Success Stories
MS Business Analytics student
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December 17, 2019 |
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Alum Uses Data to Impact Housing Crisis

Kearey Smith wants to help find a solution to the housing crisis. Data science is helping him get there.

By Jenny McKeel
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When he isn’t spending time with his family, Kearey Smith dedicates himself to his other passions: photography and his Rottweilers. It keeps him grounded when he’s away from his demanding job at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission where he was recently promoted to the Assistant Director of Data and Visualization.

What drives Kearey at work is the Bay Area housing crisis. It’s affected his own family who moved out to Antioch, California, where real estate is more affordable. Like many others, Kearey spends three hours each day on his San Francisco commute. Early on in his long career at the MTC, Kearey switched his professional focus from urban policy to data.

Connecting Policy to Data

“I saw data as a foundational piece of what a public agency needs to understand better to make public policy. We need to understand how people move from place to place and how our organization would support the transit system and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Kearey.

Back in the early 2000s, Kearey began to lay the foundation for what he hoped would become a data strategy at his organization. His small team was poorly resourced. But, on his recommendation, HR began hiring staff with a data background, so that data expertise is distributed across the agency. Kearey also moved servers and infrastructure within his department to the cloud to reduce reliance on their IT department.

“Connecting policy to data and being data-driven was something I wanted our organization to pursue. To get there I knew we needed to do things way in advance. You have to play the long game in an organization like this.”

MS Business Analytics

Years later he picked up some data science certificates and, in 2017, he became interested in a master’s degree.

“The MSBA program was a natural fit for me. I had a lot to offer but also a lot to learn. What distinguished GGU from other programs is that the courses offer technical training and also the big picture through management, strategy, and performance theory,” said Kearey.

The Performance Management course lit a fire within Kearey.

“Everything we talked about in class connected to what I was doing at work. Drawing from my coursework, I prepared a presentation on what data strategy is and how we could implement it in our organization and delivered it to management,” said Kearey.

The Importance of Data Strategy

By the end of his program in 2019, Kearey’s department at the MTC agreed on the need for data strategy—an effort he had been working toward for years. He launched BASIS, Bay Area Spatial Information System, an initiative that will create a secure platform for collection, standardization, discovery, and dissemination of data to be used in regional planning efforts. The system will track information related to development conditions, land use, and environmental impacts associated with regional growth. It’s a great example of how the program helped him push forward innovative ideas that can make a difference in how policy and planning is done.

“The program was perfect for providing opportunities and giving me a greater foundation. Having a structured curriculum helped me leverage what I was doing at the agency and gave me the strategic tools to operate from. I learned the words to use to move people in a certain direction and can speak to problems through case studies we did in the coursework. It created a lot of opportunities.”

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Congratulations to Maria D'Angelico, the 2020 Outstanding Student of the Master of Accountancy program! As the president of the Accounting Club, Maria organized a successful networking event, peer-to peer resume swap, and cross-departmental Excel Workshop in partnership with the Data Analytics Club. Maria’s leadership, dedication, and drive paid off: She secured an internship and a job offer from a Big Four accounting firm. Congratulations, Maria!

GGU's fall term is 100% online. The CPA Applied Accounting Graduate Certificate prepares you for core topics covered on the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exams in partnership with Becker CPA. Learn from a Becker instructor and gain lifetime access to Becker materials. Plus, this certificate program can be applied to the Master's in Accounting Data & Analytics. Learn more about the Master's in Accounting degree and certificate programs today: ow.ly/ojVn50ASU6u
... See MoreSee Less

Congratulations to Maria DAngelico, the 2020 Outstanding Student of the Master of Accountancy program! As the president of the Accounting Club, Maria organized a successful networking event,  peer-to peer resume swap, and cross-departmental Excel Workshop in partnership with the Data Analytics Club. Maria’s leadership, dedication, and drive paid off: She secured an internship and a job offer from a Big Four accounting firm. Congratulations, Maria!

