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Oklahoma State University master's of business analytics students and alums joined marketing professor Goutam Chakraborty at the SAS Global Forum 2018.

Oklahoma State business analytics students, alums join Chakraborty at SAS Global Forum

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Oklahoma State University was well represented at the SAS Global Forum 2018 with nearly 140 representatives, including marketing professor Goutam Chakraborty serving as the chair of the annual conference.

The conference drew 5,400 SAS enthusiasts from across the world, attracting an audience of international users, executives and academia.

Chakraborty, who has been a Spears School of Business faculty member for 27 years, was selected as the conference chair for his long-standing relationship with SAS, a trusted analytics company for organizations seeking immediate value from their data. In addition, about 70 current OSU master’s in business analytics students and around 70 alumni of the program attended, joining Chakraborty on stage at the opening ceremony.

“I am very proud of our analytics students and alums who have continued to excel at the SAS Global Forum conference over many years,” Chakraborty said. “It was particularly memorable for me as the chair of this year’s conference to have OSU students and alums on the main stage with me in front of 5,000-plus attendees at the conference.

“This was a very big day for OSU’s analytics program and I am extremely happy to be able to showcase the talent that we have at OSU to the rest of the world.”

Nikhila Kambalapalli
Nikhila Kambalapalli
Ritesh Vangapalli
Ritesh Vangapalli

Four business analytic graduate students – Nikhila Kambalapalli, Sujal Reddy, Zaid Shaikh and Ritesh Vangapalli – were recipients of the SAS Ambassador Award, which included an all-expense paid trip to the conference to attend and present their papers. Less than 20 awards are given each year to students worldwide, and this is the eighth year in a row that at least one OSU student has received the award.

“It means a lot to me as SAS is a pioneer of analytics and to be associated with the award I feel deeply honored,” Vangapalli said. “It opens a wide range of opportunities to connect with the like-minded people who are using SAS for solving different business problems.”

“Being a SAS Ambassador provided me an incredible opportunity to share my research and to demonstrate my knowledge and skills to an audience of prospective employers and coworkers,” Shaikh said. “It also provided me a distinct professional recognition beyond the traditional academic acclaim. It was an ideal platform to showcase my presentation and communication skills beyond the confines of the university.”

Zaid Shaikh
Zaid Shaikh
Sujal Reddy
Sujal Reddy

Two groups of OSU graduate students finished among the top eight teams (out of more than 60) in the SAS Student Symposium. Members of both teams received an all-expense paid trip to attend the conference and present their research symposium ideas.

One team included master’s in business analytics students Smitha Etlapur, Venkata Sai Mounika Kondamudi, Sujal Reddy Alugubelli and Varsha Reddy Akkaloori. The other OSU team making the top eight consisted of Travis Miller, Rosie Nguyen, Rishanki Jain and Linyi Tang. Faculty adviser for both teams was Venu Lolla, while Maheshwar Nareddy was alumni mentor.

Twenty-nine students and three faculty members represented OSU and Spears Business by presenting papers and posters at the SAS Global Forum:

Goutam Chakraborty at SAS Global Forum
Goutam Chakraborty speaks at the opening ceremonies of the SAS Global Forum.

The conference left a lasting impression on several OSU students.

“It was a great opportunity to meet and network with the like-minded people and understand the work and research they have been doing with SAS,” Vangapalli said. “This understanding broadened my view in analytics and showed me the hidden doors of research.”

Shaikh said, “The SAS Global Forum was an outstanding opportunity to learn, interact and share knowledge with the dreamers and doers that are the SAS professionals. As an aspiring data analyst, I value the opportunity that I gained from the podium talks, posters, demos, presentations and the champions of data. It is without any doubt the best place to meet and network with SAS professionals from around the world representing practically every industry and sector. In addition, I gained knowledge on how business, social and scientific problems are being addressed using SAS technologies.” 

For more information about the master’s in business analytics program at OSU, visit[BROKEN LINK].

For more information about the SAS Global Forum, visit

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