"Columbus needs to focus on transportation; a diversity of industry and job opportunities; and access to basic needs."

Future 50 Class of 2020

Rehgan Avon

Founder and CEO, Women in Analytics; head of solutions, Mobikit

About: In 2016, Rehgan Avon created a conference dedicated to women in analytics—a male-dominated industry—by ensuring the speaker line-up was only women. The Women in Analytics conference, reaching more than 1,200 people each year, is now the largest analytics conference in the Midwest. The Columbus-based community is also expanding globally with ambassadors in eight different countries—China, Afghanistan, Germany, Poland, Australia, India, England and Kenya.

Avon also launched the Big Data and Analytics Association at Ohio State University, creating a conduit for recruiting analytics talent from the university. She holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial and systems engineering from Ohio State with a specialization in data analytics.

Outside of work: Avon is a contributor to TechLife Columbus, the founding sponsor of the Data Science for Women Summer Camp and the founding sponsor of the analytics curriculum launched by Tech Corps that exposes elementary, middle and high school students to analytics.

50 ideas to move the region forward. Here's who else is in the Future 50 Class of 2020.

What does Columbus need to thrive? “Columbus needs to focus on transportation; a diversity of industry and job opportunities; and access to basic needs like housing, internet and education. It must ensure that it is retaining talent and connecting it to the opportunities to contribute to the community. It must support small businesses, provide resources for the startup community, and structure itself to keep the top Fortune 500 companies that are currently headquartered here. It must also continue to invest in the arts such as music, fashion, dance, cuisine, and in the Smart City initiative.”

Avon’s idea: “We could survey different demographics of the city to further understand current deficits and opportunities to improve, create a central resources page for information on education opportunities, transportation ways to get involved or volunteer. Then, if an opportunity exists, create a campaign to promote it.”

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