Working with WCAI: Real-world Experience

Research Assistant, Elliot Oblander, writes about his experience here at WCAI. How's he's gained real-world knowledge from working with raw data and the opportunities he's had while working here.


Before taking WCAI’s SQL Bootcamp last semester, I had only a very rudimentary understanding of programming and database theory. In particular, despite concentrating in Statistics and Actuarial Science at Wharton, I had very little experience in working with “Big Data,” as professors tend to hand students neat datasets on a silver platter. WCAI’s SQL Bootcamp gave me a first look into how data are stored in practice, and working as a Research Assistant over the summer allowed me to put this knowledge to good use.

Working with raw, real-world datasets is exciting to say the least. Working at WCAI has enabled me to dive into the messy and complicated world of Big Data, and I have had the opportunity to hone my SQL programming and data cleaning/organizing skills. Additionally, part of what makes WCAI such a unique workplace is the diversity of brilliant people with whom I have had the opportunity to work. Working with experienced data analysts and researchers has allowed me to learn through exposure and observation. In a technical sense, I have picked up skills such as the basics of scripting and UNIX; in a more abstract sense, I have begun to learn how researchers in the field of Customer Analytics ask and answer questions.

"Working at WCAI is truly a unique experience, and I feel very fortunate to be involved in an organization that is at the forefront of the fast-moving fields of Big Data and Customer Analytics."

Going forward, I am excited to apply what I have learned to my coursework; this semester, I am taking a new course on Statistical Programming, and am thrilled to have the opportunity to further my skills in working with Big Data. Additionally, I am excited to continue working at WCAI throughout the school year and to continue to be a part of the projects I began working on during the summer. I cannot wait to see where WCAI’s current partnerships go, and am anticipating many more promising partnerships in the months and years to come. Working at WCAI is truly a unique experience, and I feel very fortunate to be involved in an organization that is at the forefront of the fast-moving fields of Big Data and Customer Analytics.

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