Executives, marketers, retail tech firms, merchandising officers, and more set to expand on insights from more than a combined century of experience – and the pivots made necessary in the last 20 months.
Returning to the Westin Galleria in Dallas for in-person delivery, Mays Business School’s Center for Retailing Studies (CRS) will present its annual Retailing Summit Oct. 7-8, 2021. Keynote speakers include Bill Thorne and Scot Case from the National Retail Federation; Mindy Perry, Chief Marketing Officer for Kendra Scott; Seth Ellison, Chief Commercial Officer for Levi Strauss & Co., and Ashley Buchanan, CEO of The Michaels Companies.
The theme for this year’s event is “Innovation: The Heart of Retail” and reflects what has been a consistent element in retail that accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the theme bends towards the role that innovation – the heart and soul of this expansive industry – has had on retailers, consumer brands, and the technology firms that serve the industry.
“We’re thrilled to be back in person to present this incredible conference aimed at retail professionals and delivered by the Center for Retailing Studies team,” shared director Scott Benedict. “The speaker and panel lineup this year is diverse in thought and background similar to the retail industry itself. There are immense opportunities in this dynamic industry, and we’re primed to serve our part with student education, research, and executive outreach made possible by the funds generated from this event.”
To register, visit the Retailing Summit website, where you can also find an updated speaker list.
Analytics gurus and industry leaders highlighted real-world uses of analytics to strengthen cybersecurity operations and counter threats during the Texas A&M Analytics Forum hosted by Mays Business School at the CityCentre Houston campus. Attendees represented a wide cast of industries including non-profits; oil, gas, and energy; telecommunications; and retail to name a few.
“Organizations that have accumulated valuable data have fallen victims of cyberattacks that have caused millions of dollars in damages. Analytics can help predict these vulnerabilities and protect companies from these threats.” said Myra Gonzalez, director of the Texas A&M Master of Science in Analytics program (MS Analytics). “The purpose of this event was to provide a venue for people in the Houston business community as well as faculty, staff, and students to get together, discuss analytics, and share best practices.”
John Stultz, Principal Solutions Architect in Fraud and Security Intelligence at SAS Institute was the first keynote speaker. He shared that data preparation is 80% of the effort in fraud detection, much like in other types of analytics work. He also shared how organizations can consider derived measures for cyber risk, as well as use cases in which machine learning can assist to fight vendor, supplier, and procurement fraud.
The amount of content to share was so vast that Mays had a second keynote from Paul Brager, Author, Speaker, and Researcher in Cyber. He explained how organizations can leverage cyber analytics to protect critical infrastructures. Brager’s talk also highlighted that cyber analytics is not new, adversaries have become increasingly more dangerous, and the need for analytics is essential to fight cyber terrorism, cyber espionage, and cyber sabotage.
Several presentations were conducted by MS Analytics former students. Pablo Ormachea ’16 currently serves as VP of Data Science for a lending company in the D.C. area, and urged data scientists to “refit” and constantly re-deploy models to stay ahead of the game.
Yoel Kluk ’16 hosted a presentation that gave valuable insights from data on types of behaviors that drive criminal activities, and the challenges that organizations face in the quality of the data, and how to measure it.
Tom Broussard ‘17 and Jeff Westenhaver ’17 presented on best practices to mine data for quality and anomalies.
Participants also gained insight into how businesses can benefit from training in statistical methods used in analytical decision-making, common obstacles to big data and analytics, and how companies might build an analytics culture. Participants were able to see a demonstration of how open source programs can be incorporated with SAS tools.
“We’re happy to foster discussion about the challenges that companies face and share ideas to stay ahead of the game,” said Gonzalez. “We can’t wait for next year’s event!”
The free event was hosted by Texas A&M University’s MS Analytics Program, which offers an analytics master’s degree available in Houston and across North America via live video stream to teach working professionals the skills needed to thrive in an increasingly data-driven world. The event was hosted in partnership with SAS®.
The United States Department of Labor predicts, “Today’s learners will have eight to10 jobs by the age of 38.” A majority of these future jobs do not even exist yet. For instance, people interested in both robotics and law could become robotics ethicists to mitigate issues such as ownership of and culpability for decisions made by machines. Because of modern technological innovation, once unimaginable opportunities are becoming new careers.
