At Saint Mary’s, you’ll have the opportunity to engage in a real-world practicum that involves developing data analysis tools and applying them to a pressing need at an organization. Whether designing a database, cleaning and analyzing a dataset, or developing a predictive model, you will gain valuable insight into the organization’s operations and objectives. “Our graduates will be prepared to enter into the data analysis process at any stage, from the initial formulation of the question to visualizing data to interpreting the results and drawing conclusions,” said Kristin Kuter, associate professor. “As a result, they’ll be more versatile practitioners, whether it’s for their own start-up, an employer, or a client.”
For Mike Durham, a graduate of the data science program and solution architect with the Teradata Corporation, the increased analytics skills have significantly elevated his ability to find and interpret meaningful data patterns. “I’m able to dig beyond what a simple analyst can do, and not only tell them what happened, but why it happened, and why we came up with the answers we did.”
"I’m able to dig beyond what a simple analyst can do, and not only tell them what happened, but why it happened..."
Mike Durham, Saint Mary’s student and Solution Architect, Teradata Corporation
Durham’s newly enhanced skill set is a major value-add for his employer, as he is frequently called upon to perform analytics for customers. “I’ve been able to quickly transition the materials I’ve learned in any particular class and immediately apply it to my job function. I now have discussions with the client’s data scientists on a peer-to-peer level, instead of just talking to them as a sales rep to a client,” Durham says.
For his practicum, Durham chose to do a proof of concept for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. “They’re data-rich but information-poor at times,” he said. “So we were asked to analyze their maintenance data to discover any patterns that could enhance mission capability of the B1 bomber, C5, C17 cardinal plane, and F15 fighter jet.” The analytic techniques Durham employed can be applied to other industries, and he even presented his findings at conferences.