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 »

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.

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