Business Analytics Department

Dr. Noon is named new Department Head

After 33 years of service and almost 9 years as the Department Head, Dr. Ken Gilbert has retired. Following in his footsteps is Dr. Chuck Noon.  With this new assignment, Dr. Noon plans to build upon the success of our top ranked Business Analytics Masters program.  Given his 27-year track record with the College of Business, he is well positioned to bring national recognition to our department, as well as increased collaboration within the college and university.

Look for news in the coming months about some of the other exciting changes, including the planned re-launch of our PhD program.

To read more about this announcement, see the full release on the College of Business website here.





Faculty Member and Student receive Chancellor’s Awards

Each year, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, honors its faculty, students, and staff for their extraordinary achievements. Two awards went to people involved in the Business Analytics Bachelor’s program.

BrianStevensCroppedBrian Stevens received the Excellence in Teaching and Undegraduate Advising award.  This award is bestowed by the Office of the Chancellor and the Teaching Council of the Faculty Senate to honor outstanding work in the classroom and in advising. Brian is a lecturer for Statistics 201 and was a graduate from the first class of Business Analytics Master’s program.  It was his experience as a teaching assistant in Statistics 201 where he realized his passion for teaching. Brian engages students with a mix of humor and know-how. He is highly regarded for his enthusiasm, thoroughness, and appreciation for the material he teaches. Knowing that attention fosters learning, Stevens applies a formula to his teaching: “Around 80 percent of class time must be spent assimilating and reinforcing relevant material while the other 20 percent is spent keeping students engaged.” One student noted, “He is very attentive with communicating with students and his door is always open for help. The effort he puts toward all of his students is truly admirable.”

Jasmine Hammons has left no stone unturned in learning about this campus. As an ambassador for admissions and her college, she takes seriously her role as a resource for fellow Volunteers. A senior in business analytics from Bradenton, Florida, Hammons is president of the Mortar Board Society and vice president of finance for the National Pan-Hellenic Council. She also is a founding member and vice president for the UT Business Analytics Society. For the last four years, Hammons coordinated the National Foundation for Suicide Prevention campus walk. She also volunteers with Remote Area Medical, which provides basic health care to underserved populations.  Jasmine will continue her studies at UT as a Business Analytics Masters student.  We are very lucky to have her amongst our ranks.

Help a Business Analytics Undergrad Student by Completing a Brief Survey


Laura Burgin is a senior from Brentwood, TN double majoring in Business Analytics and French with a dual concentration in International Business. She is a member of the 2014 class of Global Leadership Scholars and is currently writing her honors thesis, “βusiness Anαlytics: Converging Expectations,” about the field of Business Analytics and how it relates to the Undergraduate Business Analytics curriculum at the University of Tennessee.

She needs your help by taking 5 minutes to fill out her survey.

Survey Link

Business Analytics Faculty Recently Completed a Book on Lean Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul

Srini Srinivasan, Missie Bowers and Ken Gilbert recently completed a book: Lean Maintenance Repair and Overhaul, published by McGraw Hill.

It describes how MRO organizations can achieve improvement in financial performance by applying the Theory of Constraints to guide the implementation of Lean manufacturing tools.

This Lean/TOC approach facilitates a growth strategy, by providing customer value, such as faster turnaround times, that the competition cannot match. Lean/TOC creates the capacity for this growth by eliminating waste.

Alumni Spotlight – Evan Kodra

Evan Kodra, a 2011 graduate of the University of Tennessee Master’s in Statistics program, recently contacted us to let us know how his degree has been helping him in his professional and academic career.  In only two short years after graduating Evan will be a Lead Data Scientist at Affectiva, an MIT spinoff company that focuses on gaining consumer insights through facial expression recognition technology. His work has had a direct impact on substantial revenue and client relations. Continue reading

Alumni Spotlight: Aaron Glover

By Erika Shults

Aaron Glover
Aaron Glover graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in statistics and a minor in business administration. After graduation, Aaron continued his academic career at Georgia Tech, where he obtained his MBA and MS in financial engineering. He is currently working at SunTrust in Atlanta, and recently got engaged to Carolyn McDonald. The two are busy planning their wedding for the upcoming year. Continue reading

Student Spotlight: Charity Hardison

Hear what 2nd year Masters student Charity Hardison has to say about her internship experience

One of the reasons our Business Analytics students make great employees is because at their core they are passionate about all things data. Some would call them over analyzers but we don’t see it that way. These students posess a triple threat that is hard to find these days; they are driven, passionate about data and are naturally business savy. Our Business Analytics MS builds on those assets with education that enables them to provide real value to their employers.

