New Center for Analytics & Informatics to integrate analytics studies into interdisciplinary academic programs

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Lipscomb University has launched a new Center for Analytics & Informatics to integrate the study of data analytics in academic programs spanning a variety of disciplines to better equip the next generation of data-driven professionals in any industry or career field.

Analytics_1Lipscomb’s Center for Analytics & Informatics is a collaboration among the university’s College of Business, where the center is housed, the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences and the College of Computing & Technology.

The mission of the Center for Analytics & Informatics is to be a center of expertise for data analytics knowledge creation, aggregation and assimilation in academic and practitioner settings through interdisciplinary partnership,” said Ray Eldridge, dean of Lipscomb’s College of Business. “Our functional goal is to coordinate the deep integration of analytics into curriculum across the university, enabling the next generation of data-driven workers in any context.”

Incorporating analytics into the student educational experience is crucial.

“Analytics is what businesses run on,” said Eldridge. “By infusing this into the curriculum throughout the university, Lipscomb University is preparing its students to be the best of the best.”

Analytics is a multidimensional field that uses mathematics, statistics, predictive modeling and machine learning techniques to find meaningful patterns and knowledge in recorded data. Lipscomb’s new Center for Analytics & Informatics will prepare students to produce the analytics as well as to apply it in their career fields.

“The faculty of the College of Computing & Technology are looking forward to continued collaborations with the College of Business that explore ways in which computing, technology, analytics, informatics and data science unlock new knowledge and opportunities in business and healthcare,” said Fortune Mhlanga, dean of Lipscomb’s College of Computing & Technology. 

“The future of optimizing patient outcomes, managing the cost of patient care, and fostering innovation in health care are all inextricably tied to harnessing the power of analytics and informatics,” said Roger Davis, vice provost of health affairs at Lipscomb University. “We are excited to leverage the strength of our pharmacy and health care informatics expertise to enhance opportunities for current and prospective students and the community thru the activities of the Center in this inherently multidisciplinary field.”

The center will be directed by Jacob Arthur, assistant professor of information security and analytics at Lipscomb. Arthur also serves as the partner over security and technology services for Formos Consulting, giving him a unique industry-centric view in to how analytics are applied and used. His analytics work has centered on the use of analytics to improve security and technology, but he has a passion for the integration of technology and business in all forms.

Nursing_RN_2“Our focus is to identify ways to integrate analytics into everything we’re doing,” said Arthur. “Descriptive analytics has been around for a while, but this center will add to that a focus on predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics to prepare our student to do their work more strategically and effectively. For example, the study of analytics has been incorporated into the health sciences curricula to equip students with the tools and knowledge to serve their patients more effectively and to make decisions that will lead to better patient outcomes.”

Arthur said the center will also focus on integrating cutting-edge academic research with industry best practices and will sponsor and support research projects of its constituents. It will also be a place where the work being done in analytics across campus can be coordinated “to leverage the university’s collaborative culture” and to encourage additional joint-efforts. The center will also offer meetings and seminars throughout the year for working professionals.

Lipscomb’s Center for Analytics & Informatics does not offer academic degree programs but supports will provide guidance to colleges across the university in how to integrate the study of analytics into their existing academic programs; the development of new courses, minors, majors and graduate programs; and will serve as a coordination point for courses offered that include this discipline.  

In addition to Arthur’s leadership, the center is overseen by a council comprised of faculty and administrators across the campus. Members include: College of Business – Arthur; Marcy Binkley, instructor in accounting; Andy Borchers, associate dean of undergraduate studies; Bart Liddle, chair, management, entrepreneurship and marketing, assistant dean for health care programs; College of Computing & Technology – Tim Wallace, associate professor of computing and technology; and College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences – Beth Breeden, associate professor and chair of health care informatics; Kevin Clauson, associate professor.

Want to know more about Lipscomb’s Center for Analytics & Informatics? Contact Arthur at Jacob.arthur@lipscomb.edu.