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NOVEMBER 2017

Faculty spotlight on business analytics’
Guangzhi Shang

DSC_2015Title: Assistant Professor and Dean’s Emerging Scholar

Recent honors/special recognitions: Junior Faculty Research Award by FSU College of Business, nominated for the 2017 best reviewer award by the journal Production and Operations Management

Courses taught: Production and Operations Management for MBA students and Consumer Demand Analytics with Big Data for undergraduates, which I developed from the ground up. I also serve as a founding faculty member for the college’s new Master of Science in Business Analytics (MS-BA). We are admitting our first class this spring for the one-year program that begins in May.

Areas of expertise: Consumer returns management, retail operations, sustainable operations, operations-marketing interface, and business analytics

This area interests me because: The problem of increasing consumer returns keeps retail managers awake at night. However, there are relatively few studies in academia addressing this issue.

Most recently published: Co-authored “How Much Do Online Consumers Really Value Free Returns?” Journal of Operations Management and “Optimal Retail Return Policies with Consumer Opportunism,” Production and Operations Management,both published this year.

The practical implications of my research: Many retailers offer refunds to consumers who, after a trial period, return a product that does not fit their needs. Some consumers are willing to use this return option opportunistically for short-term consumption, rather than its intended purpose of resolving the wrong fit. Such behavior has been termed “wardrobing.” We show how to set prices and refunds optimally when a fraction of consumers engages in “wardrobing.”

This is especially relevant today because: Due to the huge cost and benefit implications of return policies, such as “money-back guarantees,” return managers at leading retailers gather every year to exchange insights on the management of returns. I have been invited to present and share my research insights to this group of industry experts for the past four years.

Why students should consider the field business analytics: To many, “big data” means collecting and storing the ever-increasing amount of information that is available to firms. However, we must create innovative uses of big data to harness its economic benefits. Business analytics courses help students to achieve this goal.

I appreciate alumni involvement because: Our alumni provide internship and job opportunities for our students. They also are a source of research opportunities for faculty researchers.  


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