People

Sheila Talton

Sheila Talton

CEO - Gray Matter Analytics


Sheila Talton is an innovative global leader with 30 years of experience helping organizations increase value through breakthrough applications of technology. She is an accomplished business and market builder with a solid track record fueled by expertise as a multi-faceted technology leader, Big Data strategist, and specialist in emerging markets and global partner networks. She has an extensive background in data and communications technology platforms, consulting services and investment analysis in multiple vertical markets. She brings distinctive grounding in the specific range of technologies required to understand and fully exploit the uses of Big Data/cloud computing and SaaS services including software development, knowledge management, communications networks, data management and architectures, including the use of artificial intelligence. Ms. Talton formed Gray Matter Analytics after assessing the market dynamics of Big Data and using artificial intelligence to take advantage of what she feels is today’s biggest business opportunity - technology as an enabler. Gray Matter Analytics collaborates with the country’s largest healthcare providers and payers to create data-driven organizations, allowing them to benefit from more intelligent insights from their data assets. The Company has a unique integration of a portfolio of software products delivered on a SaaS platform with advisory services. The solutions offer a full range of data analytics, including predictive and prescriptive analytics, based upon a trademarked analytics platform to reduce readmissions in hospitals and penalties assessed by health insurers based on quality metrics. Ms. Talton began her career by identifying technology as the key area of future business growth and credentialed herself with stints at several information technology companies before forming her own company, Unisource Network Services, in 1987 to take advantage of the emerging demand for networking services in an era of deregulation. She became one of the pioneers in defining the network integration consulting segment and her career paralleled the growth cycle of the business, beginning with the early days of local area networks and continuing through development of sophisticated communications systems for the Euro-Tunnel. As network services began to be handled through large companies, Ms. Talton was recruited into Ernst & Young as a Managing Partner to lead their Midwest Technology Practice and then EDS, where she served in multiple leadership roles, including as head of the Consumer Products/Retail Industry outsourcing business. As president of the EDS Business Process Innovation Global Consulting Practice, she was able to combine her technology product and consulting expertise to design their first Solutions Consulting Practice, a $6 billion business, and to gain experience to position herself in the global arena. She joined Cisco Systems in 2004 and emerged as a leader in pivotal roles as the company transformed itself from a product to a solutions-focused company and an innovative global player. She was recruited as Vice President Advisory Services to build the company’s consulting capability. She globalized leadership and built consensus for cross-functional buy in by developing an innovative multiplier to demonstrate the added profit impact of services paired with products. She was soon recruited to serve as the group’s first Globalization Officer in China, where she developed the initial phase of the company’s multi-billion dollar investment in that country. She then moved to the company’s Office of Globalization to develop Cisco’s strategy for Latin America. Sheila G. Talton Analytic Bio-02-11-18- 2 Realizing that the innovation in technology was coming out of more agile firms, in 2011 she became President of SGT, Ltd. (Strategy, Globalization, Technology), a consulting firm she formed to build new services originating from data to integrate with existing product portfolios. Services were designed to create additional value and market differentiation for large global companies in financial services, healthcare, and technology industries, with a specialty in emerging markets. She also took on a concurrent role as an Executive in Residence of Sterling Partners, a $5 billion private equity firm, where she was responsible for building the firm's strategy and investment thesis for business intelligence/Big Data, and for deal sourcing for these investment opportunities in healthcare and other industry verticals. Ms. Talton is a member of the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE), National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the Women Corporate Directors (WCD), the World President’s Organization (WPO), The Economic Club of Chicago, and The Executive Leadership Council (ELC), a network and forum for African American executives of Fortune 500 companies. She currently serves on the boards of Deere & Company (NYSE:DE), Sysco Corporation (NYSE:SYY), Wintrust Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:WTFC), OGE Energy Corp. (NYSE:OGE), Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital Foundation, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, The Chicago Network, and the Chicago Urban League. Previously she served for ten years on the board of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, one of the country’s leading technology universities; five years on the board of Acco Brands Corporation (NYSE:ABD); and she was a founding member and chairperson of the Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF), where she continues to serve on their advisory board. Her honors include selection as a Congressional appointee on the US White House Women’s Business Council, as one of the “Top 10 Women in Technology” by Enterprising Women, and as “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the National Federation of Black Women Business Owners. She is also a recipient of the “Entrepreneurial Excellence Award” from Working Woman magazine and a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award. Most recently she was named a “Fellow” in 2017 by the ITSMF and as one of the “Directors to Watch” by Directors and Board Magazine in 2016. Previously, she was designated a 2014 “Woman of Influence” by The Chicago Business Journal and an honoree in “Those Having Significant Impact on Business and Technology” by TechWeek. In 2011 she was named one of “25 Influential Black Women in Business” by The Network Journal and received the Diamond Leadership Award from the Information Technology Senior Management Forum. In 2010 she was honored as a Woman of Achievement by the Anti-Defamation League, and as the Outstanding College Alumni of the Year by the Business School of Northern Illinois University. She was also named a 2009 Business Leader of Color by Chicago United, received a 2008 Egretha Award from the African American Women’s Business and Career Conference, and was named a 2007 “Woman Worth Watching” by Profiles in Diversity Journal. Ms. Talton has been cited in publications including The New York Times, CIO Magazine, Network Magazine, Crain’s Chicago Business and Black Enterprise. She is a frequent speaker at academic institutions including Peking, Northern Illinois, Radford and Pepperdine Universities as well as the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and The University of Illinois. She also speaks before corporations and corporate groups including Ernst & Young, Deloitte, Deere & Co., KPMG, Leo Burnett, The Executives’ Club of Chicago, the Marathon Club, The Women’s Business Council of Molex Incorporated and the Annual Executive Global Summit of Kelley Services. She is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program of Harvard Business School and Northern Illinois University.