Big Data: An Enterprise Asset

March 24th, 2017 | Posted by Alexa Magdalenski in Capital Data Summit - (Comments Off)

The inaugural Capital Data Summit took place on Feb. 15, 2017 at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner. Here on the NVTC blog, we continue to share content from this exciting event.


Transp Data Summit Logo - TransparentThe Summit’s Role of the CDO panel explored the role of the CDO and provided insights into how the role is evolving. Panelists discussed the adoption of big data and analytics within their respective organizations and identified obstacles that they currently are facing in the performance of their role.

Panelists included Freddie Mac Vice President of Single Family Data Delivery Services Susan Burke, HHS Office of the Inspector General Senior Advisor to the Chief Data Officer Timothy Kropp and District of Columbia Chief Data Officer Barney Krucoff. Booz Allen Principal Data Science Dr. Kirk Borne moderated.

Some of the key points that emerged from the panel included:

  • Data is an enterprise asset that must be supported by flexible architecture so it can be leveraged and utilized across different organizational teams.
  • It is a responsibility of the CDO to reduce friction that prohibits the flow of data across the enterprise and between the enterprise and the public.
  • Since data informs and drives business, many CDOs and their departments are structured under the CEO umbrella today; that doesn’t mean there aren’t strong lines of communication and partnership to the CIO umbrella.

View the full video from the Role of the CDO panel here:

CDo Panel 1 v2 CDO Panel 3 v2 CDO 22 v2

Check out the Capital Data Summit photo gallery!

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Does your brand have a “special sauce” for marketing and attracting new job candidates? This week’s member guest blog is by Insperity Social Media Manager, Recruiting Services, Kara Singh. Singh shares strategies for getting your company noticed in a crowded job market and recruiting top talent. 


insperity-ogIn a recent survey, more than two-thirds of hiring organizations indicated that they’re having a difficult time recruiting for job openings, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

With a lower unemployment rate and more job openings, it’s becoming increasingly critical for employers to make sure they get noticed in the crowded job market.

Here’s how to mix up your employer brand, so it begins to stand out.

1. Create a consistent message

Your reputation is everything. You’ve heard it before. But what does that mean in the context of being an employer in a competitive job market?

It means prioritizing the special sauce that is your employer brand. Your employer brand should tell candidates why they should want to work for you.

What makes your company culture so appetizing? Why do your employees want to come to work every day? What do they look forward to? What benefits do they enjoy?

For example, you might find that employees like how your company facilitates a collaborative work environment or that they love your community involvement team activities.

As you answer these questions, you’re beginning to build your employer brand and making your company a more attractive place to work.

2. Define your company culture

Your company culture should attract the employees you want, while repelling those who don’t fit your culture.

While the bones of it should be a reflection of your company’s core mission, vision and values, it’s the real experiences of your employees that are the meat and potatoes of your culture.

That’s why you need to have a management team that walks the walk. For example, do your leaders model your values? Do your values challenge them to do their best every day?

Use employee surveys to take the temperature of your company culture and make sure it’s meeting your standards. Employee feedback can help to ensure your culture isn’t half baked.

When you feel confident that you know and understand what sets your company apart, entice job candidates by sharing the secret ingredients of your culture as you interview.

For instance, if your company places emphasis on corporate responsibility, you might ask a question that lends itself to the topic so you can integrate it naturally into the conversation. You could ask “How do you make a difference in your community?” You can follow up their response with details on how your company gives back.

By offering up these vibrant details, you can create a competitive edge in the job market as you look to fill vacant positions.

3. Define your benefits

Prospective employees want more than just a good work environment. They’re also seeking benefits that are comparable or better than what they’re receiving in their current role. This includes things like health, life and disability insurance, retirement savings plans, and paid time-off.

If you’re a smaller company, you may think you can’t compete with big company benefits. However, there are many perks you might be able to offer that bigger companies don’t.

For example, do you allow flexible work schedules or telecommuting? Do you offer on-site snacks in your break room? Do you have a job shadowing program that can help employees expand their skills?

Special perks can help set your company apart. Be sure to clearly define these extra benefits and share them with potential employees.

4. Develop employee ambassadors

With a great employer brand, company culture and employee benefits, you’d think it’d be a piece of cake finding new talent.

