$22 Million

Job PlacementThat’s how much employers brought to the table this spring in their bid to recruit talent from the Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) Class of 2014. The total dollar amount of offers of employment extended to 75 candidates by 55 employers was $22,541,642, to be precise, in starting salaries and signing bonuses. The Class of 2014 attracted a record number of 246 job offers, in record time, and the offer dollar volume was 24% higher than last year’s total of $17.9 million. With 30-days remaining until graduation, 100% of the Class of 2014 have reported receiving one or more offers of employment, and 97% of candidates have already decided on a new position. Employers represent a broad cross-section of industry throughout the U.S. Complete details about this year’s student outcomes will be made available in the 2014 Employment Report in May.

March Madness

March MadnessIt’s “March Madness” at the Institute—and no, we don’t mean hoops! March is the culmination of our annual job placement tournament, when Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) degree candidates make decisions about post-graduation employment opportunities. After hundreds of interviews with dozens of employers, MSA students are on a record-setting pace to become our seventh consecutive class to achieve over 90-percent placement in jobs by graduation. With 97-percent of the Class of 2014 holding one or more offers of employment in the profession, only a handful of students remain undecided about a future employer. Commenting on the successful placement of the Class of 2014, the Institute’s director Dr. Michael Rappa said “It’s like getting to the ‘Final Four’ championship—our graduates have proven themselves to be the winning analytics team year after year without exception. It’s a talented group, and each of them is a first-round draft pick.” Read the rest of this entry »

Lukas Halim (Class of 2014) won Honorable Mention in the 2014 Student Analytics Scholar Competition sponsored INFORMS and supported by SAS. The competition recognizes outstanding students and provides them an opportunity to learn more about the practice of analytics at the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research to be held in Boston later this month. Prior to enrolling in the Masters of Science in Analytics (MSA) program, Halim worked as a reporting lead at Accenture, where he developed and delivered dashboards and reports for account executives. He is a 2002 graduate of Yale University.

M.I.T.A delegation of nine students in the Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) Class of 2014 traveled to Boston to attend the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference held in February. Begun in 2006, the annual sold-out conference engages students, sports enthusiasts and industry insiders in a weekend of presentations on the latest in the application of analytics to almost every facet of professional and college sports data. Members of the student delegation are themselves deeply involved in sport analytics, comprising two MSA practicum teams sponsored by professional sports clubs: one by the Baltimore Ravens football club and the other by the Houston Astros baseball club. Read the rest of this entry »

Prospective students for the Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) are welcome to attend the next applicant information session scheduled for Monday, March 10, at 6:00 PM at the Institute. In addition to learning about the innovative MSA degree program, attendees will meet faculty and staff and tour the Institute facilities. Seating is limited. Interested individuals please register to attend. This will be the last information session of the season. Individuals planning to apply for admission to begin studies this year should submit their application as soon as possible and no later than April 1.

Megan MeadowsJessica PetrusThe Institute is delighted to welcome its newest staff members to our team, Jessica Petrus and Megan Meadows. Jessica is a recent business graduate of The Ohio State University, who joins the Institute as program associate. Having specialized in international business, Jessica is fluent in Spanish and Chinese. The Institute’s new admissions coordinator, Megan, joins us from Florida, where she worked for three years in college admissions at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and Seminole State College. Megan earned her bachelor’s degree in business from East Carolina University. The addition of Jessica and Megan brings the size of the Institute’s staff to fifteen full-time professionals.

A important feature of the Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) program is the opportunity for students to obtain industry standard analytics tool certifications while earning their degree. The most popular certifications among our students come from SAS, the leading provider of business analytics software and services, and founding partner of the Institute. To date, over ninety percent of the MSA Class of 2014 have completed at least three certifications: SAS Certified Base Programmer for SAS 9SAS Certified Predictive Modeler Using SAS Enterprise Miner 7, and SAS Certified Statistical Business Analyst Using SAS 9: Regression and Modeling. Additionally, one-third of the student cohort has earned SAS Certified Advanced Programmer for SAS 9. Read the rest of this entry »

The Institute’s Dr. David Dickey and Andrea Villanes presented separate work at SESUG 2013 in St. Pete Beach, Florida. Dr. Dickey, a professor of statistics who teaches students in the Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) program, delivered an overview of data mining methods titled Finding the Gold in Your Data. Ms. Villanes, a research associate with the Institute, presented work based on her master’s thesis titled Analytical Approach for Bot Cheating Detection in a Massive Multiplayer Online Racing Game. All of the published papers from the SESUG annual meetings are made available online by the Institute as a courtesy to the SAS user community. The archive contains over 1700 papers presented since 1999.

The Institute welcomes applicants for the Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) Class of 2015, our eighth student cohort, which will begin studies next summer. Applications are now being reviewed and the process will continue on a rolling basis, so it is advantageous to apply early. If you plan to submit an application, don’t delay. Read the rest of this entry »

Steve Neola (Class of 2014) was selected by the NCSU Entrepreneurship Initiative to participate in the Silicon Valley Spring Break Trip where he and 15 other students will meet with entrepreneurs and executives from small start-ups to large multi-national companies to prepare them for starting their own businesses. Steve was selected for the scholarship because he would like to create an automated investment solution for hard-working Americans who don’t have the time or skill to manage their own investments. The proposed solution would be more diversified and sophisticated than existing services, while simpler to use. Read the rest of this entry »

The Institute’s Dr. Aric LaBarr spoke recently with IT executives at the Premier CIO Forum in Research Triangle Park. Dr. LaBarr’s talk focused on the incredible and rising demand for data practitioners able to communicate actionable insight to organizational decision makers. He discussed the specific skills and capabilities today’s employers look for in such people, and how the Institute is successfully meeting the need with its intensive 10-month Master of Science in Analytics curriculum. The CIO Forum was developed by and for the leading CIOs and senior IT executives throughout the region in conjunction with the Executive Advisory Council in direct response to the concerns and critical topics of interest.

