Nationwide and Fisher partner to address consumer marketing issues

Nationwide Insurance announced it is collaborating with Fisher College of Business at Ohio State to create the Nationwide Center for Advanced Customer Insights. This partnership creates one of the select few centers dedicated to researching and evaluating consumer behavior in the United States.

The center will focus on current, substantive customer and market research problems. Nationwide, with the help of Ohio State faculty members, graduate students and center staff, will identify and formulate business, marketing and operations research problems. Through this partnership, Ohio State faculty, staff and students will have the opportunity to apply creative research to solving practical business problems.

“What distinguishes this center is the holistic, interdisciplinary approach students will be utilizing to solve today’s real world business problems,” said James Lyski, chief marketing officer for Nationwide Insurance. “This partnership will allow us to foster innovative results by combining a broad base of academic disciplines including statistics, behavioral science, economics and marketing to help address the most pressing problems we face every day.”

Nationwide will utilize the knowledge gained from this research as a foundation for the development of plans and strategies to capture new markets, develop new products, enhance existing markets and products, and improve future profitability. In addition, the center will enhance student career opportunities by providing them the chance to develop quantitative skill sets more marketable in a service-based economy. Nationwide is also a charter member of the Fisher College's Initiative for Managing Services and recently provided a gift to support a risk management curriculum and research.

“One of the greatest challenges for business scholars engaged in empirical research is organizational entry, gaining access to firms as research sites and the data they possess,” said Stephen L. Mangum, interim dean for Fisher College of Business. “This new center will offer OSU faculty and graduate students seminal research opportunities and direct access to Nationwide’s customer and marketing data and direct access to Nationwide marketing executives.”

Ohio State will manage the center and staff it with the best in class Ohio State faculty, staff and graduate students. Nationwide will provide an Executive-in-Residence, who will work on-site in the center.

“The center will manage both tactical projects involving the application of existing theory and methodologies to solve specific business and marketing problems, and research projects aimed at developing new analytical methodologies,” said Tom Bishop, who was named the center’s director. “Ohio State researchers using state of the art predictive modeling, data mining and advanced analytical techniques can help improve the understanding of customer behavior and consumer purchasing patterns.”

Bishop, an associate professor in the Ohio State Department of Statistics, specializes in statistical consulting, experiment design, regression analysis, and the role of statistical theory and methods within the context of the scientific method. He was the former director of the Statistical Consulting Service at Ohio State, and former manager of the Applied Statistics Section at the Battelle Columbus Laboratories.