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From left, InterWorks data science analyst Sean Spencer poses with students Ignacio Gonzalez, Caleb Moore, RachelKate Puckett, Trey Woods, Danielle Nester, Aaron Chambers and class instructor Dr. R. Evan Davis in front of the Business Building.

Spears partners with InterWorks, CODA in new analytics-enhanced core class

Monday, December 13, 2021

Media Contact: Terry Tush | Director, Marketing and Communications | 405-744-2703 |

The Spears School of Business has partnered with information technology leader InterWorks and OSU’s Center of Data Analytics (CODA) to create a one-of-a-kind new business analytics class that is transforming the business school experience for all students.

A longtime leader in infusing analytics into all aspects of the curriculum, Spears Business created the new business core class to enhance student experience with quantitative topics early in their OSU career. The class, taught by Dr. Evan Davis, assistant dean, exposes all business students to basic descriptive analytics and visualization techniques, specifically using Tableau.

“I am excited about the opportunity to expose Spears School of Business students to analytics early in their academic journey,” said Davis, who has taken leadership in the development and delivery of the class. “This effort was started by Dr. Rick Wilson (head of the Department of Management Science and Information Systems) several years ago, and it is gratifying to see it through to fruition.”

While the first 10 weeks of the course focus on data workflow and descriptive analytics, the last six weeks is led by data science analysts from InterWorks, whose founder and CEO is Spears Business alum Behfar Jahanshahi. The InterWorks analysts are in the classroom teaching students the practical, useful visualization techniques used by those in the industry on a daily basis.

“As an OSU Spears School alum and the CEO of a company globally focused on data analytics consulting, I believe this partnership is long overdue,” said Jahanshahi, who was recognized as a Spears School Tribute: 100 for 100 honoree during the school’s 100th anniversary celebration in 2014. “A solid grasp of data’s role in business is no longer a specialty or area of focus, it’s at the core of how modern decisions are made. We’re excited to be shaping the next generation of business professionals and look forward to every aspect of this mutually beneficial experience.”

Davis has also led the conceptual development of an Analytics Resource Center (ARC), allowing students to get help with their analytics work in one of the Business Building computer classrooms. The resources in the lab are funded in part by Spears Business as well as from CODA, an interdisciplinary entity on campus whose chief goal is to promote activities that foster more data analytic savvy graduates. CODA is funded by a gift from ConocoPhillips. Future enhancements to the ARC concept, meant to increase accessibility to analytics class help, are planned.

“It is imperative that our students continue to be even more analytically savvy in today’s global, data-driven world,” Davis said. “This class, and the partnerships with InterWorks and ConocoPhillips, allow us to be innovative and forward thinking in our curriculum, giving all Spears students a head start toward a successful career."

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