Russell Walker
Russell Walker

Clinical Professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences

Print Overview

Russell Walker, Ph.D. is Clinical Professor at the Kellogg School of Management. Dr. Walker has expertise in Big Data and Analytics, Risk Management, and International Business Strategy. He has developed and taught leading executive programs and MBA classes on Big Data and Analytics, Strategic Data-Driven Marketing, Enterprise Risk, Operational Risk, and Global Leadership. Russell founded the Kellogg Executive Education program on Risk Management. He founded and teaches the very popular Analytical Consulting Lab and Risk Lab. He was awarded the Kellogg Impact award by his MBA students for excellence and impact in teaching.

He is the author of From Big Data to Big Profits: Success with Data and Analytics (Oxford, 2015) that examines how firms can best monetize data assets. This book has been awarded a medal by the prestigious Axiom book awards for excellence in business technology, and has been recognized and featured by the Harvard Business Review and MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. He was named one of most influential bloggers in Big Data and Analytics, globally. He also authored the award-winning text Winning with Risk Management (2013), which examines the principles and practice of risk management through business case studies. He authored the chapter Operational Risk in Insurance, as part of Risk Management in Financial Institutions (2013). He has been recognized as a top thought leader in Big Data and Analytics by many organizations, including the International Institute of Analytics, Onalytica, Teradata, SAS, KDNuggests and the Harvard Business Review. The Aspen Institute, Harvard Business School Press, The Bank of England, The World Bank, and PRMIA have recognized his cases for excellence in showcasing lessons in risk management.

His International Business Strategy research includes a study of medical tourism opportunities for Turkey and an analysis for tourism transformation in Mexico for the Secretary of Tourism of Mexico. He leads the popular Global Lab class at Kellogg, an experiential class that brings Kellogg MBAs in touch with global opportunities. He frequently speaks on the emerging global middle class and demographic shifts driving changes in international markets. He has been invited to speak at the US Department of State, The World Bank, and the International Finance Corporation. He partners with the Cuba Study Group to identify initiatives to advance the success of Cuban entrepreneurs.

He serves on the Scientific and Technical Council for the Menus of Change, an initiative by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Culinary Institute of America, to develop healthier and more environmentally sound food choices. He served as a board member of the Education and Technology Committee to the Morton Arboretum, and as a board member of the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, where he developed support programs for Hispanic entrepreneurs and worked with US senators on US Latino matters.

He has been invited to share his perspective internationally at Oxford University, IESE Business School in Spain, the Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration in Thailand, Amsterdam Institute of Finance, and the Indian School of Business.

He has advised Microsoft, World Bank, Bank of England, SEC, US Department of State, CME Group, John Deere, IBM, Teradata, Discover Financial, Capital One Financial, PepsiCo, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Hyatt, among others.

Russell began his career with Capital One Financial, as a corporate strategist specializing in the advancement of analytics in the enterprise for the purposes of improved marketing and risk management.

He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University. He also holds an MS from Cornell University, an Executive MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and a BS from the University of South Florida. Russell speaks Spanish.

He enjoys travel, photography, trees, and horticulture.

Russell Walker can be reached at @RussWalker1492 &

Areas of Expertise
Banking and Financial Institutions
Data Analytics
Database Marketing
Emerging Markets
Information Systems
International Trade
Regulation of Financial Markets
Risk Management

Print Vita
MBA, 2006, Executive MBA, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
PhD, 1999, Engineering Systems, Cornell University
MS, 1997, Engineering Systems, Cornell University
BS, 1995, Civil Engineering Systems, University of South Florida, Summa Cum Laude, University-wide Honors Student

Academic Positions
Clinical Professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2016-present
Clinical Associate Professor of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2010-2016
Associate Director of the Zell Center for Risk Research, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2010-2013
Senior Lecturer, Assistant Director of the Zell Center for Risk Research, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2007-2010

Other Professional Experience
Instructor, Cornell University, 1998-1999
Senior Strategist, Capital One Financial, 2000-2006

Honors and Awards
Named a Top Blogger in Big Data and Analytics Globally,, 2015
Silver Award Medal, Axiom Book Awards, 2015

Editorial Positions
Editorial Board Member, Journal of Enterprise Risk Management (JERM)., 2013

Print Research
Research Interests

Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Data Science, Digital Strategy, Digital Platforms, Data-Driven Marketing, Internet of Things, Risk Management, Enterprise Risk, Operational Risk, Monetization of Data, Customer Privacy, Data Breaches, Banking, International Business Strategy, Sports Analytics, Innovation, Generational Change, Cuba, Hispanic Market, Food Industry, Food Safety

Walker, Russell. 2018. Sports analytics taxonomy, V1.0. Informs ORMS Today.
Walker, Russell. 2016. Exporting Challenges and Opportunities for Cuban Entrepreneurs. Cuba Study Group.
Walker, Russell. 2015. The Increasing Importance of Operational Risk in Enterprise Risk Management. The Journal of Enterprise Risk Management. 1(1)
Walker, Russell. 2013. Winning with Risk Management: Focus on Operational Risk. European Financial Review.
Walker, Russell. 2010. Role of Credit Rating Agencies as Risk Information Brokers. Prepared for the Anthony T. Cluff Fund and the Financial Services Roundtable, Presented to the US SEC and US Congress.
Walker, Russell. 2006. Partnerships in Training. Interfaces.
Walker, Russell. 2000. Long-term Variability in the Arrival Rate of Flood Events as Evidenced by Flood Clustering. EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union.
Walker, Russell. 1999. A Fate and Transport Model for Cryptosporidium.. Journal of Environmental Engineering of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Book Chapters
Walker, Russell. 2013. "Operational Risk in the Insurance Industry." In Risk Management in Financial Services, Euromoney Publications.
Walker, Russell and Ellen Douglas. 2003. "Identifying Hydrologic Variability and Change for Strategic Water System Planning and Design." In Monograph by the American Geophysical Union, Information Req, AGU Publications.
Walker, Russell. "An Examination of the Cuba Coffee Market: Prospects for Coffee Export and Benefits to Farmers.".
Walker, Russell. "Can Chipotle make a comeback after outbreaks? Food safety experts weigh in.".
Walker, Russell. "How to Prevent Another Chipotle.".
Walker, Russell. "How Taco Bell's ex-CEO can clean up Chipotle's mess.".
Walker, Russell and Kyle Bell. "What Cuba's New Wave of Entrepreneurs Need to Know." Fortune.
Walker, Russell and Tom Davenport. "LinkingIN to Data Products." Wall Street Journal.
Walker, Russell. "Monetizing Big Data For Big Profits: It Takes More Than Algorithms." Forbes.
Walker, Russell. "Supplying Growth: Purchasing Challenges and Opportunities for Cuban Entrepreneurs." Cuba Study Group.
Walker, Russell. "Four Tips for Mitigating Risk of Cyber Crime." SAS Knowledge Exchange.
Walker, Russell. "Republic of Turkey: A Medical Tourism Destination for the United States.".
Walker, Russell. "Enterprise risk management When weathering the storm is not enough." SAS Risk Insights.
Walker, Russell. "Fortune Favours the Well-Prepared." Financial Times.
Walker, Russell. 2017. Menus of Change Annual Report.
Walker, Russell. 2016. Menus of Change Annual Report. An Initiative of the Harvard School of Public Health and the Culinary Institute of America. Menus of
Walker, Russell. 2015. Menus of Change Annual Report. An Initiative of the Harvard School of Public Health and the Culinary Institute of America. Menus of
Walker, Russell. 2015. From Big Data to Big Profits: Success with Data and Analytics. New York, London: Oxford University Press.
Walker, Russell. 2014. Menus of Change Annual Report. An Initiative of the Harvard School of Public Health and the Culinary Institute of America. Menus of Change.
Walker, Russell. 2013. Menus of Change Annual Report: An intiative of the Harvard School of Public Health and the Culinary Institute of America.
Walker, Russell. 2013. Winning with Risk Management. World Scientific Publishing Company.
Walker, Russell. 2013. Maxxed Out: TJX Companies and the Largest-Ever Consumer Data Breach. Case 5-313-507 (KEL764).
Schmedders, KarlRussell Walker and Michael Stritch. 2010. Arbor City Community Foundation (A): The Foundation. Case 5-310-502(A) (KEL585).
Walker, Russell. 2014. Conseco: Market Assumptions and Risk. Case 5-311-509 (KEL796).
Walker, Russell and Rafique Jiwani. 2015. Reinventing E-Commerce: Amazon's Bet on Unmanned Vehicle Delivery. Case 5-315-501 (KEL911).
Walker, Russell. 2016. Bank of America: Consumers Fight Back. Case 5-116-001 (KEL947).
Schmedders, KarlRussell Walker and Michael Stritch. 2010. Arbor City Community Foundation (B): Managing Good Fortune. Case 5-310-502(B) (KEL586).
Walker, Russell and Kyle Bell. 2015. Nestlé Ice Cream in Cuba. Case 5-315-504 (KEL919).
Walker, Russell and Greg Merkley. 2017. Chipotle Mexican Grill: Food with Integrity?. Case 5-316-501 (KEL979).
Walker, RussellMark Jeffery, Linus So, Sripad Sriram, Jon Nathanson, Joao Ferreira and Julia Feldmeier. 2010. Netflix Leading with Data: The Emergence of Data-Driven Video. Case 5-110-006 (KEL473).
Walker, Russell. 2013. Scandal at Société Générale: Rogue Trader or Willing Accomplice?. Case 5-313-505 (KEL766).
Walker, Russell, Israel Feuerberg, Lorena Sanchez Garcia and Santiago Trevino Villasenor. 2017. CEMEX: Information Technology, an Enabler for Building the Future. Case 5-315-502 (KEL992).
Walker, Russell and Joanna Wilson. 2016. Horse Trading: Food Sourcing in the Twenty-First Century. Case 5-216-250 (KEL945).
Walker, Russell and Joanna Wilson. 2012. Nokia’s Supply Chain Management. Case 5-111-007 (KEL673).
Walker, Russell and Joanna Green. 2017. Neighborhood Watch: The Rise of Zillow. Case 5-117-006 (KE1008).

