The Brandeis GPS blog

Insights on online learning, tips for finding balance, and news and updates from Brandeis GPS

Tag: data (page 1 of 3)

Brandeis GPS students continue collaboration on statewide MATTERS data project

According to the State Technology and Science Index, Massachusetts is the most high-tech state, with top tier-institutions for higher education producing a highly skilled workforce and innovation economy.

What is MATTERS?

Logo for the MATTERS projectMATTERS™ is the Massachusetts’ Technology, Talent and Economic Reporting System.  MATTERS was created to measure the strength of the technological environment in Massachusetts and compare it to other states. It was developed by faculty and students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) under the guidance of the Massachusetts High Technology Council (MHTC) to compare Massachusetts’ competitive position to it’s 15 peer technology states.

The MATTERS peer states include the 10 “Leading Technology States” from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s annual Innovation Index and the top 5 states in the Milken Institute’s State Tech and Science Index. The MATTERS performance index ranks each state along talent, tax (financial climate), cost of doing business, and quality of life by using a weighted average of key metrics in each data category. The goal is to make Massachusetts the most desirable state to grow a high technology business by using the data from the MATTERS™ project to drive public policy that will enhance the state’s strengths and draw in businesses.

How is Brandeis GPS Involved?

Starting in January 2016, Stephen Gentile, former chair of the MS in Strategic Analytics and a current GPS instructor, created a program for GPS  students to curate MATTERS data. The course is now taught by Travis Dawry, who took over as instructor in fall 2016. In each iteration of the course, students are selected based on a variety of factors including their academic performance, professional experience, and leadership abilities.

The role of the GPS team includes:

  • Developing, documenting, and receiving approval for the scope of work from MHTC project sponsors
  • Evaluating, analyzing, and transmitting MATTERS data from multiple sources
  • Proposing and executing extension projects to enhance MATTERS analytics capabilities
  • Effectively communicating the project’s status, issues, risks, and results to MATTERS stakeholders
  • Creating or enhancing the methodology to maintain the MATTERS system and developing a proposed work plan for the next offering of the course

Since the launch of the program, Brandeis GPS students have:

  • Analyzed the current MATTERS state indices and suggested changes to the metrics and weighting across all four of MATTERS’ index categories
  • Compared Massachusetts infrastructure spending to that of its peer states
  • Evaluated traffic to the MATTERS website itself using Google Analytics data

There is now a system in place for data versioning and issue tracking, via a private GitHub repository, so the Brandeis GPS team is able to coordinate with the MHTC and WPI points of contact asynchronously throughout the semester.

How can you participate?

The Brandeis GPS course that works with MATTERS data, Special Topics in Strategic Analytics, will be taught during our Fall 2 session starting in October. It is open to students who are matriculated in our 100% online MS in Strategic Analytics program, which aims to help students master the technical and strategic skills necessary to transform data analysis into insightful, data-backed stories to influence key decision makers. The 30-credit part-time, flexible program is designed with equal focus in both the art and science of data in its seven required courses and three electives. After graduating from the program, students should be able to identify patterns and trends within big data, interpret and communicate results to stakeholders of various levels, and leverage data to inform strategic decisions. Samples of our Strategic Analytics courses include Business Intelligence, Analytics and Strategic Decision MakingFoundations of Data Science and Analytics, and Data Quality and Governance.

How do you apply to Brandeis GPS?

If you’re interested in applying to the MS in Strategic Analytics, we offer rolling admission, so you can apply and be accepted at any time. However, there are recommended deadlines if you are seeking admission for a specific term. You should submit your application by Wednesday, September 12 for Fall 2 admission with courses starting in October. Those interested in the program who do not yet wish to pursue a full master’s degree can still take up to two online courses without officially enrolling. This is a great opportunity to get to know our programs and approach to online learning. Course registration is open now for our Fall 2 classes starting in October. Learn more about our MS in Strategic Analytics, and preview our Strategic Analytics courses here. You can also contact our enrollment team at gps@brandeis.edu or 781-736-8787.

SPOTLIGHT ON JOBS: Celgene

Members of the Brandeis GPS Community may submit job postings from within their industries to advertise exclusively to our community. This is a great way to further connect and seek out opportunities as they come up. If you are interested in posting an opportunity, please complete the following form found here.

