Business and Competitive Intelligence Practitioners in the U.S. Education Industry

U.S. Education Industry

According to market research company IBISWorld, the U.S. education industry is worth $2T. Though the concept of education typically evokes images of school campuses and universities, the U.S. education industry is anything but monolithic. More than 1M business populate the sector, employing over 13M individuals. There are, of course, traditional institutions of learning, but there are also certification and coaching providers, as well as educational support services, catering to a diverse market of learners.

As in any industry, organizations within the educational sector can benefit from business and competitive intelligence to help negotiate the various forces exerting pressure, from mergers and acquisitions, the adoption of online courses to foreign competition. The following profiles cover BI and CI professionals representing a diverse array of industry players, from classic universities to education technology providers.

Executive Profile: James Lovejoy, Senior Business Intelligence Analyst at Guild Education
James Lovejoy
Senior BI Analyst
Guild Education

Executive Profile: James Lovejoy, Senior Business Intelligence Analyst at Guild Education

James Lovejoy has been serving as a senior business intelligence analyst at Guild Education since September 2019. Guild Education is an education management company based in Denver, Colorado, that focuses on workforce development, tuition assistance and education-as-a-benefit services.

Over the past few years, Lovejoy has led analytical practices across the technology and education sectors, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Lovejoy transitioned to Guild Education after a brief tenure at General Assembly, where he took on a data science-focused role. While at the company, he launched a three-month intensive program covering best practices and latest tools for data science. He also implemented neural networks, Bayesian inference and conducted spatial analyses for the company.

Previously, Lovejoy served as director of research services at Turbine Labs, a Colorado-based computer software company. In the said role, he managed all of the company’s research services projects and helped translate questions into research plans in line with business goals. He also served as the analytical expert for the development of one of Turbine Labs’ media value measurement products.

Before joining Turbine Labs, Lovejoy spent four years at Brandwatch, filling in the roles of content researcher and content and research manager. The said roles required Lovejoy to craft social intelligence-based research reports and develop an algorithm for Brandwatch’s social index, which analyzed media mentions of more than 500 brands. He also built an algorithm and scoring logic for the Social Maturity Calculator using Qualtrics and provided oversight on research content strategy from planning to execution.

Earlier in his career, Lovejoy was part of Appalachian Mountain Club’s community outreach team and was a business development researcher for the African Aurora Business Network.

Lovejoy holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and psychology from Hamilton College. He also completed a CIEE study abroad program in the same fields from the University of Capetown.

Executive Profile: Smitha Vikram, Guild Education's Senior Manager of Data Quality, Governance
Smitha Vikram
Senior Manager
Guild Education

Executive Profile: Smitha Vikram, Guild Education’s Senior Manager of Data Quality, Governance

Smitha Vikram serves as the senior manager of data quality and governance at Guild Education.

Vikram is a data management strategist with more than 17 years of experience driving business intelligence implementations and service delivery management of global end to end information systems. She is also experienced in developing solutions for global enterprise data warehouses and directing cross-functional technical teams.

Vikram joined Guild Education in April from Denver Public Schools, where she managed business intelligence and reporting analytics services for over a year, her LinkedIn profile said.

She spent more than a decade at Newmont Goldcorp Corp., most recently serving as senior manager of service management, business intelligence and information technology application services. In this role, Vikram managed business intelligence services from a third-party vendor, tracked IT performance metrics and key performance indicators, managed data quality and data delivery, and oversaw continuous improvement programs.

Vikram spent her first seven years at Newmont as an ETL architect, responsible for implementing product solutions, leading business analysis, developing performance management plans and improving data warehouse solutions.

She also worked as lead business intelligence architect at Cognizant and an ETL consultant and business analyst at Aim Computer Consulting.

Vikram holds a master’s degree in business administration with a specialization in leadership and business strategy from the University of Colorado.

Executive Profile: John Barsoum, Business Intelligence Manager at Newsela
John Barsoum
BI Manager

Executive Profile: John Barsoum, Business Intelligence Manager at Newsela

John Barsoum currently works as a business intelligence manager for Newsela, a New York-based e-learning company that provides online news for students.

He was appointed to his current position in April after serving as Newsela’s principal analyst for eight months.

