The Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT) is pleased to announce the release of The IBIT Report –Information Systems Job Index, by Munir Mandviwalla, Crystal Harold, and Michelle Purnama, Temple University.
Himesh Bhise, president and CEO of Synacor, and a leading broadband, multiscreen, and mobile executive, has joined the IT Advisory Board.
The 17 industry leaders on the Advisory Board guide the Institute in its mission to generate and provide knowledge and connections to sustain excellence in information technology. Board members represent a range of industries, including technology, finance, entertainment, healthcare, retail commerce, and more.
“We are delighted that Himesh has joined the Board and that his company has become a member of the Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT),” said Bruce Fadem, IT Advisory Board Chair and retired VP & CEO of Wyeth. “His broad industry and technology experience and accomplishments will be invaluable as we continually strive to expand our education and research capabilities.”
Synacor, which is headquartered in Buffalo, New York, is the newest member of the Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT). Known for managed portals, advertising solutions, cloud-based identity management, and email and collaboration platforms, the company reported a revenue of $143.9 million in 2018. Thousands of successful video, internet, and communications providers, device manufacturers, and enterprises have partnered with Synacor to scale their businesses.
Before joining Synacor in 2014, Bhise incubated growth businesses in a VP role at Comcast Cable. Prior to that, he managed Charter Communications’ high-speed internet business, served as general manager of AOL’s mobile division, and was a telecom leader at McKinsey & Company. Bhise has an MBA from the Wharton School and an MA in economics from Temple University. He has been named an honoree on the Cablefax 100 list of influential industry executives multiple times, and he received the Information Technology Award for Distinguished Alumni at IT’s Nineteenth Annual Awards ceremony in April 2019.
The Eighth Annual Temple University Alexion Analytics Challenge, organized by the Institute for Business and Information Technology, is a forum for talented students across colleges to showcase their analytic skills. This year’s Challenge, held in October, featured 300 competing students, all of whom presented analyses aiming to answer a single question: “What makes rare disease clinical trials successful?”
Sponsor Alexion Pharmaceuticals provided the data for the 114 participating teams to analyze over the course of the month; each team presented both analysis and an original visualization, which were judged by a panel of industry professionals. Twelve teams representing three colleges went on to the final round, where they presented their analyses to the judges, who announced the seven winning teams in November.
The winners were:
1st Place Analysis: Jake Green, Lauren Remy, Rohit Bobby
2nd Place Analysis: Sofia Spadotto and Madison Collins
3rd Place Analysis: Vittoria Fani Ciotti, Amanda Olsen, Kyle Miller, Michael Manieri
Honorable Mention Analysis: Aleksey Kravets
1st Place Graphics: Diana Westerfer and Serdar Kurt
2nd Place Graphics: Thomas Swanson, Chirag Bhatia, Christian Siegfried
3rd Place Graphics: Qiwen Tan
Honorable Mention Graphics: Javier Balleste and Brock Brones
“What intrigues me is seeing the evolution of problem-solving capabilities,” says data scientist Hope Watson, challenge engineer and judge representing Alexion at the event. Watson, a Temple alum, is also a former Challenge winner herself: In 2016, her team won first place on the Analysis track. (In fact, upon winning, Watson was hired on the spot by that year’s sponsoring company, Alexion.) “This year I had the privilege of creating and judging this event. I was impressed with the students’ submissions!”
Winners of the Graphics category, Westerfer and Kurt, incorporated hand-drawn images for graphics that felt like a personalized form of story-telling. “With data analytics you have to hit this perfect balance between getting all the important information out, and then actually getting people to listen to you,” Westerfer said. “One of the easiest ways to get people to connect with the story you’re trying to tell is through an engaging visual– it helps them connect the data to YOU and keeps the presentation personal and engaging.”
Meanwhile, the winning team for the Analysis track credited their win to a strategic research approach. Green said: “We realized early on that our analytical methodology would have to be directly tied to our definitions of scientific and monetary success. Only when we fully understood the question’s context did we move on to finding the answers in our data.”
Of course, creating a forum for students to use their data analysis and visualization skills to tackle this type of real-world business issue is exactly the aim of the Analytics Challenge. The competition also serves participants in other ways, offers Laurel Miller, Director.
“It’s an opportunity for students to learn, develop, and showcase their abilities to a room full of industry experts invested in the outcome of the presentation.”
“We are all happy with the result and will take the lessons learned with us throughout our future professional endeavors,” added Green.
Learn more about the Temple University Analytics Challenge.
See all of the winning entries here.
Last month’s IT Career Fair drew hundreds of attendees to campus on September 10, 2019, including 37 top-tier employers looking to hire Temple’s tech talent. “I was totally impressed by the number of students who attended and also their professionalism in their presentation,” Barb Petrella, Senior Recruiter at Capgemini, said. “They had done their research and asked really intelligent questions. The respect and politeness of the students was very refreshing and very rare these days.”
The Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT) organizes the annual fair to connect its corporate members, like Capgemini, and other leading employers with high-performing talent from the nationally recognized Temple University Management Information Systems (MIS) programs. More than 300 students seeking internships and full-time positions registered for the event, as well as IBIT member companies including AmerisourceBergen, DecisivEdge, NBCUniversal, Pfizer, QVC, and Scholastic.
Undergraduate students showcased “electronic portfolios” with achievements and work samples that employers could review in advance, representing a range of backgrounds including accounting, risk management, audit, marketing, cyber security, and more.
Overall, 92% of company representatives reported being very satisfied/satisfied with the IT Career Fair, and 86% were very satisfied/satisfied with value of the fair experience (fees/effort vs. value). Find more information about the event and view photos.
It is my pleasure to present the 2017-18 annual report of the Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT), Temple University.
The IBIT partnership with nationally recognized member firms and the IT advisory board is quickly becoming the standard for industry-academic engagement. Please read the report to learn more.
Temple University has a new way to engage students, faculty, and industry in generating digital innovation: the Digital Innovation Foundry (DIF). An Institute for Business and Information Technology project, DIF has launched with $1.27 million in funding thanks to generous corporate and individual donors.
Those collaborating through the Digital Innovation Foundry will assess, integrate, and prototype digital technologies. Industry can engage Temple students and faculty to address challenges they are facing with fresh thinking and a digital-first perspective. (For one project already underway, DIF is helping a company find ways to use software to motivate employees’ professional development). Students will have the opportunity to work first-hand with businesses that are navigating digital transformation, and faculty can conduct design research in an environment that benefits students and industry.
When you work on a project at a company, you need to have all experience levels and different disciplines involved. Similarly, you can’t have something like DIF without real collaboration. Students in all disciplines will benefit,” said IT Advisory Board member Sondra Barbour, who endowed the Persson-Barbour scholarship.
Barbour is a Temple alumna and former Executive Vice President, Information Systems & Global Solutions at Lockheed Martin, and serves on the boards of 3M and Perspecta.
That is a real selling point for industry to work with DIF. You have, in essence, the entire breadth of the university to pull from. This is also a way to ensure we’re sending our graduates out into the corporate world with an experience of collaborating across disciplines.”
A March 18 ribbon-cutting for DIF’s Capgemini Digital Innovation Lab officially opened a tech co-working space on campus. Students, faculty, and external partners can gather at the Lab to collaborate on projects, and assess demonstrations of new innovations.
The mission of the Foundry is closely aligned with Capgemini Invent’s focus on digital innovation and transformation so we are pleased to invest in the new Capgemini Digital Innovation Lab at Temple University. We are confident that the Foundry will further generate digital innovation at Temple and in the region,” said Jonathan Brassington, the head of Capgemini Invent, an IBIT Member.
Niraj Patel, an IT Advisory Board member and the donor behind DIF’s Niraj and Cara Patel Endowed Scholarship Fund, appreciates DIF’s alignment with current industry goals.
Technology will transform every industry. It is exciting to support an initiative that will engage all of Temple’s disciplines to produce digital innovation,” said Patel, who is Managing Director at DMI.
Over a year in the making, DIF offers a chance for industry professionals to step back from day-to-day business demands and envision future innovation. DIF intentionally differs from the business incubator model to allow teams of students, professors, and industry professionals to collaborate on long-term digital innovation projects that focus on the technology first — while still working with a blended mindset of academic research and creative thinking.
Having been on the corporate side for 30-plus years primarily as a Chief Information Officer, I’m well aware that the pressure to constantly make sure there’s a return on investment is very large,” said Bruce Fadem, IT Advisory Board Chair and sponsor of DIF’s Bruce and Betsy Fadem Endowed Scholarship Fund. “So for corporations to be able to take advantage of a facility that already exists, this is a great opportunity.”
As the chair of the Advisory Board, Bruce led the effort to create the Foundry.
All of DIF’s generously funded endowed scholarships will ensure that top-performing students receive necessary financial support.
I believe the scholarship will help attract stronger students and give those students who deserve an education at Temple an opportunity,” said Barbour.
Andrea Anania Stewart’s donation created DIF’s Stewart Family Endowed Scholarship Fund, and she said she is looking forward to seeing what DIF yields.
The Digital Innovation Foundry has a practical, well-thought-out plan to engage students, industry, and faculty, which I am pleased to support,” said Stewart, who is also on the IT Advisory Board.
IBIT’s Advisory Board and Members — including Alexion, AmerisourceBergen, Emtec, NBCUniversal, Pfizer, QVC, and Scholastic — played an important role in bringing this unique capability to Temple.
When it comes to DIF’s future success, Barbour said for her, it’s not necessarily about one splashy breakthrough:
For me, it’s the learning and it’s the figuring out how you take a technology, turn it on its side, create different things, look at the use cases, and really broaden students’ exposure to the realm of possibility.”