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.

Michael RappaThe Institute’s director, Dr. Michael Rappa, gave a luncheon keynote speech today about the emergence of analytics education at a congregation of accounting professors in Raleigh. The American Accounting Association’s 2014 Accounting Information Systems Section Midyear Meeting and AIS New Scholar Consortium brought together over a hundred accounting faculty from across the country. Founded in 1916, the American Accounting Association is the largest community of accountants in academia.

SASA 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 »

If you’re an employer looking to hire a talented analytics professional in the next 120 days, please let the Institute connect you with one of our 80 candidates in the Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) Class of 2014. The Class Resume Book is now available and free to prospective employers. Please contact us to receive your electronic copy today. We look forward to working with you in the coming months.

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 »

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