But the truth is that finding good people will still take work. Luckily, you can look to your current workforce for assistance.

You won’t find better ambassadors for your company than your own employees, but you’ll need to guide them to ensure they’re accurately communicating the best attributes of your brand.

To become ambassadors, your employees must be engaged in your business with a commitment to your mission, vision and values. They should easily be able to describe your culture. They should know how to pepper in the perks of their jobs.

With some basic training in these areas, you can easily empower your employees to become brand ambassadors and recruit talent from their own contacts. For example, you might have a training session for employees where you go over company talking points and how to create and manage a LinkedIn presence. Social media offers a great avenue for employees to instantly reach candidates you wouldn’t have access to otherwise.

5. Monitor your reputation on the internet

You wouldn’t expect someone to eat at a restaurant with bad reviews. Why would you expect someone to work for an employer with negative ratings?

Potential job candidates today have access to a vast amount of online information about your company before they even step foot in the door for interviews. You want to make sure this information reflects as positively as possible on your company.

With sites like Glassdoor, an online forum where former employees can describe their experiences with your company, you want to make sure you’re defending your employer brand by telling your side of the story, too. While you can’t undo criticism, you can show your transparency and willingness to listen.

For instance, did a disgruntled employee leave an unsavory comment about his or her experience? Take the time to respond publicly and show potential candidates reading it that you care.

Also, consider setting up Google Alerts to keep tabs on how your brand is represented online. Every time your company name is mentioned online, Google will send you an email alert.

Additionally, keep an eye on social media sites. There are a variety of social monitoring tools available that allow you to follow mentions of your brand.

Keep your eye on the prize

With new strategies in tow, you’re better prepared to take on the competitive landscape.

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Building on the success of its inaugural Capital Cyber Summit in Nov. 2016 and inaugural Capital Data Summit in Feb. 2017, NVTC is pleased to announce the dates of and open a call for sponsorships for its next two summits.

Capital Health Tech Summit: June 15, 2017
NVTC will host the inaugural Capital Health Tech Summit to explore how technology is transforming the business and delivery of health. The Summit will showcase how the intersection of commercial, government and academic assets makes the National Capital Region the epicenter for innovation and opportunity in the health technology sector. The Summit will:

  • Showcase leading edge technology products and services offered by companies and institutions in the region
  • Highlight use cases from public and private sector thought leaders reflecting the technology trends disrupting the sector and transforming the future of healthcare
  • Leverage the region’s proximity to national policymakers and health-related federal agencies to provide insight from leading government officials and regulators
  • Offer insights about the future of health technology
  • Provide unmatched opportunities to network with potential partners, customers and investors

NVTC sincerely thanks the Capital Health Tech Summit Platinum Sponsor Inova Center for Personalized Health and the following sponsors for their support: Booz Allen Hamilton; Clearsight Advisors; Consumer Technology Association; Cox; Dovel Technologies; Howard Hughes Medical Institute; MAXIMUS; and PwC.

Click here to learn about available sponsorship opportunities for the 2017 Capital Health Tech Summit.

Capital Cybersecurity Summit: Nov. 14-15, 2017
The second annual Capital Cybersecurity Summit will feature keynote speakers and panels offering unique insights on emerging cybersecurity technologies, digital solutions, operations and enforcement from the private sector, government and academic perspectives. The Summit will also include a technology showcase at which cybersecurity companies from Virginia, Maryland and D.C. can promote their products and services, network, and connect with potential customers, partners, investors and employees.

Click here to learn about available sponsorship opportunities for the 2017 Capital Cybersecurity Summit.

Sponsorships for both summits are NOW AVAILABLE. In addition to the tremendous marketing and branding value of visibility among conference attendees, speakers and guests, summit sponsors have the unique ability to guide the content and speaker selection as members of the summit steering committees. Participation in the steering committee is limited to sponsors only, so contact Yolanda Lee today to secure your company’s sponsorship of one or both of these upcoming summits.

You can also learn more about NVTC event sponsorships here.

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When Women Have a Chance in Tech…

March 7th, 2017 | Posted by Alexa Magdalenski in Guest Blogs | Member Blog Posts - (Comments Off)

Our newest member guest blog post is by Elizabeth Lindsey, executive director of Byte Back. Byte Back improves economic opportunity by providing computer training and career preparation to underserved Washington, D.C. metro area residents. 


