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On Friday December 2nd, we closed out the SAP Analytics Project with the University of Notre Dame Student International Business Council with a presentation to SAP Stakeholders. The project was sponsored by Ken Demma, manager of the Big Data Analytics team within SAP. The team works to make the promise of big data real within SAP by sharing data insights and how they benefit SAP professionals. This can be through improving marketing effectiveness with Insight-Driven Marketing or bringing new approaches to other practitioners through Big Data Analytics thought leadership. Ken and his team member Baran Durukan were instrumental in bringing this project together for the students this semester.

The Notre Dame Council on International Business Development was founded in 1989 by a group of dedicated students at the University of Notre Dame under the inspiration of Rev. Theodore Hesburgh and in collaboration with the current benefactor, Mr. Frank Potenziani. These students recognized the changing nature of the global economy, and how companies could no longer concentrate solely on the domestic market. The students believed these changes offered a meaningful opportunity to gain valuable business experience.

Through their vision, they formed what has become the largest student-run organization on Notre Dame’s campus. Known since 2000 as the Student International Business Council (SIBC), the SIBC seeks to fulfill its vision of “Peace through Commerce” by interacting with global companies and organizations, while educating its members and the Notre Dame community on the different aspects of international business. Since its inception, the group has grown from a small activity within the business college to the largest student organization on campus, and now includes over 500 active members from both the University of Notre Dame and St. Mary’s College.

The SIBC draws upon the resources of the University, comprehensive library research, a distinguished faculty, and a close relationship with the vast network of dedicated Notre Dame alumni, including the International Business Council. These opportunities allow SIBC members to expand their horizons and gain international exposure to a variety of business disciplines. The SIBC encourages students from all majors and interests to become active members of the organization with the hope of bringing a variety of perspectives to issues regarding international business and economics.

The SIBC approached SAP about engaging on a first of its kind analytics project for members of its STEM division and we were able to orchestrate the use of an SAP internal big data set (about one million rows) representing SAP software service tickets over the course of one year. The data was cleansed of confidential information and under a non-disclosure arrangement the students were asked to look for patterns, correlations or anomalies in ticket duration for key dimensions like industry, product or customer group. The project provided an early point-of-view on the data for SAP professionals to consider as they pursue additional analysis for internal business leaders. The students benefitted from the opportunity to work with a real international complex business data set and analyze it for possible business actions. The STEM division worked on the project for about one hour each week over the course of the fall semester as an extracurricular exercise and used SAP Business Object Lumira for data visualization.  They did some terrific work.