After an intense intro-term covering the basics of the major domains of management and becoming acquainted with the use of analytical tools to solve practical problems, the MMA program ramped up in intensity as we entered October. The fall-term exposed us to the theory and practice of working on complex problems with large datasets, both through coursework and the kick-off of our year-long practicum projects. Having gained a strong conceptual footing in the first two months of the program, the challenge of analytics started to become far more real.
Everything coming together
Our courses in Predictive Modelling and Big Data Analytics exposed us to a wide variety of algorithms, from classical regression techniques all the way up to cutting-edge reinforcement learning approaches. The courses complemented each other by providing us both a solid basis in the theoretical foundations of different models and the practical data engineering needed for us to implement them in order to derive actionable insights. The courses exposed us to a wide variety of problems that can be solved through data analytics, from marketing segmentation and advertising to financial decision-making. The generalisability of the tools we learned helped us become aware of the wide array of applications that make use of the analytics skills we are learning.
While a lot of the modelling techniques we learned become more valuable the more data you have, we also learned the principles of effective problem design when data is sparser and the stakes large. Our course in Prescriptive Analytics exposed us to problems in real estate development, financial investment, and queueing optimisation for medical clinics, all of which are extremely important real-world concerns. Understanding how to conceptualise these problems, and approach decisions where there are a significant number of external constraints, was one of the most valuable skills we learned throughout the month and the term.
Alongside the increase in academic demand from the MMA was the practicum, a weekly on-site consulting project to conceptualise and resolve a business problem for a large corporate entity. Throughout the month my team met with our project sponsors, getting a deeper understanding of the problem we were assigned, and beginning to conceptualise the analytical objectives we would be expected to meet. The practical on-site experience added to both the value and demandingness of the program.
A great finish to the month
The month ended off with an industry night mixer, where faculty and students met with representatives from the various companies acting as project sponsors, providing us with valuable insight into the careers in analytics. The program package provided a neat wrapper and tie into all our activities, providing us constant reassurance of the relationship between the content we learned in class, the demands of industry, and the career objectives we as students had.
The Master of Management Analytics is designed to give students the advanced data management, analytics, and communication skills needed to become an analytics professional.