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Tag: Steve Gentile

Countdown to Commencement: Strategic Analytics #tbt

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GPS students from across the country are convening their family members, booking travel, and preparing to descend on Waltham on May 22 for our 2016 commencement ceremony.

We are especially excited to welcome our first class of Strategic Analytics graduates. Launched in 2013 and with 100 students currently enrolled, the Master of Science in Strategic Analytics is one of our most popular and fastest-growing programs.

Strategic Analytics harnesses the proliferation of data in all aspects of business, providing students with the skills and tools to reduce risk and improve performance. It’s important to note that this program doesn’t just meet the needs of a specific field — you will find that it can be applied to most. Our Strategic Analytics students work in IT, marketing, finance, biotechnology, healthcare, research and development, and many other industries.

Filling a critical workforce gap

This year’s crop of Strategic Analytics graduates will find themselves in high demand as more and more corporations, governments, and institutions across the globe begin to recognize the need to collect and analyze large data sets. With the world facing a shortage of analysts capable of designing and executing complex data analysis, experts like GPS’ graduates in data collection, management and analysis are becoming increasingly integral to organizational success.

A study conducted by NewVantage shows that the majority of employers have either been challenged or somewhat challenged in finding Strategic Analytics workers. (Source: NewVantage Partners: “Big Data Executive Survey Themes & Trends”)

A study conducted by NewVantage shows that the majority of employers have either been challenged or somewhat challenged in finding Strategic Analytics workers. (Source: NewVantage Partners: “Big Data Executive Survey Themes & Trends”)

Strategic Analytics at Brandeis

The Strategic Analytics program is led by Steve Gentile, who has more than 25 years of IT project management experience in the financial services industry. To complete the comprehensive 30-credit program, students must take seven core courses and three electives. Diverse in nature and subject matter, the courses focus on collecting, storing, securing, mining and analyzing data, and using that data to inform organizational decision-making.

We are proud of our 2016 Strategic Analytics students who understand the strategic potential of big data and are equipped to translate analysis into effective action. We know they are all are poised to lead today’s organizations to new standards of efficiency and competitiveness. Congratulations to all our graduates!

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.

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