Bits & Bytes USF College of Business

The newsletter of Information Sciences Decision Sciences

Fall 2013

Chair's Message, Balaji Padmanabhan

Balaji PadmanabhanThe ISDS department has had an exciting year. Our faculty continue to publish in premier journals and have been recognized with wonderful awards and grants. We welcomed our first batch of students in our completely online MS in MIS program with a focus on analytics and business intelligence. We had one of our largest — and extremely talented — incoming groups of students to our on-campus MS in MIS program. And, as many of you know, our previous department chair, Kaushal Chari, is now associate dean of the College of Business.

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BusinessWeek Ranking

BusinessWeek RankingAccording to Bloomberg Businessweek's 2013 rankings of undergraduate business schools, USF's College of Business is ranked No. 25 in the Nation for the information systems specialty, joining the ranks of universities such as Purdue (No. 24) and the University of Virginia (No. 26).

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Faculty Focus

Manish Agrawal

Manish AgrawalManish Agrawal has been with USF since 2001, joining the ISDS Department after completing his PhD at the University of Buffalo. In the early years of his career, his research interests focused on IT outsourcing. More recently, his research has focused on software engineering and information processing during extreme events.

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Student Focus

Leila Elorfi - Programmer Analyst, JP Morgan Chase

Leila Elorfi, a recent graduate describes how she took advantage of the opportunities offered by the department to position herself for success upon — and even before — graduation.

The impact of the global economy resonated with Leila Elorfi after her first study abroad experience in Wales at the University of Glamorgan during the summer before her junior year at USF. Many of the experiences that Elorfi was afforded in Wales, which included trips to local businesses and attractions, gave her real-life connections to classroom course work and lectures. These experiences broadened her views of the world, established new friendships and opened her eyes to the opportunities that lay ahead.

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Outgoing Chair's Message

Kaushal ChariAs I transition to a new role in the college, I want to thank all of you for being very supportive of the department during my tenure as chair. With your support, we overcame many challenges while working for the good of our students. The recent ranking of the MIS undergraduate program (No. 25 in the nation by Bloomberg Businessweek) affirms that we are on the right path. We did reach new heights, but I believe the best days for the department are yet to come. I am confident that under the leadership of Balaji Padmanabhan, the new chair of the department, and with your continued support, we will scale greater heights.

Cordially, Kaushal Chari

Welcome New Faculty!

He Zhang joined the ISDS Department this fall teaching a special topics course on healthcare information systems.

Zhang's research interests include healthcare information management, Big Data, and production and inventory management. Zhang has presented at numerous conferences, including meetings of INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences) and the 12th International Conference on Stochastic Programming.

Zhang is a PhD candidate from Northwestern University. He has an MS degree in management science and engineering from Stanford University, as well as additional engineering degrees from Tsinghua University.

"Big Data" Panel Discussion

About 250 alumni and guests gathered at the College of Business on Oct. 25 to learn more about data-driven decisions -- from the lessons Boston Market's Chief Brand Officer took back from her experience on the "Undercover Boss" TV show, to a panel discussion with top-level executives on how they use data in their jobs. Led by ISDS Chair Balaji Padmanabhan, the panel included FedEx Co-Chief Executive and Chief Information Officer Rob Carter, Avon Chief Financial Officer Kimberly Ross, and Florida Panthers Director of Business Operations Andre Therrien. They discussed the expanding uses for data in the corporate world and the importance of shifting to a corporate culture with an analytics mindset.

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INFOSYS program

BusinessWeek RankingThe department's summer IT program at Infosys continues to provide a unique academic immersion opportunity to participating students. This summer, 17 students traveled to Mysore, India, to take a class on software engineering, taught by Infosys faculty. They also had the opportunity to meet N. R. Narayana Murthy, founder and CEO of the global software giant with more than 100,000 employees.

Alumni Focus

Dan Bisaillon

BusinessWeek RankingDan Bisaillion, BA Management 1983, EMBA 2006 is the chief operating officer of America II Electronics, a leading semi-conductor distributor. Here is a brief profile.

Tell us about your company

America II Electronics is one of the largest independent stocking distributors of semiconductors in the world.

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Research Feature

From Business Intelligence to Competitive Intelligence: Inferring Competitive Measures Using Augmented Site-Centric Data

Balaji PadmanabhanIn the early part of the 20th century Arthur C. Nielsen introduced the concept of "market share" as a measure of intelligence for businesses. Before ACNielsen Inc. began its data collection process it was virtually impossible for firms to obtain timely, complete, and accurate market intelligence about competing brands. Today it is well recognized that knowledge of the overall competitive landscape is important for any business, and in response to this, there are several firms that specialize in the task of collecting and disseminating such information in various industries. Recognizing the significance of competitive measures, a trend in the Business Intelligence (BI) field is the increasing importance given to competitive intelligence (CI), i.e., the information that a firm knows about its external competitive environment.

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