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Hello, Readers: Several exciting things have happened this spring. The newly created Master of Science in Business Analytics (MS BA) degree program has been approved by the state and will launch in Fall 2014. The program has been under development for more than a year, with extensive input from several industry experts. We believe that the breadth and depth of the MS BA curriculum makes it one of the most comprehensive analytics programs available anywhere. We also have launched a new student club that specifically focuses on business analytics. We are happy to share the news that a student team from our SAP Users Group was one of the six finalists in the recently held Global Connected Car Contest sponsored by SAP and the Chevrolet Division of GM. The alumni of the MIS area have been supporting the programs in numerous ways. Many of them return to school to give guest lectures. Special thanks to our alumni Isha and Mohit Malhan and Hasnain Saboowala, and to Hasnain’s wife, Rashida, for establishing student scholarships. In addition to academic endeavors, our students have also been active in community services and volunteering. Graduate student Theo Sugavanam was recently presented the President’s Volunteer Service Award pin by the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement at UT Dallas. I welcome you to browse the newsletter for these and other stories from the area. Please visit our website to learn more about MIS@UT Dallas. We welcome your comments.
Area Coordinator, Information Systems
A Master of Science in Business Analytics degree will be available to students starting Fall 2014. The MS in Business Analytics is separate from the existing MS in Information Technology and Management program. It grew out of, but transcends our SAS Business Intelligence and Data Mining certification program. The distinctive characteristics that make our program stand apart from others are the breadth and depth of the curriculum, domain-specific tracks and a required practicum or internship. The core curriculum of MS in Business Analytics is highly quantitative and covers statistics, econometrics and advanced data analysis. The electives allow students to specialize in analytics for a specific functional discipline, such as information systems, finance, healthcare, marketing or operations management. The program emphasizes hands-on analytics in addition to concepts, and it requires students to take a core class — practicum — in which they will work on a real project at a company and use skills they learned in the program. The Naveen Jindal School of Management has partnered with many software vendors, such as SAS, IBM and SAP, and students have ready access to software tools from these vendors, such as SAS Enterprise Miner, SPSS Modeler, InfoSphere BigInsights and SAP Business Objects. Additionally, popular open-source software, such as R, will be used in the curriculum. The degree has been approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board as a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program. Read the UT Dallas News Center story about the program and visit the MS in Business Analytics Web page for more information.
SAP Users Group Team Places in Global Contest 2013
A Jindal School of Management team of students emerged a winner in a new international contest sponsored by multinational software corporation SAP and the Chevrolet Division of GM.
The JSOM students were among the top six teams in the Global Connected Car Contest, which SAP and GM launched last year to advance communications technology in automobiles.
Contestants were asked to submit an idea to change mobility of the future in one of six categories: urban mobility, traffic, fueling, parking, food and other challenges.
The JSOM team placed first for its safety and convenience idea. Calling itself PAADS Consulting, the team drew its name from the first letter of each member’s first name: Prachi Sahoo, Chao (April) Li, Atul Nagar, Dwight Fraencis Dy and Xi (Sunny) Jiang.
They put together the Hermes Road Warrior System, a comprehensive convenience and safety app for drivers to use on road trips.The in-car system can diagnose problems and find the nearest auto repair shops, gas stations, restaurants and hotels from a dashboard screen. The team worked under the guidance of Mary Beth Goodrich, accounting senior lecturer and longtime instructor in the enterprise systems concentration that uses SAP in the classroom.
University students and startup companies from across the globe participated in the contest. Winners earned a trip to Silicon Valley in August to participate in a one-week workshop with experts from SAP and GM to further develop their ideas.
Congratulations to all the winners! Please also see the article from the UT Dallas News Center.
MIS Case Competition
The Third Annual UT Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management MIS Case Competition drew more than 85 participants. Held in February, the event was coordinated by Drs. Mark Thouin, director of IS graduate programs, and Dawn Owens, director of IS undergraduate programs. Contestants analyzed a business case and presented solutions to a panel of industry experts.
|Graduate Teams||Undergraduate Teams|
Abuda, J. Michelle
New Student Organization Focuses on Business Intelligence and Analytics
As the popularity of business intelligence and analytics has grown among MS ITM students, graduate student Ravi Chaubey got the idea to launch the Business Intelligence and Analytic Tools (BIAT) Club in the Jindal School of Management.
