Kazuto Ataka

Kazuto Ataka

Faculty of Environment and Information Studies
Graduate School of Media and Governance
DegreesPhD in Neuroscience (Yale University, 2001)
Other Positions Currently HeldChief Strategy Officer, Yahoo Japan Corporation
Short BiographyKazuto joined McKinsey & Company, after completing master’s program in Biophysics and Biochemistry (Molecular Biology) at The University of Tokyo.

After four and a half years of work, Kazuto entered Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program at Yale University in Fall 1997, where he received his PhD in Neuroscience record fast in Spring 2001. His dissertation was on “the development of a genetically targetable optical reporter of membrane potential."

Following postdoctoral training at Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Yale School of Medicine, Kazuto re-joined McKinsey (Tokyo office) at the end of 2001, where he served a leadership member of Consumer Goods and Marketing Practice Group in Asia-Pacific region with a particular focus on marketing-based business/brand turnaround based on deep customer insight leveraging behavioral research together with various big data.

Kazuto joined Yahoo! JAPAN in Fall 2008 after 11 years at McKinsey. After serving as VP of COO office, he assumed a role of Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) from July 2012. As CSO, he covers wide range of strategic issues, including market insight and intelligence, corporate-wide business development, cross-functional problem solving, Yahoo! JAPAN Big data report,
and big data strategy.

Kazuto is a founding member and a director of The Data Scientist Society of Japan, where he is the chair of Skill Definition Committee and defined DS's mission, skill level, skill checklist (now adopted as official skill standards of Information-technology Promotion Agency/IPA).

By leveraging his experiences across neuroscience, management, and data×AI, Kazuto is widely involved in various government councils to discuss the future of industry/business/research and people development in the AI & Data age. The work includes:

- Research Organization of Information and Systems(ROIS) and MEXT Big Data Specialized Human Resources Development Committee
- METI Industrial Structure Council Member of the New Industrial Structure Committee
- AI Technology Strategy Council Industrialization Road Map TF Vice Chief Investigator
- Cabinet Office Government Public Private Research and Development Investment Expansion Program (PRISM) Steering Committee
- Cabinet Secretariat Fourth Industrial Revolution Promotion of Human Resources Development Committee member
- ROIS, Management Council Member
- JST SAKIGAKE Interaction area, Management Adviser
- Special Advisor to Innovation Design, RIKEN
- Advisor to the School of Data Science, Shiga University
- Members of the Keidanren Future Co-Creation task-force

Since 2016.4, Kazuto teaches "Emergence and strategy of data driven society” at Keio SFC. From 2018.9, Kazuto assumed a role as a Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies.

Kazuto is an active contributor of numerous big data-related conferences in Japan. He is author of a book “Issue Driven”, which was sold more than 200K copies, and was translated in both Chinese and Korean.
Areas of ExpertiseData science and data-driven thinking, Strategy building, New product development
AffiliationsThe Japan DataScientist Society, Director/Chair of Skill Definition Committee
Japanese Society of Applied Statistics, Councilor
Selected Publications"Issue Driven" (Eiji Press, 2010.11)
"Practical data literacy taught by top data scientist" co-author (Nikkei BP, 2015.3)
"Perception represents intelligence" (Diamond Harvard Business Review, 2017.5)
"How AI will change our business" (Diamond Harvard Business Review, 2015.11)
"Big Data vs. Behavioral Observation Data" (Diamond Harvard Business Review, 2014.8)

Singlarity University Tokyo Summit 2017 “Japan Today + Exponential intelligence” (2017.9)
TEDxTokyo 2016 “Shin-Nihon”(2016.10)
TEDxTokyo Salon “Singularity... so what?”(2015.10)
TEDxUTokyo “Issue Driven” (2012.5)

"A genetically targetable fluorescent probe of channel gating with rapid kinetics" Biophysical Journal Volume 82 January 2002 509-516
Message to StudentsWe are living in an exceptionally exciting time, where not only data × AI, but various innovations overlap, and exponential changes start everywhere. The era of mere mass production is over. From now on, not survival skill under existing rules, but skills and new literacy to create the world that you want is the key. Let’s go wild together to create a better future!
Contact Information5322 Endo Fujisawa, Kanagawa 252-0882 Japan
Keio University Shonan Fujisawa Campus