One such student that is a pefect example of the above is Charity Hardison, a second year Master’s student. Continue reading

Once Again, Forbes Features the UT Business Analytics Program!

Back in July a Forbe’s article questioned if Big Data degrees are a Fad or Fast Track. Based on the December article “Big Data Beyond Business Intelligence: Rise of The MBAs” it would seem that Forbe’s author John Furrier sees it as a Fast Track to career success.

In his article he asks the question: How do you multiply the role of the data scientist without the workforce to support it?

He outlined several strategies that enterprises should consider. One strategy calls for “The Rise of the MBAs”, in which he quotes Ken Gilbert and 2014 Master’s in Business Analytics student Haley Hubbard on the need for analytically trained Business Students.

Read the full Forbe’s article here.

Student Spotlight: Erika Shults

Interview with a 1st year student about why she chose to get a Master’s in
Business Analytics from The University of Tennessee


One of the reason our Business Analytics students make great employees is because at their core they are passionate about all things data. Some would call them over analyzers but we don’t see it that way. These students posess a triple threat that is hard to find these days; they are driven, passionate about data and have a natural business savy. Our Business Analytics MS builds on those assets with education that enables them to provide real value to their employers.

One such student that is a pefect example of the above is Erika Shults. She is one of the over 30 students that will be part of the Fall 2014 Business Analytics Master’s class.

Your Name: Erika Marie Shults

Undergaduate University: The University of Notre Dame

Undergrad Degree: Marketing

Year Graduated: 2009

Graduate Degree: Business Analytics Master’s

Graduating: Fall 2014

Internship Company: Still interviewing!

Why did you choose The University of Tennessee Business Analytics Master’s?

I researched all of the universities that had analytics master’s programs, and studied their curriculums thoroughly. UT’s curriculum not only focuses on learning the quantitative skill sets necessary to be able to analyze big data, it also focuses on the qualitative skills necessary to succeed in business. Also, I chose UT because they made the recruitment process so personal. I was applying to schools when I was in California, and couldn’t visit, but the only school that I felt like cared about me was UT.

Why did you choose a Master’s in Business Analytics?

I chose a master’s in business analytics because I am passionate about the customer and their shopping experience. My favorite marketing class at Notre Dame was consumer behavior, so I started a career in retail to be able to understand and work with them on a one-on-one basis. As I was working for Macy’s, I discovered that I wanted to understand them on a deeper level. I spoke with my mom about where to shift my career path, and, fortunately for me, my mother is a statistician and told me about the growing trend in big data and analytics. I researched analytics and the tremendous impact it is already having in business. I knew that I needed to get a Business Analytics MS so that I would learn the quantitative skills necessary to discover insights to positively impact the decisions my company makes in regards to their customers.

Tell me an interesting fact about you?

Unfortunately, the one I want to tell you I can’t because it’s about a TV show episode that hasn’t aired yet. I can say that I put my analytics skills to good use. If you are dying to know, offer me an internship interview and maybe I’ll tell you. So instead here’s my 2nd most interesting fact…ok maybe two. I was on the University of Notre Dame’s women’s rowing team. I rowed for a club in high school in Philadelphia, then walked on my freshman year. The next year they offered me a scholarship, and I lettered my sophomore year. I left my junior year to study abroad in Toledo, Spain, to achieve another one of my dreams. I am a very goal-oriented person.

Do you have a long term career goal?

Ideally, I want to start off as a customer insights analyst or become a category/brand manager. I love working with others, so I see myself working my way up the corporate ladder, teaching and leading teams of people, hopefully one day becoming the CMO…maybe then the CEO.

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