The club’s vision is to act as an incubator for budding IT enthusiasts who seek to expand their prospects in the field of business intelligence and analytics, Chaubey said.
Help with organizing the new group came from Assistant Professor Dawn Owens, director of undergraduate IS programs, and Associate Professor Kelly Slaughter, director of the Center for Information Technology and Management, who has stepped in as the club’s adviser.
By the end of semester last fall, a board of directors had been selected. During winter break, “we created our constitution, website, and finally we were live by spring 2014, after formal approval from the Student Organization Center,” Chaubey said.
“Our aim is to provide business analytics awareness at UT Dallas. We will be doing this by hosting numerous workshops on business intelligence tools and techniques.” As the industry evolves, “it is of utmost priority” to keep abreast of change, Chaubey said. “The BIAT Club serves as the platform for likeminded enthusiasts to interact and share their ideas with each other.”
Slaughter envisions the club will help advance the professional goals of students interested in business intelligence-related careers. Chaubey said the club aims to create an alumni network in the near future so that the students can learn from their experiences.
The club hosted the following events this semester:
BIAT Kickoff (February 4) – The vision and mission of the organization were shared with students
Ascend Club Seminar (March 25) on ‘Analytics with CoreLogic’ – Top representatives from CoreLogic discussed their business-intelligence operation and internship opportunities
Data Visualization Session (April 2) – A hands-on session on Tableau, a popular data visualization tool
Tableau Session (April 9) – Another hands-on session
Enterprise Systems Certificate Graduate Raquel Salinas, Founder of XP3@ GLOBAL
Raquel Salinas graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree. She was one of the first students to graduate from the Enterprise Systems Certificate program more than 10 years ago. She is now the proud owner of a recruitment agency in Singapore.
Q: What is the name of the company you currently work for and how long have you been working for this company?
I founded XP3@ GLOBAL in Singapore in 2013.
Q: How did you find the opportunity?
In 2006, an opportunity to move to Asia knocked on our door. Despite the unknowns and risks of moving to a new country, we decided to make the move. Since then, my husband and I have never looked back! The vast emerging markets with Australia, India and China in the backdrop created new opportunities in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. Singapore, with its ease of doing business and strategic location in Southeast Asia, attracts small to large businesses. Our global relationships enable them to build a presence in Singapore.
Q: Briefly describe your job duties and responsibilities.
As the owner and managing director, my focus is global strategic planning. Equally pressing is sourcing investors and shareholders to determine the direction of our finances for both short- and long-term planning.
Q: Describe your typical day at work.
My typical day at work is a trip around the world! On a given day, I could be networking with someone in Brazil to someone in Africa. I could be meeting one of our clients here in Singapore or one in Malaysia.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
Making a real difference with people who are in the same situation we were back in 2006. They can depend on us when they are ready to cross the chasm. On a personal level, I’m able to bring my daughters to the office. Definitely priceless.
Q: How did your education and experience at UT Dallas prepare you for your job?
UT Dallas laid out a solid foundation both personally and professionally. Personally, UT Dallas has provided a palette of diversity that prepared me for the move to Asia. Professionally, my degree and certification have brought the best of both worlds of business and technology. As a business intelligence analyst, I had the privilege to work with several Fortune 500 companies in the U.S., such as Bank of America, Verizon Wireless and Time Warner; and in Asia, as a global operations manager based in Hong Kong and Malaysia, with a mobile competency provider. Above all, it has given me the exciting opportunity to become the founder and owner of a business in Asia.
Q: What advice will you give to current students to make the most of their time at UT Dallas?
Network, network, network! It really is a small, connected world! The connections you make now will reconnect and even create new ones. In the end, it is not what you know, but who you know.
Build your professional network by joining as many student organizations and clubs as possible.
Do not be afraid to take the road less traveled, as poet Robert Frost so eloquently wrote. Even though that road is full of risks and uncertainties, it can prove to be the most rewarding.
Q: What are some things you enjoy doing in your time away from work?
I enjoy the simple things we did as kids such as dancing salsa, painting or just flying a kite with our three daughters.
