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Drexel University Awards 50 Organizations for Analytics Distinction

(SPONSORED ARTICLE) The LeBow College of Business honors companies achieving data-driven business impact across industries.

In the modern enterprise, data plays a leading role across nearly every industry. Whether optimizing supply chains, enhancing the use of emerging technologies or improving patient outcomes, organizations rely on data and analytics as key drivers of value generation. Even traditional businesses, such as banking, agriculture, and real estate, have become big data industries reshaped by analytics, as noted by Precisely. The global market is expected to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.8%, and worldwide spending on big data and business analytics solutions is forecast to reach $215.7 billion this year, with the US serving as the largest market, according to research firm IDC.

Applying data to optimize performance, however, can be challenging. Expanded sources and types of data emerging across industries require an increase in innovative algorithms and techniques for data processing, analysis, and interpretation. Ensuring that data is prioritized within decision making requires an organizational culture that embraces data as an asset across the enterprise.

According to a 2021 survey of leading organizations conducted by NewVantage Partners (NVP), less than half of companies report success in driving innovation with data and managing it as a business asset -- and less than 25% report success in creating a data-driven organization. Despite these hurdles, NVP’s findings also suggest that companies are still optimistic about the role of data within their organizations, with the majority reporting that they’ve achieved successful outcomes from data and that their organizations’ investments in data are growing.

Understanding the challenges of implementing data-driven decision making and the importance of recognizing best practices, the Center for Business Analytics at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business awards companies that undertake these critical efforts. The Drexel LeBow Analytics 50 honors organizations across the nation using analytics to address business challenges. Now in its fourth iteration, the initiative connects academia and industry and applauds data-driven business impact. Honorees are selected by a panel of researchers and practitioners who evaluate nominations based on the complexity of the business challenge, the analytics solution implemented, and the solution’s business impact on the organization.

From aviation, pharmaceutical, and government, to manufacturing, healthcare, and financial services, the 2021 honoree companies exhibit the breadth and application of analytics across industries. This year, several awards recognize the work of companies whose analytics efforts helped communities navigate the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic, whether through manufacturing and distributing vaccine doses, evaluating hospital capacity, or determining how to reopen the economy. Other winning initiatives involve leveraging analytics to increase fleet readiness, strengthen talent development practices, identify and eliminate suspicious parcels, and better engage with communities and their needs.

For Drexel LeBow, the initiative not only applauds analytics distinction from coast to coast, but it also showcases the power of data-driven decision making to its students, exemplifies analytics in practice, and uncovers industry needs that the college can prepare students to address.

“The innovative thinking exhibited in the winning approaches not only benefits the honored organizations -- it influences the work of practitioners and researchers while advancing the analytics field,” said Murugan Anandarajan, PhD, professor of decision sciences and MIS and academic director of the Center for Business Analytics.

With the demand for analytics professionals increasing across industries, Drexel LeBow prioritizes transformational business analytics curricula, preparing future generations of analytics leaders to cultivate the same type of ingenuity and innovation demonstrated by the 2021 honoree organizations.

“We’re delighted to recognize this year’s honorees for harnessing the power of their data,” said Diana Jones, director of the Center for Business Analytics. “With a goal of amplifying analytics expertise throughout the nation, we join these companies, nonprofits, and government agencies in celebrating the impact they’ve made within their industries.”

The 2021 honorees will be celebrated during a virtual awards ceremony on September 14, featuring keynote speaker John Kahan, vice president, chief data analytics officer, and AI for Health global lead at Microsoft.

See the full list of the 2021 Drexel LeBow Analytics 50 honorees here.

The Center for Business Analytics is a hub for analytics collaboration between academia and industry at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. The Center works with organizations around the world, forming partnerships that benefit both companies and students. From data-driven projects to analytics competitions, the Center provides organizations with access to faculty expertise, student engagement, and a talent pipeline through the Drexel Co-op program, internships, and post-graduate employment. The Center supports Drexel LeBow’s business analytics offerings, including undergraduate and MS degrees, an MBA business analytics concentration, and post-bachelor’s certificates.