New data analytics major coming during fall 2015 semester

March 25, 2015 9:30 AM

STORY BY MADISON GILDERSLEEVE

DATA ANALYTICS is a new major for the fall 2015 to be offered in the College of Business and Public Administration, located in Aliber Hall, and in the College of Arts and Sciences. PHOTO BY JOEL VENZKE

DATA ANALYTICS is a new major for the fall 2015 to be offered in the College of Business and Public Administration, located in Aliber Hall, and in the College of Arts and Sciences. PHOTO BY JOEL VENZKE

Numbers and statistics definitely are not everyone’s thing, but to those of you who “geek out” when it comes to information systems, you are in luck.

A data analytics major will be introduced to both the College of Business and Public Administration (CBPA) and the College of Arts and Sciences in the fall of 2015.


What exactly is data analytics?


“The difficulty of defining data analytics is that it is used in a number of ways and contexts,” said Professor Bradley Meyer, operations management professor. “It is using data to make decisions and a combination of statistics of computer science or information systems.”


Meyer and a few other professors from fields such as computer science and information systems have been collaborating since last summer to create this program and are now ironing out the final details.


Credit hours may vary depending on the specialty, but the major will consist of 30 core hours and a specialty area that is nine to 17 credits.


“I can’t say at this point how much tweaking will be done and to which courses,” Meyer said. “Many of the classes may have to be tweaked to shift the focus from actuarial applications to a broader range of application of the techniques taught in the class.”


To pair up with the new courses, the major will also be hiring two new professors: one in computer science and one in the business college.


There are also some additional financial needs.


“There are some technology costs, such as for servers, access to databases, perhaps hardware for work stations, and then software cost,” Meyer said.


Students will be able to start taking data analytics classes next fall with the hope that a student who is a current first-year or sophomore could jump into the program and finish it in two years. “But we’re hoping it will bring in a new set of students that maybe in the past wouldn’t have chosen to come to Drake University,” Meyer said.


The students in both the CBPA and College of Arts and Sciences in the data analytics program will need to have certain distinct qualities.


“They need to have strong mathematical skills,” Meyer said. “And think analytically, almost like a natural curiosity.”


Splitting the major between two colleges was a deliberate choice.


“Data analytics can apply to people working with health care or marketing data,” Meyer said.


As Meyer pointed out, this major may even draw in students already pursuing other majors.


Erin Sawasky, a first-year actuarial science major, explained she might be interested in analytics as a career.


“I’ve always liked math and thought about doing something in business and in math,” Sawasky said. “Actuarial science was a good way to mix the two.”


Sawasky sees the new major as providing opportunities for all students at Drake, not just students with an interest in numbers.


“Data analytics is interesting and a good step for the business school and not just for actuarial science,” Sawasky said.


“It’s beneficial to have additional background in data analytics,” Sawasky said. “ It would make resumes more competitive for jobs or internships.”
Sawasky’s observation summarizes the reason the faculty chose to introduce the new major now.


“Employers in Des Moines were saying we have lots and lots of data,” Meyer said. “We need people who can look at it and make sense of it. There’s not enough of them who have been trained in that area.”


Chuck Hinkle, a training developer at Shell Exploration and Production Company and a 1982 Drake University alumnus, could not agree more.


After 33 years of experience in the working world he is an expert in business intelligence with years of background knowledge in data analytics.


“I’m glad to see a curriculum develop around data analytics and for universities to be paying attention to it,” Hinkle said. “It means that companies can hire people who already know the tools and techniques.”


Hinkle is cautious because data analytics is still an emerging field.


“It’s an idea that lots of people are just getting introduced to,” Hinkle said. “Lots of companies will kick off projects so that they don’t get left behind. Lots of those projects will be rushed and will fail.”


However, it is not all bad.


“I see good prospects for this major,” Hinkle said in his email. “More graduates with this major mean more successful projects, which leads to more companies implementing analytics which leads to more demand in the field.”


The CBPA and the College of Arts and Sciences look forward to enrolling students in the data analytics courses this coming fall.


