12th Annual Analytics Day

1st Place Analytics DayKennesaw State University’s Analytics and Data Science Institute hosted its 12th Annual Analytics Day Friday, April 26, 2019. Over 300 business, industry and academic experts convened to discuss today’s data challenges and solutions and to help build a framework for understanding and using data ethically.

Dr. Jennifer Priestley, associate dean of The Graduate College, noted this event has experienced significant growth from its inception in 2007. In one year, attendance increased from 150 to around 200 people, including attendees from companies such as Mercedes Benz, Coca Cola, The Home Depot, AT&T, Mail Chimp, IHG, UPS, Turner, Microsoft and Cox.

One of the most notable draws for KSU students is the student poster2nd Place Analytics Day competition, sponsored by The Southern Company. Graduate and undergraduate students present their analytical projects and research to the attendees for a chance to win cash prizes, including $1,500 for first place, $750 for second place, and $250 for third place for both graduate and undergraduate divisions.

“Students at the undergraduate, masters and Ph.D. levels present their classwork/research in a forum where they have to be able to communicate their results succinctly to a wide variety of people — ranging from subject matter experts to individuals who may know nothing about their field,” Priestley explained. “It’s a great way for students to develop their communication skills. The topics this year ranged from credit scoring to cancer detection, vehicle routing to predicting the winner of March madness.”

3rd Place Analytics DayMore than 40 graduate and undergraduate students participated in the student poster competition, with Jessica Rudd in first place for the graduate division, Jonathan Boardman and Seema Sangari in second, and Bryan Yockey in third.

The connections students build and the ability to network and build relationships with prominent companies in the business world makes participating in these events beneficial for all students. “I think this event is a manifestation of how we approach analytics and data science at KSU — with heavy emphasis on application and experiential learning, which helps our students at all levels develop the skills necessary to be competitive in the job market both today and in the future,” Priestley added.

Students also have the opportunity to listen and interact with two different panels offering their take on the theme Ethics in Data Science: an industry panel comprised of executives from Microsoft, Cox, The Home Depot, MailChimp and Catalina Marketing and an academic panel with KSU’s Dr. Sherrill Hayes, Ram Chellapa from Emory University, Brandeis Marshall from Spelman College, and Rachel Cummings from Georgia Tech.

Thanks to all the sponsors who ensure this event is a success, including Equifax, SAS Institute, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Flock Specialty Finance, Microbilt and Southern Company.