On Nov. 23 from 3:15 to 5 p.m. The School of Management and Marketing at Kean University hosted the Business Analytics Forum in Hynes Hall on the sixth floor. The room overlooking the New York skyline was filled with students and faculty who were eager to learn more about analytics in modern day business corporations. 

The event included guest speakers who shared great details about how imperative analytics are to their selective careers and provided insights to prospective students on their experience in the industry. 

Professor Nesreen El-Rayes and Dr. Edwin Wang, assistant professor for the School of Management and Marketing began the event by welcoming everyone and presenting a short video of how data is being integrated into our economy. Analytics is a new evolving focus in manufacturing, healthcare and government agencies alike. 

When asked what they are expecting from this event, sophomore Yesica Espinoza, marketing major and junior Mariela Montoya, global business major both stated that “they are looking forward to seeing how to implement business analytics into their future.”

Following this, Dr. Shanggeun Rhee, Executive Director of the School of Management and Marketing introduced the Dean of The College of Business and Public Management Jin Wang, Ph.D. Wang thanked all for attending as this was the first business analytics forum at Kean. Then he proposed two questions to the audience, “what is the difference between extra and unnecessary” and “what is the difference between ordinary and extraordinary.” 

Exploring these questions allowed students to think through the lens of business and analytics. 

Wang stated “We are all looking for something extra and are here to meet and learn something extra in the field of business analytics. Our guest speakers are here to help our students within our program.” 

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The first guest speaker was Head Standard of Insurance Products at Swiss Re Corporate Solutions Risa Ryan, Ph.D. Ryan spoke about analytics in the insurance industry and how it helps identify positive or negative risks. She mentioned specifics such as cyber attacks, property insurance, overbilling and worker’s compensation. All of which fall into the realm of how companies can utilize analytics for distinct purposes. 

Ryan concluded by stating that “Education gives you the wings to fly just study this stuff and enjoy it because there are so many opportunities out there.” 

The next guest speaker was Advisor, Data Science at Dell Technologies, Ruby Wang, Ph.D. who described her experience as a data scientist and what skills she utilizes in this respective field.

Wang started by stating that “Today’s world is powered by data and data is growing at an exponential rate.”

Wang continued discussing technical and non-technical skills needed. More specifically, understanding fundamental concepts in math, statistics, databases, programming to extract information and data visualization tools.

The second to last speaker was CHC Global CMI Analytics Lead at Sanofi, Alvaro Aguado, Ph.D. Aguado spoke about the more humanistic approach in analytics. This includes understanding the consumer, how to better serve them and predicting their behaviors based on their previous patterns. 

“The real skill you have to develop is storytelling with data, we learn more about something when you tell a story,” Aguado stated. He continued, “Sell the story in the best way possible.”  

Kean University Alumni of 2019 Jayson Bailey was one of the last speakers for the day. Bailey works as a Business Data Analyst for Atlantic Health System. Bailey spoke about the importance of developing a network, along with how useful certifications are in excel and other programming software.

He mentioned that it is essential to learn and collaborate as much as you can while working in teams. It is evident that everyone has a different perspective and in groups one will be able to gain knowledge in areas that are out of their regular day to day obligations. Ultimately, this will help professionals have an array of knowledge in other capacities. 

“One takeaway is to always build your network, your network will help you move on in the world, create a LinkedIn and join professional groups,” said Bailey.

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The last speaker was Kean University student Andrew Liranzo, who is a current finance major and management minor. He shared his experience of taking many business analytics courses and projects he had with professors.

Thanks to the business analytics program and the special projects he enjoyed with his professors, he told the audience that he was offered a full time job from JP Morgan as a business analyst.

Dr. Byeonghwa Park, assistant professor specialized in teaching Business Analytics courses, introduced the business analytics program and the courses available for our students to take in the spring of 2022.

After the program was over, students lined up to ask questions to the speakers about their jobs and internship opportunities in the business analytics field. Additionally, certificates of appreciation to the speakers were awarded and group photos were taken. 

Students left ready to take what they have learned and incorporate it into their education to pave the way for success.