Nurturing the Next Generation of Data Scientists, Analysts and Data-Informed Citizens
In October 2015, SAP’s Enterprise Analytics Big Data Analytics team was awarded the Genius Award from among 70+ other companies, BtoB as well as BtoC, for our multi-dimensional analytic work on “Insight-Driven Events”. Aside from the recognition of winning, SAP was awarded a cash prize of $25,000. (SCN Insight-Driven Events Blog)
Working with our North American CSR office, we donated the winnings to Jobs for the Future, to be used in the B-Tech program, so that an award gained through the use of Analytics and Data Science would be used to enable the next generation of such.
The gift was used to create a summer course, “Data Analytics” for high schools students, offered through faculty at Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown Massachusetts.
Aside from my role in advising on the syllabus and course content, I also had an opportunity to meet with the young students to discuss topics in analytics ranging from the types of ways we use analytics at SAP to how data and analytics are part of everyday life, especially in a “Smart City” like Boston, where SAP is a partner with local government in improving residents’ lives. Also, through the participation of colleague Stefan Lacher via video conference, the students were able to make connections directly to the Olympics, as Stefan spoke eloquently about the SAP Sailing Program and the data and analytics that provide a competitive advantage.
Seeing and hearing about analytics from high school students, and observing their realization of the power of seeing the world through an analytics prism was inspiring indeed, as were their insightful and excited questions.
It is a very good day when your work has not only direct benefit to SAP, but when through this work something new is made possible — funded and developed — making way for the next generation of data scientists, analysts and data-informed citizens.