Practicum Sponsors Announced

The Institute is delighted to announce the sponsors of the Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) Class of 2017 practicum team projects. This year 24 student teams are tasked with projects from 21 sponsoring organizations and an international consortium of art museums. Notable projects include the Institute’s first project with UNOS—the United Network for Organ Sharing—a nonprofit organization which coordinates U.S. organ transplant activities.

Also represented on this year’s list are major financial institutions, retailers, insurers, health providers, and technology enterprises. For the second year in a row the Institute will also have a project sponsored by a consortium of art museums from across the U.S. and Canada led by the North Carolina Museum of Art. Eleven museums will pool their data with the goal of producing more accurate predictive models.

“The Institute is honored to have its students working on challenging projects with such a wide-ranging group of sponsors, in this our tenth year,” said the Institute’s director Dr. Michael Rappa. “We’ve come along way since our humble beginning in 2007, and we’re deeply grateful to all of the sponsoring organizations for giving our students this valuable opportunity to hone their skills.”

The Institute received 62 proposals for consideration during its open solicitation earlier in the year. The proposals were reviewed by a panel of faculty and staff members who weighed the scope, challenge, and learning value of the project. Among the chosen sponsors, nine of the 21 organizations and 5 of the 11 museums had sponsored a project previously. All of the projects are conducted under confidentiality and there is no fee for sponsors to participate.

Since 2007 the Institute’s students have been engaged in 134 team projects with over 100 sponsors. Interested organizations should feel welcome to contact the Institute to learn more about practicum sponsorship.

North Carolina Museum of Art / Cleveland Museum of Art / Philadelphia Museum of Art MFA Boston / MFA Houston / Crystal Bridges Museum / Nelson-Atkins Museum HanesBrands UNOS – United Network for Organ Sharing Elevate Art Gallery of Ontario Replacements Ltd H&R Block Live Oak Bank Florida Blue Visionist USA Baseball Northrop Grumman Cigna Verscend Putnam Investments M&T Bank B2W LACMA / Minneapolis Institute of Art / Denver Art Museum Piedmont Health Walgreens Jacksonville Jaguars eBay Red Hat


B2W Digital (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – B2W Digital is a leader in Latin America, whose history coincides with the development of e-commerce in Brazil. The Company operates in the following areas: e-commerce through the brands, Submarino, Shoptime and Sou Barato; consumer finance platforms (Submarino Finance and Digital Finance); technology platform; logistics platform, distribution and customer service; and Marketplace.

Cigna (Bloomfield, CT) – Cigna Corporation is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 90 million customer relationships throughout the world.

Disney (Orlando, FL) – The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. Revenues in FY2014 topped US$48 billion.

eBay NYC (New York, NY) – eBay Inc. is a global commerce leader including the Marketplace, StubHub and Classifieds platforms. Collectively, it connects millions of buyers and sellers around the world, empowering people and creating opportunity through Connected Commerce. Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay is one of the world’s largest and most vibrant marketplaces for discovering great value and unique selection. In 2015, eBay enabled $82 billion of gross merchandise volume. eBay NYC is a technology development division of the company based in New York City.

Elevate (Ft. Worth, TX) – Elevate’s innovative online credit solutions provide immediate relief to customers today and help them build a brighter financial future. The company is committed to rewarding borrowers’ good financial behavior with features like interest rates that can go down over time, free financial training and free credit monitoring. The company is privately held and is backed by respected Silicon Valley venture capital firms including Sequoia Capital and Technology Crossover Ventures.

Florida Blue (Jacksonville FL) – Florida Blue, Florida’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield company, is a leader in Florida’s health care industry. Its mission is to help people and communities achieve better health. Florida Blue has approximately 4 million health care members and serves 15.5 million people in 16 states through its affiliated companies. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., it is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.

H&R Block (Kansas City, MO) – H&R Block, Inc. is a global consumer tax services provider. Tax return preparation services are provided by professional tax preparers in approximately 12,000 company-owned and franchise retail tax offices worldwide, and through H&R Block tax software products for the DIY consumer. H&R Block also offers adjacent Tax Plus products and services. In fiscal 2016, H&R Block had annual revenues of over $3 billion with 23.2 million tax returns prepared worldwide.

Hanesbrands (Winston-Salem NC) – HanesBrands is a socially responsible leading marketer of everyday basic innerwear and activewear apparel in the Americas, Europe and Asia under some of the world’s strongest apparel brands, including Hanes, Champion, and Playtex. The company sells T-shirts, bras, panties, shapewear, underwear, socks, hosiery, and activewear produced in the company’s low-cost global supply chain. Hanes has approximately 65,300 employees in more than 40 countries.

