Tech Titans

The MKTBA student chapter recently organized a trip to the Hiring expo by Tech Titans at Dallas on November 11th 2015. The event was attended by 11 members, where they met the major hiring companies such as Bank of America, Argo Consulting, P3 (Germany) Consulting, Raytheon, and more. A total of 30 companies were present at the event. The purpose of this trip was to help members learn and understand what skills are highly needed by the industries, and line up relevant courses in their study plans earlier before graduation.

Each year, Texas A&M Commerce organizes a series of competitions for students called “Data Analytics Faceoff.”Students are given real-world data and encouraged to use models and systems they study in class to help the data owners gain insight about their businesses.

The competition consists of two stages.

First, real-world data such as sport event ticket sales or website traffic data are given to student teams. Each team uses the analytical models and software to analyze the data sets and answers questions that the data owners are interested in.

Then, a panel of judges consisting of professors, business owners and analytics experts evaluate each team's analysis report. The top teams are invited to a final presentation to further discuss the managerial implications of their findings with the judges.

Cash prizes are awarded to the winning team of each competition.

There is one competition per semester, and each competition focuses on a particular industry. The theme of the 2017 competition was "Analytics for Sports Management,” and 2018’s competition focused on "Knowledge from Google Analytics.”

In this interview with Dr. Bo Han, assistant professor in the marketing and analytics department at Texas A&M-Commerce, we learn more about the Faceoff competition and about technology-related education in general at the university.

What have been some of the results of your 'Data Analytics Faceoffs?'

We received a great deal of interest from students. Nine teams (18 contestants) participated in the 2017 competition. Twelve teams (32 contestants) participated in the 2018 competition. In addition, we presented a tryout opportunity to non-analytics majors. About 20 percent of the participants are from majors such as Masters in Business Administration, marketing, sport management and other non-analytics. If a student hesitates about choosing data analytics, IT or computer science as a major, he or she can participate in our competition and see if this is really what they are interested in.

How do you measure whether you are achieving your goals?

By the number of participants, judges' evaluation and feedback from the data owners. Each judge evaluates the team reports on clarity of writing, appropriateness of analytical models, in-depth analysis and practical implications. During oral presentations, each judge evaluates the teams' performance according to informativeness, conciseness, interactiveness and clarity of Q&A. From the judges’ evaluations, we want to measure the degree of students’ understanding of analytical models and systems. This information is shared with the faculty so that they can address some of the weaknesses in the students’ classroom learning.

After each competition, we discuss (results) with the owners who provided the real-world data to students. According to the feedback, we can adjust the evaluation criteria of selecting the winning teams in the next competition.

What are the most promising opportunities you see?

Health care informatics. IT creates a unique opportunity for data analytics professionals to contribute to the optimization of health care resource management.

What are the biggest challenges you face, and how are you attempting to overcome them?

Teaching analytical courses can be challenging. I think a very good solution is to show students an application of a model, get them interested first, and then move to the math/statistical part. This really works for me.

What's been the most important lesson you have learned in your career?

Never stop learning, even if you have become a professor.

What do you enjoy most about your career?

Seeing my publication tree growing, and then bringing the findings from my research to classroom teaching.

Ms. Dolly Yadav

First year Graduate Student - Business Analytics

For several of us, a general idea about hiring expo is a place for obtaining a job; but, the reality is way beyond this general thought. Which, I personally experienced in yesterday’s event of hiring expo. For students like us these career fair and hiring expos have an important meaning. These events give us an opportunity to know the real job market requirements.

In tech-titan hiring expo, we met many companies and understood the role of a business analyst in real work scenario. We are clear about what all technical and functional skills are required to deliver the best result as an analyst. What we need to improve to stand out of crowd. All of the team members made a positive impression on the companies.

I had a personal experience with managing director of Coal-Fire, as soon as I extended my hand to greet him; in that moment he realized that I was a student attending Texas A&M Commerce University. He said that he was very impressed by the standards that we carried and the way we approach ourselves. I am very thankful to Ms. Lacey Henderson for preparing us well in advance and Dr. Han to give us motivation and positive approach.

A special Thanks to Dr. Myers, to provide us this platform and support in every way possible.

Mr. Jose Ballesteros
First year Graduate Student - Business Analytics

It was a great experience talking to many of the exhibitors. It gave me an idea of what skills I need to start learning before I graduate. Our presence as students also showed that we are trying to plan ahead and stay up to date to what is needed in the industry. I applaud everyone that was involved in organizing and promoting this event.

Event Pictures

Tech Talks Nov 11 2015 Tech Talks Nov 11 2015

Tech Talks Nov 11 2015