It might be her southern hospitality, or maybe it’s her longtime interest in consumer behavior. Either way, Tennessee native and Hyatt Regency supervisor Savannah Rouse has established a successful career in providing outstanding customer service. She plans to combine that experience with skills she’s learning in the MS in Predictive Analytics program to offer organizations a rare combination of first hand, on-the-ground customer insights along with quantitative analytics skills.
Rouse majored in economics as an undergraduate, fascinated by the theories and data that explain consumer behavior. She then spent the next several years in customer service positions, dealing face-to-face with customers’ daily needs and expectations. As a supervisor for one of Chicago’s largest hotels, she’s where the buck stops — the person you see to escalate a concern. But now she’s preparing for the next phase of her career and her life.
“I saw a position listed for a ‘Consumer Insight’ expert and something clicked,” she says. “I thought that was the coolest professional title I had ever heard, and I knew analytics was the way to get there. I had some hesitation about the online format, but now I prefer it. Unlike lectures, the courses are designed so that you have to dig in yourself and find the answers. Really accessible professors teach you how to analyze data and apply it to industry. For me, it’s a new way to think.”
SCS’ rolling enrollment let Rouse start right away and the online format made it possible for her to work on her degree despite having irregular hours. She’s looking forward to bringing a fresh perspective to analytics in the hospitality or food industries.
“I haven’t been sitting behind a corporate desk, far removed from the customer,” she says. “I can put a face on the data, combining the individual customer’s experience with knowledge from the aggregate data to arrive at the most meaningful business strategy.”