Faculty Focus: Eric Zheng Analyzes Analytics
Dr. Zhiqiang (Eric) Zheng’s background is in business analytics. Having earned his PhD in operations and information management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MS in industrial management engineering from Shanghai Jiaotong University, he had extensive training in data mining (the precursor of business analytics). Since then, he has gradually seen a shift from algorithm-driven data mining to application-driven business analytics. His work involves trying to understand what customers are talking about and why they say it. The three areas are:
Social Media Analytics
Inherent Bias – Zheng worked on quantifying the inherent bias in social media data. Customers who speak out represent about only 5 percent to 10 percent of the population. Yelp and YouTube reported that the majority of their comments are positive. This is largely due to the fact that many unhappy users remain silent, choosing not to post their comments. Zheng developed a method to factor in the opinions of those silent users. Please see “The Power of Silence” in the Fall 2013 MIS @ UT Dallas.
Intention Mining – This involves identifying the hidden intention in what users say, such as: Are they being paid (for example, receiving a coupon or other incentive from the company) when giving a positive review?
Zheng also is working on two healthcare analytics projects with Information Systems Professor Indranil Bardhan.
Predicting Patient Readmissions – A promising one aims to predict and prevent hospital readmissions, a key initiative in the Affordable Care (“Obamacare”) Act to reduce waste and abuse in healthcare. If a hospital receives excessive readmissions, the government will start penalizing it by restricting full reimbursement. Alarmingly, 15 percent of congestive heart failure (CHF) patients are re-admitted. There is a need to figure out the risk or likelihood a CHF patient will be readmitted within 30 days. Bardhan and Zheng have developed a probabilistic model to predict patient readmission rates.
Reducing Duplication Imaging Rates – Repeating tests such as X-rays and CT scans increases unnecessary healthcare costs. This happens frequently when a patient switches hospitals. The rate of imaging tests in the U.S. is more than double that of such Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries as Germany and the United Kingdom. In “Can health information sharing reduce duplicate testing? A longitudinal analysis of patient-switching behavior across multiple hospitals,” Zheng, Bardhan and their UT Dallas co-authors found that on average, the expense is four to five times higher than these countries. Information-sharing systems in healthcare (for example, health-information exchanges) may be a means to curb this waste. Zheng and his coauthors show that lack of information sharing can lead to an increase of 56 percent in test duplication. — Ayabakan, S, Z. Zheng, I. Bardhan, K. Kirksey, “Can health information sharing reduce duplicate testing? A longitudinal analysis of patient switching behavior across multiple hospitals,” in proceedings of the Conference on Information Systems and Technology, 2013.
Zheng’s newest project involves high-frequency trading (HFT), which combines finance, IT and data analytics. He looks into how the presence of HFT affects the quality of liquidity and develops arbitrage strategies accordingly.
MIS Faculty: Huseyin Cavusoglu Comments on Target Data Breach
Information Systems Associate Professor Huseyin Cavusoglu was interviewed by the DFW area CBS affiliate TV station regarding the Target data breach incident.
Chen, M. and Y.U. Ryu,“Facilitating Effective User Navigation through Website Structure Improvement,” IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, Vol. 25, No. 3, pp. 571–588, 2013.
Geng, X., L. Lin and A. B. Whinston, “Incentive Issues and Solution Mechanisms for Knowledge Transfer with Enterprise 2.0 Technologies,” in proceedings of the 47th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, January 2014.
Kim, D.J., Y.U. Ryu and Y. Kwark, “Information Security Collective Efficacy and Vulnerability: A Cross-Country Comparison,” in proceedings of the 34th International Conference on Information Systems, Milan, December 2013.
Lee, Chul Ho, Xianjun Geng and Srinivasan Raghunathan, “Mandatory Standards and Organizational Information Security,” presented at the University of British Columbia, May 9, 2014; and presented at the University of Alberta, April 25, 2014.
Ryu, Y.U., J.K. Kim and H.K. Kim, “A Local Scoring Model for Diversified Recommendation,” in proceedings of the 34th International Conference on Information Systems, Milan, December 2013.
Tour of Raytheon
MIS undergraduate and graduate ITM students toured a manufacturing facility of the defense contractor, Raytheon, in Dallas this past February. After stringent security clearance, the group received an overview from Bryan Hollingsworth, the director of the Advanced Products Center, and various system and team leaders.
Raytheon transmits and receives technology information from the defense industry, and this ability has become commercialized. Under Space and Airborne Systems, the Technology and Engineering Division delivers high-performance radio frequency (RF) subsystems. Emerging technologies are continuously being improved.
