Multiple Perspectives on Introducing Data Analytics
Thursday, September 20, 2018 — 5:30PM - 6:30PM
Data science is an interdisciplinary field requiring knowledge that intersects statistical analysis, computer science, and subject matter expertise. Data scientists are in high demand to meet the challenge of storing, analyzing, and visualizing Big Data. Given the technical and analytical skills required, computing students may be drawn to this field but lack specialized content and stats knowledge. Business students may have the requisite background in statistics but lack the technical skills. What are some approaches for introducing both sets of students to this lucrative career option in an accessible, engaging way? In this BoF, we will share information about two approaches to teaching an introductory data analytics course. One approach uses materials from SAP’s Academic Alliance, providing exposure to several enterprise-level tools. The other approach uses Microsoft’s Power Business Intelligence suite, leveraging student’s existing knowledge of Excel. An overview of each course and sample assignments will be made available via a website given to participants. We welcome BoF participants who are interested in or already incorporating data analytics content into their courses. Some participants may be interested in trying out a short unit inside a computer literacy course. Others may be charged with developing an entire course. As a group, we will identify useful data sources, discuss pros and cons of various tools, describe obstacles faced by our students, and share successful pedagogical strategies. We will also discuss ways of forming a community for continuing the conversation after the BoF concludes.