Business Analytics

MSBA Student Profiles

Haley Hubbard

MSBA ‘14

Vendor Registry

Knoxville, Tennessee


Haley Hubbard is currently working at Vendor Registry in Knoxville, Tennessee, as the director of business analytics. Hubbard leverages her degree for visualization, light analyses, A/B testing, development of company-wide KPIs and customer segmentation.

“Prior to earning my Master’s of Science in Business Analytics, I earned a bachelor’s from UT in accounting and attended the University of Texas to obtain my Master’s in Professional Accounting,” she says.  After earning these degrees, she worked in forensics services at PwC in New York for three years and in Dallas for two.

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Haley Hubbard

MSBA ‘14

Vendor Registry

Knoxville, Tennessee


Haley Hubbard is currently working at Vendor Registry in Knoxville, Tennessee, as the director of business analytics. Hubbard leverages her degree for visualization, light analyses, A/B testing, development of company-wide KPIs and customer segmentation.

“Prior to earning my Master’s of Science in Business Analytics, I earned a bachelor’s from UT in accounting and attended the University of Texas to obtain my Master’s in Professional Accounting,” she says.  After earning these degrees, she worked in forensics services at PwC in New York for three years and in Dallas for two.

“The majority of my work focused on white collar crime investigation, and this is where I discovered my love of disparate data analyses,” Hubbard says. “I recognized that the wave of the future in almost every profession is to have strong analytics skills in addition to your initial focus, and I made the decision to return to school for another degree.”

Hubbard’s most current project involving analytics aims to visualize data to see what is going on the business environment. From there, her company has begun testing different scenarios and measuring the impact.  “We have tested website layout, paths through our system, marketing content and subject lines,” she says. “Our company takes a scientific approach to decision making, opting for testing hypotheses to see which solution produces the desired result.  We have used many sources of data including customer inputted, company generated, financial, email activity, and web traffic data for these analyses.”

Working for a startup company, one of Hubbard’s greatest difficulties is not having much data for analyses. “This is a challenge we continue to fight,” she says.  “However, we have approached our data gathering with a forward thinking mindset considering the types of questions we would like to answer.”

But the challenges are worth the trade-off for Hubbard. “This role with Vendor Registry has given me the opportunity to make strategic business decisions using analytics and see those decisions through from concept to execution,” she says.  “I hope to continue to have these experiences as our company grows and begin using some predictive modeling to answer some of our questions. My hopes for my career are to run an organization or department using a variety of skills but driven by databased decisions.”

Hubbard says the greatest benefits of attending the MSBS program at Haslam were the teamwork demanded of the students and the involvement of the faculty.  “I knew coming into this program that I had many strengths but also many weaknesses that I needed to strengthen,” she says. “What I learned was that all of my classmates had the same issue but with a variety of strengths.  Forcing us to work as teams allowed us to learn from each other in addition to what we learned in the classroom. Also, my classmates and I often found it helpful to work in the department because our faculty was easily accessible and would often come sit at tables with us to review our questions.”


Get started and apply to the MSBA program

Applications for the MSBA are submitted through the University of Tennessee’s Graduate School. However, Haslam has application requirements specific to the MSBA.

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Matt Horton

Matt Horton received his undergraduate degree from the Haslam College of Business in 2001. “Back then, it was the Department of Statistics,” he recalls. “Had the current MSBA program existed, I probably would have stayed around to get my master’s.

Instead, Horton struck out into the world around the time the Internet bubble burst. “Jobs were not plentiful, but I found one in the foreign trade division at the U.S. Census Bureau in Washington, D.C.,” Horton says. “We monitored the exports and imports out of actual shipping ports, and how tax dollars are distributed.”

About a year later, Horton moved to Connecticut and worked with an affinity marketing company. “That’s when I started understanding statistical models and how to use them in the real world,” he says. “I got excited because you can do so much with analytics.”

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Matt Horton

Matt Horton received his undergraduate degree from the Haslam College of Business in 2001. “Back then, it was the Department of Statistics,” he recalls. “Had the current MSBA program existed, I probably would have stayed around to get my master’s.

Instead, Horton struck out into the world around the time the Internet bubble burst. “Jobs were not plentiful, but I found one in the foreign trade division at the U.S. Census Bureau in Washington, D.C.,” Horton says. “We monitored the exports and imports out of actual shipping ports, and how tax dollars are distributed.”

