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Convenience: Driver of BI innovation

Allaa "Ella" Hilal is among that rare breed of computer experts who straddle the academic and commercial worlds. As director of data at Ottawa-based Shopify, Hilal oversees data product development for the e-commerce company's international and larger merchants, also known as Plus customers. She is also an adjunct associate professor in the Centre for Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, where she earned a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering. An expert in data intelligence, wireless sensor networks and autonomous systems, Hilal is among the featured speakers at the Real Business Intelligence Conference on June 27 to 28 in Cambridge, Mass. Here, Hilal discusses what's driving business intelligence (BI) innovation today and some of the pitfalls companies should be aware of.