OPIM Innovate

Demonstration of Raspberry Pi

The latest in a series of technology workshops held by UConn’s Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department demonstrated Raspberry Pi. The workshop was held in the OPIM Department’s Gladstein Lab on Friday, April 7th, as part of the department’s new OPIM Innovate Initiative.

The attendees of the workshop came from a wide range of backgrounds beyond Management Information Systems (MIS), including students from the School of Engineering and Computer Science Department.

OPIM adjunct faculty member, Ryan O’Connor instructed the workshop, stating his goal was to explain Raspberry Pi technology and show students what the technology is capable of.

O’Connor said that Raspberry Pi is a Microcontroller, which is basically a tiny portable computer. He said that some common uses of Raspberry Pi technology are to control devices in the home, to host a web server and for Internet of Things (IoT) technology, just to name a few.

“The possibilities are pretty much endless with Raspberry Pi,” O’Connor said.

During the workshop, O’Connor gave an introduction to Raspberry Pi and instructed students on how to host and solve a web server using the technology.

“By the end of the class everyone was hosting a web server off of Raspberry Pi. I don’t think that’s something they thought they’d be able to say coming out of the workshop, so I think it went well,” O’Connor said.

Students in attendance said they found the workshop and O’Connor’s presentation to be extremely informative. O’Connor said he was pleased with the outcome of the workshop, calling it a great success.

The next workshop, an Introduction to Gamification will be taking place on Friday, April 14th in the Gladstein Lab. Please register here to reserve your spot in the workshop as space is limited.

Getting Started with SAS

The Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department’s technology workshops continued on Friday, March 24th with an Introduction to SAS. The workshops are sponsored by the department throughout the semester as part of the OPIM Innovate Initiative.

UConn Management Information Systems (MIS) graduate and current OPIM adjunct faculty member, Marshall Dougherty instructed the workshop in the Gladstein Lab. In addition to his position here at UConn, Dougherty works at Traveler’s in Hartford where he said he uses SAS technology to perform analytics and automation.

According to Dougherty, SAS is a programming language, computer program and a software suite all in one. He said that the reason he really likes SAS is because it allows you to code the way you want to. A foundation of knowledge in SQL is very helpful to understanding SAS, because it can be used within the SAS program.

Through the workshop, Dougherty said he hoped to help the attendees to get over the initial “fear factor” of starting to work with SAS. He said his goals were to provide attendees with an educational first experience with SAS by introducing them to the basic functions, such as inputting information.

The workshop gave a hands-on, interactive experience with SAS. Dougherty gave recommendations on how to successfully work with SAS and he guided students through using the program. Students were able to ask questions and receive assistance during the presentation.

“I hope the audience came away with a basic understanding of how to take excel files, put them into SAS and work with it,” Dougherty said.

One MIS student in attendance, Marc Senatore said he found the workshop to be very instructional. He said it sparked his interest in exploring SAS further. Senatore said it made him very interested in taking Dougherty’s SAS class in the Fall, if he were not graduating.

The next workshop, an Introduction to Raspberry Pi will be taking place on Friday, April 7th in the Gladstein Lab. Please register here to reserve your spot in the workshop as space is limited.

Additionally, Jon Moore, the coordinator of the OPIM Innovate Initiative said he would like to hear any feedback or suggestions that students have and to please email him at jonathan.a.moore@uconn.edu with these requests.

Practicing with SQL


On Friday, February 24th, the Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department’s Gladstein Lab maxed out in attendance for the second technology workshop of the semester, an Introduction to SQL. The workshop is part of a series of technology workshops being put on by the department throughout the semester, as part of the new OPIM Innovate Initiative.

For those who do not know, SQL (Structured Querying Language) is a data-driven application that retrieves information from databases and allows for creating, processing and querying data by retrieving information.

Anna Radziwillowicz, an Instructor in-Residence at the Hartford and West Hartford campuses, taught the workshop with the goal of giving students a basic understanding of SQL and practice writing queries. Radziwillowicz gave a background on databases before moving into creating a data table.

IMG_0473Three students at the workshop claimed to have previous experience using SQL, Radziwillowicz said. Because the majority of the students did not have any or limited experience, she concentrated on giving students a basic overview of the technology, not going too far in depth. She said that a continuation class was a possibility if there was enough interest.


The OPIM Department created demo accounts for students to practice with SQL. During the workshop, students practiced retrieving data from a database, creating a data table and entering data to the table.

At the end of the workshop, Radziwillowicz said students could request a personal account to further practice with SQL at the Business Help Desk by mentioning completion of the workshop.

