Weatherhead ORSC Student's Big Data Analytics Dream | Weatherhead School at Case Western Reserve University

Weatherhead ORSC Student's Big Data Analytics Dream

Posted 1.17.2014

Picture of Ayush Bharadwaj, Weatherhead OR/SC studentAyush Bharadwaj came to Weatherhead School of Management to further his knowledge and sharpen his skills so he could get a career in big data analytics. Bharadwaj's work experience and varied skill set was unique and enabled him to take his career in many different directions.

“I remember Ayush interviewing with American Greetings and a regional consulting firm and then stopping by my office to tell me that he appreciated being considered for the internships, but that this wasn’t what he was passionate about. He told me he really wanted to analyze big data and that was the direction he wanted to move in.” said Matthew Maloney, program director for the Master of Science in Management - Operations Research and Supply Chain Management (MSM-OR/SC) program at Weatherhead. 

 Getting to his big data dream

As a self-proclaimed data geek and problem solver, Bharadwaj always wanted to be a “data scientist.” He had many discussions with Maloney about his aspirations and plans to get him where he wanted to be. It was through these conversations that they both become aware of Explorys.

During the summer of 2013, Explorys had no open internship positions. However, Maloney convinced his contact at Explorys to interview Bharadwaj for a possible part-time internship. With the help of Bharadwaj's background in computer programming and the skills gained at Weatherhead (e.g. linear programming, probability theory and statistics), he aced the interview and was offered a part-time internship during the fall 2013 semester.

Bharadwaj’s internship was a result of his hard work and the guidance provided by the Weatherhead professors and staff. During the summer before his internship, he took steps to prepare himself once again and worked with Weatherhead professors on additional projects to update his knowledge.

His big data internship

During the eight-week-long internship at Explorys, Bharadwaj worked as a data scientist intern on a big data analytics project. The project was aimed at identifying patients that were at a high risk of re-admission once they had been discharged from the hospital.

The idea was to test various classification algorithms over millions of health records and select the algorithm that had the best accuracy of identifying high risk patients. There were three significant steps involved: 

  1. retrieving electronically stored data
  2. analyzing it using various statistical methods
  3. choosing the best algorithm to predict the patients’ re-admission risk

While working on the project, Bharadwaj used much of his computer programing skills gained from work experience as well as what he learned in class at Weatherhead. During the internship, Bharadwaj got a chance to learn the famous map-reduce programming framework that is so popular in the big data analytics space.

Life after Weatherhead

After returning to India and getting married, Bharadwaj accepted a job to join PayPal in San Jose, CA working in a Risk Analyst role. 

Bharadwaj now works as a Data Scientist at Postmates

Read about another OR/SC student's internship experience

Learn more about the MSM-OR/SC program at Weatherhead

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