University of Tennessee

Alumni Spotlight: Krista Readout

May 1, 2018

As an undergraduate student, Readout majored in mathematics, but she didn’t want to be a math teacher.

“I was originally attracted to the MSBA program because I was interested in analytics as a career, but I didn’t have any practical business experience,” she says. “What excited me most about the program was the focus on business applications and the mandatory internship.”

Following her graduation in 2014, she accepted a data scientist position at the J.M. Smucker Company.

“I was immediately asked to contribute new analysis and present to managers, directors and VPs,” she says. “I was set up for success because of the statistics course taught by Dr. Mee. The projects in that class were similar to real business questions I’ve been asked.”

Since joining the company, Readout has shouldered a wide range of responsibilities.

“I do a lot of key analysis here including forecasting, data mining and consumer segmentation,” she says. “I am looked to as a subject matter expert in analytics and have influenced both the analytics strategy and the types of analytics that we do.”

Last year, she was promoted to a senior data scientist position. Readout is passionate about transforming data into action.

“I don’t think I would have progressed in my career if I didn’t focus so much on actionable insights,” she says. “Analytics are good, but if you can’t translate the data to informed decision making, you have nothing. I always look for what is actionable, and I can quantify the cost savings and sales growth that I have contributed to my company.”

When she’s not working, Readout enjoys helping out with a local chapter of Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization that supports women in computer science. In the future, she hopes to start a data science blog and develop a few data-centric apps for connecting people.

“I have a lot of ideas for fun side projects. One day I hope to be the director or senior leader of a data science team, unless I start my own company.”