Upcoming Speakers

We bring some the nation’s top experts in business analytics and operations research to our campus each year to speak at the forum. To get a more full picture of the level of discussions at our business analytics forum, you can review our company members list as well.

The 2023 Business Analytics Fall Forum will be on Thursday, September 7. You can review the agenda by following the “Forum Agenda” link below. Please reach out to Hannah Hunnicutt (hhunnic1@utk.edu) or Julie Ferrara (jferrara@utk.edu) with questions about the Forum.

Keynote Speaker: Marty Brown

President and CEO

Marty Brown is the President and CEO of PYA, an accounting and healthcare consulting firm headquartered in Knoxville with national recognition such as rankings by INSIDE Public Accounting as a Top 100 firm (with the third highest percentage of female ownership among those listed) and by Modern Healthcare as a Top 20 healthcare consulting firm. Marty’s leadership experience spans three decades and many industries in organizations from startups to Fortune 100 companies. His entrepreneurial thinking manifests in PYA initiatives such as the Ballard Innovation Award, the largest of its kind in East Tennessee supporting innovative startups in the region, and PYA has launched several successful startups where Marty has served as a founding partner and executive committee member for these organizations. After starting his career as an auditor and accountant, he moved into management consulting at PYA and served key roles in the establishment of important firm initiatives while serving clients across the country. Marty is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Marty is a longtime leader in the community and currently serves on the Board and Executive Committee of the Knoxville Chamber, Vice Chair of the Entrepreneurship/Small Business Committee for the Knoxville Chamber, Haslam’s Accounting and Information Management Roundtable, University of Tennessee Research Foundation Investment Advisory Committee, and most recently, he and his wife served as co-chairs of Knoxville Habitat for Humanity’s capital campaign.

Keynote Speaker: Jason Hardin

Director of Business Intelligence and Analytics

Jason leads PYA’s Business Intelligence & Analytics service line and has been with the firm for more than 13 years. A certified public accountant, Jason leverages his strong foundation in accounting and finance to translate data into custom business intelligence solutions for clients. Jason has extensive experience in healthcare claims analytics, financial modeling/analysis, and dashboard development. Jason implements analytics to provide litigation support on a variety of complex cases related to payment disputes between payers and providers, Certificate of Need applications, and Civil Investigative Demands.

BAS Forum Alumni Speaker: Nikhil Morar

Manager, Business Analytics & Strategy at Los Angeles Lakers

Nikhil Morar is the manager of business analytics & strategy for the Los Angeles Lakers. He focuses on supporting revenue-generating departments with any large data analysis, whether it is providing recommendations on ticket pricing evaluation, corporate partnership deals, analysis on the fanbase, broadcast insights, CRM or internal consulting needs that support efficiency generation and business planning throughout the team’s operations. By collaborating with each department, the business analytics team can leverage data to optimize processes and provide objective recommendations that fuel the Lakers’ important business decisions.

Morar began his career working in sports as a data analyst for the Sports Innovation Institute at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and as a business intelligence intern for Nashville SC during their inaugural season in the MLS. After completing his master’s degree, Morar advanced his career in sports as a senior data analyst with Chicago Fire FC. He used data to inform business strategy, align business operations and make real-time decisions to drive data growth.

Morar is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he received a bachelor’s in business analytics with a supply chain management collateral and a minor in information studies & technology. He is also a graduate of IUPUI, where he received a master’s in applied data science with a specialization in sports analytics.

While in graduate school, Morar was a part of the team that won ESPN’s Hackathon at the 2020 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.