Business Analytics Department

UT Business Analytics Partners with Businesses to Enhance Education

US News reports that as our increasingly technology driven economy demands more highly educated workers, business leaders in STEM companies have become increasingly concerned about the lack of quantity and quality of students entering entering the workforce. But some business are investing heavily in higher education, and everyone is benefiting.
At the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, executives from several companies, like FedEx, JPMorgan Chase, and Kroger, visit undergraduates, where the students get up close and personal with someone who is using data analytics every day,” said Dr. Frank Guess, a professor in the department. Industry partners, like Pershing, Yoakley & Associates Analytics, also take interns from the program, and some partners even teach part-time at the university.
Read more about the partnerships between STEM businesses and universities here.

Day One of the Business Analytics Forum a Success

Day one of the bi-annual Business Analytics Forum at The University of Tennessee began early; for some maybe a little too early. The night before the official beginning of the forum, several Masters in Business Analytics students took part in a data visualization competition. In the competition, students groups were challenged to provide insight on given census data and suggest strategy for improved census form collection. The winners of the competition presented their findings at the forum and discussed their methods with Stephen Few, the keynote speaker.

The Business Analytics Forum is a small group of organizations, each having business analytics as a central component of its business strategy and operations. Forum participants meet twice each year to help each other develop competitive strategies and to share best practices in the implementation of business analytics. This forum’s keynote speaker was Steven Few, one of the world’s renowned experts and thought leaders on business analytics, quantitative techniques, and data analysis. Few founded the consultancy firm, Perceptual Edge, in 2003. With 25 years of experience as an innovator, consultant, and educator in the fields of business intelligence and information design, he is considered a leading expert in using data visualization so that individuals can make sense of data and properly communicate it. During the morning session he conducted an interactive half-day seminar on how to effectively present and analyze quantitative business data, reminding the attendees that “the value of information depends on how it’s used” and the “use it wisely.”

The afternoon speaker, Tim Wilson, maintained Stephen Few’s assertion that analytical acumen was more important that any technology when it comes to successful business analytics. The two, however, differed in their feelings on Twitter—Tim Wilson encouraging the attendees to tweet at him. He shared the importance of process in achieving valuable results in business analytics, detailing a process called ADAPT.

More information on the Business Analytics Forum can be found here.

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

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