Raytheon is a world leader in microwave technology, design, development and manufacturing and has received many significant state and national awards, such as the 2013 Excellence in Engineering Technology award. Its technical expertise spans a wide spectrum on products ranging from modules to subsystems. At the Advanced Products Center in the Dallas manufacturing facility, SAP is used to extract data on a daily basis from corporate to help facilitate the building of products. Electronic communication system software enables approvals to be delivered in seconds from several sources. Core systems are .NET server based. TakDb gathers a monthly plan for real-time feedback to support groups. Status dashboard tracks cycle times, yields, defects and trend analysis, yet has low administrative overhead. Various other dashboards address issues, customer requirements, job function training and capacity planning.
Raytheon also utilizes a tier-meeting system in which everyone has a face-to-face 10-minute daily standup meeting to share the latest information and get immediate feedback.
After the overview, the group donned bonnets, masks, goggles and smocks and was escorted through several lines of the lab. The group observed the manufacture of radio-frequency modules for aircraft and vehicles, and asked the staff questions. The UT Dallas visitors participated intently in an informal question-and-answer session at lunch with Leland Smith from the Business Intelligence Center of Excellence, along with Amanda Brackett of Global Business Services, Enterprise Services IT at Raytheon.
Kristy Forsthoff, an MIS sophomore, said, “It’s amazing how the use of technology in their automated processes allows for greater accuracy in creating such minuscule parts [for the RF modules]—tasks that would be highly difficult if not impossible to achieve otherwise.”
Joel Gonzalez, an MIS senior, indicated that the tour helped him to see in an actual work environment the commitment that Raytheon has to quality control. It also opened his eyes to Raytheon as a possible future employer.
Alumni Establish Endowments
Hasnain Saboowala, MS ITM 2011 and current MBA student, and his wife established the Hasnain and Rashida Saboowala International Merit Scholarship. Mohit Malhan, MS ITM/SCM 2010, and his wife, a current ITM/MBA student and summer intern at Ericsson, established the Isha and Mohit Malhan Talent Recognition Scholarship.
Both scholarships took advantage of the Ericsson Matching Gift Program, which maximizes their annual contributions. The alumni expressed appreciation for what they gained from their experiences at the Jindal School of Management and their strong desire to give back. Please see the article on page 2 in the Fall 2013 issue of Aspire.
ITM Student Received President’s Volunteer Service Award
Thiagarajan (Theo) Sugavanam was a master’s degree student in the Information Technology and Management program who graduated this spring as a scholar of recognition. In the past few years, he has put in about 300 hours of volunteer work. For that, he was presented with the gold-level President’s Volunteer Service Award pin on February 25, 2014, by the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement at UT Dallas. He accomplished this while maintaining a very good grade-point average.
The President’s Volunteer Service Award is an initiative of the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, a national program to encourage volunteerism and civic engagement. Individuals who serve a minimum of 100 hours in a one-year period are eligible to receive awards. Those who qualify by meeting or exceeding requirements are eligible to receive bronze, silver or gold awards, depending upon the number of hours they served. The award includes a certificate of achievement, a President’s Volunteer Service Award lapel pin, a note of congratulations from the President of the United States and a letter from the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.
Theo has volunteered for such nonprofit organizations as Sastha Tamil Foundation (STF-Plano) and the global nonprofit charitable social service organization Ananda Marga. A few Ananda Marga services in which he has lent a helping hand are providing tornado relief activities in Granbury, Texas, and supplies to flood victims in Uttarakhand, India. He also has assisted in teaching free yoga and meditation classes at the organization’s office.
“I extensively offer services, take initiative and provide my ideas to support the organization’s goals and objectives; and I am a youth committee leader. Out of my interest to spread yoga and meditation to students, I founded the Asana and Meditation Yoga Club (AM Yoga Club), which is free to UT Dallas students, faculty and staff. This can help maintain physical and mental health, reducing the stress of exams and other causes.”
We congratulate Theo on this distinguished award and for his untiring efforts to help others. Equally heartfelt congratulations are extended as well to MIS and ITM students and alumni who have received these awards in past years:
Mayur Mehta (MS ITM 2010) – Bronze awards 2009 and 2010
Siddharth Nivas (BS MIS 2013) – Gold award 2011
Paras Doshi (MS ITM 2013) – Bronze award 2012
Yijun Chen (current MS ITM) – Bronze award 2013
For UT Dallas history on the award, please visit the President’s Volunteer Service Awards Web page. Sign up to earn the award on the award registration Web page. Visit the Presidential Service Awards website to learn about the national program.