About a year later, Horton moved to Connecticut and worked with an affinity marketing company. “That’s when I started understanding statistical models and how to use them in the real world,” he says. “I got excited because you can do so much with analytics.”

Horton then took a consulting job at Accenture Marketing Sciences, where he used analytics to help Fortune 500 companies quantify return on investment on their marketing activities. A few years later, he decided to pursue a master’s in applied statistics from Cornell University.

“Right out of grad school in 2006, I went back into consulting for a company called Rosetta, a small boutique firm,” Horton says. “Companies generally break up their customer groups by demographics, but Rosetta says it’s more about the way people behave versus what they look like, so we did a lot of survey-based analytics.”

A few years later, Horton learned of a job opening at Major League Baseball’s website, MLB.com. “It’s the online arm of major league baseball, and was started in 2000,” Horton says. “We’re owned equally by each team.”

Nine years later, Horton serves as the advanced analytics senior manager at MLB.com. “Most people think of baseball analytics on the player side, but I came in on the business side,” he says. “We’re here to help the clubs in any way they would like. Some it’s email marketing, but for others, we’re optimizing season ticket sales campaigns.”

Because the 30 teams are located in various parts of the country, Horton says his role has lots of variety. “They all do business differently because their markets are very different—to sell a baseball ticket in New York City is completely different than selling one in Wisconsin.”

To help him address the variety of issues facing the teams, Horton recalls what he learned as an undergraduate at the Haslam College of Business. “Real data is messy,” he says. “You’re not going to always end up with a perfect report, so you have to think about things critically.”


Robert Woolsey

MSBA ’12


After a successful internship at Home Depot, Robert Woolsey landed a job with the home improvement giant after graduation. “I was a senior analyst in inventory solutions for about a year and a half,” Woolsey says. “Essentially, we were working on trying to bring some optimization to the import side of the organization – tweaking our safety stock logic, the way that we prioritized containers, and how we measured and managed forecast accuracy.”

In 2014, Woolsey became a manager in inventory analytics, allowing him freedom to pursue his interests and strengths. “It was very successful, and we got a lot of things done,” he says. “I developed an algorithm for how we should set inventory levels for our ‘job lot’ SKUs – items with really lumpy sales. We also changed the logic behind our stores’ safety stock targets and saw a significant boost to Home Depot’s in-stock percentage.”

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Robert Woolsey

MSBA ’12


After a successful internship at Home Depot, Robert Woolsey landed a job with the home improvement giant after graduation. “I was a senior analyst in inventory solutions for about a year and a half,” Woolsey says. “Essentially, we were working on trying to bring some optimization to the import side of the organization – tweaking our safety stock logic, the way that we prioritized containers, and how we measured and managed forecast accuracy.”

In 2014, Woolsey became a manager in inventory analytics, allowing him freedom to pursue his interests and strengths. “It was very successful, and we got a lot of things done,” he says. “I developed an algorithm for how we should set inventory levels for our ‘job lot’ SKUs – items with really lumpy sales. We also changed the logic behind our stores’ safety stock targets and saw a significant boost to Home Depot’s in-stock percentage.”

Although he was happy in his role at Home Depot, Woolsey couldn’t resist the offer he received in late 2015 to become a senior manager of inventory analytics at HD Supply, one of the largest industrial distributors in North America. “They’re just starting a very transformational reboot of their entire supply chain, especially within their inventory function,” Woolsey says. “We’re completely changing the way the supply chain is managed, and everything is on the table. We’re overhauling the systems, reporting, and logic currently in place to create a best in class supply chain. It’s exciting—similar to working for a startup, but you’re a Fortune 500 company.”

Woolsey says the communication skills he learned during his time in the MSBA program at UT have proven invaluable in his career. “All our project-based work was done as if we were presenting it to a CEO,” he says. “We learned to distill it in a way that laypeople can understand. That distinguishes UT’s MSBA grads from people who are just good with numbers from those people who move up in a company.”

As his career progresses, Woolsey plans to meet every challenge head-on. “I’m trying to keep moving up the ladder and gaining more responsibility,” he says. “The higher you go, the more you can get done. I really like working on challenging problems, and there’s no shortage of them in supply chain.”