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Darla Moore School of Business

Professional MBA program alumnus applying data analytics skills to multiple industries

Aug. 31, 2020

Moore School alumnus Joseph Etris (‘15 MBA) has used the skills he learned at the Moore School for a variety of industries.

Etris said he decided to pursue an MBA to continue his path of learning, gain exposure to a diverse group of industry leaders and increase his ability to create value for others.

Prior to completing the Professional MBA program, Etris was an officer and lieutenant with the Greenville County Department of Public Safety in Greenville, South Carolina. Etris worked in administration and data analytics for the department for a short time after graduating from the Moore School.

Etris, while working with the county information systems department, partnered with a software development team to develop customized applications for the police force. One application was an automated identification of offenders that required DNA collection at the time of arrest; this application helped the department further pursue investigations while also complying with new legislation requirements necessitating DNA collection of all felony arrestees.

Etris completed the business analytics graduate certificate during his time in the Professional MBA program because he enjoyed working with data to create innovative solutions for his company.

“Completing the business analytics certification at the Moore School significantly impacted my overall analytical skill set,” Etris said. “The program exposed us to technological tools critical to solving business challenges. Not only did we learn the fundamentals of analytics, we were also challenged to use these approaches and solve multiple real-world business problems.”

Etris said he was proud of the work he was doing for the Greenville County Department of Public Safety, but when he was offered an opportunity at Continental Automotive in Greenville as an engineer and data analyst, he could not refuse.

“Although I enjoyed my time at [Greenville County] and appreciate the great people who continue to serve, I believed that analytics would play a key role in the future of manufacturing and would be a strategic differentiator moving forward,” Etris said. “So, I changed my career path and joined the Fountain Inn, South Carolina, Continental team with the goal of bringing investigatory analysis to manufacturing.”

As an engineer and data analyst at Continental, Etris was responsible for local IT management, capital projects, providing key performance indicators to business unit leadership and leading a team focused on using data analytic devices to capture data for value creation. Etris also oversaw the building and installation of an energy monitoring and building management system. This system enabled the local plant to receive the Continental Green Plan Label, a corporate award given to plants to meet specific reporting requirements while achieving energy and emission reduction goals.

However, Continental announced in December 2019 that it was closing its upstate facility. Etris accepted a role as vice president of IoT Solutions for Gemba Systems Inc, a startup focused on digital transformation in manufacturing. Gemba Systems works with manufacturers to overcome manufacturing and supply chain challenges by implementing emerging technologies. From the use of smart glasses that assist in identifying defective parts to the use of edge devices that monitor key performance indicators of production equipment, Gemba Systems helps companies navigate the complex and fast-evolving landscape of smart manufacturing.

Eager to continue creating value for Gemba Systems’ clients and utilize his data analysis skills, Etris said the transition to consulting has been “smooth and seamless.”

“My time at Continental spent meeting and learning from other industry leaders, sharing experiences and developing relationships has proven invaluable,” Etris said. “However, my new position [at Gemba Systems] challenges me every day, and I love it.”

As a VP at Gemba Systems, Etris is responsible for ensuring customer success and identifying new business opportunities. Etris helps clients identify improvement initiatives among processes, people and technology. Utilizing his background in data analytics, Etris identifies data needs of a company and helps implement the hardware and software necessary to execute their plans.

“The Moore School provided me with a solid foundation of business knowledge,” Etris said. “In dealing with complex, real-world business issues, it is important to understand how one change impacts another. What is sensible from an operational perspective may negatively impact the accounting department, for example. Insights from classes in accounting, finance, organizational behavior, strategic management, project management and business analytics has empowered me to make executive decisions at Gemba Systems with increased confidence.”

An example of the wide applications of the Moore School’s Professional MBA degree, Etris said he “looks forward to the continued journey.”

-Erin Mooney

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.