Where: Cambridge, MA

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Army Reservist shares his GPS experience in his own words

Faces of GPS | Steve Boardman

In 2014, I was in pursuit of a career plan for the next 20 years of my life and chose to leverage my IT experience as a software developer to shift into consulting as a business intelligence and big data analytics expert. In search of a graduate program to help propel me into that evolving field, I spent more than 100 hours researching many data science and analytics degree options.Boardman Military - Brandeis GPS Online Education - Brandeis GPS Blog

I found the Master of Science in Strategic Analytics at Brandeis University Graduate Professional Studies (GPS) to be the best fit for my life situation for many reasons:

  • The core curriculum and available electives seemed to be a well-balanced mix of business application, management, and technical disciplines.
  • The industry-experienced GPS faculty was a benefit because it enhanced my learning based on my prior undergraduate experience.
  • As an Army Reservist, the ability to conduct coursework online is an essential benefit. Moreover, the 10-week terms with a significant break between them promote a good work, school, and life balance, enabling students to complete the program in only 2 and a half years,  taking one course at a time.
  • The tuition fees were lower than other competing schools, and would be covered by my Post-9/11 GI Bill® VA benefits by 90 percent.

Since I started the Strategic Analytics program with GPS in spring 2015, I have completed seven courses toward my degree thus far and plan to graduate in the summer of 2017. Much of the knowledge that I’ve gained from the coursework has been directly applicable to my current position as an archival data systems development consultant. From what I’ve learned, I’ve been able to conduct more focused data analysis and produce more meaningful results to management, which has helped me earn their confidence and trust. As a result, I was given the lead role in spearheading my client’s business intelligence and data management strategy for analytics in September 2015. My return on investment is being realized even before completing my degree requirements.

Boardman Military 2 - Brandeis GPS Online Education - Brandeis GPS BlogCharging through the academic rigors of the program’s coursework and research has been achievable without a major sacrifice from family time and other activities. Living and working in Charleston, SC, with my wife and five-year-old daughter, my evenings during the week and weekends are well-balanced. Not every evening is spent doing school work, which my wife is very happy about. While taking at least one course per term, I am able to work a challenging full-time IT job, lead a platoon size unit in the Army Reserve part-time, play drums in a professional local rock band, and spend plenty of quality time with my family. I am grateful to my employer who pays for my remaining 10 percent tuition out of pocket. Now that GPS offers a 15% discount on tuition for active military and veterans, that saves my employer and the VA around $500 per course. Choosing the MS in Strategic Analytics at GPS was one of my best decisions, as it has proven to better my quality of life.

Steve Boardman is a software development professional with over 20 years of experience providing leadership in developing IT solutions for a variety of industries. He specializes in Enterprise Architecture (EA), Business Intelligence (BI) Strategy, Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) Implementation, Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), Systems Integration, Application Development, and Legacy System Migration.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Faces of GPS is an occasional series that profiles Brandeis University Graduate Professional Studies students, faculty and staff. Find more Faces of GPS stories here.

The Best Jobs for Life-Work Balance

Glassdoor, a popular jobs and recruitment website, recently released a crowd-sourced list of best jobs for achieving work-life balance. Many of the positions in the Glassdoor list directly correspond to the industry-driven master’s degrees offered at GPS. Among the 29 positions profiled include:

1. Lab Assistant
2. Creative Manager
3. Computer Programmer
4. Marketing Coordinator
5. Data Analyst
6. Content Manager
7. Web Designer
8. Social Media Manager
9. Scrum Master
10. Marketing Analyst
11. Devops Engineer
12. Mobile Developer
13. User Interface Designer
14. Data Scientist
15. User Experience Designer

Whether you currently hold one of the positions above or are interested in advancing into a similar job, you’re probably looking to achieve balance in all areas of your life. For those seeking to pursue a graduate degree, Brandeis GPS fosters a community that is mindful of the multiple demands facing adult learners and while offering the rigorous standards of excellence that makes Brandeis one of the top universities in the country.

Brandeis GPS students play key role in a new statewide data initiative

By Stephen Gentile

With a vast network of start-ups and a haven of biotech and pharma companies, and dozens of institutions of higher learning it is no secret that Massachusetts is one of the most tech-advanced states in the country. According to Gov. Charlie Baker, we now must leverage the state’s technology and economic progress and increase its competitiveness.

