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Author's profile photo Don Ginocchio

Notre Dame Students Visit Indianapolis to Work with Indiana Leaders

Sept 2015.jpg

On Friday, I had the opportunity to visit Indiana’s state Capital with 35 Notre Dame students and their faculty leaders.  We were in Indianapolis to work with state officials on the framework for our new SAP predictive analytics class.  The University of Notre Dame’s ESTEEM program has agreed to work with Indiana’s Management Performance Hub this semester to analyze traffic crash data as part of the new class.  The Management Performance Hub (MPH) is connected to and builds on the data-rich Indiana Transparency Portal by increasing the accessibility and usability of key information — the state’s financial health, the status of executive agencies’ key performance indicators and Governor Mike Pence’s six road map goals and their progress.  Indiana has become a very innovative and nationally recognized SAP business partner in using data analytics.

Our agenda began with a short talk by Major Michael White of the Indiana State Police.  His team is sponsoring the class project and has already shared a very large data set of traffic crash data spanning ten years for use in the class.  The police force is looking at ways to reduce fatalities and other traffic incidents on state roads and have asked students to make recommendations based on the data.  Students will present their findings back to state leaders in October on campus.

David Ryan, the Deputy Assistant IT Director for the Indiana Office of Technology, who also serves in the MPH was the main speaker for the remainder of the day.  David provided an overview of the MPH and also key SAP technology used in the organization such as SAP HANA and SAP Lumira.  To help illustrate the power of data analytics the students were provided with two data sets on air quality and Indiana population changes to analyze with Lumira while we were together.  After lunch, students shared their initial observations with the group.  They now have some experience that will aid them in working with the traffic data this semester.

Our day concluded with an official tour of the state capital building where students learned about Indiana history and saw the key facilities for the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.  We had a special treat when Indiana Governor Mike Pence stopped by to visit with students and joined us for a picture.

ESTEEM (Engineering, Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Excellence Masters Program) is an innovative 11-month entrepreneurship master’s program designed to equip a person with the specific skills required to launch a business.  Unlike the traditional M.B.A., an entrepreneurship master’s focuses on the direct application of business skills to an entrepreneurial environment. ESTEEM sets itself apart from other entrepreneur master’s programs by putting students in the middle of real-time startup development.  In addition, a wide network of investors and alumni is available to help launch ventures inspired by students’ capstone projects.

Joining me on the trip were leaders of the ESTEEM program David Murphy and Sunny Shah.  In addition, Bob Lewandowski who teaches the analytics class, and serves as a key SAP University Alliances faculty, was on the trip.  SAP Account Executive Sean McCloskey also stopped by to say hello.  We enjoyed the visit very much and look forward to completing the program with the students later this fall when state officials visit the University of Notre Dame.

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