Nancy Smith, B.S.’91

Offering a Better Product

By Amy Halloran, B.A.’90

NANCY SMITH, founder and president of Analytic Partners, Inc. (, created her own marketing-consulting company in 2000 to offer tools she found lacking in the industry.

“I found it very difficult to get what I needed from the different suppliers and research companies we contracted with,” Smith said of her time as a market-research manager at Clairol. “Previously, I had worked for a research company, and I felt that I could offer a better product than I was getting from the vendors out there.”

Smith’s experience allowed her to see the business from the client’s side and the research vendor’s. She credits her professors at UAlbany for encouraging critical thinking.   

“In economics and sociology classes, professors challenged the class to evaluate the world as it is, and for alternatives to the status quo,” said Smith. “A consistent lesson was that systems, and the world, can be evaluated and changed as long as you have the right perspective.”

Economics classes helped her understand how business works, the how and why of consumer behavior, and the magic of supply and demand. One class, in particular, stressed the power and impact of business decisions, something that figures significantly in her company’s work.

“I am grateful for my experience at UAlbany,” said Smith. “I learned from a diverse set of professors and with a diverse, international student body. It was a formative time for me; it gave me the tools for personal and professional success.”

Analytic Partners, Smith said, “delivers actionable business analytics. The goal is to empower decision-making by helping clients understand the collected information and make optimal choices that will increase revenue, market share and profits. Collaboration with our clients is important to acting on the insights, and to monitoring how those actions will impact the overall business plan.” 

Analytic Partners, based in New York City, also has offices in Cincinnati and Denver, and in Asia, Australia, Europe and South America.