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Marketing Analytics Grad Student Starts a New Chapter

By Caroline Barnhill

Cole Callahan believes he can change the world for the better – and that data can help him get there. 

In pursuit of that dream, Callahan turned to Poole College of Management’s new Master of Management, Marketing Analytics concentration. This fall, he joins 19 other students from around the country for the program’s first cohort.

“This program was the missing piece for me. I know that big data can change the world and how we work, because we can only do the best with what we know,” Callahan says. “When we unravel new data and combine it in different ways, we can discover insights we never knew – and tell stories that are yet to be told.”

A storyteller at heart, Callahan graduated from Ball State University with a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications with a concentration in video production and marketing. While there, he received several awards for his video production work – including the Student Philanthropist Award, Golden CASE Award, Silver CINDY Award and Silver ADDY award.

Now, with a passion to develop those storytelling skills even further, Callahan is starting his next chapter at Poole College.

It all started, he says, with a slice of ambition.

“My first manager at Cisco, Suzanne Phillips, was a shining light in my life who had an ambitious spirit that I fed off of. Her ambition made me hungry to learn and do more, and I learned she was a graduate of Poole,” Callahan says. “When I heard about the MM in Marketing Analytics program, I saw it as another avenue to develop my storytelling and decision-making skills. It was exciting and new – and I knew I wanted to be a part of it.”

Today, Callahan acts as the Webex Community and Content Manager at Cisco Webex, where he brings more than 100,000 community members together.

“I’m extremely passionate about community, and in this role, I have the opportunity to give our community members a platform to connect and share their stories. I host virtual events, lead community ecosystem strategy, develop campaigns and curate content relevant to our user base,” Callahan shares.

That experience cemented Callahan’s interest in becoming a director of digital content – and the Master of Management, Marketing Analytics concentration, he says, allows him to start down that path.

“I’m excited to be in the trenches, crunching numbers and getting one step closer to that goal. I hope to familiarize myself with handling and analyzing large data sets to become a more confident decision-maker. Ultimately, I want to understand what data I need to ensure every campaign and strategy aligns with the goals of the larger business.”

From Callahan’s perspective, companies have incredible insights right at their fingertips – but many haven’t discovered them yet.

“Data can tell stories, but some companies don’t have the tools or gathering methods they need to write them,” Callahan explains. “Through data, businesses can discover what is working and what’s not. They can measure their successes and failures. And they can discover insights that will drive their missions forward and give them a competitive advantage. In that sense, this degree will help me unlock the true potential of my organization.”

Understanding what data can do, Callahan is eager to dig his heels in at Poole College.

“I look forward to the hands-on learning experience and the opportunity to use real data to make informed decisions,” he says. “With the incredible reputation of Poole, I have no doubt the experience will be valuable, and one that will help me unlock my own potential, too.”