Practicum Sponsors Announced

The Institute is delighted to announce its practicum sponsors for the Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) Class of 2023. Student teams are tasked with projects from 19 sponsoring organizations. Once again this year the Institute welcomes an impressive line-up of new and returning sponsors to work with our students over the next 8 months, including our first projects with Ally, Atrium Health, General Mills, and Speedway Motorsports.

“We are extremely grateful to all of the sponsoring organizations—new and returning—for providing our students this valuable opportunity to develop their skills,” said the Institute’s director Dr. Michael Rappa. “The practicum is key to the MSA learning experience. It’s terrific to see our students working on real-world projects with such a diverse group of sponsors. The Institute applauds their commitment to the education of aspiring data scientists.”

A total of 64 practicum proposals where received through an 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. All of the projects are conducted under confidentiality and there is no fee for sponsors to participate.

Since 2007 the Institute’s students have completed 250 team projects with 128 lead sponsors from industry and government. Interested organizations are welcome to contact the Institute to learn more about practicum sponsorship.

AF GroupAlign TechnologyAllyAmbitAtrium HealthBlue Cross MinnesotaBrightlyCape Fear CollectiveCiscoGeneral MillsGoDaddyLive Oak BankOneMain FinancialSpeedway MotorsportsVisionist

AF Group (Lansing, Michigan) – AF Group and its subsidiaries are a premier provider of innovative insurance solutions. Its unique brands operate across the U.S. within their respective niche markets, providing exceptional service to customers, injured workers, agents and brokers. Each brand offers superior underwriting, marketing, loss control and claims services in their area of focus.

Align Technology (San Jose, California) – Twenty years ago, San Jose, California-based Align pioneered the world’s first clear aligners. Since then, they have continuously innovated with new medical products and technologies that are revolutionizing treatments for doctors and their patients.

Ally (Detroit, Michigan) – Ally is a leading digital financial services company and a top 25 U.S. financial holding company offering financial products for consumers, businesses, automotive dealers and corporate clients. Ally’s legacy dates back to 1919, and the company was redesigned in 2009 with a distinctive brand, innovative approach and relentless focus on its customers.

Ambit (Boston, Massachusetts) – Ambit aims to provide the first and only comprehensive, integrated platform for the rare disease ecosystem. Ambit develops the tools stakeholders need to better navigate the inherent challenges of managing a rare disease, starting with getting an accurate diagnosis. Ambit is designing an approach built around the most critical needs of each stakeholder by integrating proprietary data, algorithms, applications, genetic testing, and patient services to become an irreplaceable intermediary.

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist (Winston-Salem, North Carolina) – Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is a nationally recognized academic medical center and health system. The institution comprises Wake Forest School of Medicine, a leading center for medical education and research; Wake Forest Baptist Health, the integrated clinical structure; and Wake Forest Innovations, which promotes the commercialization of research discoveries. Clinical facilities include North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Brenner Children’s Hospital, and a network of affiliated community hospitals, physician practices, outpatient services and other medical facilities.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Eagan, Minnesota) – Blue Cross Minnesota is a taxable, nonprofit organization with a mission to make a healthy difference in people’s lives. Chartered in 1933 as Minnesota’s first health plan, we’ve promoted wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota for 80+ years.

Brightly (Cary, North Carolina) – Formerly Dude Solutions, Brightly is the global leader in intelligent asset management solutions, enables organizations to transform the performance of their assets. Brightly’s sophisticated cloud-based platform leverages more than 20 years of data to deliver predictive insights that help users through the key phases of the entire asset lifecycle. More than 12,000 clients of every size worldwide depend on Brightly’s complete suite of intuitive software. In August 2022, Brightly was acquired by Munich, Germany-based Siemens and is now a subsidiary of Siemens Smart Infrastructure unit.

Cape Fear Collective (Wilmington, North Carolina) – Cape Fear Collective drives towards equitable systemic change in Southeastern North Carolina by collaborating with community partners to leverage local assets, illuminate actionable insights, and catalyze innovative programming.