With over 10 years of industry experience, Barsoum has gained expertise in financial / business analysis, business intelligence, software implementation, reporting automation, business process automation and business development, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Prior to joining Newsela, he dedicated one-and-a-half years of service at Corsearch as senior manager of business intelligence and analytics. During his tenure, Barsoum was responsible for company-wide analytics and key performance indicators reporting, including board and financial close reporting. He also automated and streamlined manual reporting processes and managed the company’s first analytics / data warehouse from several different distinct databases.

Barsoum also spent over a year at ACKLE Consulting Group, where he was appointed as a business intelligence consultant. The said role required him to design and implement various business automation platforms and manage team utilization, training and growth.

He also served over two-and-a-half years at OnDeck, an online small business lender based in New York. While at the company, he served as a business analytics manager, business intelligence manager and a business intelligence analyst. His career highlights at OnDeck include optimizing processes to ensure data integrity for all reporting and executing the “Analytics Data Warehouse.” Barsoum also collaborated with the engineering team to provide new features to the company’s financial loan servicing platform that improved financial calculations.

Earlier in his career, he worked for The CollegeBound Network, an education internet company that connects students with educational opportunities online. During his three-year tenure at the company, he created and managed dashboards and provided reports for call center management. He also conducted revenue analysis and offered recommendations on the company’s weak and strong points.

Barsoum attended City University of New York-College of Staten Island, where he completed his bachelor’s degrees in finance and business management.

Executive Profile: Vasiliki Anest, Senior Business Development Director at USC MESH Academy
Vasiliki Anest
Senior Director
USC MESH Academy

Executive Profile: Vasiliki Anest, Senior Business Development Director at USC MESH Academy

Vasiliki Anest, Ph.D., is the senior director for business development and industry relations for the MESH Academy at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. Anest has held the position since September 2017.

In the role, Anest is responsible for analyzing competitive intelligence collected from a variety of sources and communicating this information to C-level executives in a meaningful and actionable manner. Anest is also responsible for coming up with plans to take advantage of high-value opportunities and producing strategic technology maps. She leads strategic collaborations with industry partners as well.

Anest specializes in corporate strategy development, industry and competitor analysis, sponsored research, and market and customer segmentation, among others. She is a recipient of the CA-AM certification from the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals, her profile on LinkedIn says.

Before becoming senior director for business development and industry relations at the MESH Academy, Anest was senior director for corporate collaborations and strategic alliances at the University of Southern California’s Stevens Center for Innovation, a role she held from 2013 through 2017. Before that, she worked at the biotech company formerly known as Life Technologies, where she held multiple positions over six years beginning early 2007.

Anest holds a doctoral degree in molecular biology and genetics, which she earned at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2004. She subsequently took up a postdoctoral fellowship at the Rockefeller University, where she did cancer-related research until late 2006. She has since published 8 papers on a variety of life sciences topics.

Executive Profile: Christina Lee, VP of International Growth at Chegg
Christina Lee
International Growth VP

Executive Profile: Christina Lee, VP of International Growth at Chegg

Christina Lee is an 18-year business and marketing industry veteran who serves as vice president of international growth at educational services company Chegg. In this role, Lee oversees Chegg’s international market expansion strategy and operations in the newly created division.

Lee joined the company in 2016 as the VP of marketing, responsible for building the marketing function, supporting the company’s transition from private to public and driving growth across all businesses, her LinkedIn profile said.

Prior to working for Chegg, Lee led the product marketing function at Ning to transform the customer base from freemium to a premium business model. She also managed positioning, go-to-market planning and execution, product launch, performance marketing, company website optimization and competitive intelligence.

In 2011, Ning was acquired by Glam Media where Lee briefly served as senior director of product marketing.

Previously, Lee served as the director of consumer marketing at Yahoo!, where she led marketing intelligence, social media marketing strategy, and exploratory initiatives.

She also managed the marketing for Yahoo! Mail, Search, Messenger, Answers and Groups, leading go-to-market, acquisition and retention marketing initiatives globally.

From October 2001 to May 2003, Lee coached marketers on email marketing’s business intelligence and reporting applications, demand generation tools and content management system.

She was also a marketing manager at Vis-a-Vis Inc. where she helped redesign the company’s website and managed trade show event marketing and marketing collateral production.

Lee holds a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from The University of Hong Kong and a master’s degree in business administration from Santa Clara University.


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