On Jan. 25, Christopher Bishop – a nonlinear, multimodal careerist – provided students at Texas A&M University with insight into succeeding in these fields of the future. Throughout his life, Bishop continuously redeveloped his skills and created new jobs for himself.
He toured internationally as a musician with artists such as Robert Palmer and Chuck Berry; wrote advertising jingles, including the original “Gimme a Break” Kit Kat jingle; turned a conversation on a commuter train into a 12-year career at IBM; and now delivers presentations on the future of work around the world.
Each time Bishop switched careers, he focused on three fundamental tools for success:
Voice. Identify your own brand. Invest in what makes you stand out. Frame your persona on your own uniqueness.
Antenna. Connect your interests to events in the world. Seek sources based on your values and interests that help you stay informed. These sources include magazines, newspapers, blogs, YouTube videos, podcasts, or other forms of media.
Mesh. Share yourself with those who value your skills. LinkedIn is a valuable tool. Expand your network by adding at least five people each week. Reach out to others who share your interests and goals, and join groups to expand your connections. This puts you on the radar of people you would otherwise miss.
While creating new jobs can be a daunting process, the trepidation behind progress is nothing new. In fact, in 1589, Queen Elizabeth I refused to issue a patent for a mechanized knitting machine, “for fear it [would] put [her] poor subjects out of work.” However, the new workforce should look to the future without hesitation because, as Bishop stated, “As long as there are problems, there will be jobs.”
What will happen in 2019? What will the economy be like? What technologies should we watch out for? How will they change what we do? How will business transform? What will be new in marketing? What changes will retailing witness?
Let me offer my predictions for such questions. …Read more
By Venky Shankar, Coleman Chair Professor & Director of Research, Center for Retailing Studies, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Shoppers and retailers alike should be salivating this holiday season. This season is expected to bring in the biggest holiday retail sales ever at over $1 trillion! From Thanksgiving to Black Friday to Cyber Monday to pre- and post-Christmas, consumers will be shopping from all devices, touchpoints, channels for all kinds of items. Overall sales are expected to grow by 4.4-5.5 percent over last year. However, e-commerce sales may grow by a whopping 17-22 percent, topping $130 billion this season. The season looks like a case of Walmart and Amazon steroids!
How is this happening? The economy is good. Jobless rate is really low. Wages are up. Taxpayers will pay at lower tax rates for this calendar year. Importantly, consumers perceive they have more money to spend! For the first time, average spending per person may exceed $1,000 this season.
The upcoming Thanksgiving weekend, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday may make up for 30 percent of annual retail sales. This year, it could be the biggest ever. With 165 million people shopping, more retailers are starting Black Friday season early. Cyber Monday will last longer, and retailers will try to cash in on 24 x 7 consumer convenience. The Thanksgiving weekend is emerging as an extended period of shopping, eclipsing single day focus on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. …Read more
This position supports the development and implementation of communication projects that represent Mays Business School to faculty and staff, current students, alumni, donors, prospective donors and the general public.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, interviewing faculty and students and attending special events to write articles and news briefs; supporting the publication of Mays Business Online and @Mays magazine; generating copy for the annual new faculty brochure and donor and business research magazines; creating and distributing a weekly newsletter to faculty and staff; compiling mailing lists; and writing media pitches and press releases.
What we are looking for in a qualified applicant:
Self-starters and highly motivated individuals who are capable of working independently or on a team with minimal direction
Excellent written and oral communication skills, including strong proofreading skills
Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously
Familiarity with news trends in business
Savvy with social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
Proficient knowledge of all Microsoft Office programs is required
Experience in a busy, professional office setting or in the field of marketing/communications is preferred.
This is a 20-hour-per-week job. The hours are flexible, but we’d prefer to have someone here for blocks of at least two to three hours at a time.
Applicant must be able to start by the beginning of the Spring 2015 semester and must not be graduating prior to December 2015.
Send a current resume, cover letter and three writing samples (nonfiction published work or classroom papers) to Kelli Levey at email@example.com.