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Oklahoma State University

Big Data Boot Camp drills Spears business analytics students in preparation for internships

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Master of Science in Business Analytics students attended the 2017 Big Data Boot Camp to hone their skills in preparation for internships.

Oklahoma State University Master of Science in Business Analytics students recently got a taste of their future career path at the annual Big Data Boot Camp hosted by the Spears School of Business.

The weeklong boot camp is required for MSBA students completing their first year in the program. The camp not only covers the basics technical skills students will need to have for their future careers but also covers some soft skills that companies look for when making hiring decisions. The boot camp is provided free by Spears Business in partnership with SAS.

“No business can survive without making data-driven decisions,” said Miriam McGaugh, Spears Business clinical assistant professor of marketing and instructor for the Big Data Boot Camp. “Analytics isn’t going away. We train students to utilize software and technology to make processes more efficient in business.”

Tom Bohannon, a representative from SAS, attended the boot camp and presented about high performance statistics in predictive modeling and the value of having data stored in the memory of a parallel PC group, called an appliance. Other SAS representatives included Andre de Waal, George Habek and Mike Speed.

“The students learned about high-performance nodes developed to address some of the big data problems we encounter in the business world,” Bohannon said. “To put it into perspective, it takes standard nodes seven hours to run a program, but with high-performance nodes, we ran the program in less than a minute. Efficiency and timing are keys to success in this field.”

MSBAN students Shubham Panat and Rishanki Jain attended the boot camp and learned a lot about the behind the scenes programs used in the field.

“The camp was very interactive and trial-and-error based,” Panat said. “Getting to hear from experienced professionals from SAS was also a great experience.”

“The timing of the boot camp was very helpful for those of us looking for internships for the summer.” Jain said. “The topics were advanced and a great boost to the knowledge we gained during the school year. I enjoyed learning more about neural networks and exploring nodes we haven’t yet learned in class. It was great practical exposure.”

For more information about the MSBAN program at OSU, visit

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