Byte BackJust 25 percent of the computing workforce in the U.S. is women. For women of color, this drops drastically, with just three percent of the workforce made up of African American women and one percent Latina women.

Only 17 percent of Fortune 500 Chief Information Officer (CIO) positions were held by women in 2015.1

March 8 is International Women’s Day – a day to celebrate progress, recognize deficits and act for equality. Today is the perfect day to give a woman her start in tech.

When women are offered the chance to learn and use technology the same as men, women access vital life opportunities, including high-paying jobs, healthcare, sexual and gender violence services, family care, and more.

With technology, women can connect to the world and build connections to employers, friends and family. With technology, women can move into jobs to support their families – tech jobs, white collar jobs and medial jobs. With technology, women can help their families – teach their children, communicate with teachers and open up a world of knowledge.

It doesn’t have to be expensive, or complicated. So much can be solved by teaching women how to use technology. With a small investment in women’s lives, we can have a huge impact on social change.

Today, we urge you to find a way to support women, whether it’s as a mentor, a volunteer, a supporter of a community organization or as a recruiter. There are countless organizations opening opportunities for women to cross the digital divide and to advance in IT careers, and we encourage you to be a part of this movement.

By 2024, the number of U.S. computing-related job openings expected to be 1.1 million.1 If we all work together, we can make sure women not only fill more technology positions, but have the power to use technology to change lives.


In Byte Back’s 20 years, their demographics have never reflected the outside tech world. Increasing opportunities for underserved residents goes hand-in-hand with increasing diversity in tech companies. In 2016, 417 women, or 61 percent of the student body, found empowering tech skills for free at Byte Back.

1 National Center for Women & Information Technology. (2016). By the Numbers.

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Capital Data Summit: Meg Whitman Keynote

March 7th, 2017 | Posted by Alexa Magdalenski in Capital Data Summit - (Comments Off)

We continue to share content from our inaugural Capital Data Summit that took place on February 15, 2017 at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner. Scroll down to view HPE’s Meg Whitman full Capital Data Summit keynote presentation video.


Whitman FiresideThe 2017 Capital Data Summit was headlined by three top keynotes: Hewlett Packard Enterprise President and CEO Meg Whitman, Clarabridge Founder and Vice Chairman Sid Banerjee, and DigitalGlobe Founder, Chief Technical Officer and Executive Vice President Dr. Walter Scott.

Whitman sat down with Inova Center for Personalized Health CEO and NVTC Board Chair Todd Stottlemyer for a “fireside chat” conversation. Whitman explained how big data is powering the next industrial revolution, allowing new insights through predictive analytics. She shared how innovations like memory-driven, rather than processing-driven, computing are allowing HPE to provide intelligent services “at the edge” where data is collected rather than on a central server.

In discussing the future of the industry, Whitman stressed the importance of skilling the next generation of data employees and the pivotal role universities will play in partnering with the private sector to meet these talent demands. View Whitman’s full keynote below:

We’ll be sharing more Capital Data Summit content and videos here on the NVTC blog. Stay tuned!

Check out the Capital Data Summit photo gallery!

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On Feb. 22, the NVTC International Committee held a reception for Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania to the United States of America and to the United Mexican States Rolandas Kriščiūnas. The meeting also included Eric Stewart, president, American Lithuanian Business Council, and Jeff Nelson, Honorary Consul, Lithuania.

The event featured introductory remarks from NVTC President and CEO Bobbie Kilberg, keen insights into the growth and reasons to invest in the Lithuanian technology industry by Ambassador Kriščiūnas, and a unique case study perspective from CSC’s Christopher Flaesch.

The International Committee will host its annual year-end gala in June at MITRE. Stay tuned for more details on NVTC’s website!

Photos from the meeting:

Feb 2 Event 3 Feb 22 Event 1 Feb 22 event 6 Feb 22 event 5

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This week’s guest blog post is by Norm Snyder, partner at Aronson, LLC. Snyder is also chair of NVTC’s Small Business and Entrepreneur Committee. Snyder shares highlights and lessons learned from the Committee’s recent Lean Startup panel.


