With a focus on experiential learning, students in Binghamton University’s new MSc in Data Analytics program have teamed up with organizations from various industries on real data-driven projects. .
“These projects are one of the most valuable experiences of the program,” said Manoj Agarwal, program director and professor of marketing at the School of Management at Binghamton University. “Our students work directly with professionals and learn first-hand how data analysis is used to answer management questions and develop strategies.”
The Data Analytics program, which began in fall 2020, is a collaboration between the School of Management, Harpur College of Arts and Sciences, and Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science. The partnership emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of the program, with teachers from all three schools teaching in the program.
“Every industry needs not only data analytics, but also individuals who know how to communicate ideas and conclusions from the data,” Agarwal said. The program includes a special course in data visualization and communication.
The 30-credit STEM program only takes 10 months. After introductory classes in the fall, students work on projects in the spring and summer in hands-on classes. Organizations provide students with a large amount of data and task them with working on a problem or task, regularly checking progress.
“The projects really allow our students to test the skills they have learned,” Agarwal said.
The process ends with a final presentation, in which students share their analyzes and conclusions.
The 2020-21 cohort worked on six projects (the names of some organizations are withheld for confidentiality purposes):
- Analyzed data from a large investment bank on B2B sales to assess the current state of the market, derive insight and recommend strategies to increase business.
- I worked with a major automaker to create predictive models to predict sales trends. Students analyzed the aggregate relationships between actions along the buying funnel and conversion signals, such as lead generation and sales.
- Analysis of data from a local hospital on operating room costs related to the heart. The students used information such as consumables detailed by case, duration, type of case, and time to find relationships in outcomes such as length of stay and physician efficiency.
- Worked with a regional financial institution to determine the effect of the pandemic on transaction volumes at physical branches. This information helped determine how the use of the customer channel (physical branch visits, online banking, etc.) has changed since the start of the pandemic, and whether these changes will continue after the pandemic, affecting future trends. banking.
- Analyzing purchase data from a leading software company to identify product recommendation strategies to meet consumer purchasing needs. Students examined frequently purchased products together to develop strategies for the company to make more effective purchase recommendations to customers.
- Analyzed City of Syracuse, NY, data on water billing, rental registry certificates, and plot data to create predictive models of properties likely to be rented.
“The hands-on lessons were a very good experience as they allowed us to work with real world data,” said Dylan Mitlof ’20, MS ’21, a program alumnus. “The problem-solving skills I learned are very valuable and the extensive content of the program surprised me. “
This sentiment was shared by Ashok Patel, who entered the program with previous work experience in data analysis.
“They provide a great opportunity for students to use the knowledge gained from the courses by enabling them to work with real data in collaboration with real world organizations. They give students confidence that they can get jobs in this field and manage these kinds of projects in their future roles, ”he said.
With the first cohort of students graduating over the summer, Agarwal is already planning projects for this next spring.
“We are looking for projects that involve reasonably large amounts of data, as well as organizations willing to interact with students on a regular basis while they work on the projects,” Agarwal said. “It’s a win-win situation for our students and the organizations we team up with. “
To learn more about how your organization can team up with Binghamton’s MS in Data Analytics program, visit this link.