Alfred University News

Alfred University College of Business hosts data analytics panel discussion

The Alfred University College of Business hosted a virtual panel discussion Monday evening during which accomplished professionals—two of them Alfred University alumni—discussed the use of data analytics in developing business strategies in a variety of industries and career fields.

ALFRED, NY – The Alfred University College of Business hosted a virtual panel discussion Monday evening during which accomplished professionals—two of them Alfred University alumni—discussed the use of data analytics in developing business strategies in a variety of industries and career fields.

Approximately 145 people, including the nine panelists, participated in the Virtual Data Analytics Panel Discussion. Panelists talked to students about their use of data analytics, offering their insights to the larger group as well as in smaller breakout sessions. Speakers concluded their presentation with a discussion on the ethical use of data and offered career advice to students.

Alfred University began offering Bachelor of Science degree programs in data analytics and business analytics last fall. The University also offers minors in data and business analytics. Monday’s event demonstrated to students the growth in career opportunities in the field of analytics.

Speakers at Monday’s panel discussion included:

Frank Galusha Jr., statistician/data analyst at Excellus BCBS. Galusha manages the data science team at Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield. As manager, he supports a team of six data scientists in the development and delivery of analytic solutions. He also serves as a part-time instructor in St. John Fisher College's Data Science Program.

Nechema Katan, director of Data Science at Pfizer. Katan is the technical lead for the results based management team at Pfizer and works on understanding the best ways to upskill SMEs so that they can drive data science discussions. She helps organizations access and use their data to drive business decisions.

John Landi ’12, ’13, Business Data and Analytics manager at Chiampou Travis Besaw & Kershner, LLP. Landi is responsible for identifying methods in which the company obtains and analyzes data to improve the quality and the efficiency of the firm’s processes and systems. He has a bachelor’s degree in finance (2012) and an MBA (2013), both from Alfred University.

Jason Silbergleit ’96, vice president of Research Business Development, IBM. Silbergleit leads a global organization responsible for creating early technology offerings and structuring business transactions by leveraging IBM Research technologies. He and his team manage a large research portfolio, which includes Artificial Intelligence, Hybrid Cloud, Quantum Computing, Security and Impact Science. Silbergleit earned a bachelor’s degree in ceramic engineering from Alfred University in 1996.

Lindy Smart, director of Competitive Intelligence at Target Corp. Smart has over 10 years’ experience in creating and implementing intelligence programs, methodologies, and deliverables to serve senior-level decision makers.

Emily Sorokes, Digital Partnerships manager for NASCAR Digital Media. Sorokes has nearly a decade of experience working at award-winning publications such as New York Magazine, The Cut, Vulture, and Upworthy.

Christopher Stahl, director of Finance Data Science at Corning Inc. In his 9-year career at Corning Inc. Christopher Stahl has worked in system analytics, IT, and financial analysis.

Taylor Stearns, forward deployed engineer at Palantir Technologies. Stearns has spent the past 15 years as a software developer helping organizations answer questions using data. His work has included advising clients across the United States, UK, France, Switzerland, and India on untangling bankrupt company balance sheets, preventing mortgage foreclosures, and locating life insurance beneficiaries.

Marina Tharayil, Smart Mobility Analytics/Product Development at Ford Motor Company. Before starting work at Ford Motor Company in 2018, Tharayil worked in Process Analytics at Conduent, Business Product Modeling and Optimization at Parc, and Research and Design at Xerox for 10 years.

Alfred University’s analytics programs are housed in the University’s College of Business. The bachelor’s degree in business analytics is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The degree in data analytics is interdisciplinary in nature. Data and business analysts are in increasingly high demand. With applications across a wide spectrum of industries and organizations—from government and education to healthcare and business—careers as an analyst are plentiful.

“The demand to hire graduates to analyze the volume of data collected by businesses is greater than the number of graduates we are producing in America”, said Mark Lewis, Dean of the Alfred University College of Business.  “We listened to feedback from our industry partners, and added these analytics degrees.”

Data analytics is the science of analyzing raw data and making conclusions about that information. Analyses are used to optimize processes to increase the overall efficiency of a business or system. Data analytics can be applied to businesses, but also to industries outside of business: education, government, geospatial, engineering, environmental sciences, and medical/healthcare, for example.

Some of the careers paths for data analysts include data analytics consultant, data communications analyst; computer security analyst, climatologist, criminologist, healthcare data analyst; operations research analyst, and machine learning analyst.

Business analytics is a field that drives practical, data-driven changes in a business. It focuses on providing actionable recommendations that can be applied to an entire business, or to a specific project, process or product. Business analysts study data to help ensure efficiency in business operations, determine where a business stands in the marketplace, and help a business develop an effective marketing strategy.

Among the many careers a business analytics career can lead to are business analyst (strategic planning), financial analyst (trading strategies and the stock market), market research analyst (new product and market trends; social media analytics); and operations research analyst (streamlining/productivity).