Pan Chen, Principal
Pan is passionate about learning and teaching. He has over 20 years of experience in teaching and developing people to solve business problems. He combines academic training with real business experience in multiple business sectors, and has consulted at all levels of multiple organizations.
He earned his Ph.D. in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from Cornell University. While he enjoyed the intellectual challenge in academics, Pan valued real-world business problem solving even more so he began a career in management consulting with Booz Allen Hamilton. At Booz he learned how to combine problem solving and effective communication to help clients in the automotive and high-tech industries. Upon leaving Booz Allen, Pan served as a management consultant and the Chief of Staff for the COO of a boutique consulting firm. In this unique role, Pan not only provided consulting to external clients, but also played a critical role in getting internal executives aligned in company strategies, organizational structure, and people development.
Pan mastered problem solving during his years at Capital One. In less than seven years, he took on a number of roles across multi-channel marketing, credit risk, product strategy, and customer experience. He was instrumental in redefining the Internet strategy at Capital One and successfully managed one of the most challenging credit segments through the recession in the late 2000s. He devoted significant energy in developing team members, many of who became C-level executives later on in their careers.
He demonstrated his industry versatility when he successfully transitioned from Capital One to IRI, a market research company specializing in retail and CPG. He pioneered the first ever Analytics Center of Excellence where he sold and delivered the largest pricing contract ever sold at IRI. He also demonstrated his organizational leadership at HAVI, where he led the transformation of the analytics business from a single-client model to a multi-customer model and significantly grew the capabilities of the team. He eventually helped to establish and lead the consulting practice at HAVI. During his tenure at both IRI and HAVI, Pan took on initiatives to train internal associates on effective problem solving and communication, including work in Germany, England, China, Hong Kong, and Japan.
In 2015, Pan decided to further promote effective problem solving and communication by teaching a managerial analytics course at Northwestern University as an adjunct professor. In this graduate level course, he completely revamped the course material by instituting a more practical structure and more effective techniques with plenty of real-world examples. He also sponsored capstone projects at the University of Chicago and Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). Pan served as the President of the Chicago Chapter of INFORMS, introducing more practical applications to this hybrid association between industry and academics. In this capacity, he helped put together an annual conference in the Chicago area to share industry best practices in analytics.