Thrivent Financial has joined the University of Minnesota's Social Media and Business Analytics Collaborative. The partnership will provide unique opportunities for both organizations to research timely business questions related to social media and data analytics.

"We're excited to be working with Thrivent Financial," said Ravi Bapna, co-director of the Social Media and Business Analytics Collaborative and professor at the Carlson School of Management. "Thrivent takes a very forward-thinking approach to understanding the changes affecting their industry. We've already had fascinating conversations about some ways social media, data, and predictive analytics may be used to further strengthen the business."

Thrivent Financial is a fraternal benefit society that offers life insurance, annuities, mutual funds, and other financial products and services to Christians. For more than a century, Thrivent has helped nearly 2.4 million member-owners helped members make wise money choices that reflect their values while providing them opportunities to demonstrate their generosity.

Said Bill McKinney, vice president of talent and long term development at Thrivent, "Thrivent always looks for ways we can better serve our members and communities. Partnering with the University will help us leverage cutting-edge research in data science and test new ideas to make strategic use of data and social media."

As charter members of the Social Media and Business Analytics Collaborative, Thrivent will have access to University expertise in social technologies and data analytics. Computer science, engineering, marketing, labor studies, information systems, economics, mass communications, and law are among the disciplines represented. Participating faculty research a range of topics, from peer influence in online communities to crowdsourcing strategies, and from recommender technologies to customer churn prediction.

More information about the University of Minnesota's Social Media and Business Analytics Collaborative is available online at