As Ken Coleman has established himself as a pioneer and a leader in the Silicon Valley technology scene, he’s made sure to never forget his roots. And for the double Buckeye, that includes keeping Columbus and Ohio State top of mind.
Coleman, chairman of Saama Technologies, Inc., a leading Big Data solutions and services company headquartered in Silicon Valley, recently traveled to Columbus to announce Saama’s plans for expansion in central Ohio after raising $35 million in funding. The company will look to leverage the area’s strong ties to the insurance, consumer packaged goods and other industries.
“It was a logical step for us to make for a number of reasons,” said Coleman, who earned an MBA from Ohio State in 1972. “We already had a small presence in Ohio. There’s been an increasing amount of activity in Columbus and at Ohio State in data analytics, and we felt that Ohio State produces the kind of graduates we’re looking to recruit.”
Under Coleman’s guidance, Saama has partnered with Fisher in its Business Analytics Industry Cluster, which provides MBA-like experiences for undergraduate students in seven highly relevant fields, including consulting, consumer packaged goods, energy and sustainability, health care, manufacturing and the middle market. The college also recently unveiled a minor in business analytics, offering students the opportunity to complement their major with skills in this fast-growing and important field.
“Saama is one of our leading practitioners in the field of Business Analytics in our Business Analytics Cluster, sharing their expertise with us as they address up-to-the-minute issues facing businesses today,” said Anil K. Makhija, Dean and John W. Berry, Sr. Chair in Business at Fisher. “We follow an action-learning format and look to students to provide real-world solutions, in addition to the series of lectures designed to provide students with the breadth and depth of knowledge that they will need to succeed.”
Coordinating Saama’s expansion in Columbus and increasing the collaboration between Ohio State, Fisher and Saama is just the most recent example of Coleman’s dedication as a Fisher alum. He serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council, was a recipient of the Ohio State University Distinguished Service Award and was honored with the School of Business Distinguished Graduate Award.
“I’ve watched the evolution of data analytics at Ohio State, and I love the concept of students working closely with industries and across the university,” Coleman said. “For me, it’s a personal joy to be expanding in the Columbus area and working more closely with Ohio State. I look forward to providing opportunities for growth in data analytics to Fisher and Ohio State alumni and students and being able to serve our customers well.”