Print Teaching
Teaching Interests

Analytics, Big Data, Digital Strategies, Data Monetization, Sports Analytics, Risk Management, Enterprise and Operational Risk, Data-Driven Marketing, Decision Sciences, Data Science

Full-Time / Evening & Weekend MBA
Global Lab (INTL-915-0)
This experiential learning course provides a hands-on opportunity for students to apply classroom knowledge to a real-world problem. In the Global Lab course, four or five students complete an international consulting project for a host company during the winter quarter that culminates in two weeks of on-site research and presentation to senior management. The host company and student team work together to determine the project's scope and parameters, and the team completes each week's research by meeting with an expert faculty adviser. The host company provides feedback that is used in grading students and covers travel expenses for the on-site visit.

Students must have completed all core courses with the exception of OPNS-430 which can be taken concurrently in the Winter quarter. For practical purposes, this limits enrollment to students in their second year of the full-time program and those in the one-year program. Part-time program students who have fulfilled their core requirements are also eligible to take the course.

For more information, click here to visit the Global Lab website.

Note: This course may not be dropped after the first week of the quarter.

Field Study (MECN-498-0)
Field Studies include those opportunities outside of the regular curriculum in which a student is working with an outside company or non-profit organization to address a real-world business challenge for course credit under the oversight of a faculty member.

Analytical Consulting Lab (MECN-915-0)

**This course was formerly known as DECS-915-0**

The Analytics Consulting Lab is a practicum for students interested in developing deep skills in analytics. In this course, students apply classroom concepts and techniques to a real-world analytical task in which they use data to support a managerial decision. Working in a group, students will call upon techniques and theories such as statistics, multivariate regression, optimization, stochastic simulation, decision tree analysis, time series analysis, forecasting, real options, risk analysis, data mining, and discrete event simulation. The projects, pre-approved by faculty, will touch many industries and aspects of business management.

For more information, click here to visit the ACL website.

Note: This course may not be dropped after the first week of the quarter. By application only.

Risk Lab (MECN-920-0)

**This course was formerly known as DECS-920-0**

The famous American Economist, Frank Knight said, "Profit is the reward for taking risk." Dr. Knight argues that profit and risk are intertwined. In seeking profits, we must therefore seek risks that are attractive. In the Risk Lab, students examine the attractiveness of risk in a real-world investment decision.

The Risk Lab is an experiential learning course, focused on evaluation of risks facing a company or business venture. Students will develop skills in performing risk evaluations in real-world settings. Special emphasis will be given to the investment in the venture, the risks and their impacts, and how to best communicate the impacts of risk when evaluating an investment decision.

Projects in the Risk Lab are sponsored by companies, offering students exposure to real-world business challenges, complete with complexities and other realities. The focus of evaluation in these real-world settings is not necessarily to avoid risk or even to directly reduce it, but rather to understand the risk and evaluate its properties, for the purpose of investment consideration. Such examinations may include, for instance, the impact of international economic changes, market trends, policy adjustments, and competitive action, etc. on the enterprise and its profit. The goal of the class is to develop skills in identifying risks, evaluating the nature and impact of risks, and gaining experience in communicating the impact of those risks in the context of an investment decisions.

The course will focus on using analytical techniques (such as forecasting, regression analysis, simulation, sensitivity analysis, and scenario analysis) to evaluate the impact of identified risks on the enterprise. Teams are expected to develop risk models in a spreadsheet environment and may also be required to research industry and international trends to provide measures of risk indicators.

For more information, pleasevisit the Risk Lab website.

Note: This course may not be dropped after the first week of the quarter.

Consulting Lab (MECNM-915-0)

Enterprise Risk Management (OPNS-923-0)
In Enterprise Risk Management, we develop a holistic approach to the identification and management of risks facing an organization. Typically recognized forms of risk, such as Operational Risk, Credit Risk and Market Risk are explored in detail. The impact of shocks to enterprises and the role of liquidity risk and the importance of protecting against it are reviewed. The role of operational risks, such as those a rising from reliance on complex systems, outsourcers, international supply chains, lean processes, and external shocks pose perhaps the greatest risk to firms in the post-globalization era and are reviewed accordingly. This course provides frameworks for identifying, quantifying, and managing risks to the overall enterprise and offers direction on the formulation of a successful risk office and its appropriate integration with corporate strategy.

Executive Education
Creating Strategic Value Through IT

Leveraging information technology to create greater value requires tight alignment of your IT strategy with overall business strategy. This program teaches you how by deepening relationships with customers, collaborating more effectively, maximizing productivity and putting big ideas into action.

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Strategic Data-Driven Marketing

Whether B2C or B2B, marketers all face a number of  challenges: how to make a tangible link between marketing and revenue, justify your investments and demonstrate results. Kellogg’s holistic approach to creating a customized data-driven marketing strategy delivers all that and more.

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