KSU statistics center works with companies to improve profitability

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Kennesaw State statistics center works with Atlanta companies to improve profitability New center…

Georgia (Jan 20, 2012)Kennesaw State statistics center works with Atlanta companies to improve profitability

New center offers consulting services that  help companies comb through volumes of data, improving financial performance


KENNESAW, Ga. (Jan. 20, 2012) — A new statistics consulting center at Kennesaw State University is helping a growing number of companies sift through reams of data so they can operate more effectively and improve profitability.

Kennesaw State’s Center for Statistics and Analytical Services, established in August 2011, is the university’s resource for statistical analysis and also consults with external organizations. The external client list already includes companies such as Southern Company, Beecher Carlson and Alcan Cable, as well as the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

“Kennesaw State has outstanding faculty in statistics and analytics,” said W. Ken Harmon, KSU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “We had frequent requests from the campus and the community for this service. Therefore, we thought we should form a center to house this expertise and to deliver a value-added service.”

The need for a centralized resource for statistical analysis has come about as KSU places increasing emphasis on research and scholarship. The center primarily supports the analytical needs of faculty and students engaged in research and scholarship. The Center for Statistics and Analytical Services is modeled after similar centers at Virginia Tech, Penn State and the University of Georgia.

Some of the corporate consulting work the center does includes training in statistics and in statistics software, statistical modeling, process improvement studies and sampling. Recently, the center entered into a contract with insurance underwriter Beecher Carlson to improve data mining algorithms and uncover trends and anomalies in clients’ casualty loss data.

“Companies tend to be very data rich and information poor,” said Jennifer Priestley, associate professor of statistics in the College of Science and Mathematics and director of the Center for Statistics and Analytical Services. “Data is inexpensive and easy to capture and store, but translating it into meaningful information is hard. That’s where the center comes in.”

Kennesaw State’s expertise in the field of statistics and analytics is on the rise. The university’s Master of Science in Applied Statistics has become a popular academic program since it was introduced in 2006.  The graduates of this program have little problem finding jobs –– most students have multiple job offers prior to graduation. 

Kennesaw State is the only university in the state, and one of the few in the country, to offer training in SAS, the industry standard for business analytics software, across the undergraduate and graduate curriculums.

“We have been astounded at the amount of work that has been brought to the Center for Statistics and Analytical Services from regional companies and governmental agencies,” Priestley said. “The overwhelming success of the center is a function of the increased demand for analytical consulting and KSU’s emerging reputation in statistics and applied analytics.”


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu