The Institute for Advanced Analytics invites interested organizations to submit a proposal to sponsor a practicum team project for the Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) Class of 2015. Since 2007, MSA students have conducted a wide variety of projects—70 in all—from virtually every industry sector, as well as state and federal government agencies. Sponsors identify challenging business problems and share data for their team to analyze. The 8-month project is conducted confidentially and without a sponsorship fee. The proposal submission period is open through July 15. To learn more about how to submit a proposal, please see the guidelines for Practicum Sponsorship. If you have questions, or would like to discuss a proposal before submission, please contact the Institute’s practicum manager, Dr. Christopher West. Read the rest of this entry »

Payback PeriodThat’s how long, on average, it will take for students who completed the Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) this year to recover the cost of attending (tuition and fees) and the year of lost earnings (pre-MSA salary). In investment terms, that’s the payback period: the length of time it takes for the cumulative gains from an investment to equal the cumulative cost. Ideally, investors—in this case students—would like the shortest possible payback period on their investment. Shorter payback periods generally have lower inherent risks. A post-graduation survey of students in the MSA Class of 2014 gives an estimated payback period of 19-months for North Carolina residents and 26-months for non-residents.
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Michael RappaThe Institute’s director, Dr. Michael Rappa, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Digital Analytics Association. Founded in 2004, the DAA is a global not-for-profit association of analytics professionals with a mission to help individuals and organizations illuminate and overcome the challenges of data acquisition, exploration, deduction and application. The DAA helps thousands of its individual members become more valuable through education, community, research and advocacy. “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to serve the Digital Analytics Association and its membership,” said Rappa about the appointment. “The DAA provides a vital opportunity for the rapidly growing cadre of analytics professionals working in organizations today to come together, to learn, and to share best practices.” Read the rest of this entry »

Acceptance Rate Drops below 13%Applications to the Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) degree program increased for the eighth consecutive year—and over 70-percent for the third straight year—bringing the total number of applicants for admission to the Class of 2015 to nearly 800. That’s more than triple the number of applications from just 24 months ago, when the Institute first doubled its enrollment to 80 students. The Institute offered admission to 101 applicants to enroll 85 students in the Class of 2015. With the surge in applications, the acceptance rate plummeted to an all-time low of 12.7-percent, thereby making the MSA NC State’s fastest growing, most-selective master’s degree program. Read the rest of this entry »

Keith WalthallSteve NeolaSteve Neola and Keith Walthall share this year’s Director’s Prize as the top graduates in the Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) Class of 2014. Neola and Walthall receive the prize in recognition by their peers of their exemplary performance throughout the 10-month program. Announcing the winners at commencement, the Institute’s director, Dr. Michael Rappa, said “Steve and Keith consistently earned high praise from their peers for their intelligence, leadership and teaming skills. They set a high bar and stand out as ideal role models for all of us—the kind of analytics professionals you want most to have on your team.” Read the rest of this entry »

The Institute held its 7th annual commencement exercise for candidates in the Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) Class of 2014. Diplomas were conferred to seventy-nine degree candidates on a beautiful May 3rd morning at the Raleigh Convention Center. Presiding over the graduation ceremony was the Institute’s founding director, Dr. Michael Rappa. He was joined by members of the faculty, staff and four-hundred invited guests. Surrounded by family and friends, the graduates had much to celebrate as they embark on their new careers gainfully employed in positions as well-paid analytics professionals. Read the rest of this entry »

The Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) Class of 2014 is the Institute’s seventh consecutive cohort to graduate fully employed in promising careers as analytics professionals. All 75 candidates searching for new employment secured positions prior to graduation. Average starting salaries were in the mid-$90′s, with solid gains for candidates without prior work experience. Students had an average of 13 initial job interviews and 3 offers. There were many returning employers, as well as several new employers, including well-known companies such as Apple, Boeing, Cisco, EY, and Red Hat. Fifteen industry segments were represented among those hiring, with software, consulting and financial services being the most popular. “Demand for our graduates is the strongest we’ve seen,” said Dr. Michael Rappa, the Institute’s director. “We’re delighted to have a large following of employers—many of them the world’s most-admired companies.” Read the complete 2014 Employment Report.

The Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) Class of 2014 is on the final leg of its journey, as seventeen practicum teams bring to culmination eight months of work pouring over large volumes of data and building models. Many of the teams are on the road this week traveling to destinations around North Carolina and as far away as Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, and Washington, DC, to deliver the results of their practicum projects to their sponsors. Students conducted a wide array of studies, from reducing hospital re-admissions to improving customer retention to price optimization, and more. Read the rest of this entry »

Congratulations to Wes Ledebuhr (Class of 2014), who took a break from studies to run in the 118th Boston Marathon. Wes was among the more than 32,000 runners from 95 countries taking part in today’s race, completing the 26-mile course in a time of 3:09:02. A Michigan native, Wes taught high school mathematics and coached cross-country before joining the Masters of Science in Analytics (MSA) program last year. He graduated with honors in Mathematics from Michigan State in 2009. In addition to being a marathoner, in college Wes was a member of the Michigan State Alpine Ski Team. Upon completion of his MSA degree in May, Wes will join the Marketing Analytics group at JP Morgan Chase in Columbus, Ohio.

Michael RappaThe Institute’s director, Dr. Michael Rappa, spoke today at the Utility Analytics Summit on the campus of Duke University in Durham. Joining Dr. Rappa on the panel were Dr. Johan Enslin, the Director of the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center at the University of North Carolina at Charolotte, and Dr. Thomas Katsouleas, Dean of Engineering at the Duke Pratt School of Engineering. Moderated by Scott Carlberg, the panel focused on the role of universities in developing analytics talent for the utilities industry.

$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.

INFORMS Business Analytics MeetingA group of students in the Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) Class of 2014 traveled to Boston this week to attend the INFORMS Annual Conference of Business Analytics and Operations Research. The conference program spanned three days and included keynote speeches by Tom Davenport, co-author of the best-seller, Competing on Analytics, and Kathy Kilmer, Director, Sales Planning and Analytics, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Read the rest of this entry »

CignaThe Institute’s director, Dr. Michael Rappa, was the invited guest speaker today to a biannual gathering of the Cigna data organization convened by the company’s Vice President for Information Management and Analytics, Scott Filiault. Based in Bloomfield, Connecticut, Cigna is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. Cigna has $32.4 billion in annual revenues and sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, with approximately 80 million customer relationships throughout the world. The company has approximately 35,000 employees worldwide and its analytics team is based in both Bloomfield and Raleigh. In addition to sponsoring a practicum project, Cigna regularly recruits graduates from the Institute’s Master of Science in Analytics program.

SAS Global ForumThe Institute had a big presence this week at SAS Global Forum (SGF). In addition to the Institute’s exhibition booth alongside a large contingent of universities, several members of the faculty participated in various aspects of the annual conference. Dr. Aric LaBarr delivered a presentation on Volatility Estimation with ARCH and GARCH Modeling, where he talked about how the financial world uses different modeling techniques to forecast the volatility of financial markets. Dr. David Dickey gave a presentation entitled Got Randomness? SAS for Mixed and Generalized Linear Mixed Models. Dr. Dickey was also honored as recipient of the 2014 SAS Distinguished Professor award, which recognizes a professor using SAS in teaching and/or research and supporting successful student use of SAS. Andrea Villanes received a travel scholarship to attend SGF and presented a poster of her research An Analytical Approach for Bot Cheating Detection in a Massive Multiplayer Online Racing Game. Read the rest of this entry »

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