By Nina Chen (MS, Business Analytics candidate)
GGU’s Business and Data Analytics Club (BnDA) toured the headquarters of Twitch Interactive, the largest live-stream gaming company in the world. Twitch and BnDA collaborated to provide a unique opportunity for current analytics students to bridge the gap between academia and the real world. Additionally, it linked Twitch’s recruiters with job-seeking students, which was a great networking opportunity.
During the company office tour, we were surprised and delighted to discover that the company has several huge game rooms and e-Sport rooms for their employees. June Dershewitz (below, left), Director of Analytics, invited us to one of their presentation rooms and described the Twitch business model and how the company uses the data it collects from its platforms.
June made it easy to understand the process of data analytics by comparing it to making a cake. The raw data are similar to the ingredients. You need to prepare and measure the correct ingredients to make a delicious, edible cake. The final product, the cake, is analogous to the information you present after having analyzed the raw data.
Not only does the cake have to be edible, but also it has to be visually appealing. How does one do that? Add colorful, tasty frosting! You do it with tools such as Tableau or SPSS, which present newly discovered information with charts and dashboards that are pleasing, stimulating, and also informative.
The cake-making analogy helps people understand what Twitch analysts do with the data they collect. For example, they may learn that people prefer to “game” at a certain hour of the day. After having analyzed the data, analysts must present the data and their conclusions to the deciding parties. This is where proper visualization enters in. It’s absolutely necessary to present the data in a clear, concise way. Finally, everyone eats the wonderful cake and feels satisfied — similar to everyone digesting the knowledge received from the analysis and visualizations. The deciding parties consume the information and make a well-informed decision.
…GGU plays an active role in developing our careers to an advanced level.
Learning from Twitch Staff
June invited four data analysts (pictured above, standing at right) from the company to speak on a panel and led them through a series of questions. Two of them work on products, one on data quality, and one in marketing. We learned that self-motivation is an important personality trait for being a data analyst or scientist. Anurag Ramachandra, Senior Data Analyst, told us: “You never know what will bring you to your current position, but the only thing you know is to focus on your goal and keep trying and learning.”
Career Development through GGU
In the recruiting section of the visit, the company invited four recruiters to give some individual advice on our resumes. The BnDA members also took this time to network with speakers.
For most students, GGU actively plays a role in developing our careers to an advanced level. In my case, I moved from a pure business role into IT. Luckily, we have a fantastic location in downtown San Francisco that is surrounded by hundreds of tech companies and is close to Silicon Valley.
As the trend of data analytics/science positions grows, the Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) program at GGU provides a sweet spot for the students who are planning to enter the data industry from another focus. GGU staff and faculty are strong supporters of student success.
On behalf of the BnDA I would like to thank Dr. Judith Lee, Director of the MSBA program, for arranging the trip and Dr. Sia Zadeh, Visiting Associate Professor/Data Scientist, for accompanying us on the visit.
About the Business and Data Analytics Club
The Business and Data Analytics Club is a group of diverse students who are pursuing an advanced level of their career. The BnDA has programming study groups, company tours, lectures, and social networking activities. Thanks to our strong and motivated club officers, we have more than 50 club members in just six months and continue to grow.
Pictured above, the BnDA club with Nina Chen (top image, last row at far right) and Dr. Sia Zadeh (top image, last row, second from right).