The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business is celebrating the naming of the new JTV Center for Applied Business Analytics. The center aims to assist undergraduate students in bridging the gap between a strong analytics background and the communications skills needed to convey that knowledge through real-world training. It will be housed in the college’s Department of Business Analytics and Statistics.
Gifts from shareholders and members of the leadership team at Jewelry Television are funding the center. The department has had a longstanding relationship with JTV since 1998, when the company engaged the department to help enhance decision-making capabilities across its key strategic areas.
JTV leaders, representatives from the college, and department faculty, staff and students gathered to mark the occasion at a luncheon held today, Thursday, October 28.
“We are deeply grateful to the donors at JTV for making this innovative applied analytics center possible,” Mike Galbreth, head of the department, said. “The relationship between the department and JTV makes the naming of this center a natural one. In recognition of the distinguished leadership and service of these donors, and in appreciation of their generous financial commitment, the University of Tennessee is proud to announce the naming of the JTV Center for Applied Business Analytics.”
Charlie Wagner, JTV’s vice chair and legal counsel who led the effort to fund the center, praised the benefits to JTV from its collaboration with the department. He emphasized that the goal of the center is to provide the department’s undergraduates training opportunities through similar collaborations to achieve real business analytics solutions.
“It is our honor to be able to help with a state-of-the-art center created to enhance the skills and marketability of UT data analytics undergraduates,” Wagner said.
The donation also will provide funding for investments in faculty, student fellowships, technological resources and more. One major focus of the center will be to fortify UT business analytics students’ course of study with the interpersonal skills essential to succeed in business.
“The business analytics program supplies student with an analytics toolkit complete with the latest applications used in the field,” said Adam Petrie, senior lecturer in the business analytics and statistics department and executive director of the center. “The center will amplify that toolkit by teaching and reinforcing professional communication skills that enable them to clearly impart the impact and value of their analysis to everyone at the company, especially the executives and decisionmakers. These capabilities will ensure that our students prosper in the business world.”
Petrie says one method the center will use to enhance students’ communications skills is by connecting businesses searching for data analytics solutions with teams of undergraduates working under a faculty mentor. This collaboration will promote students' skill development in real-life situations. Working on a company’s business project enables students to engage with professionals in the field, allowing them to polish the interpersonal skills they have practiced at the center.
Jewelry Television (JTV) was founded in 1993 by Knoxville natives Bill Kouns, Bob Hall and Jerry Sisk Jr. While it is still headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, JTV is one of the largest jewelry retailers in the U.S., and it has built one of the strongest supply chains in the jewelry industry with offices in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Jaipur, Mumbai and China.
The Department of Business Analytics and Statistics' mission is to create knowledge through research and to disseminate that knowledge through its degree programs. The faculty uses the results of its application-focused research to educate students on how to affect positive change within organizations by emphasizing soft skills such as communication and team building alongside the targeted and effective use of analytics. The department’s continually evolving curriculum draws upon state-of-the-art theoretical and practical content from the fields of statistics, machine learning and operations research.
Scott McNutt, senior business writer/publicist, email@example.com