Month: October 2015

SQL Workshop

By Peter Liu and Parth Kulkarni – 10/21/2015

SQL (Structured Query Language) is everywhere, and in today’s digitized world with massive amounts of data being gathered every day and stored into a database, knowing how to program with SQL is imperative. Whether you’re a data analyst or a management student, SQL is a great language to learn.

The Workshop on SQL was conducted by Parth Kulkarni and Peter Liu. Both Parth and Peter are BAPM students that joined the program in Fall 2014. Parth and Peter did their summer internship at Ebay in California. They worked on SQL during their internship and thought it would be useful to the current students if they shared their experience and knowledge with them. This workshop was conceptualized to give students a thorough understanding of how SQL is being used across industries on a day to day basis. It will also cover typical SQL use cases (calculating conversion rate, moving average, customer lifetime value (CLV), RFM (recency, frequency, monetization) etc.

The workshop was designed assuming that students have a prior working knowledge on relational databases, typical DML commands (Select statement), usage of groupings and aggregate functions and understanding of SQL joins.

Parth conducted the first hour of the workshop wherein he covered all the basic concepts and syntax of SQL that are most widely used. For instance, create, update, drop, delete, select, etc. He explained how to use write queries incorporating where, group by, having, and order by clauses. He touched upon the different types of joins, subqueries – their two types and derived tables. Through the session, Parth provided examples of common interview questions related to the topics. The next half hour of the workshop was taken by Peter, where he explained with examples of queries web analytics that he did for Ebay as part of his internship. It was interesting to see how much of analytics can be done using SQL. The workshop session was very engaging. Once again, the survey responses we received for the workshop were very positive. The workshop was organized and content was presented clearly. It  was a refresher for those with basic knowledge of SQL.

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Workshop on Advanced Excel

The Workshop on Advance Excel was conducted by Aarthi Vemuri on 14th October, 2015. Aarthi joined the MSBAPM program in Fall 2014. Since then, she has actively volunteered to host workshops and tutoring sessions on Excel. This workshop was conceptualized to give an overview on how to use excel for eyeballing data without using complex statistical tools.

Aarthi began the workshop by sharing with the class some data files to use through the session. She demonstrated how a large data set could be converted into a table and quick calculations like sum of column, minimum value, maximum value, etc., for every column can be obtained by selecting from a dropdown menu. She then went on to demonstrate functions and formulae to perform data cleaning and text mining on a text data. Then the class learnt about pivot tables and how they can be used to create dashboards. Aarthi created some pivot tables, charts, filters for charts and themes for the worksheet to make it look like a dashboard. The dashboard looked quite impressive, it was on par with something we would create on Tableau. Lastly, she talked about PowerPivot add-in and how it more powerful than regular excel. PowerPivot can go over the limit of one million rows, it can connect to any database to retrieve data and does simplified and speedy calculations.

It was a brief workshop, it lasted for an hour. However, many useful techniques and functions were demonstrated. Students were inspired to explore the topics further. Feedback received from the students for the session was that it was well organized, lot of information that they needed was covered, and that the content presented at the workshop was helpful.


E-Variant Networking Event

The Evariant Networking Event, conducted on 12th October, 2015, was a great way to network with analytics professionals and learn about today’s industry analytics. Evariant helps leading hospital networks make sense of big data, giving marketers and physician relationship teams actionable insights to drive volume and engagement. The experts from Evariant who presented and explained about big data analytics also included 2 Alumnis from MSBAPM Neeraj Nagendra and Sumit Jain. Other professionals working at Evariant were Sudha, Neil, and Basant.

The professionals from Evariant in the networking event revealed about the company’s background and its culture. There are more than 170 employees and the company is growing rapidly. Although the company has a very serious approach when it comes to their work, and they are dedicated to strive for best results for their clients, but at the same time, everyone have their part of fun in the company and enjoys their work with enormous extra-curricular activities and flexibility.

Professionals from Evariant explained about the best practices and different types of Propensity Models they use for better results and to reduce the cost of their clients. Neil, the Digital Media Expert expressed how propensity modeling is used in Marketing Analytics, how data is collected and displayed and how media is placed through different vendors and outlets on the internet.

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Introduction to SAS Workshop


SAS skills are more in demand than ever before. SAS is a software suite developed for advanced analytics, multivariate analyses, business intelligence, data management, and predictive analytics. To handle the increasing reams of data that technology throws out with lightning speed you need a SAS specialist or two. Thanks to our very own SAS specialists in the MSBAPM program, Piyush Rohella and Dilip Naidu, who volunteered to share their knowledge and provide hands-on training in the software to students of MSBAPM.

The ‘Introduction to SAS’ workshop was conducted as two one and half hour sessions each. The workshop was conceptualized to provide hands-on to students on the SAS software and train them on basic commands of the Base SAS programming.  Agenda for session-1 was designed to introduce the following topics to students, namely, introduction to user interface of SAS interface; the import and export functions explaining delimiters, fixed widths, etc; exploratory procedures that include proc and data steps; merge and append procedures. The agenda for Session-2 was designed to cover procedures like proc means, proc tabulate, proc freq; univariate and multivariate analysis; and some statistical tests.

Students showed immense interest in the workshop. There was an overwhelming number of attendees for the first session, more than 70 enthusiastic students. We also had one student from the FRM department attending the workshop. The presenters shared data sets and code files with the students prior to the session. They conducted the workshop by covering syntax and commands to import, create and export data files, manipulate date, and label and format files. Dilip and Piyush conducted the presentation projecting the codes they were writing in SAS and students followed his lead. The session was a great start for everyone new to the software. Session-2 was a following up on session-1, lot of the students that attended session-1 attended the second session of the workshop. In the session-2, Piyush presented on performing data exploration and manipulation techniques using Base SAS. He taught the class syntax for exploring mean, median, quantiles of variables using proc means command, appending and merging procedures data sets and variables, writing SQL codes in SAS, and a few more SAS procedures. Dilip then taugh the class procedures to perform univariate and multivariate analysis, and touched upon the significance of different statistical tests and how they are performed on SAS.

Students thought it to be a great session and very informational. We conducted a survey to get opinions of attendees on how they would rate the workshop, how well it was organized, how much information they gained from the session, clarity and brevity of the presenter and what they would like to learn in a future session of the workshop. The responses we received were greatly positive. However, students responded that the workshop was somewhat short. We agree that workshops like these have to be conducted over a longer period and we will plan for it in the future. We encourage all the students of MSBAPM to actively engage and participate in sessions like these to expand their knowledge about subjects closely related to Big Data and Analytics.





Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration

By Tanya Wang  – September 27th


The Chinese Mid-Autumn festival. The 2015 Fall BAPM Chinese students got together and celebrated their first month survival into the new environment! In China, the festival is the time for families’ reunion, wishing the next year’s happiness, and watching the full moon. However, since these students are studying abroad, everyone was so excited to get to know other classmates through the dinner party and they became each other’s’ new family members!

Because of celebrating the traditional festival, they soon get to know each other and look forward to spending next two years together on their life journey!

“US Business Etiquette / Soft Skills “ Workshop

By Heather McLarney and Matt Ruggeri – 08/31/2015

This workshop introduced basic US etiquette, culture, and soft skills using PowerPoint slides, real life examples, videos clips, student participation, and interactive exercises. During this workshop Heather touched upon US working culture, everyday communication, and dress code and work etiquettes. This workshop benefitted a lot of students to a great extent.