Shaw Industries counts on Kennesaw State data science students

KENNESAW, Ga. | Oct 15, 2019

Flooring manufacturer partners with KSU's Analytics and Data Science Institute

data science partnership

Graduate students in Kennesaw State University’s Analytics and Data Science Institute are using their skills to help Shaw Industries find solutions to improve the customer experience.

Through a partnership between the Dalton-based flooring manufacturer and KSU’s Analytics and Data Science Institute, graduate students will have access to data about the customer journey as it relates to the sample ordering process.

“This is a unique course because it brings students from multiple analytical programs together to work on interdisciplinary teams,” said Jennifer Lewis Priestley, associate dean of the Graduate College; executive director of the Analytics and Data Science Institute; and professor of Statistics and Data Science. “From MBA students to graduate students in information systems, computer science and statistics, they’re all in the same class, tackling the same problem, much like they would do in a real-world situation.”

The class will spend the fall semester analyzing data from Shaw’s samples division, which provides customers with swatches, boards and other product concepts to inform and guide their buying decisions. KSU students will present insights and make data-based recommendations to Shaw on ways to enhance the customer experience.

Priestley said Shaw, with some 82 KSU alumni in its vast workforce, is also keen on fostering continued associate recruitment efforts at KSU, especially among the analytics and data science students.

A cross-functional team of Shaw associates is guiding the students and providing business context for the project. It includes Erika Swartz and Teva Seale from manufacturing business insights, and Adam Thomas and Sheri Stroop from the samples organization.

“We are excited to be working with Kennesaw State University on this project,” said Swartz. “For us it’s a true win-win – we leverage the skills of a talented interdisciplinary group of students and provide them the opportunity to learn by working on a challenging, real-world data science problem.”

Over the past few years, Priestley’s students have undertaken similar projects for such organizations as SPANX, The Coca-Cola Company, Georgia-Pacific and Cox Communications. In all instances, students have an opportunity to have a real-world project experience, and companies receive new and innovative solutions to their data-centric challenges.


About Shaw Industries

Shaw Industries Group, Inc. is more than a flooring company – we are 22,000 people united in our vision of creating a better future for our customers, for our people, for our community and for our company. We provide carpet, resilient, hardwood, tile and stone, laminate, synthetic turf and other specialty items for residential and commercial markets worldwide. We meet diverse customer needs through an expansive portfolio of brands, including: Anderson Tuftex, COREtec, Patcraft, Philadelphia Commercial, Shaw Contract, Shaw Floors, Shaw Hospitality, Shaw Sports Turf, Southwest Greens, USFloors and more.

Headquartered in Dalton, Shaw is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway with more than $6 billion in annual revenue and representation throughout the U.S., as well as in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, India, Mexico, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. For more information about our company brands, operations and community involvement, or to join our industry-leading team, visit

– Robert S. Godlewski


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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit