As part of our MS Analytics curriculum, students must get experience working with a company or other organization on a real analytics problem. One of the ways our students fulfill this requirement is through the 6-credit Applied Analytics Practicum course. Prerequisites for the course are at least 8 courses toward the MS Analytics degree including CSE 6242 Data and Visual Analytics and MGT 6203 Data Analytics in Business; or, permission of the instructor and the MS Analytics program.
Overview of Applied Analytics Practicum
The applied analytics practicum project provides a professional practice experience for students in the MS Analytics program, and creates an opportunity to apply ideas from the classroom to an important advanced analytics/data science problem of significant interest to a business, government agency, or other organization. The course is designed to give students experience in how to:
- properly define and scope an analytics project to fit the needs of an organization;
- manipulate, structure and analyze real data sets;
- apply appropriate analytics/data science ideas, methodologies, and tools;
- create value, insight, and knowledge using analytics/data science skills and principles;
- manage a project; and
- present results professionally in writing and orally.
The practicum spans an entire semester (12 weeks for summer or 16 weeks for fall or spring) ending with a written report and presentation to the sponsor.
Students from our classroom MSA cohort will typically work in teams of 2-4 members, while students from our on-line MSA cohort will work individually on their practicum project. All students receive 6 academic credits for the practicum, and thus are expected to spend 20 hours/week focused on this project.
Students can be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) at the sponsor’s request. There is no cost to organizations to sponsor an applied analytics practicum project.
Call for Proposals
We are actively seeking organizations who are interested in sponsoring a practicum project for the coming academic year. Below are guidelines on sponsor commitments and how to submit a practicum proposal:
- Impact: Sponsors agree to provide an analytics project of significant interest and value to their organization.
- Transfer of Data: Data must be securely transferred to the students by the first week of the semester. We can assist with transferring data via Georgia Tech’s encrypted SharePoint site, or you can transfer data via an internal method of your choice.
- NDA: If your organization requires that students complete a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), we ask that you provide the NDA. Because part of the benefit of the practicum experience for students is in marketing themselves for full-time positions, it is required that the NDA allow students and the MS Analytics program to list the sponsoring company’s name and at least a high-level description of the project. The NDA will be solely between the students on the project team and your organization; Georgia Tech faculty and staff will not have access to your data.
- Liaison & Student Communication: Sponsors will be asked to assign a liaison to be the primary point of contact for communications with the students. This person will provide technical and strategic guidance as needed to ensure that the project remains on course. For the on-campus practicum, we recommend scheduling weekly calls with the team initially and then possibly reducing the frequency to bi-weekly. For the on-line practicum, we recommend scheduling virtual office hours and establishing a dynamic communication channel, such as Slack or Teams, where student questions can be answered by a designated liaison.
Meetings & Deliverables:
- We ask all sponsors host a kick-off meeting for the students during the first week of the semester. This meeting can be on-campus, at your office or virtual
- We recommend that you develop a timeline of deliverables/milestones to keep the team on track throughout the semester.
- Approximately halfway through the semester, students will be required to submit a progress report to the MS Analytics program. You may also ask them to submit a progress report and/or present to your team at this time.
- At the end of the semester, students will be required to submit a final project report to both your organization as well as the MS Analytics program. On-campus students are required to present their project results/recommendations to your team.
If your organization is interested in sponsoring a practicum, you should submit a written practicum proposal. Proposals are typically 2-4 pages in length and will be shared with our Program Director for review. The practicum proposal should include the following elements:
- Organization background & information
- Problem statement & objective, clearly stating desired goals and outcomes
- Desired/required skills
- Names of key contacts
- Nature, size, and availability of data set to be analyzed.
- Technologies/tools to be used
- Resources and/or reference materials
Deadlines to submit:
- Summer proposal - March 15th
- Fall proposal - June 15th
- Spring proposal - Nov 1st
- Analyze and predict timeline risk associated with clinical studies for a pharmaceutical company
- Perform social media sentiment analysis for a telecommunication company
- Analyze and predict likelihood of injury for players based on their training schedule, for a college sports team
- Predict paper breaks in paper manufacturing process in advance and identify potential causes
- Develop a predictive model and risk calculator to identify patients as high risk for being readmitted to the hospital
- Apply neural network to time-series data from consumer payment history to predict future payment delinquency
More Information and to Submit a Proposal
For more information on becoming a practicum sponsor or to submit a practicum proposal, please contact Ann Blasick, MSA Corporate Relations Manager, at email@example.com or 404-385-2537. If you are an on-line MSA student and would like to use an analytics project from your current employer as your practicum project, you should reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss next steps.