GGUs fall term is 100% online. The CPA Applied Accounting Graduate Certificate prepares you for core topics covered on the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exams in partnership with Becker CPA. Learn from a Becker instructor and gain lifetime access to Becker materials. Plus, this certificate program can be applied to the Masters in Accounting Data & Analytics. Learn more about the Masters in Accounting degree and certificate programs today: http://ow.ly/ojVn50ASU6u

"I’m a veteran over 50 and never had much experience studying in college. The BA in Management at GGU opened doors for me. The facilities, schedule, and instructors offered flexibility and adaptability for students like me. All of the books and resources professors recommended helped me a lot throughout my studies. Even when I encountered a difficult family situation, my professors worked with me to help me find a way to meet course requirements. At GGU, I’ve learned about HR, management, statistics, and marketing. I’m proud to have a management background and look forward to accepting a position in my field." - Jeff Albania, BA Management 2020

Did you know that GGU's fall term will be 100% online? Learn more about the BA in Management today: ow.ly/BPRJ50ARMfM
... See MoreSee Less

I’m a veteran over 50 and never had much experience studying in college. The BA in Management at GGU opened doors for me. The facilities, schedule, and instructors offered flexibility and adaptability for students like me. All of the books and resources professors recommended helped me a lot throughout my studies. Even when I encountered a difficult family situation, my professors worked with me to help me find a way to meet course requirements. At GGU, I’ve learned about HR, management, statistics, and marketing. I’m proud to have a management background and look forward to accepting a position in my field. - Jeff Albania, BA Management 2020

Did you know that GGUs fall term will be 100% online?  Learn more about the BA in Management today: http://ow.ly/BPRJ50ARMfM

Data Analytics enthusiasts! Don't forget to mark your calendars for SQL for Data Analytics TOMORROW at 6PM PDT!

You can still pre-register for this free event by scanning the QR code or following the link: tinyurl.com/BnDASQLSummer20. Feel free to bring a friend!
... See MoreSee Less

Data Analytics enthusiasts! Dont forget to mark your calendars for SQL for Data Analytics TOMORROW at 6PM PDT!

You can still pre-register for this free event by scanning the QR code or following the link: https://tinyurl.com/BnDASQLSummer20. Feel free to bring a friend!

Analytics skills are in high demand with entry-level data professionals earning an average of $33 per hour and up to $65 per hour. That's why GGU offers a BS in Data Analytics.

“We offer an original program in data analytics with a focus on learning skills to be a data analyst in a variety of business contexts,” says Siamak Zadeh, director of the undergraduate program in data analytics.

Collect, analyze, and manipulate data for better decision-making across industries with hands-on projects that pull real-world data. Learn more about the BS in Data Analytics today: ow.ly/31xi50APBcl
... See MoreSee Less

Analytics skills are in high demand with entry-level data professionals earning an average of $33 per hour and up to $65 per hour. Thats why GGU offers a BS in Data Analytics.

“We offer an original program in data analytics with a focus on learning skills to be a data analyst in a variety of business contexts,” says Siamak Zadeh, director of the undergraduate program in data analytics.

Collect, analyze, and manipulate data for better decision-making across industries with hands-on projects that pull real-world data. Learn more about the BS in Data Analytics today: http://ow.ly/31xi50APBcl

Calling all Data Analytics enthusiasts! Our BnDA Club is offering a new educational workshop on SQL next Wednesday, August 5 at 6PM PDT!

You can pre-register for this free event by scanning the QR code or following the link: tinyurl.com/BnDASQLSummer20. Feel free to bring a friend!
... See MoreSee Less

Calling all Data Analytics enthusiasts! Our BnDA Club is offering a new educational workshop on SQL next Wednesday, August 5 at 6PM PDT! 

You can pre-register for this free event by scanning the QR code or following the link: https://tinyurl.com/BnDASQLSummer20. Feel free to bring a friend!
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