JTV Center: Analytics Applied

Gathering and analyzing data is an essential practice in contemporary business; so is effectively communicating that data’s impact.

Despite the importance of the practice, many business analytics programs don’t emphasize the written and oral communication of analytical insights, and graduates find themselves ill equipped to translate technical results into impactful, data-driven insights that can achieve buy-in from business leaders.

Having worked extensively with students and faculty members at the Haslam College of Business for many years, dating back to the early days of Jewelry Television (JTV), a group of company founders (spearheaded by Charlie Wagner and Bob Hall), funded a new entity within the Department of Business Analytics and Statistics, the JTV Center for Applied Business Analytics.

Mentoring the Next Generation of Analytics Leaders

“JTV founders and current executives observed that enhanced and sharpened abilities to communicate technical insights to a broad audience would differentiate Haslam analytics students in the marketplace,” says Adam Petrie, senior lecturer at Haslam and director of the JTV Center. “They observed that what companies want is someone who can analyze data and then communicate the story — the actionable insights — to stakeholders.

Opened in the spring on the Haslam building’s fourth floor, the JTV Center is a collaborative facility with lounge and conference spaces and is available exclusively to business analytics students working on their senior capstone projects.

Student groups meet in the center weekly to work through real-world business problems, complete case assignments and present their findings. Faculty mentors and industry experts, including various Haslam alumni, provide strong feedback along the way.

“Students give three presentations on a variety of real-world business problems, receiving immediate feedback from their experts,” says Petrie. “In addition, experts help coach students in best practices in visualization and writing.”

Graduates Positioned for Success

Spring proved to be a record semester for business analytics capstones, with 95 students participating in the JTV Center initiative. Students came away with greater confidence in writing, speaking and crafting presentations of highly technical analyses and results.

“I learned how to break down complicated data into non-technical language that anyone, regardless of background, can understand,” says Daniel Scrugham (HCB, ’23). “By presenting in front of an attentive group and receiving personalized feedback on each element of my presentations, I learned how to create more engaging slides.”

Another May graduate says he owes much to the mentorship he received through the JTV Center. “The various case assignments allowed me to develop the necessary skill of presenting only the most important and relevant information to help business leaders make decisions quickly and accurately,” says Alexander Holmes (HCB, ’23). “This ability to distill information will be a key differentiator for all students that come out of the JTV Center’s Expert Mentor program.”

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