How I Transitioned from Fashion to Analytics

Written by: Tanushree Agarwal, MS in Business Analytics ’24

Career shift!? Daunting, isn’t it? I totally get it.

After much contemplation I made one myself, transitioning from the ever-colorful world of fashion to a completely different sphere—the world of numbers and data.

Where I began.

I stood at the intersection of creativity and commerce in the fashion industry where my professional life was interwoven with fabric textures, color palettes and seasonal trends. With a bachelor’s degree in fashion technology from a university in India, I explored the industry, from fabrics and garment manufacturing to retail and merchandise planning. I had the chance to delve into the glamourous world of brands, designers and fashion shows, even gracing the ramp at a few events myself.

My journey into the industry began with a role as a merchandiser where I oversaw the facets of product development of numerous stunning designs and planning their production at a garment manufacturing firm. From selecting the perfect fabrics to ensuring those trendy designs made it from the drawing board to the store racks, I was right there, soaking in every bit of the creative and logistical hustle that makes the fashion industry come alive.

Another milestone was checked when I started working in the more fast-paced environment of fashion e-commerce retail where I juggled between sourcing high-quality materials, balancing costs, timely deliveries and managing inventory. You can imagine the extent of excitement and challenges of trying to keep up with the rapidly changing trends and demands while making sure our inventory was just right.

My transition.

It was during these moments that I realized there’s more to fashion than just the glamorous runways and trendy clothes—there’s a whole world of data and analytics that keeps the fashion engine running. While there is a canvas that stages the creativity, there is an entire toolkit at the backend that shapes and executes the vision. Behind every successful fashion collection lies a foundation built on the pillars of data interpretation, trend analysis and forecasting.

I found myself diving headfirst into the numbers game, trying to decipher the patterns and trends that govern consumer preferences and market demands. Those spreadsheets and data sets that seemed a bit daunting at first slowly started making sense. Suddenly, I wasn’t just managing inventory; I was making calculated decisions based on insights into demands and order quantities. I wasn’t just sourcing materials; I was understanding the science behind what makes certain products fly off the shelves while others gather dust.

It was this exciting overlap between the creativity of fashion and the precision of analytics that got me thinking, “Maybe there’s more to this data-driven world that I could explore.” This overlap marked the turning point for me. It led me to make a “data-backed decision” to embrace the often-dreaded career shift. And here I am, pursuing my master’s in business analytics and watching data unfold its influence everyday with its application across all domains.

Tanushree Agarwal, MS in Business Analytics '24

Bio: Tanushree, born and raised in India, has had her family as her steadfast support throughout her personal and professional journey.

Graduating from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Tanushree’s passion for fashion took root. Turning her passion into a profession, she worked as a merchandiser in apparel manufacturing and later managed inventory at Myntra, a major fashion e-commerce platform in India. Her experience piqued her interest in the world of analytics, leading her to pursue a Master’s of Science in Business Analytics at UB, where she aims to blend her business acumen with technical skills.

Beyond academics, Tanushree is a cat lover and finds delight in the presence of cats. Interestingly, she even had a pet white mouse once. She is all about art and analytics and finds joy in sketching and painting in her free time.

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