initiatives. For more information, please visit


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