Michael RappaThe Institute’s director, Dr. Michael Rappa, traveled to the heart of Silicon Valley this week to speak with attendees at the DataBeat 2013 Data Science Summit. Dr. Rappa shared the dais with colleagues from Stanford and Northwestern in a panel discussion on data science education. Northwestern launched its Master of Science in Analytics program in 2012 and will graduate its first cohort of 30 students this month. The Institute is currently in progress with its seventh Master of Science in Analytics cohort, a group of 80 candidates, who are scheduled to graduate in May. Stanford recently announced Read the rest of this entry »

Wall Street JournalWriting in the Wall Street Journal, Tom Davenport (author of the bestseller Competing on Analytics) praised the Institute’s innovative approach to graduate education as a model to be emulated. Davenport is critical of what he sees at other universities, where analytics degree programs are typically placed in a single school and, as a result, offer a narrow perspective. Lamenting the lack of faculty collaboration, Davenport asks “But why can’t we all get along? The earliest graduate degree in analytics, the Master of Science in Analytics at North Carolina State, was a cross-university initiative from its beginning in 2007.” First proposed by Read the rest of this entry »

The Institute thanks the numerous guest lecturers and employers who visited this semester to meet with members of the MSA Class of 2014. We are very grateful for the time they spent sharing information about their work on the front lines of the analytics profession. Visiting lecturers covered a wide range of contemporary topics, from the analytics of software security to the emerging industrial internet, and represented nearly a dozen industries, including aerospace, apparel, banking, consulting, consumer product goods, health care, hospitality, and insurance, among others. Read the rest of this entry »

Andrea VillanesWomen in Computer Science (WiCS) and NCSU Libraries co-hosted a screening of the documentary She++, which explores the issues around girls, code and computing, followed by a panel discussion with the Institute’s research associate, Andrea Villanes. The panel was moderated by Dr. Lina Battestilli, WiCS faculty advisor, and also included NCSU computer science professors Tiffany Barnes and Sarah Heckman, and Google software engineer Melanie Donny-Clark. In the past decade the number of first-year female undergraduates who expressed interest in a computer science major declined 79%. Read the rest of this entry »

The Institute’s Dr. Aric LaBarr and Dr. Michael Rappa were in Baltimore this week to talk in separate sessions at the Decision Sciences Institute (DSI) Annual Meeting. Dr. LaBarr participated in a panel with Satish Nargundkar (Georgia State), Bob McQuaid (Pepperdine), and Kirk Karwan (Furman), which focused on experiences and advice on how to include analytics in university curriculum. The session discussed software tools, preparing data for analysis, balancing the use off-the-shelf software with providing mathematical understanding of techniques, and the amount of teamwork and communication skill development, among other topics. Read the rest of this entry »

M.I.T.What if social networks were smart enough to “forget” friends who were mere acquaintances? What if search engines could “forget” obscure images and webpages crawled years ago? Imagining a future where technologies possess human qualities (like forgetfulness) was the focus of a wide-ranging discussion led by the Institute’s director Dr. Michael Rappa and MIT’s Miriam Roure at Engaging Data 2013, a conference organized by the MIT Senseable City Lab in Cambridge. “The ability to collect, analyze, and store data in perpetuity,” says Rappa, “has created a world in sharp contrast to how the mind has evolved to cope with everyday life. Forgetting (and recollecting) are inherently human qualities, and arguably necessary in a social context.” Read the rest of this entry »

Michael RappaThe Institute’s director, Dr. Michael Rappa, spoke today at the Internet Summit, the Southeast’s largest gathering of people and companies focused on digital media, which is held in Raleigh each year at the Convention Center. Dr. Rappa led a session on “Big Insights from Big Data,” with a talk on the emerging role of data scientists. The session included Brian d’Alessandro (VP of Data Science, Dstillery), Julie Lockner (VP, Information LMS, Informatica), and Srinidhi Kondaji (Software Engineer, Data Science, Eventbrite).

The White HouseThe Institute’s director, Dr. Michael Rappa, was in Washington, DC, today to participate in a White House sponsored meeting to explore public-private partnerships in Big Data. Called Data-to-Knowledge-to-Action, the high-level summit brought together government, industry, and university leaders to discuss collaborations in education and R&D. Dr. Rappa moderated a panel discussion on Education and Workforce Development featuring Dr. Deborah Nolan (University of California at Berkeley) and Dr. Roy Campbell (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). Berkeley, partnering with NYU and the University of Washington, announced a $38 million gift for data science from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Illinois announced a $100 million gift from The Grainger Foundation that will focus on two topics, big data and bioengineering. Read the rest of this entry »

Michael RappaThe Institute’s director, Dr. Michael Rappa, spoke today with faculty and students at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, as part of the Belk College of Business Distinguished Speaker Series. Dr. Rappa spoke about the Institute’s innovative formula for success in addressing employer demand for analytics talent. UNC-Charlotte has proposed the creation of a Master of Science in Data Science and Business Analytics, as a Professional Science Master’s program that draws faculty expertise from the Belk College of Business and the College of Computing and Informatics. The new degree program is scheduled to begin in 2014 pending approval of the UNC Board of Governors. Commenting on the proposal, Dr. Rappa said “UNC-Charlotte is moving in the right direction, working together across disciplinary boundaries to develop an education that will help fulfill a growing need in the region for analytics skills. It’s gratifying to know the Institute has been a source of inspiration for our colleagues in Charlotte.”

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