New Business Data Analytics Lab opens in Sweigart Hall

Lab is the centerpiece of $4.3 million project to home of Rider's College of Business Administration
Megan Lupo

This fall, a brand new Business Data Analytics Lab opened in Sweigart Hall, a visible symbol of the University’s commitment to providing business students with the latest tools and technologies as they prepare to become leaders in their field.

The opening of the lab is a centerpiece of a months-long, $4.3 million renovation project to the home of Rider’s College Business Administration that includes updated classrooms and office spaces, as well as a brand new entrance and lobby space with dining options.

Located on the building’s ground floor, the lab serves as an area where members of the department can learn, collaborate and use software tools and databases relevant to multiple disciplines, including accounting, finance, supply chain, management and marketing. The software — Tableau, SAS, SAP and FactSet, among other programs — gives students access to the tools used by financial professionals.

“Students will benefit by developing a skill set that employers in a variety of fields and professions are aggressively seeking,” says Dr. Cynthia Newman, dean of the College of Business Administration.

Although the lab is accessible for all students, it will particularly benefit students in the business analytics major and minor, as well as the SAS-endorsed graduate certificate in business analytics.

“These renovations will help students feel more prepared when stepping into professional business environments,” senior accounting major Rahquan King-Stubbs says. “I love the improvements. I’ve seen the ways in which our deans and the administration have continually sought to increase the competitiveness of our business school and serve their hard-working students as they prepare for success after graduating.”

The inspiration of the lab originated a few years ago when Newman began consulting with faculty and business professionals. “We jointly decided that creating a business data analytics lab would better allow the College to align with current technological advances and widespread interest in data across government, business and industry,” Newman says.

Other renovations include creating spaces on the third floor that will add more convenience, such as a conference room for the Center for Business Analytics, that previously housed the Center for Business Forensics and a six-person computer lab that enhances the first-floor computer lab.

The classrooms of Sweigart Hall also received a makeover.

“As part of the renovation, all classroom spaces in Sweigart Hall benefited from upgrades to the flooring, lighting and instructional technology as well as the addition of passive and interactive whiteboards,” Newman says.

The $4.3 million project was funded with bond money issued in 2017.

“My vision was to create a modern business look to the public areas of the building that would also provide more spaces where students, faculty and staff from across the University could come to engage, refresh and work,” Newman says. “In the past, the building was often simply a pass-through as people went to classes and offices. Now it will be a destination.”