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Harrison leading Smeal’s business analytics efforts

February 22, 2016

Strategically focused on meeting the growing demand for analytics expertise within organizations and across industries, the Penn State Smeal College of Business has named Terry Harrison as faculty director of business analytics. 

Harrison will oversee Smeal’s new online graduate certificate in business analytics, which was first offered in fall 2015. He will also work in conjunction with the Penn State Great Valley School of Professional Studies to coordinate the business analytics option within the new online master of professional studies in data analytics. Both programs are offered in partnership with Penn State World Campus. 

“The Smeal College of Business is responding to a clear market need for trained people to apply expertise in analytics to business challenges,” Harrison said.  “We have particular strengths in these areas with faculty who have credentials at the national and international levels.” 

Harrison, the Earl P. Strong Executive Education Professor in Business and professor of supply chain and information systems, is ideally suited for the position. His research and teaching interests have long involved aspects of analytics. He is a past president and Fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) and received its highest recognition for operations research and analytics practice, being named an Edelman Laureate. 

Harrison says that in the past six years, more than 80 new analytics programs have been created in universities across the United States, about half of them in business schools. 

“Why are programs popping up like this? Because there are job opportunities,” Harrison said. “The demand for analytics professionals is large and growing. The compensation for analytics professionals is significant and there are not enough analytics professionals being produced right now to meet that demand.”

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