Keep up-to-date with the upcoming workshops and register online ahead of time to reserve your spot at the next workshop.

About the OPIM Innovate Initiative


OPIM Innovate is the new initiative adopted by the Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department in the Fall 2016. The initiative was developed to market the Management Information Systems (MIS) major and to bring new emerging technology to students.

Department Head Ram Gopal and Instructor in-Residence Jonathan Moore developed and implemented the initiative by expanding the department’s research lab space, bringing in new emerging technology. The lab is equipped with Virtual Reality (VR), 3D Printing, Internet of Things (IoT), Microcontrollers and data analytics.


Initially, the OPIM Department came up with the initiative because they were finding that MIS students with internships in the field were working in innovation centers with technologies, such as IoT, drones, and VR.

“We realized that many interests lie in technology outside the provided curriculum,” Moore said of the expansion.

Moore said that this idea lead to building a more dedicated space for students and faculty in the department to work on projects and learn about different types of technology outside of the classroom. As a whole, the initiative is meant to help students work through the process of completing a project, while learning new technology in the process.

Beginning in the Fall, Moore organized multiple workshops for students featuring different topics relating to new technology. So far there have been workshops about Linux, 3D Printing, Splunk Analytics, IoT, Tableau, and VR. What started as exclusive to MIS students, workshops are now open to all students.


This spring, with the initiative more developed, OPIM Innovate hired a team of students, trained in the design thinking process to operate the Innovation Space and Research lab. Having these students involved helps guide users of the space and to provide technology demonstrations and follow ups to the formal workshops.

An advisory group, made up of students and faculty, has been formed for the initiative to brainstorm different ideas, provide feedback on the current processes and to build buy-in from different areas. Moore said that they are always looking for students or faculty interested in joining the advisory group to share their ideas for the innovation space, future workshops, and to give him any feedback they may have. Any individuals interested in joining the advisory group should contact Jonathan Moore at jonathan.a.moore@uconn.edu.

In the future, Moore hopes to team up with other groups at UConn and potentially outside companies to advance the space and better the experience for students.

Get Up and Running with Linux


The Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department kicked off the first in a series of technology workshops on Friday, February 10th as part of the department’s newly implemented initiative called OPIM Innovate.

OPIM faculty member, Ryan O’Connor instructed the workshop, introducing the Linux operating system. The workshop focused on giving attendees a background on Linux and how to use it.

O’Connor went on to explain the different systems that operate on Linux, such as – research systems, gaming systems, Androids, supercomputers and point-of-sale machines. As for what makes Linux a superior operating system, O’Connor said it is more secure than Windows or Mac.

“Every Facebook post you make, every YouTube video you watch, every Google search you run, is done on Linux,” O’Connor said, quoting an article from ZDNet.

Because of this fact, Linux is important beyond just the information technology field, but in every day life, O’Connor said. The Internet would not run without the Linux system, he said.

When O’Connor asked the group if they had any experience using Linux in the past, many students responded to having some exposure to the software. One student admitted to using Linux for his every day needs for a year, giving up Windows and Mac programs. He said that through this experiment he found that the only thing he missed from other operating systems were the Microsoft Office programs. Other than that, he said Linux was very efficient.

Another student said that prior to the workshop he was aware of Linux. Alex, an engineering student, said he came to the workshop to gain more exposure and experience with the technology because he knows just how widely it is used.

To conclude the workshop, O’Connor gave students information on how to get up and running with Linux, using VirtualBox software.

Despite the snow from the day before, there were 22 students in attendance for the workshop, which took place in the OPIM Department’s Gladstein Lab. The majority of attendees registered in advance with a few students walking in.

The next workshop, an Introduction to SQL, will take place on Friday, February 24th in the Gladstein Lab. Interested individuals are encouraged to sign up ahead of time to secure a spot.

OPIM Workshops for the Spring 2017 Semester

The OPIM Department is excited to announce the schedule for this semester’s technology workshops. The first in a series of skill-building workshops will be held next week, followed by three others over the course of the semester.

All workshops will be held in the OPIM Research Lab (BUSN 391). Food and refreshments will be provided for participants.

Over the course of the spring semester we plan to have the following workshops:

  • Introduction to Linux – Friday, February 10th
  • Introduction to SQL – Friday, February 24th
  • Introduction to SAS  Friday, March 24th
  • Introduction to Raspberry Pi – Friday, April 7th
  • Introduction to Gamification – Friday, April 14th
  • Exploring IOT through SPLUNK Analytics – Friday, April 21st

All workshops will be capped at 20 people so be sure to register online ahead of time.

What is Internet of Things technology?