Brandeis GPS is partnering with the Massachusetts High Technology Council (MHTC) in support of this cause. A coalition of pro-growth advocates is developing and launching a unique online resource that measures how the state ranks nationally among other states.

Why MATTERS matters

The new system, MATTERSTM (Massachusetts’ Technology, Talent, and Economic Reporting System), was developed by students and faculty from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), with assistance and guidance from an Advisory Board formed by MHTC. MATTERS creates profiles of each of the 50 states based on key parameters related to talent, tax, business climate and quality of life. It then compiles national rankings data and dozens of cost, economic and talent metrics to see how Massachusetts ranks in comparison to other states.

The data MATTERS generates helps Massachusetts private and public sectors identify and drive legislation that maximizes the state’s strengths (source).

MA state profile. Source: http://matters.mhtc.org

MATTERS MA state profile (source: http://matters.mhtc.org)

How Brandeis GPS fits in

In January 2016, as program chair of the Strategic Analytics program, I led a team of GPS students in a project to research, cleanse, and load MATTERS data. Each academic term, we will continue this process by building a MATTERS team, selecting participating students based on their previous academic performance in the program, professional experience, and leadership abilities. The GPS data curators conduct meetings with MHTC, WPI, and other stakeholders; define a scope of work for the course, and culminate their work on the project with a final proposal that outlines next steps and possible deliverables for the next GPS research team. The MATTERS team reviews and approves each proposal before the next term begins.

The inaugural GPS team spearheaded the following milestones:

  • Evaluating and taking inventory of all data sources
  • Compiling and transmitting updated data from all relevant sources; the WPI team used this data to test MATTERS version 2.0, which MHTC announced this spring.
  • Creating and documenting the methodology to maintain MATTERS data, including on-going processes, workflow among stakeholders, and data update schedules

Looking ahead

Our work has been essential in establishing processes and procedures that ensure MATTERS is working with high-quality data, but there is still much to do. Data curation goes beyond organizing and cleansing data — it can also set up a construct for the broader user community to access quality data in a reproducible manner, which guarantees its usefulness for future research. Additionally, data curation will facilitate a better collaboration between organizations as the source data will be improved “on the edge” before it enters the MATTERS clearinghouse.

Detailed plans for the summer 2016 MATTERS course are now underway, as we look to re-evaluate all data sources, document our methodology, and enhance the workflows and collaboration with WPI and the MHTC teams.

Stephen Gentile serves as Director, Project Management Office at Babson Capital Management LLC. He is also the chair of the Strategic Analytics program at Brandeis University Graduate Professional Studies and teachers courses in their Strategic Analytics and Project and Program Management programs.

Increasing Interest in Cybersecuirty Education and Careers

Matthew Rosenquist

Written by:  Cybersecurity Strategist and Evangelist at Intel Corporation

The world is facing a growing problem as people’s everyday lives are becoming more digital and increasing our reliance on cybersecurity to protect our interests, yet there are not enough security professionals to fulfill the rising demands.  This leaves gaps in the security of companies and organizations we share information with.  There is hope on the horizon.  Academia is adjusting to increase the training of graduates and there is a rising interest in students to study the variety of cybersecurity domains.  But more students are needed as demand is far outpacing the expected rise in available talent.

All the right elements are in place.  Pay for cybersecurity is on the rise, the needs for an estimated 1.5 million jobs is already growing, and higher education institutions are working collaboratively to establish the training infrastructure necessary for the next generation of security professionals to be prepared for success.  What is missing are the necessary numbers of students.  There simply is not enough.

The good news is millennials are interested, but need more information in order to commit.  Survey results from the Raytheon-NCSA Millennial report show the most prevalent factor for prospective students to increase their interest, is being provided data and expertise to explain what jobs entail.

Providing basic career information is absolutely possible but not as simple as it may seem.  Job roles do morph very rapidly.  Some data suggests as often as every nine months security professionals see their role, expectations, and focus being shifted into new areas or vary radically.  With such a rapid rate of change, cybersecurity is truly a dynamic domain where responsibilities are fluid.  This is not likely to turn off prospective millennials, as they are a generation which embraces diversity.  It may in fact, contribute to the attractiveness of these careers.  Combined with a strong employability and excellent pay, the industry should have no problem filling desk seats in universities.

What is needed right now are for experienced professionals to step up and work with educational institutions to explain the roles and responsibilities to the pool of prospective students.  Open forums, virtual meetings, presentations, in-class instruction, and even simple question-and-answer sessions can go a long way in painting a vivid picture of our industry, opportunities, and challenges which await.  The community should work together to attract applicants to the cyber sciences, especially women and underrepresented minorities who can bring in fresh ideas and perspectives.  I urge higher education institutions to reach out to the security community professionals and ask for help.  Many are willing to share their perspectives and industry knowledge to help inform students and encourage those who might be interested in a career in cybersecurity.  Only together can the private sector and academia help fulfill the needs for the next generation of security professionals.

TwitterIconFollow Matt on Twitter: @Matt_Rosenquist

Interested in Cyber Security? Join our #AskTheExpert session with Matthew Rosenquist! RSVP here

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SPOTLIGHT ON JOBS: BERG, LLC

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SPOTLIGHT ON JOBS

Members of the Brandeis GPS Community may submit job postings from within their industries to advertise exclusively to our community. This is a great way to further connect and seek out opportunities as they come up. If you are interested in posting an opportunity, please complete the following form found here.

Where: BERG Health, LLC Framingham, MA

About: Berg focuses our research on understanding how alterations in metabolism relate to disease onset. The company has a deep pipeline of early-stage technologies in CNS diseases and metabolic diseases that complement its late-stage clinical trial activity in cancer and prevention of chemotoxicity.  Armed with use of the Interrogative Biology™ discovery platform that translates biological output into viable therapeutics and a robust biomarker library, Berg is poised to realize its pursuit of a healthier tomorrow

Position: Data Scientist–Healthcare Analytics

The Healthcare Analytics team is seeking a highly motivated, meticulous and detail-oriented individual for a rapidly growing multi-disciplinary team. The candidate will be instrumental in analyzing and making inferences from healthcare big data and must be goal oriented and should have strong background in statistics, epidemiology and possess some programming skills. The candidate should also be a quick learner, extremely flexible and able to adapt to needs of the project.

Responsibilities:

  • Perform meticulous and well thought-out data analysis for hypothesis testing on healthcare big data.
  • Development and execution of data analysis protocols to support company’s discovery pipeline.
  • Detailed documentation of data analysis methods and findings.
  • Presentation of scientific results internally and externally.

Requirements:

  • Requires a Ph.D. or Masters with 5+ years of relevant experience in Statistics, Epidemiology, Public Health, Data Science or related field.
  • Strong skills in statistics and study design.
  • Experience working with healthcare claims, pharmacy and EMR data is a highly desirable.
  • Proficiency in R, MySQL and Perl is preferred.
  • Proven ability to find creative, practical solutions to complex problems.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills combined with superior and proven track record of technical and organizational skills.
  • Must be able to work in team-oriented environment and demonstrate attention to detail and record keeping.

 

Anyone interested in applying to this position may send their resume, cover letter and three references to hr-68931@berghealth.com.

May sure to reference seeing this position through the Brandeis GPS job spotlight post.

 

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SPOTLIGHT ON JOBS: Meditech

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SPOTLIGHT ON JOBS

Members of the Brandeis GPS Community may submit job postings from within their industries to advertise exclusively to our community. This is a great way to further connect and seek out opportunities as they come up. If you are interested in posting an opportunity, please complete the following form found here.

Where:  Meditech, MA Division (Canton, Foxborough, Framingham, Waltham and Westwood)

About: At Meditech, we believe that healthcare should focus on the patient. That’s why we’re empowering consumers and providers with sophisticated tools like never before. And we’re sharing data, making it useful across hospitals, ambulatory care, home care, hospice, long term care, and behavioral health.

Working ahead of the curve is part of our identity. And we understand that rapid changes in our industry are spurring organizations to transform processes and reexamine how they deliver care. That’s why we’ve redefined what an EHR can do for your patients and your productivity.

Our sophisticated solutions support evidence-based, informed decision making across the continuum. You get the data you need, automatically pushed forward to you on a single, easy-to-use, personalized screen. Access information anywhere, anytime from any web-enabled device. And that’s just the beginning!

