Atlanta’s tech community came out in force to support the most recent graduate Business Analytics Practicum Showcase. It was the largest business analytics practicum to date—and the students wowed the big audience with equally big and impressive presentations of their semester-long projects.
“The talent pipeline at Georgia Tech is strong—and their presentations were impressive,” said UPS Lead Data Scientist Ricardo Rodriguez Caceres. “I was amazed by the number of high-level and high-profile data officers who came to watch the showcase and get to know the Georgia Tech students.”
The three teams made up of both MBA and MSA students created projects for NCR, AGCO, and TK Elevator, then presented their analytic insights at the Practicum Showcase at Scheller.
The team from NCR was then invited for an encore performance onsite at NCR with the entire NCR analytics team, where they were able to continue and expand the discussion of their findings. Their visit concluded with a tour of NCR and a networking lunch event.
Gedeon Kamga is IT senior manager big data and analytics at NCR:
“I was very pleased with the work and the in-depth analysis performed by the students. NCR is proud to contribute to the development of the future workforce in the field of AI and Machine Learning, and to impact the local technology community. Partnering with the Georgia Tech Business Analytics Center for a practicum helps the NCR brand to be recognized in one of the top universities in the US, and to attract the best talent. In addition, NCR plans to leverage the students’ work and recommendations to improve its current business processes and reduce costs.”
The NRC team consisted of all MSA students including Shai Weener, Dongcheng Ge, Marion Cassim, Dimitri Adhikary, Przemek Zientala, and Aurimas Racas.
A second NCR team (not pictured) included Britt DeVries, Evening MBA; Akshay Jadiya, MSA; Abhishek Gawande, MSA; James Dylan Lightle, Evening MBA; Jeun Kweon, MSA and Venetis Pallikaras, MSA.
Members of the TK Elevator team included Ayush Agarwal, MSA; Garrick Edwards, Evening MBA, Nicole Flowerhill, MSA; Michelle Bevan, Evening MBA; Shilpa Kamble, MSA; and Saurabh Aggarwal, MSA.
TK Elevator worked with both the undergraduate and graduate teams on their team projects and showed up in mass at each showcase to support their student teams.
"Our project was a creative one focusing on elevator diagnostics, traffic patterns, and service consumption—and the students definitely rose to the challenge,” said Baha Tevek, TK Elevator’s Head of Field technology for North America and a Georgia Tech alum. “With our headquarters now here in Atlanta, we are enjoying this valuable partnership with one of the nation’s best technological universities as we continue to grow and strengthen our global leadership in mobility products and services.”
The AGCO team included: Anurag Agrawal, MSA; Sai Yang, MSA; Anirudh Thatavarty, MSA, Jeffrey Rummel, Evening MBA; Thomas Rives, Evening MBA; and Nathan Foster, Evening MBA
The students were enthusiastic about the opportunities the class provided:
“The combination of MBAs and MSAs together was valuable and simulated a real-world business environment,” said Michelle Bevan, a senior solution engineer at Salesforce. “MBAs brought broad business knowledge, high-level presentation skills, and how to interact with and interpret data for clients, and the MSAs brought a wide spectrum of technical analytic skills to the table. Together, we were able to present a cohesive narrative to the client.”
“I think of it as a safe space to try out new methods and experiences,” said Britt DeVries, who manages a neuroscience lab at Emory. “I currently work with a lot of different types of data; some of it gets messy. It was interesting to play with the data and different techniques like NLP and use it to help the client.”
“This project has been an excellent catalyst for growth,” said Nathan Foster, a consultant at Slalom. “I think the MBAs and MSAs on our team learned a lot from each other and I really appreciated the opportunity to present to our executive clients and then get to network with everyone after the presentations.”
"Pivoting from a very different background for my undergrad studies, this project with my MSA team really showed me how to approach, solve to the best of our computing capabilities, and present a polished data science presentation to high-level executives," said MSA Student Marion Cassim. "We were very excited to be invited to NCR headquarters and present to their internal teams as well!"
Best group project I’ve ever worked on,” summed up MSA Student Anirudh Thatavarty.
After the teams finished, BAC Managing Director Keith Werle facilitated a lively group discussion about working with data, then turned the tables, allowing the students to ask questions of the executives present. The evening ended at a local restaurant with dinner and further opportunities for one-on-one networking.
“This was my first experience at a Showcase practicum,” said Burt Sims, senior IT manager, Business Intelligence at BlueLinx and an alum of Georgia Tech. “I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait for my organization to be able to participate in the future.”