Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and its Data Center of Excellence on Monday announced the winners of the inaugural IAB Data Rockstar Awards, which honor industry leaders and practitioners who have demonstrated achievement in data science or technology.
The top finalists were selected by the IAB Data Center of Excellence Board of Directors and were evaluated based on demonstrated excellence, creativity, or forward-thinking approaches to solving problems in data science, as well as the impact their contributions have made to their company or industry.
The five winners of the 2016 IAB Data Rockstar Awards are:
--Prasad Chalasani, SVP, data science, MediaMath
--Angelina Eng, VP, platform solutions & activation, Merkle
--Kelly Leger, VP, addressable marketplaces, Merkle
--Madhu Therani, CTO, Near
--Evan Wallach, general manager, online data, Epsilon
Patrick Dolan, executive vice president and COO, IAB, told Real-Time Daily via email: “It’s important to put a human face on leaders and innovators in the world of data. As the industry matures and we start developing more rigor and structure around the application of data sciences to marketing, we need to make sure that there is proper recognition for the valuable work that these professionals are doing.”
Dolan also said that the data leaders also serve as “examples and inspiration” for people who are considering entry into the field. “We want to highlight the innovators in use of data in media, marketing, and advertising, as all too often these folks aren't recognized for their ingenuity and creativity. We hope that this is the beginning of a community of leaders which will grow each year, so if you know a data rockstar, nominate them.”
Each individual submitted for the awards was evaluated by IAB Data Center of Excellence board members. Nominees had to meet three major criteria:
--Demonstration of a deep understanding of data and analytics within their organizations.
--Demonstration of creativity or a forward-thinking approach to solving specific problems in data science.
--Notable impact resulting from their contributions in terms of work product, team building, and/or strategy to their company or industry.
Nominations were solicited from the IAB membership and industry practitioners over a period of several months. There were 40 submissions from the publisher, agency, and ad technology communities. Submissions were sourced internationally and included academics and researchers.