To me, using analytics, data science, statistics, machine learning—and all the tools from the field—is helping people solve problems.
“I’ve worked with businesses of all sizes and locations, from multi-nationals to local start-ups, and there is a common thread,” he says. “To me, using analytics, data science, statistics, machine learning—and all the tools from the field—is helping people solve problems.”
He describes Business Data Analytics as a field for problem solvers, but also as a diverse field where there are many ways to be successful.
“Our students don’t just come from technical backgrounds. Some of our students with backgrounds in English and sociology have had amazing success.”
All his classes have a technology component because it’s important for students to get hands-on, practical training. In this field, they must understand and be able to get results with the standard technology that the industry is using.
“My students use technology in their everyday lives and our program is all about using the technology, but it’s also about understanding why you use it and what flaws it has so that you really provide value and insight.”
Brad says he is a very hands-on and student centric.
“I’m a believer in that when a student chooses to join our program, that’s a sign of faith in our ability to help them achieve their goals. It is my job to help them get there.”
Importance of Mentoring
I wouldn’t be anywhere without the mentors I’ve had. I believe we can learn something from everyone if we pay attention and I try to do that.
Thoughts About Online Learning
It is important to recreate the same connection we have with students in our classroom in an online environment. That comes from constant communication. Everyone learns differently and that doesn’t change online.
I’m working on several projects related to developing new machine learning methods that help people solve problems in both science and engineering disciplines. I’m also very excited about some of the collaborations I’ve been working on with Dr. John Saldanha from our Global Supply Chain group on new statistical methods for inventory management and developing ML and technology tools to aid companies in that regard.
I really like anything written by Steve Berry in the historical fiction world. I liked Connecting the Dots by John Chambers as well. I also grew up in a coaching household, so I’ve read books by coaches my entire life.
Pedagogical Changes on the Horizon
I think that programming is going to become a requirement because it provides a perspective for the work that needs to be done on the deep technical side of the field. There will also be a renewed focus on communication, because if you can’t communicate your results, then it’s the same as not having results.
Technology He Utilizes in the Classroom
Students learn to program in R and Python and use Spark to deal with massive data sets. Also, Kafka allows us to deploy machine learning models so decision makers can have insights as their data evolves.