Fall 2015 BAS Forum Focuses on Effectiveness

December 15, 2015

Representatives from nineteen companies gathered at the Holiday Inn World’s Fair Park in Knoxville on November 9 and 10 for the semi-annual Business Analytics Forum. The event attracted more than 120 attendees and the main theme centered around “Combining Analytics and Maturity Model Concepts to Enhance Effectiveness.”

Department head Chuck Noon opened the event, welcoming guests before keynote speaker Aaron Burciaga, Analytics Applications Platform North America Lead and Global Defense Analytics Lead at Accenture, spoke about best practices for completing a maturity model assessment. Other notable speakers on the event’s opening day included Craig Brabec, Chief Analytics Officer at Caterpillar; John Hart and Josh Eldridge from Scripps Networks Interactive; Mark Ewing of Eastman Chemical Company; Essam AlShreafi, Project Manager at St. Onge Company; Jennifer Golek of Capital One; and Eric Johnson of Jewelry Television.

The forum’s second day started with a detailed update from the department. Department head Chuck Noon expounded on the current status of the degree programs, goals for the future, and the department’s desire to partner with companies. Focusing on three key areas—degrees, research, and corporate engagement—Noon stressed the department’s decision to take an integrated approach to teaching and learning. UT’s master’s in business analytics offers capstones, executive education, forums, internships, and curriculum input, all vital elements of an integrative student experience.

The remainder of the forum consisted of presentations and breakout sessions led by industry experts, faculty researchers and forum members. These sessions expanded on the details covered in the keynote and provided opportunities to learn from organizations that are currently tackling these issues.

“Representatives from several of our departments attended the forum and found the conversation about analytics processes and structure relevant and beneficial,” says forum attendee Matt Carr, Vice President Business Analytics at Regal Entertainment Group. “I always look forward to group discussions about analytics progress and to hearing where the industry is heading.”

Eric Johnson, Vice President of Information Services at Jewelry Television, agrees that the forum is a valuable resource. “It’s been a vehicle to help Jewelry Television learn best practices from other forum companies,” Johnson says. “We enjoy the interaction with the students, faculty and staff at these events.”

The Business Analytics Forum is one of many ways corporations can partner with UT’s Business Analytics Program. To read more about the forum, view our PDF here.