On Wednesday, September 11th, the Operations and Information Management Department hosted a Careers in Analytics panel, sponsored by Hanover Insurance. At the panel, professionals from various career fields and levels of experience came to speak with students regarding the impact data analytics has on their individual industries. The lineup consisted of Craig Calvert (Associate Professor, OPIM Department) and UConn graduates Zaineb Haroon (DTLP Specialist, United Technologies), Mahiza Dalal (Business Tech Analyst, Deloitte), and Nofel Khan (ETL Specialist, Marcum LLP). Joining these panelists were also Derek Winkler, Associate Vice President of Data Science, and Kevin Pray, Vice President of Innovation, from Hanover Insurance.
Throughout the Careers in Analytics panel, the general consensus among all speakers was that analytics has revolutionized business processes. Good data has the ability to drive business decisions, create the foundation for valuable discussions, and guide professionals during times of uncertainty. Data especially works well with a guiding question or business problem, which is where analytics professionals come into play. “At the end of the day,” said Derek Winkler, “you need to see what the ultimate business impact is.” Otherwise, the data collected and observed may be useless.
As for the scope of data analytics, both Zaineb Haroon and Craig Calvert gave valuable insight with regard to career expectations and opportunities. “You’re going to learn a lot [when you start working],” said Zaineb Haroon. “Every company has their own practices and their own tools–I would just keep an open mind.” Calvert, to continue the discussion, made it a point to emphasize that “[data] is everywhere” and that successful data analysis can be done with even the most basic tooling. “Especially with data visualization, every time you touch Excel and make charts, you’re presenting data in some format,” he said. Mahiza Dalal, however, still suggested students learn how to use Splunk, Qlik Sense, user behavior analytics tools, and Tableau to expand their analytics skillset.
To close the panel discussion, Derek Winkler and Jonathan Moore introduced the audience to the Hanover Image Analytics Challenge. The challenge, which can be pursued through a one-credit course or as an extracurricular project, presents students with the opportunity to attend free analytics workshops and get paid. All a student has to do is build an interdisciplinary team of four and present their final solution to the Hanover team on November 20th.
For more information on the Hanover Image Analytics Challenge, please attend the kick-off on September 18th or visit the Image Analytics Challenge homepage.