School of Business students participate in business analytics competition

05.25.16_Business-Analytics-Conference-Competition_121Business students Christopher Whalen ’16 (Finance) and Devin Fiat ’16 (Finance) became the first SUNY New Paltz students to take part in the Business Analytics Competition & Conference hosted by Manhattan College.

Whalen and Fiat, who were advised by Shuguang Liu, associate dean of the School of Business, competed against 18 teams of undergraduates representing business programs from across the nation in a contest designed to hone their knowledge of analytics and their ability to deliver meaningful, data-backed guidance.

“Competing in the Business Analytics competition at Manhattan College was a great opportunity to challenge myself, learn new things and apply concepts that I learned in class,” Whalen said. “It certainly wasn’t easy, but it really piqued my interest in the topic and allowed me to network with some leaders in the analytics field.”

The team gave a poster presentation before a judges panel made up of college and university faculty as well as working data analytics practitioners representing various industries. Their participation also granted them access to a conference program that featured addresses from executives and luminaries representing Verizon, Microsoft and other major technology companies.

While the New Paltz team did not place, Whalen and Fiat’s attendance at the conference and completion of the rigorous contest program was a strong representation of the School of Business.

It comes at a time when data analytics is gaining momentum as a focus of business students and faculty at New Paltz. The School is developing new courses in business data analytics, and students will be looking to start a new Business Analytics Club that will seek more professional development opportunities for members, according to Whalen.

“I was happy with our performance considering that we had not taken part in a competition before,” Whalen said, “and I definitely recommend the competition to any students interested in analytics.”

More information about the School of Business is available online.