Cisco (San Jose, California) – Cisco enables people to make powerful connections—whether in business, education, philanthropy, or creativity. Cisco hardware, software, and service offerings are used to create the Internet solutions that make networks possible—providing easy access to information anywhere, at any time.

Elevate Credit (Ft. Worth, Texas) – Elevate, and the banks it supports, provide responsible, tech-enabled online credit solutions to consumers for immediate relief today and help them build a brighter financial future. They are 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. They have originated over $10 billion in non-prime credit to more than 2.7 million non-prime consumers to date.

Fifth Third Bank (Cincinnati, Ohio) – Fifth Third Bank, established in 1858, is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest, and as of June 30, 2019, had $399 billion in assets under care. It operates 1,200 full-service Banking Centers in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina.

General Mills (Minneapolis, Minnesota) – General Mills portfolio of beloved brands includes household names such as Cheerios, Nature Valley, Blue Buffalo, Häagen-Dazs, Old El Paso, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Yoplait, Annie’s, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills generated fiscal 2022 net sales of U.S. $19.0 billion. In addition, the company’s share of non-consolidated joint venture net sales totaled U.S. $1.1 billion.

GoDaddy (Scottsdale, Arizona) – GoDaddy helps the world easily start, confidently grow, and successfully run an online presence. GoDaddy was born to give people an easy, affordable way to get their ideas online. Today, it has millions of customers around the world, helping them easily start, confidently grow and successfully run their own ventures — online and off.

Live Oak Bank (Wilmington, North Carolina) – Live Oak Bank is a digital, cloud-based bank with no branches, tellers or ATMs. Live Oak serves small business owners in all 50 states and was the leading SBA and USDA lender by volume in the country in 2019. It offers FDIC-insured banking products that help its customers buy, build and expand their business, along with high-yield savings and CD products to grow hard-earned money.

NC Joint Underwriting Association / NC Insurance Underwriting Association (Raleigh, North Carolina) – The North Carolina Joint Underwriting Association (NCJUA), also known as the FAIR (Fair Access to Insurance Requirements) Plan, is a tax exempt association of insurance companies licensed to write and engage in writing property insurance coverage in North Carolina. The Association was created by law to act as a market of last resort to provide adequate basic property insurance to property owners having insurable property in North Carolina. The North Carolina Insurance Underwriting Association (NCIUA), also known as the Coastal Property Insurance Pool, is a tax exempt association of insurance companies authorized to write and engage in writing essential property insurance coverage in North Carolina. The Association was created by law to act as a market of last resort to provide adequate essential property insurance to property owners having insurable property in the Beach and Coastal Areas of North Carolina.

OneMain Financial (Wilmington, Delaware) – OneMain is the leader in offering nonprime customers responsible access to credit and is dedicated to improving the financial well-being of hardworking Americans. Since 1912, we’ve looked beyond credit scores to help people get the money they need today and reach their goals for tomorrow. Our growing suite of personal loans, credit cards and other products help people borrow better and work toward a brighter future. In 1,400 community branches and across the U.S., team members help millions of customers solve critical financial needs, including debt consolidation, home and auto repairs, medical procedures and extending household budgets. We meet customers where they want to be — in person, by phone and online.

Speedway Motorsports (Concord, North Carolina) – Speedway is a leading marketer, promoter and sponsor of motorsports activities in the United States. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates eight first-class racing facilities in significant markets across the country. The Speedways include: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Sonoma Raceway, Texas Motor Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Speedway Motorsports, LLC also provides souvenir merchandising services through its SMI Properties subsidiary; manufactures and distributes smaller-scale, modified racing cars and parts through its U.S. Legend Cars International subsidiary; and provides radio programming, production and distribution through its Performance Racing Network subsidiary.

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (McLean, Virginia) – The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the Nation’s premier agency for providing global intelligence in the ever-changing political, social, economic, technological and military landscapes. Its mission is straightforward but critical: protect America’s national security. By collecting valuable foreign intelligence, conducting timely analysis, and executing covert actions, CIA preempts threats and protects everything we hold dear. From data analysis to clandestine operations to cyber security, our efforts are innovative, impactful, collaborative, and driven by its mission.

Visionist (Columbia, Maryland) – 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.