Meet the Instructors

Val Fontama

Principal Data Scientist, Data and Decision Sciences Group, Microsoft 

Val Fontama is a principal data scientist in the data and decision sciences group at Microsoft, where he leads the external consulting practice. He has more than eight years of data science experience. After earning a PhD in neural networks, he was a new technology consultant at Equifax in London, where he pioneered the use of data mining to improve risk assessment and marketing in the consumer credit industry. He also has seven years of business experience. In his previous role at Microsoft, he was a senior product marketing manager for big data and predictive analytics in cloud and enterprise marketing. He led product management for Azure Machine Learning; HDInsight; Parallel Data Warehouse, Microsoft’s first ever data warehouse appliance; and three releases of Fast Track Data Warehouse. 

Fontama holds an MBA in strategic management and marketing from Wharton Business School, a PhD in neural networks, master’s in computing, and bachelor’s in mathematics and electronics. He has published 11 academic papers and co-authored two forthcoming big data books: Introducing Microsoft Azure HDInsight and Predictive Analytics With Microsoft Azure Machine Learning: Build and Deploy Actionable Solutions in Minutes.