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Interactive Edge provides in-kind software donation

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Advertising, Public Relations, and Retailing students have a competitive advantage as they approach a tight labor market, thanks to a major in-kind software donation from Interactive Edge.

      “We are pleased to offer Michigan State University XP3 Suite, our data analysis/presentation software, as it will help to prepare the future leaders in the consumer products, food and retailing industries with best in class technology to prepare them for the opportunities ahead,” said Zel Bianco, president and CEO of the company. “Interactive Edge strives to be on the cutting edge with updates that allow for more effective use of many different data sources including our latest integration with space management and shopper insights data.”
The company has provided the latest version of XP3, valued at more than $757,000, which leverages data more effectively and allows users to present data directly in Microsoft PowerPoint.  A previous software donation by the company has been used in classes over the past few years. The upgraded software allows students to be consistent with industry practices and will help them to develop data analytical skills, said Linda Good, associate chair of the Department of Advertising, Public Relations and Retailing. The software also allows students to focus on the storytelling aspect of data analysis, an important part of retailing management, rather than spending their time trying to learn to program complex queries, she noted.
Faculty member Jessica Carlo believes the gift will give students an edge in their future careers.  “XP3 is a professional industry-level, SAP-certified software used by companies such as Anheuser-Busch, Diageo, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Quaker Oats, Gatorade, and many more.  Job interviewers were really impressed with former students’ use of professional-grade analytical tools,” Carlo said.
Rich Tibbals, director of technology and facilities in the College of Communication Arts & Sciences, says such gifts greatly enhance the opportunities for students – both today and in the future. “Our college is constantly seeking to provide state-of-the-art technology solutions in classrooms and labs, and such tools also help us to recruit future students and can even help positively affect our rankings,” he said.
The College of Communication Arts & Sciences is one of the oldest and most well-known such colleges in the country. Students in the department compete in national advertising, public relations, and retailing competitions each year. This year, teams from all three disciplines have placed in the top three in national competitions.
For more information on making a gift to the College of Communication Arts & Sciences, contact Director of Advancement Cara Boeff at (517) 432-5672;