Small Biz Committee LogoCurious about Lean Startup? What it really means and why the D.C. tech community is talking about it?

Lean is a disruptive way of thinking that can shorten cycles for developing products, business startups and help ensure entrepreneurial success. Late last month, the Small Business and Entrepreneur Committee explored Lean Startup methodology with an expert panel led by Bob Smith, director of the George Mason University Small Business Development Center, serial entrepreneur, and venture and angel investor. The panel also included experienced Lean Startup entrepreneur practitioners Steph Hay from Capital One, Abhishek Motayed from N5 Sensors, Patrick Smith from Power Supply and B.J. Wiley Williams from Sohooked.

Bob Smith started with an overview of the Lean Startup methodology. Lean methodology stems from the father of the “Customer Discovery Method,” Steve Blank, Alexander Osterwalder, who invented the “Business Model Canvas,” and the work of Eric Ries, author of the widely read book The Lean Startup. According to Smith, the number one startup mistake is building something nobody wants; therefore, more startups flounder from a lack of customers than from product or technology failures. Do companies build product(s) that no one wants? Of course, we have all seen it.

Smith used the example of Segway, which spent over $100 million developing its personal transporter. Segway expected to sell 10,000 Segways per week by the end of 2002. According to Forbes, Segway sold 30,000 total units by 2008. What was supposed to become the mainstay of urban commuting is predominately used by mall security guards and tour groups. Segway’s failure wasn’t technical – they failed to solve a real world problem.

As discussed, Lean teaches us that startups are not smaller versions of larger companies. A good product, business plan, financial model and market research do not guarantee success. It’s easy to build a sound technical product and a financial model with the necessary hockey stick revenue/EBITDA chart. According to Smith, “No business plan survives first contact with customers.” Everyone has a plan… until they get punched in the face! So what’s an entrepreneur to do? Get out of the building! Realize the idea is only the starting point. A business model is how a company creates, delivers and captures value.

In other words, a business model is how a company makes money! Smith’s tool of choice is the Business Model Canvas. Discovering the “value propositions” is the center of the Canvas. The goal is to find the right solution to the right customer problem with strong enough demand to warrant launching a business. Who is the customer? What problem do they want solved? What value do they derive from the solution? Customer discovery is not an exact science. It is an iterative process of evaluating guesses. Get out there and interview potential customers, perhaps 100 to 200 people. Engage in a love story with your potential customers. Look for patterns and apply judgment when validating or invalidating your hypotheses. Refine, pivot, repeat as needed until you have uncovered the value. Keep focused on the benefits customers derive from the product. Remember value propositions or benefits are NOT the same as product features. Use this process to develop a minimum viable product (MVP) and not a product with all of the cool features possible. For an MVP, who is the customer? What is the specific problem the MVP addresses? How does it add value or help customers that will result in making money from selling the product?

After his helpful overview, Smith led the panel in a discussion with the following questions.

  1. How has your organization used Lean Startup? Why did this method work?
  2. What was the best and worst customer hypothesis you ever wrote?
  3. What are some best practices in customer discovery you recommend?
  4. What is the hardest interview you have conducted? What did you learn from it?

Among others, panelists shared these insights. In value proposition testing interviews, watch for body language shifts. For example, in their testing, a bank learned that moms hated touching ATMs by watching them. Radical specificity is your friend in conducting interviews. Meeting customers helps validate (or invalidate) the channel. Ask for forgiveness, not permission, in getting the difficult interviews. Be creative in getting customer interviews. A story was told about one entrepreneur getting multiple flu shots in order to secure interviews with medical professionals they wanted to talk to. Solve the market problem before you focus on the technical product development. Make sure you speak to the right customers, including those who have the power and ability to buy. The Lean Startup process allows the entrepreneur to be free to fail since you will be continuously innovating in response to customer feedback.

Remember, the customer is first, not the product. Constant innovation leads to entrepreneurial success.

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The inaugural Capital Data Summit took place on Feb. 15, 2017 at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner. Here on the NVTC blog, we continue to share content from this exciting event.


Transp Data Summit Logo - TransparentThe Summit’s engaging VC and Growth Investing in Commercial and Government Data Opportunities panel shared approaches in analyzing, financing and building successful businesses, and the latest data investing opportunities in the commercial and government markets. Panelists included Updata Partners General Partner Carter Griffin and Revolution Growth Partner Steve Murray. MAVA Executive Director Julia Spicer moderated.