Jacksonville Jaguars (Jacksonville, FL) – The Jacksonville Jaguars are an American professional football franchise based in Jacksonville, Florida. They are members of the South Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) of the National Football League (NFL). Their home stadium is EverBank Field.

Live Oak Bank (Wilmington, NC) – Live Oak Bank was founded to provide small business loans to professionals across the country looking to start or expand their businesses. Live Oak is an FDIC-insured national footprint bank and one of the largest originators of small business loans in the country.

M&T Bank (Buffalo, NY) – Established in 1856 as Manufacturers and Traders Bank, and today known as the M&T Bank Corporation, it is one of the 20 largest U.S. headquartered commercial bank holding companies, with assets of $78 billion and nearly 13,000 employees.

North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh, NC) – The North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA), which opened to the public in 1956, houses the first major museum collection in the country to be formed by State legislation and funding. Today, it encompasses a collection that spans more than 5,000 years of history, a variety of celebrated exhibitions and public programs, an amphitheater for outdoor performances, and the nation’s largest museum park—164 acres of public trails and parkland containing major works of art. The NCMA is the lead sponsor for a consortium of 11 participating museums that also includes:

Northrop Grumman (McLean, VA) – Northrop Grumman Health IT is a leading provider of health IT solutions and services, supporting the continuum of health and human services for federal civilian, military, state, local and international customers. Through the integration of health expertise and information technology, the company supports national health goals to enhance benefits systems solutions, increase the quality and efficiency of healthcare and improve the health of the population.

Piedmont Health (Carrboro, NC) – Piedmont Health was founded in 1970 by a group of health care professionals at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and local community members concerned with access to primary healthcare. Known then as Orange-Chatham Comprehensive Health Services, Inc. (OCCHS), the agency was organized to provide comprehensive healthcare services and education to all in the community, with special emphasis on those who weren’t receiving proper healthcare and who lacked access to services. For over 44 years, Piedmont Health has been committed to helping change the lives, whether that’s through our medical services, dental care, on-site pharmacy, nutrition counseling or disease management. With eight locations serving 14 counties in the Piedmont region, the health of individuals and their families is Piedmont Health’s top priority.

Putnam Investments (Boston, MA) – Founded in 1937, Putnam Investments is a leading global money management firm. At the end of April 2016, Putnam had $147 billion in assets under management. Putnam has offices in Boston, London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Singapore and Sydney.

Red Hat (Raleigh, NC) – Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to provide reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, and open source communities, Red Hat helps create relevant, innovative technologies that liberate resources for growth and prepare customers for the future of IT.

Replacements, Ltd. (Greensboro, NC) – Founded by Bob Page in 1981, Replacements carries the world’s largest selection of old and new china, crystal, silver and collectibles. The company’s 500,000 square foot facilities house an inventory of nearly 12 million pieces from more than 425,000 patterns. Headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., Replacements, Ltd. serves over ten million customers worldwide.

United Network for Organ Sharing (Richmond, VA) – United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is the private, non-profit organization that manages the nation’s organ transplant system under contract with the federal government. In doing so, it brings together hundreds of transplant and organ procurement professionals and thousands of volunteers. This unique collaboration helps make life-saving organ transplants possible each day. Its system serves as the model for transplant systems around the world.

USA Baseball (Durham, NC) – Since 1978 USA Baseball has been the national governing body for amateur baseball. It represents the sport in the United States as a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and internationally as a member federation of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC). Nearly every major national amateur baseball organization in America is united as a USA Baseball national member organization. As a result, USA Baseball governs more than 12 million amateur players in ballparks and playgrounds across the country.

Verscend Technologies (Waltham, MA) – Verscend (formerly Verisk Health) drives better healthcare outcomes through data analytics. Its payment accuracy, revenue integrity, risk assessment and stratification, and quality improvement solutions help organizations utilize their data so they can efficiently and cost—effectively succeed in the new era of healthcare.

Visionist (Columbia, MD) – Visionist provides engineering, software development and analytical services to U.S. government agencies and commercial companies. The company specializes in the following technology areas: Designing and developing visualization applications for data analysis; Signals and Cyber-related Analysis (i.e. packet and network traffic analysis); Network Penetration Testing, Vulnerability Assessment and Network Security; Database design and administration to support data analysis and reporting; and Software and hardware digital signal processing (DSP) of high-bandwidth data.

Walgreens (Deerfield, IL) – Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, is included in the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. More than 8 million customers interact with Walgreens each day in communities across America, using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. Walgreens operates 8,240 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Walgreens also manages more than 400 Healthcare Clinic and provider practice locations around the country.