A data analytics minor prepares students with a strong knowledge base as well as experience that is relevant for today’s data-driven world. There are opportunities to apply data analytics in a wide range of disciplines, including biology, business, economics, environmental science, history, languages and political science. For example, students apply their skills to the marketing program of a local grocery store chain, deliberations of the Supreme Court, medical claims handling and tax collection in the city of Schenectady.
The minor offers specialized courses such as CSC 233: Data Analytics; CSC 234: Data Visualization; and CSC 321: Data Mining and Machine Learning. It also offers courses that apply data in specific contexts: BIO 243: Bioinformatics; BIO 324: Plant Ecology; ENS 215 Exploring Environmental Data; ENS 214: Geographic Information Systems; and ECO 364: Business Analytics.
The core skills include programming (for acquiring and manipulating data), and statistics (for understanding the relationships contained in the data), but the emphasis is on the application of these skills in a variety of contexts.
The Center for Data Analytics serves as a hub for all data analytic work at the college. The center hosts a seminar series with internal and external speakers, as well as workshops and tutorials on topics such as web scraping, data manipulation, visualization tools, GIS and data sources. The center holds a regular data analytics help desk, where students, faculty and staff can seek assistance in obtaining, wrangling, modeling, analyzing and visualizing data. This help desk is staffed by students from appropriate classes across the campus. The center has a physical space in Wold 010 (the John Kelly Computing and Innovation Lab). The lab is equipped with computing resources to support data analysis and visualization. It is on twitter at @data_college.
As a data analytics minor at Union, you will:
- learn the process of acquiring, analyzing, interpreting and visualizing data to tell a story or construct (or deconstruct) an argument
- understand data in new and interesting ways
- take elective classes that use data, from business analytics to plant ecology
- have an option for an independent study