Here are some of the valuable points that emerged from this discussion:

  • Greater Washington’s loyal and expert talent pool set the region apart from other tech hubs in terms of investing. According to Griffin, “Around here…we find people are loyal to the cause and want to join these companies and really build something. I think that’s a nice backdrop for building a company.”
  • Investments hinge on a company being able to solve a fundamental problem or improve the customer experience. Companies must be able to explain why they are “nailing their niche.”
  • Investors are finding themselves betting on technology trends that may happen in five to ten years.
    • Investments in machine learning, artificial intelligence and unstructured data enterprises are rapidly expanding today.
  • While entrepreneurship continues to grow in areas beyond Silicon Valley like Greater Washington, Boston and Austin, there are valuable lessons to be learned from the Silicon Valley ecosystem that does a great job fostering entrepreneurship:
    • Silicon Valley has a strong culture of mentorship and collaboration that can be fostered further in other areas
    • The networking culture in the Valley is unmatched; entrepreneurs are confident talking about their products in a variety of settings
    • Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are not as hesitant to make mistakes
    • There is stronger collaboration between established service providers and startups; service providers in the Valley really take the time to help startups grow

 VC Panel 1 v3 VC Panel 2 v2 VC panel 3v2

Return back to the NVTC blog soon for more Capital Data Summit content!

Check out the full Summit photo gallery!

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Capital Data Summit: Sid Banerjee Keynote

March 1st, 2017 | Posted by Alexa Magdalenski in Capital Data Summit - (Comments Off)

We continue to share content from our inaugural Capital Data Summit that took place on February 15, 2017 at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner. Scroll down or click here to view Clarabridge’s Sid Banerjee full keynote presentation video.


Transp Data Summit Logo - TransparentThe 2017 Capital Data Summit was highlighted by its keynote speakers:  Clarabridge Founder and Vice Chairman Sid Banerjee, Hewlett Packard Enterprise President and CEO Meg Whitman and DigitalGlobe Founder, Chief Technical Officer and Executive Vice President Dr. Walter Scott.

In his opening keynote, Banerjee gave an analysis of the shift in the data ecosystem today from traditional structured data models to the growing influence of unstructured data, especially in the consumer experience sphere. He shared the need for a new wave of emotionally empathetic computing that sources customer data across many digital channels to provide customer insights.

View the full video of Banerjee’s keynote remarks:

We’ll be sharing more Capital Data Summit content and videos here on the NVTC blog. Stay tuned!

Check out the Capital Data Summit photo gallery!

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Interested in fine tuning your corporate messaging? Then you’ll want to read our latest member guest blog from Carlos Cruz, Client Relations at TriVision, Inc. TriVision is an award-winning, full service agency that develops innovative strategies to achieve powerful and creative integrated marketing solutions.


Final Logo 2014-2016 TriVision Logo v2It is in a corporation’s best interest to strategically push their value-driven corporate messaging whenever and wherever they can. Here are the reasons why:

Corporate messaging reinforces your target audience’s identity.

People like to associate themselves with others who have the same mindset as they do. It’s like being friends with someone because they like the same hobbies you do.

Corporate messaging builds a community around the same set of values you cherish. In the case of AirBnb, their strategy was to send a message that acceptance of everyone (regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or other external factors) is a common human value that most can agree upon (however, at times we may need to be reminded of this).

Create corporate messages that make your target audience proud to associate themselves with you.

Corporate Messaging reinforces brand identity.

When a corporate message is done well and communicated often, those tactics boost brand identity. When a corporate message is value-driven, it often creates a positive association with your company.

Corporate Messaging told as a story, stick better.

Why is it that you are more likely to remember childhood stories like “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” or “The Three Little Pigs” than a 30-page report on whatever it is you specialize in? For 27,000 years, humans have been telling stories to communicate information with one another. Stories connect people. Often, you will find a company’s background explaining why they choose to carry certain values. Blending your corporate messaging with a story will make your company memorable.

Remember, values are what brings all of us together. Make sure that your corporate messaging has a value-driven approach.

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