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SOP for MS in Business Analytics; the dynamic field of big data analytics, predictive analytics

jdutta1992 1 / -  
Oct 10, 2017   #1
Hi all,

Kindly review my first draft of sop for ms in business analytics. Any inputs on the same will be really helpful. Thanks in advance.

Business Analytics SOP

As an ardent football fan, I was captivated in my school days by how experts of the game could correlate a great number of metrics which defined the performance of a team and then predict the result of their next match. Not only how they related hard facts and numbers to their predictions caught my attention, but I was also astonished when many a times their predictions turned out to be accurate to the last detail. By pursuing graduate studies in business analytics, I wish to explore the dynamic field of big data analytics, predictive analytics and machine learning in depth so as to create stories from an intricate mosaic of data.

I got introduced to the domain of data analysis in the pre-final year of my undergraduate degree, during my tenure as a member of the college BAJA SAE team, where we fabricated an all-terrain vehicle from scratch. As the lead in Transmission Design and Costing, I had to correlate and analyze the performance metrics as well as the cost of various parts to be used in building the vehicle with high precision in order to help the team in building a cost-effective and efficient machine. The huge variations in results due to minute changes in even a single metric and the immense impact of decisions on the success of the project provided a challenging experience for me and at the same time gave me a glimpse at the huge scope of analytics.

Seeking to take a plunge in the sea of analytics, I ultimately zeroed on the decision to work on a project to improve the material removal rate of electrochemical machining in my final year which would integrate the concepts of my undergraduate study of Mechanical Engineering with analytics and statistics. The enhancement was to be achieved by optimizing various factors which determine the machining rate, some of them being the strength of the electrical current, the chemical composition of the cutting fluid used and the metal to be machined. In the pursuit of a solution of the problem statement, I was introduced to the concepts of Correlation, Regression, Analysis of variance and Design of Experiments which were used to relate the factors considered, analyze the differences among the different test cases and finally perform optimization. A diverse range of graphs was generated by implementing the analyses on statistical analysis software Minitab to visually represent the results. While working on this project, I understood how analytics could be applied to a multitude of industries to effectively increase the efficiency of their process and drive their business.

Post completion of my undergraduate degree, I decided to pursue a career in analytics and got an opportunity to work as a Business Operations Associate at ZS, a leading sales and marketing consulting firm. Currently, in ZS, I work in a team of 8 members for a pharmaceutical giant in the United States, performing sales crediting, quota setting, reporting, and sales analytics as per the client requirements. My work on sales crediting front requires me to transform third-party provided unstructured data into a client-specific format with the help of data management tools such as SAS and MS Access. To drive the performance of client's diverse portfolio of business units, our team designs unique incentive plans catering to their specific requirements, taking into consideration different aspects of the client's performance in the highly competitive pharmaceutical market of United States, a few being the historical sales trend, market potential, sales forecast for the forward-looking months and others as a part of quota setting process. Apart from these, I have also effectively generated an array of interactive reports with the help of excel VBA which showcases client's sales performance and at the same time provides them with befitting trends and insights which help them in their consequent business decisions. As a recognition of my efforts, I was awarded Making My Impact award and was subsequently selected as an OpEx Champion from a pool of 300 plus candidates across the New Delhi and Pune offices of ZS in India. My work at ZS not only made me realize the importance of analytics in finding solutions to complex business problems but also gave me an experience of formulating effective strategies to address the same.

I have realized that my current work experience is not enough to satiate my thirst for knowledge and pursuing a graduate degree will not only quench the thirst but will also help me understand much more granular details of the same. In my quest for a graduate program that will provide me with a steep learning curve and also fulfill my short term goal of combining the best academic tools available with practical approach and acquire the necessary skill sets required to accomplish my long-term goal of being an analytics specialist, I found the XXXX program at University of XXXXX to be an ideal choice. Not only courses such as XXXXXX offered in the graduate program excite me with the prospect probing the vast spectrum of Big Data and Predictive analytics, but the opportunity to work for a Fortune 500 company during the experiential program at XXX will also help me gain a practical experience. I also look forward to working under Prof. XXXX whose works on XXXX which aligns with my interests. I am confident that with my engineering background, statistical research projects and consulting work experience, I will not only contribute to the diversity of the class but will also bring forth original and effective ideas in the various discussions held in due duration of the course and sincerely hope that you will share my confidence and grant me the opportunity to continue further studies in your esteemed institution.
admission2012 - / 477 90  
Oct 11, 2017   #2

As a first draft this was a good SOP. However, there are two glaring concerns here. The first being that you do not really flush out what you want to do with this degree. Wanting to work with big data sets doesn't really tell the admissions committee much about your future goals. You should dedicate a least a few sentences to this as this will help the admissions committee see if they have the resources to help you achieve your desired goals. The second issue, which also connects to the first issue, is the first sentence in your closing paragraph. You stated that you work does not satiate your thirst for knowledge. You should not frame it this way, rather show how your work has allowed you to see that there are tremendous learning opportunities in the field and that you need further academic preparation in order to become a leader in the industry. This is a far better approach. ZS consulting sends dozens of associates to top business schools every year. I have personally worked with several. The adcoms at these schools know that ZS offers a wide range of projects that can challenge anyone. - Admissions Track
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 15048 4830  
Oct 11, 2017   #3
Jaideep, rather than opening the essay with that anecdote about football, I believe that you should instead, open the essay with a statement about your current thoughts about the state of Business Analytics and what you perceive the future for this field to be. That will help to provide a platform for your discussion about the method of your exposure to this line of work in a manner that can better integrate your educational background.

By presenting your thoughts about the future of Business Analytics, you can make a reference to your current career and the problems that beset you are a practitioner of Business Analytics. From there, you can tie that into the shortcomings of your college education in comparison to the demands of the job. That way, you can segue into a presentation of your future plans for yourself after you complete the MS degree. Don't forget, one of the most important elements of the statement of purpose is an explanation as to why you desire to study at a particular university. This is where your interest in particular courses, participation in internship programs, or further training under the guidance of the university mentors will come in.

The purpose of your education and the method by which you will accomplish it should tie in with a summarized proposal for your thesis study as well. That is why you have to explain how the university can help you complete your potential thesis project. Based on what you will be studying and your future plans, you should develop a 5 year career plan for your future at ZS.

The total discussion should close on the strong note created by your future career plans delivered in a summarized form. That is, if your post study plans need to be discussed in a separate essay. The reviewer needs to be clear about how your studies will connect with your future professional plans by the time he concludes reading your SOP.

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