The final technology workshop for the Fall 2016 semester put on by the Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department on Internet of Things (IoT) took place on Friday, December 2nd. Approximately 20 students attended the workshop in the Gladstein Lab.

Professor Ryan O’Connor gave an interactive presentation to the group, explaining IoT and how it is used in business. His goal was to make IoT technology tangible for students and to teach them more about how it applies to different areas of business.

According to O’Connor’s presentation, the concept of Internet of Things refers to the ever-growing network of physical objects that feature an IP address for internet connectivity, and the communication that occurs between these objects and other Internet-enabled devices and systems.

O’Connor said he became interested in IoT because he is involved in network design and application. He used the Amazon Echo named Alexa as an example of IoT technology during his presentation.  Using voice commands, Alexa controlled other devices in the room through Internet connectivity. Other devices shown were the Awair air monitoring system, Flower Power plant sensor, and LIFX smart light bulbs.


Students in attendance were impressed with the presentation and many said they learned many things about IoT in such a short time. One student said he was very interested in the presentation and wanted to continue exploring IoT after the workshop. He said that O’Connor’s presentation was extremely informative and sparked his interest in the topic even further.

When asked why IoT technology is so important, O’Connor answered simply, “Because it’s the future!”


Tableau: An Introduction to Data Analytics

tableau-workshop-picThe Dean’s Office at the UConn School of Business sponsored a workshop on Tableau data visualization software for students in the Business Connections Learning Center (BCLC). The two-hour workshop took place on the morning of Thursday, December 1st, with 20 students in attendance, the majority of whom were freshmen.The workshop was co-taught by two faculty members in the Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department – Jon Moore and Ryan O’Connor.

The purpose of the workshop was to introduce freshmen and sophomore undergraduate students to data analytics technology and data visualization. The workshop allowed students to learn more about the Management Information Systems (MIS) major and potentially spark their interests in the subject.

The instructors walked students through basic data visualization on the Tableau software and allowed students to experiment with different data sets. The workshop finished with an open-ended problem that asked students to find different stock price data sets and visualize them. The goatableaul was to allow students to visualize and connect the data sets to real world business problems.

Moore said that the workshop allowed students to learn more about how to use technology in their respective majors. A variety of majors were represented, including MIS, Marketing, Accounting and Finance.

The event was voluntary and Moore was pleased with the turn out. He said that it was very rewarding to see the amount of students that expressed interest in the subject. Following the workshop, O’Connor gave students resources to learn more about Tableau going forward.


Understanding Splunk Analytics


The latest in a series of technology workshops being held by UConn’s Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department focused on Splunk Analytics. The workshop took place in the Gladstein Lab on Friday, November 11th. Twenty students attended the workshop to learn more about real-time data analytics using the Splunk platform.

The majority of students in attendance were Management Information Systems (MIS) majors, with a few other majors within the School of Business. An accounting major at the workshop said that he was interested in gaining a better understanding of Splunk because he said it is imperative to being competitive in all aspects of the business world.

Professor Jon Moore, the organizer of the technology workshops, opened up with a brief discussion about why the department is conducting the workshops. He said it is a part of a new initiative called OPIM Innovate. The initiative focuses on creating innovation space, fostering research and providing workshops to students and faculty at the university.

Ryan O’Connor, an instructor in the OPIM Department, took over and gave a presentation about the different features and uses of Splunk Analytics, along with an interactive demonstration. O’Connor said that Splunk is used in most Information Technology  companies for troubleshooting. He said that it has other uses, such as for Big Data Analytics, Data Mining, and Data Security Intelligence. O’Connor called Splunk the “Google of querying data.” He said Splunk allows users to not have to be as specific when searching for data. “I like how versatile it is and how it allows for transparency in IT organizations,” Any student interested in taking Splunk Analytics classes online should email Ryan O’Connor at ryan.oconnor@uconn.edu.

The next workshop will be taking place on Friday, December 2nd with a focus on Internet of Things technology. Students interested in attending can register here to guarantee a spot in the workshop.

Upcoming Fall Workshops

Our third workshop of the semester is an introduction to data analysis with the Splunk platform next Friday, November 11th. Please visit the OPIM site for a full list of workshops and their dates. All workshops are capped at 20 people so please make sure to register on the site ahead of time.  Over the course of the fall semester we plan to have the following:

  • Virtual Reality Demo – (New) overview of the different levels of VR and hands-on experience (Completed)
  • Intro to 3D Printing – repeat of last semester, was very popular so we are offering it again (Completed)
  • Splunk Analytics – (New), introduction to the network analytics software Splunk (Register Now)
  • Internet Of Things – (New), real time data analytics using smart devices (Register Now)