Need Technical Support? Email:

8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST November 16, 2021


Thank you for participating in the Power of Analytics conference.

The MSBA program under Chancellor Harris's leadership is pursuing a bold vision to be an invaluable and trustworthy knowledge resource and talent hub in analytics for the community and the region.

Toward this end, this event is the first of many such events to create an active and engaged community in analytics. Our events will serve as a platform for business leaders to share their knowledge on how to align analytics with business strategy, showcase their applications of cutting-edge technologies to complex problems, discuss emerging talent needs, and identify challenges and lessons learned. As an educational institution, such events assist USC Upstate faculty to prepare students to be ready to meet the evolving needs of businesses seeking analytics talent.

Our next event is an in-person conference on Analytics on April 20th and 21st. Please stay tuned for more details.

The Johnson College of Business and Economics

Affectionately known as “The George,” the 60,000-square-foot, $30 million George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics at USC Upstate is as impressive as the vitae of its namesake, who is regarded as an entrepreneurial legend.

This state-of-the-art facility features a stock trading lab where students will make real-time stock trading calls based on momentum, news, and overall current-day stock market action.

When not in use, it doubles as a much-needed computer lab. Smart classrooms and a tiered classroom that can accommodate 80 students, means faculty members will be using the latest technology to teach.

The three galleries in “The George” features rotating exhibits from The Johnson Collection, comprised of more than 600 pieces ranging from the 1700s to the present.

The Master of Science in Business Analytics:

The first of its kind program in South Carolina, the graduate program in Business Analytics was launched in Fall 2019. The program has grown rapidly with enrollment doubling since its launch. Alumni of the program are pursuing careers with some of the leading employers in the region.

Here are a few comments from our alumni and current students:

  • I love the MSBA program at Upstate because of its focus on real-world application. In this program, students get a wide range of professors, from lifelong academics to professionals leading teams in the workforce every day. The program puts a great deal of emphasis on developing the mindset and skills needed to succeed in the workforce, not just to pass a class. This program has given me confidence in my analytical abilities to know that I will be successful once I graduate.
    Joshua Pope
  • As an Upstate graduate in Business Administration, I knew the business faculty brings a great blend of practical and academic experience so there was no other graduate school better suited for me. The MS in Business Analytics program offers a unique and challenging opportunity to understand data behind business decisions. The Upstate program offers a carefully selected mix of materials, instructors with real-world experience, and affordable tuition.
    Stephanie Harrison
  • Being an entrepreneur is challenging. Because lifestyles are changing so rapidly, I need to be one step ahead and on top of everything. The MSBA program at USC Upstate fills in the gaps of knowledge that I need. The hands-on business cases have taught me real-time problem-solving skills necessary for success.
    Kevin Star
  • I would not be the student I am today without the incredible support system of colleagues and professors in the MSBA program at Upstate. The rigorous program includes real-world applications that have instilled confidence in my capabilities and taught me invaluable time management skills. My experience in the program has only begun, and I already know it will be a journey for which I am forever grateful.
    Kate Fowler

This one-year program can be completed full-time or part-time. Full-time students can complete the program in one year. We have rolling admissions.

For further details about the program, please write to us at or visit


8:30 to 9:00

Opening Remarks by Chancellor Bennie L. Harris

9:00 to 10:45

Leveraging the Transformative Power of Analytics:

Facilitator: Dr. Mohamed Djerdjouri, Dean The George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics, University of South Carolina Upstate


  • Ms. Lisa Giaimo, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, OTO Development
  • Mr. Scott Broome, Director of Enterprise Intelligence, Reporting & Analytics, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System
  • Mr. David Neal, Analytics Manager, Wells Fargo
  • Mr. Allen Godsey, Manager, Production System, BMW Manufacturing Co.
  • Mr. Norv Clontz, Director, Data Science Innovation at Duke Energy Corporation

Today, organizations have access to vast amounts of structured and unstructured data that, when properly analyzed, can provide meaningful and useful insights that can radically transform a company's strategy. Leading organizations are already leveraging the transformative power of Data Analytics and AI to find efficiencies, optimize processes and reduce costs. They are also developing and launching new products and services, creating new business models, and even creating new markets.

In this session, business leaders from hospitality, healthcare and insurance, financial services/banking, energy, and manufacturing explain how they utilize Big Data analytics to achieve their strategic goals. They will also discuss specific benefits they are already experiencing as well as challenges they face in adopting data analytics tools at all levels in the organization.

10:45 to 11:00

University - Business Partnerships

11:00 to 12:15

Power of Analytics to Achieve Organizational Strategy:

Facilitator: Dr. Uma Gupta, Director of Business Analytics, USC Upstate


  • Mr. Les Matthews, Executive Vice President, North America Data and Services, Mastercard
  • Mr. Jan Zirnstein, Director, Data Science, Honeywell
  • Mr. Greg Shupenko, Senior Manager, Digital Assurance & Transparency, Price Waterhouse Cooper
  • Mr. Rick Oppidisano, Founder and CEO, Delta Bravo (Artificial Intelligence)
  • Mr. Jeff Fann, Innovation and Digitalization Analyst, BMW

Analytics has the power to deliver exceptional competitive edge and position an organization as a leader in the marketplace. This is because when an organization consistently leverages its data, information, and knowledge in meaningful ways employees at all levels can make better decisions that feed into the strategic goals of an organization. Successful analytics projects are not an isolated endeavor by one unit, but a collective mission that is tightly aligned with the strategic goals of the organization. However, seasoned analytics professionals know that this is not as easy or simple as it might appear at first glance.

In this interactive session, panelists share the importance of data strategy, organizational focus, and talent development as the first steps toward building a data-driven organization. They will share their lessons learned and provide insights into how to go beyond the analytics hype to deliver lasting value to the organization.

12:15 to 1:30

Strategies to Recruit and Retain Analytics Talent

Facilitator: Paul Sinanian, Talent Manager, BMW


  • Mr. Matthew Matousek, Vice President, Digital ancillary Business – United Health Group
  • Mr. Adam Long, Chief Information Officer, USC Upstate
  • Mr. Jeff Owen, Milliken & Company – Director Financial Processes and Systems Joe Ziska, BMW Manufacturing, Manager – HR Planning and Steering
  • Mr. Joe Ziska, BMW Manufacturing, Manager – HR Planning and Steering

The growing demand for analytics talent demands thoughtful and long-term strategies to recruit and retain talent in the region. This session identifies current issues, challenges, and opportunities for the region.

1:30 to 2:00


2:00 to 3:30


  • Healthcare Analytics: Dave Hom, Chief Evangelist, EXL Health
  • Manufacturing Analytics: Matt Cornelius and Jeff Fann, BMW Manufacturing

The goal of data analytics at BMW Plant Spartanburg is to enable data driven decisions to become an integral part of our daily business. The workshop will explore the foundational pillars identified at Plant Spartanburg for data analytics. These pillars include data storage strategy, tool transparency, data qualification, and data governance. Additionally, the workshop will discuss Plant Spartanburg’s data analytics maturity model. Example projects will be shown related to data monitoring, process control, root-cause analysis, predictive modeling, and closed loop systems.

3:30 to 4:00

Ideas and Feedback on Building a Community of Analytics Professionals

Conference participants will share their ideas on how to build a thriving community of analytics professionals and provide feedback on the virtual conference.