For more information about the major visit http://www.drake.edu/analytics/

Two year on-campus requirement, “lottery” system, frustrates students

March 14, 2015 3:00 PM

STORY BY ETHAN FICKAU

With the on-campus housing deadline rapidly approaching, Drake students are torn on some Office of Residential Life policies.

“I would not require on-campus living” sophomore Jordan Sabine said.

Sabine thinks that all students, including underclassmen, should have the option to live off campus should they wish to do so.

“I would make it optional,” Sabine said. (more…)

Do Something Stellar with #15in15 campaign

March 13, 2015 6:00 AM

STORY BY JESSICA LYNK

JOE ('80) AND LINDA ('79) AIELLO are Drake alumni. If fifteen percent of the student body donate to the Do Something Stellar campaign, the Aiellos will donate $15,000 to the scholarship fund

JOE (’80) AND LINDA (’79) AIELLO are Drake alumni. If fifteen percent of the student body donate to the Do Something Stellar campaign, the Aiellos will donate $15,000 to the scholarship fund

Ninety eight percent of Drake University students receive financial aid in a given year, according to the Office of Financial Aid.

$47 million is awarded to students based on need and merit and that money has to come from somewhere: the alumni.

The Student Alumni Association (SAA), along with board of trustee member Joe Aiello and his wife Leslie, held their fifth and final student challenge in order to help raise money for the Distinctly Drake campaign.

The philanthropy week titled “Do Something Stellar” challenged 15 percent of the student body to donate from March 2-6 using the hashtag #15in15.

If that goal was reached, the Aiellos will donate $15,000 to the scholarship fund. (more…)

SAE chapter at Oklahoma banned for racist chant

March 12, 2015 6:00 AM

STORY BY ETHAN FICKAU

A shocking video was released  this week of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity members chanting a racist slur at the University of Oklahoma (OU).

The video depicted fraternity members chanting racist slurs and referencing lynching. The bus chant, to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know it,” declared there would never be a black member in their respected chapter.

Brad Cohen, the fraternity’s national president, closed the Oklahoma Kappa chapter, and OU President David Boren has banned it from the campus.

“You are disgraceful,” Boren said. “You have violated every principle that this university stands for. Real Sooners are not racist. Real Sooners are not bigots. Real Sooners treat each other with respect. This won’t be tolerated for one second.” (more…)

Senate allocates over 20K to twelve different student organizations

March 11, 2015 11:30 AM

STORY BY BETH LEVALLEY

Student Senate divided $20,512.50 for 12 different student organizations at their last meeting.

The Senate allocated $6,420 to help facilities put in six outdoor recycling bins on campus.

Sen. Zachary Blevins and Sen. Kaitlin Lacek have been working on this project since late September.

Drake facilities are currently trying to incorporate more indoor recycling and do not have the funds to implement outdoor recycling bins as well.

Sen. Lacek has been working with the Drake Environmental Action League (DEAL) to put on future events that will educate students on how to use the bins and what to recycle. (more…)

Music venue to replace The Dublin in coming weeks

6:00 AM

STORY BY COLE NORUM

ThE DUBLIN, a popular local bar in the Drake neighborhood, will close its doors for good in the next few weeks, after opening in 2007. A music venue, called Lefty’s Live Music, is coming to take its place. JOEL VENZKE | PHOTO EDITOR

THE DUBLIN, a popular local bar in the Drake neighborhood, will close its doors for good in the next few weeks, after opening in 2007. A music venue, called Lefty’s Live Music, is coming to take its place. JOEL VENZKE | PHOTO EDITOR

It might get loud. It will sound awesome. That’s the mentality behind Lefty’s Live Music, a new concert venue slated to open this spring in the Drake neighborhood.

“We want to have the best-sounding music venue anywhere around,” the booking manager and co-founder of Lefty’s, Erik Brown said.

“A lot of times (the sound) seems like an afterthought,” Lefty’s co-founder and owner, said Anne Mathey. “We want to … create an epic sound system that really brings in bands that may be too big to play the room.”

At this moment, that room is delineated by a half-wall partition inside 2307 University Ave — the location better known to Drake students as The Dublin. (more…)