CN Supply Chain Analytics Lab gives Bissett students real-time link to company data

Transportation giant supports new facility with $500,000 donation

In the CN Supply Chain Analytics Lab, Bissett School of Business students work alongside Brian Fleming, PhD, left, associate professor in supply chain management.

A new $500,000 analytics lab at Mount Royal University lets students seek out and analyze live and historical business data crucial to navigating Canada's new economy.

The industry-leading technology in the CN Supply Chain Analytics Lab provides students with dedicated space to work on the Refinitiv Eikon Data Platform that accesses the inner-workings of companies around the world in real time. Data from this platform shows students how ethics, the environment and other factors combine with price to influence decision-making and the supply chain.

"The analytics lab will provide a vital learning environment within the Bissett School of Business. The Eikon platform opens the potential for further analytics programming," says Elizabeth Evans, dean of the Faculty of Business and Communication Studies. "We're thankful to CN for its support of this lab as we look to prepare business students for the opportunities of Calgary's future economy."

The lab includes 15 Refinitiv Eikon licences to support 12 student terminals, one for an instructor in the lab and two available for professors to use for curriculum and research requirements. It can accommodate up to 36 students, with groups of three using one terminal each. CN says the lab reflects the importance of supply chain management to the transportation industry that helps drive the Canadian economy, and provided the $500,000 donation for it development.

"Supply chain innovation is part of our DNA at CN and we are very proud to engage the next generation of leaders through our support of the CN Supply Chain Analytics Lab at Mount Royal University," says Lonny Kubas, assistant vice-president of supply chain at CN. "Knowing firsthand the important role that analytics plays in supply chain management, it is really an honour to be a part of this project."

Supply chain management is the management of products, services and information from suppliers to customers. It incorporates the latest developments in technology, sustainability and risk management to add value to businesses, consumers and the economy in general.

"Historical data is one thing, but students need an appreciation that ethics, human rights and sustainability are factors that companies are incorporating in deciding who they will do business with," says Brian Fleming, PhD, associate professor in supply chain management at Mount Royal University. "This lab opens that door from a supply chain perspective so we can go into these companies in real time and find out who they are and what they are all about."

The province recently approved Mount Royal's Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with a major in supply chain management along with a BBA with a major in finance and a BBA with a major in international business.

Students anticipate opportunities

Students can access real-time and historical business data in the CN Supply Chain Analytics Lab.

Students have already been using the programs for research, and that will increase and expand in a number of directions going forward, benefiting not just supply chain management, but all areas of the Bissett School of Business, Fleming says.

Sebastian Castillo, who is in his fourth year of business studies with a concentration in supply chain management, says the access to data will bring profound benefits to him and his classmates.

"This new analytics lab will provide both myself and my colleagues the opportunity to become comfortable with thousands of lines of data," Castillo says. "This comfort will allow us to become proficient at data mining, which is the interpretation of information to assist in decision-making. By learning how to approach data, all students who access this lab will advance their skills with analytics, and be more prepared for the real world.

"The value Mount Royal has added to their students, including myself, by giving us access to this lab will only strengthen our presence in academic and professional fields."

Cameron Saik, a student in his fifth year at MRU who is completing a double major in supply chain management and marketing, agrees and is excited about using the lab.

"The lab offers students an amazing chance to experience a very important part of the supply chain sector - analytics," Saik says. "Through the lab, and a large library of collected data, we will become comfortable with handling surface level data mining. Learning how to approach analytics and data is a key aspect of allowing supply chain students to become prepared for real world applications and this lab offers the capability to do that.

"By adding this, Mount Royal University is able to continue to innovate and push boundaries as a university."


Find out more about how an education in supply chain management from Mount Royal can open doors.


Sept. 26, 2019 — Peter Glenn

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