Center for Business Analytics and Community Research


The Center for Business Analytics and Community Research (CBACR) is a community resource and a “force for good” at the Johnson College of Business & Economics (JCBE) that contributes to the economic success and well-being of the community, region, and state. The Center focuses on knowledge dissemination, workforce training, community research, and data analytics to enhance decision-making at all levels for businesses, nonprofits, foundations, and government agencies.

The Center serves as an established multidisciplinary resource that delivers community solutions and high-impact student learning experiences.

The Center aligns with the five principles articulated by the Association for the Advancement of Colleges and Schools of Business, the prestigious accrediting body for business schools, to create positive societal impact.

  • Connect business, community, and government to deliver results
  • Solve problems based on knowledge-sharing and research
  • Develop purpose-driven leaders with the vision to tackle the toughest challenges
  • Create hubs for lifelong learning to promote prosperity and elevate economies
  • Inspire innovations with the power to change the world

The Center delivers distinctive services

Business Analytics Solutions and Training:

  • Data-Driven Strategic Planning
  • Digital Strategy and Implementation
  • Data Collection, Cleaning, and Preparation
  • Data Analysis: Descriptive, Predictive, and Prescriptive
  • Data Visualization
  • Communicating Data Impact to Diverse Audiences

Applied Projects:

  • Economic Impact Studies
  • Community Indicators Projects
  • Policy Whitepapers
  • Nonprofit Data Analysis
  • Survey and Focus Group Research

2024 Upstate Workforce & Talent Report

The 2024 Upstate Workforce & Talent Report provides data and discussion on key workforce and talent metrics that are relevant to Upstate business and policy leaders. Topics include workforce participation, workforce demographics and turnover rates by race/ethnicity, median income and cost of living metrics – including “living wage” calculations, consumer spending patterns, educational and training data, regional industrial sector GDP estimates, talent demand forecasts by industry and occupation, job postings analysis, and a review of developing demand for artificial intelligence skills in the Upstate. The report was developed by Sam Cooper, Ph.D. and Mandhira Jeripothula (graduate assistant). The report will be updated annually by the Center for Business Analytics and Community Research housed at the George D. Johnson Jr. College of Business & Economics, University of South Carolina Upstate.

2024 Upstate Workforce and Talent Report (PDF)

Career Development Facilitator Workshop

Sam Cooper and Mandhira Jeripothula presented industry, occupational, and educational data at the Career Development Facilitator Workshop conducted at McCracken Middle School, Spartanburg County School District 7. Career development specialist from across the Upstate of South Carolina participated in the workshop. Cherie Pressley, South Carolina Department of Commerce (retired), facilitated the week-long workshop.

Industry, Talent and Skills Data (PDF)

Who’s hiring in the Upstate?

Beginning this month, the Center for Business Analytics and Community Research (CBACR) is honored to contribute a brief monthly column to the TATT newsletter. The focus of these data will be on talent analytics and the enormous impact that the demand, supply, and migration of talent have on the Upstate of South Carolina. A variety of data sources will be used to tell the dynamic story of talent trends across the region. By design, these data stories will be brief, but informative.

This month, an analysis of data from will spotlight the skills in highest demand from the March 2023 job posting for TATT counties (Note: March is the most recent data currently available). Across the 10-county region, 9,910 job postings appeared on These postings represent 3,835 companies and 335 SOC job titles. The average salary was $45,942.

Click below for additional details on Upstate job postings and the skills most in demand across the region.

Most in-demand job postings and skills across the Upstate region (PDF)

Talent Preparation: An Analysis of Technical College UG Certificate Completion

There are many routes to the development of skills, knowledge, and expertise. One of the primary pathways is through formal education. This month we want to examine the completion rates for students enrolled in either Associate’s degrees or UG (undergraduate) certificate programs at the four campuses of the South Carolina Technical College System that are located in TATT counties. The four campuses include Greenville Technical College, Piedmont Technical College, Spartanburg Community College, and Tri-County Technical College.

The data for this analysis is from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and is extracted from Gray Associate’s data portal. The most recent year with complete data is 2021.

Analysis of Technical College UG Certificate Completion (PDF)

Talent Tips: Labor Productivity and Regional Competitiveness

Recognizing the importance of people analytics, SAP, a leading producer of management and business process software, has released a document titled “100 Critical Human Capital Questions.” Seven of the one hundred questions specifically address workforce productivity, while many other questions address productivity in a tangential manner.

Productivity is a word that we often hear in business conversations, but it is not always fully understood. In many ways we should think of productivity as an engineering (and economic) concept. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that “labor productivity growth is what enables workers to produce more goods and service than they otherwise could for a given number of work hours.” Producing more goods and services without working more hours or being able to produce the same output with fewer hours, potentially allows companies to increase profitability, thus helping to ensure future operations and economic contributions.

Labor Productivity and Regional Competitiveness (PDF)

The Director

Sam Cooper
Director of Strategic Initiatives and Special Projects for the JCBE; Director of the CAECR 

Dr. Sam Cooper is a graduate of the University of South Carolina Upstate. He earned his Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees in Economics from the University of South Carolina and has served in both faculty and administrative roles at other universities. Cooper has been published more than 40 times, including peer-reviewed articles, a book chapter, book reviews, and op/ed pieces. His research interests include public economics and the economics of education.

For questions about the center and to request services, please contact Sam Cooper at