Empower your physicians. Seamlessly communicate across all care environments. Put patients at the center of everything you do. Analyze and track the health of your community. Efficiently manage your revenue cycle. Participate in new healthcare delivery models. And partner with a vendor that is always driven to give you the very best.

Meditech will work with you from day one, to ensure that you have all the functionality, resources, and support necessary to meet your organization’s goals—now and for the future. There’s lots to do. Let’s get started.

 

Current Openings

Sales Representative

Marketing Support Representative

Software Developer- SQL

 

If you are interested in any of these positions, please apply directly on the careers website and reference your affiliation with Graduate Professional Studies and the GPS Blog.

 

 

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SPOTLIGHT ON JOBS: Bioinformatician/Microbiologist at IHRC, Inc.

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SPOTLIGHT ON JOBS

Members of the Brandeis GPS Community may submit job postings from within their industries to advertise exclusively to our community. This is a great way to further connect and seek out opportunities as they come up. If you are interested in posting an opportunity, please complete the following form found here.

Title:  Bioinformatician/Microbiologist, Full Time–assigned to the Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch (EDLB) within the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases (DFWED) at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Where:  IHRC, Inc.– 2 Ravinia Drive-Suite 1750, Atlanta, GA 30346

About:   IHRC, Inc. provides scientific, information management and administrative program support to various Centers, Institutes and Offices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under several contracts.

 

 
   MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

•Work very closely with EDLB Bioinformaticians to process raw sequence data produced by Sanger and NGS, to identify, characterize and annotate genes found in sequence data, perform evolutionary and phylogenetic studies of sequence data, identify unique regions of pathogen genomes for use as targets in molecular diagnostic assays, and design oligonucleotide primers/probes for use in sequencing projects and foodborne bacteria pathogen detection assays.

•Analyze genetic sequencing data utilizing new methodologies or existing techniques that have been properly revised and validated.

•Develop, evaluate, and validate bioinformatics tools to establish correlations between unique genetic markers (extracted from whole genome sequences) and the species/serotype of foodborne bacterial pathogens.

•Perform standard molecular biology techniques, including but not limited to, manual and automated nucleic acid extraction, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Sanger sequencing, and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) to develop and validate schemes to rapidly identify and subtype bacterial pathogens from complex matrices.

•Evaluate novel approaches to address human and commensal bacterial DNA in disease state stool, including clutter mitigation.

•Assist with the establishment of procedures for Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) of sequence data analysis in the context of this project.

•Assist in implementation of the developed assays by training laboratorians from state, county and local public health laboratories.

•Prepare reports, charts, graphs, and presentations as required.

 

   Minimum Qualifications and Technical Requirements:

•Must have successfully completed a full 4-years course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor’s and a higher degree (Master’s or Ph.D.) with at least 24 semester hours in mathematics, statistics, bioinformatics, or informatics and 24 semester hours molecular biology, microbiology, or genetics.

•The successful candidate will have a 2-3 years demonstrated experience with bioinformatics, bioinformatics analytical tools, microbiology, and molecular biology laboratory techniques.

•Be proficient in the use of various whole genome sequence laboratory procedures.

•Be proficient in the analysis, assembly, and annotation of genomic data from a variety of sequencing platforms such as Illumina and PacBio.

•Have strong interpersonal skills since the work is to occur in a multidisciplinary team environment and extensive interaction with people across CDC and external partners is required.

•Have strong written and oral presentation skills.

•Be capable of developing and executing research tasks independently.

•REQUIRED experience with Illumina sequencing technology, molecular biology assay design, UNIX (BASH scripting) and cluster computing (SGE); experience with coding in PERL and/or PYTHON; experience with relational databases (i.e. MySQL, Microsoft SQL server), Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word.

•DESIRABLE experience with Microsoft Access, SAS, experience with metagenomics databases such as Kraken and MetaPhlAn, prior work with bacterial genome sequencing and analysis.

•The candidate must possess excellent oral and written communication

 

Contact Person for Job Opportunity:

Michael Astwood

678-615-3220

mastwood@ihrc.com

 

To apply for this position visit www.ihrc.com/careers . If already on the IHRC website, click on the job you are interested in and click on the apply button at the bottom of the page.

IHRC, Inc. is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. It is the policy of IHRC, Inc. to provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, veteran or disability status and to take affirmative action in accordance with applicable laws and Executive Orders.

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