Month: April 2015

AETNA Networking Info-Session

The networking info-session with AETNA, one of the biggest health care and insurance companies in the United States, was about how Aetna drives the change and innovation in the field of Analytics and the skills required for team working in IT Analytics department. In this info-session, Joe Foley, the Senior Director- IT Analytics, shared how Aetna is using Analytics to develop business solutions, key tools used in Analytics, big data and the job responsibilities in the field on IT Analytics. Aetna wants to use Analytics to focus on software development and testing, and use machine learning to identify business problems. He tells that there are huge business opportunities in Analytics and since 2009, Aetna has been very successful in IT projects and have reduced the rate of post implementation defects from 20% to 8%. He shared his unique experience developing models during the implementation of his projects and he spoke about decision tree and regression model using excel. He explained how a model uses predictive variables and explained the real world practical problems that we have to deal with. He shared a very informative insight about the key tools used when and where:

Predictive Modeling:
Primary Tool: R
Secondary Tool(s): SAS, Python

Data Visualization:
Primary Tool: Tableau
Secondary Tool: R, SAS, Python

Data Wrangling:
Primary Tool: Python, Java
Secondary Tool: Hive, Pig, R

Interestingly, Joe mentioned that they are actively interviewing for 2 full time positions in the field of IT Analytics for students graduating in May 2015 and he also mentioned the job responsibilities for the positions. Overall, the event was very informative and gave us a good insight about IT Analytics department at Aetna.


MSBAPM & Alteryx Data Challenge

Alteryx partnered with the Business Analytics and Project Management program (MSBAPM) at the University of Connecticut – School of Business to host a data challenge. The Data Challenge kicked off on March 30th, 2015 with a presentation and tool-tutorial by the Alteryx team at GBLC. We had Neil Ryan, Garth Miles – Content Engineering Manager, Jim Schattin – Solutions Engineering and Training, to take students through details of the challenge, as well as provide hands-on Alteryx training, from data acquisition to analytics to visualization. This was 3-hour interactive session. The deadline for project submission was determined to be April 6th, 2015 with final judging on campus on April 10th, 2015. Finalists were selected to present to a distinguished panel of judges including Dan Putler, Chief Scientist; Amy Holland, Vice President of Content & Applications; Jim Schattin, Senior Director of Solutions Engineering and Training; and Garth Miles, Manager of Content Engineering.

MSBAPM students from Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 ardently took part in the challenge to design processes that analyze, model and visualize datasets using the Alteryx software. Teams picked data from various categories and sources like Kaggle, Amazon Web Services, Google Web Services, Twitter, etc. to design and predict business outcomes.

The six finalists chosen to present their projects were Data Huskies, Data Knights, Dylan Blanchard, The A Team, OmgData and Outback. The event kicked-off with Data Huskies showcasing their project creating a scoring model to rate the credit card companies on how well they are handling the complaints. The model provided a decision support system to assist customer on choosing the rights product. The second team, the Data knights, performed Sentiment Analysis on recent tweets gathered from Twitter on various topics and scored the overall polarity and general sentiment of US states toward the topics. They visualized their results on Tableau and generated a word cloud of sentiments. Third participant, Dylan Blanchard used google location services to capture his location through a period of four weeks to predict his weekly schedule by the use of cluster analyses. The fourth team, The A Team, showcased an app, which they named the Alteryx Detective, to detect unauthorized and suspicious activity in user accounts. They made use of data blending and mathematical tools available on Alteryx to calculate exact locations of events and captured time stamps to detect anomalies in user activities. Fifth team to present was OmgData who analyzed Walmart store sales in the past and created an app to predict future sales of stores, using some of the predictive modeling tools on Alteryx and time series forecasting. Final team, the Outback team, presented their project on Predictive Analyses on Adult Diabetes to predict the current trends in the United States. They analyzed estimated data and modeled it using the best fit to match the actual results of current situation of adult diabetes in United States. They presented a good demonstration of their app.

The judges seemed extremely impressed by the quality and detail of work presented to them. They asked questions after each presentation and commended the teams on the highlights of their projects. The judges announced the winners of the MSBAPM & Alteryx Data Challenge. Third place went to Dylan Blanchard for predicting his weekly schedules using Google location services. The second place went to The A Team for Alteryx Detective and the first place was taken by the Outback for Predictive Analysis on Adult Diabetes. It was a great end to the event and well deserved by the winning teams. The grand prize of $1000 was awarded to Hao Zhu and YingQi Yang of the Outback. The team was invited to display their project poster at Inspire 2015, Alteryx’s annual analytics conference. The A Team won admission to Inspire 2015. All the three winning teams earned interviews for open positions at Alteryx.

VLink Scholarshop Award Ceremony & Networking Event

VLink Scholarship Award Ceremony brought smiles to handful of diligent students, who worked really hard and gave an outstanding performance in academics in Fall 2014. More than 15 students were entitled to get scholarship from VLink and students got informative insights from Dr. Grover. The award ceremony cum networking event was enthralling! Kudos to our MS-BAPM Students!

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March 15 Newsletter

In this newsletter, you will be reading a review about the MIT Sloan Sport Analytics Conference, a recap of an interview with Sohil Gala, NY Jets speaker, our upcoming partnership with Alteryx for a Data Challenge and more. In addition, get to know our faculty and students by reading our faculty and student spotlights.


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April 15 Newsletter

Greetings! We are excited to share our MSBAPM April Newsletter!

In this issue, you will be reading which team won the MSBAPM-Alteryx Data Challenge, a review of “Hadoop’s small files problem”, a look into what our recently BAPM Alumni are doing, VLink Scholars and more.



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