Course Spotlight: Bringing Big Data to Life in BUS577 Info Systems and Analytics

On October 20, 2015, Chatham’s Business & Entrepreneurship Department hosted two special events on the topics of information systems and analytics. Guest speakers of the night included:

Karl Herleman of Management Science Associates, Inc. presents to graduate students

First, Mr. Herleman presented “How Have Agile Methods and Big Data Changed Software Development?” to Dr. Rachel Chung’s Information Systems and Analytics class  (BUS 577) as part of Chatham’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. He spoke on the importance of agility in project and team management. Specifically, he covered the following topics: benefits and risks of agile development and agile project management, the increased importance of behavior driven development in agile teams, the integration of IT Operations and Application Development in agile organizations, the importance of User Centered Design, and big data technologies and data-driven software development.

Mr. Herleman’s presentation “helped to reinforce ideas and concepts from our course text, The Adventures of an IT Leader,” explains Aimee Hagerty, an MBA candidate at Chatham University and Director of Education and Transplant Quality at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Hamot. “He did a great job of explaining Hadoop, the Internet of Things, and Cloud Computing, which I very much appreciated. From his discussion, I have a better appreciation for decisions CIOs and others working in IT, need to make to help organizations function efficiently while producing competitive advantages.”

Students in Dr. Chung’s Information Systems and Analytics class engage Mr. Herleman in conversation on Big Data

Following Mr. Herleman’s talk, was an Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Pittsburgh Chapter speaker event titled “Transforming Digital Advertising with Machine Learning and AI” by representatives from Rocket Fuel, Inc, a marketing technology company founded in 2008 that is dedicated to “bringing the precision and conclusiveness of science to the world of marketing to drive higher return on investment.” Rocket Fuel’s Senior Director of Engineering, Doug Donohoe, and Chief Technology Officer, Mark Torrance, covered topics including: structuring advertising data to model with Spark, Scala, and MLLib; addressing asymmetric class problems, fraud, and viewability; Multi-Armed Bandit and Model Management for systematic exploration of model improvements; data visualization for understanding model and campaign performance, usage, and assignments; and front-end technology for interactive data visualization on big, complex data.

Janet Cipkala-Gaffin, Ph.D., who has been taking Dr. Chung’s course for professional development, was in attendance for the evening’s presentations. As a Researcher and Epidemiologist at UPMC, Janet “hopes to utilize the new approaches in future research, such as using Big Data (data in the medical record) to continue working in healthcare. I feel fortunate to have experts, such as Karl Herleman and the Rocket Fuel team, as resources so close to where I work. They have an impressive vision of the future of analytics in research. It’s great to know that experts are at our fingertips in Pittsburgh.”

Doug Donohoe and Mark Torrance of Rocket Fuel present to students, faculty and guests at Chatham University

This evening of events on Big Data was one of many valuable networking and learning opportunities offered by Chatham’s Business and Entrepreneurship Department. The department hosts regular events and guest speakers to promote networking between students, faculty and area professionals; providing students with insight into business careers and related industries in the Pittsburgh area.  The MBA Information Systems and Analytics course explores the strategic management of technology, information, and people from a Chief Information Officer’s (CIO) perspective. The business value of systems such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and data warehouses are examined. Students discover how information systems have transformed business analytics, Big Data, and evidence-based decision making using real projects.

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