Faculty and students from the Sam M. Walton College of Business attended the Enterprise Computing Community Conference in Poughkeepsie, New York, June 11-13.
Carol Reeves, the University of Arkansas’ associate vice provost of entrepreneurship, presented a keynote entitled “What’s Your Problem? How Thinking Like an Entrepreneur Leads to Innovation.” She talked about the exceptionally successful entrepreneurial program at the University of Arkansas and walked the audience through the nine-step lean start-up approach with questions and answers providing specific examples to solidify the use of each step.
David Douglas, a University Professor and Walton professor of information systems, presented the topic “Predictive Analytics – A Comparative Analysis of IBM Data Science Experience vs. IBM SPSS Modeler.” Douglas and graduate assistant Rekha Swaminathan conducted experiments that served as the basis for the comparison using Spark/Python vs. SPSS Modeler. IBM Data Science, a cloud service, and IBM SPSS Modeler, a commercial data mining software system, is provided free for academic use. The research concluded that both skills are needed; SPSS Modeler is recommended except when coding is needed for data extraction and/or special data manipulation.
The 9th annual conference was the result of a multi-university National Science Foundation grant to instill more enterprise computing into curricula. The five schools in the grant are Marist College, North Carolina Central University, Illinois State, University of Arkansas and Widener University. Douglas was a co-principaI investigator on the NSF grant.
Tim Broadaway, a Masters of Information Systems alumnus, and Linda Steede, a Walton undergraduate student, attended the conference and participated in a student panel along with students from three other universities.
“I found the breakout sessions to be very informative and to give enough information to give me a good grasp of the problem they were trying to solve and the steps they were taking to solve the problem,” Broadaway said. “Lastly, I’ll say that the mix of students, faculty and people in industry was great.”
“The ECC conference was a great opportunity to see how things I’ve learned in the classroom are being used in the real world,” Steede said. “I was also exposed to some things that I otherwise may not have been. It was a great experience and I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to have gone to it!”