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MS Business Analytics » Graduate profiles

Some of our graduates and what they do

Would you like to know more about Business Analytics? Check out this interview video by Sean Groer, Chief Analytics Officer of Link Analytics. Sean is a 2001 Masters graduate from our department.


Essam Alshreafi (2008, Masters degree)

My name is Essam Alshreafi and I am a Senior Operations Research Analyst at Land O’Lakes since Nov 2007.  The work I do at Land O’Lakes influences decisions on whether the company should invest/divest in certain locations, which plants should make which products, and what needs to take place to improve certain processes.  The results of my work have led to building a new warehouse, buying a new machine, and many other outcomes including not pursuing any action.
The analysis I do falls under two main categories: Supply Chain Network Analysis and Manufacturing Process Improvements.  To do this work I utilize many tools including LogicNet Plus, CPLEX and AMPL, Delphi, VBA, Minitab, MapPoint and many others.   I utilized the skills I learned at UT when working on a process improvement project at our cheese plant.  Some of the decisions that resulted from these projects involved buying new machines to replace the old non-confirming ones and setting Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
The group I work in is fairly small.  We work together and individually depending on the project scope and the customer (internal customer) base.  Both of my colleagues have many years of experience.  Early last year, I had the chance to present a portion of a final presentation that was given to four Vice Presidents of the company.  It is very rewarding to have earned the trust that allowed me to present to high level executives.

John Fields Maximize ROI John Fields (2004, Masters degree)

In my line of work I have a direct impact on the profitability of Jewelry Television®.  One example of this is showing them how to maximize return on investment (ROI) through customer segmentation models that target customers for specific marketing campaigns.  My work is beneficial to many of the departments at Jewelry television.  Some of the work I do includes managing databases for various departments, using regression to identify trends and predict sales patterns, and measuring the success of marketing campaigns.
I am part of the Business Intelligence department which contains both data analysts and data engineers.  In my day to day work, I utilize tools like PL/SQL Developer, Coldfusion, JMP and even Excel.  My job requires me to not only know how to store and access the data but also how to analyze the data so key business decisions can be made.  An example of this can be seen in a project that I worked on for our Affiliates department.  They need to accurately assess each affiliate (typically a cable company that carries our programming) so they can manage costs effectively.  My involvement was to build a database in Oracle with Coldfusion as a user interface that could be accessed by key decision-makers.

Radu Stoica (2003, Masters degree)

Knowing what products to offer in what context and the long term value of a new customer are two very important analytical subjects for any ecommerce business.  As a research and modeling analyst at Jewelry Television®, these are just some example focus areas where I directly provide key performance indicators to the executive management.  Jewelry Television®, a home shopping network, is the largest retailer of loose gemstones and one of the top 4 electronic jewelry retailers in the United States.  One of the ways we achieve this success is by collecting and analyzing data for every facet of our company.
In my line of work it’s been common for me to do performance metrics management for the following key business areas: product velocity, showhost presentation efficiency, customer behavior, airtime value, financial analytics and promotional incremental impact. I also integrate results from optimization, simulation and regression within decision support systems and prototypes.   In order to accomplish these tasks I have to use various tools including PL/SQL Developer, Adobe Dreamweaver, Cold Fusion, Excel (including Solver and Data Analysis), Access, JMP, and MapPoint.My work requires me to work directly with various top executives (VP, CEO) as well as with middle management within the Merchandising area (buyers, show planners).  A major highlight, I’ve been collaborating with the VP of Inventory Planning and Research in developing a new approach for product mix optimization.

Amber Weyand Capital OneAmber Weyand (2009, Masters degree)

My name is Amber Weyand and I am a Senior Statistician with Capital One, a company that offers financial services like banking, credit cards, and loans directly to consumers.  I work primarily with Capital One’s business analysts, operations analysts, and company Vice Presidents to support decisions about types of new products, services and promotional offers.  These are very important decisions in the highly competitive financial services industry and our data-driven approach gives us an advantage.
To support these decisions, I perform a variety of statistical analyses (such as data mining, multivariate analysis, design of experiments, financial forecasting, and statistical process control).  To do that, I use sophisticated software tools, like SAS, Cart, TreeNet, JMP, and Excel.  I also work with database systems like Teradata and Oracle utilizing SQL.  By the way, most of the techniques and tools were an integral part of my Master’s degree program at UT.
For many projects, I am part of a team of statisticians. Most of my colleagues also hold Master’s degrees in statistics but because I am a senior statistician, I am expected to lead projects and delegate work appropriately to others on the project team.  I find it very rewarding to work with like-minded people, involved in analyses that directly contribute to the overall success of our company.  We know that we provide important and strategic information that drives business decisions and increases corporate revenue! 

Emily Knopfel (2009, Masters degree)

As a Senior Associate Analyst at Dunnhumby USA, I work alongside individuals with varying degrees and backgrounds.  The goal of our work is to provide customer level information for our clients so that they can optimize the overall shopping experience for their customers, providing the right products to the right people at the right time.  In my current role I work closely with both internal client leaders on my team at Dunnhumby as well as with our client’s external business leaders.
An example of a project that I’m currently working on involves the development of an experiment to test a personalized mailing mechanic.  The purpose of this test is to provide customers with relevant deals on products that are important to them.  In turn, we will be measuring the impact this mechanic has had on overall store, category, and customer behavior.  Once we measure this mechanic across various customer groups and stores, this will be utilized as another tool to help increase category and customer engagement across all stores. 
This project will require me to utilize many of the topics that I studied while at UT.  Techniques used to develop the test include: simple forecasting to determine cost and expected market price for products; data mining to determine the optimal groups to test on; design of experiments to determine how to design the test so that we could get the maximum information return; and regression as part of the measurement phase to determine the affect of all factors tested and the possible return on investment for implementation.

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