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Statement of Purpose - MSc Applied Data Analytics


glowryeah 1 / -  
Apr 15, 2020   #1

Sop for Columbia University



I'm having problems streamlining my SoP into the 500-words limit (currently mine is around 650). Kindly help to point out parts that are redundant. Would appreciate if I can get the feedback of the overall structure & readability of my SoP.

Requirements from Columbia is SoP should address the following :
- Your current role
- Your purpose & interest in pursuing M.S Applied Analytics
- The specific skills & attributes you will bring to the program
- How the program will help achieve your career goals


As a Portfolio Analyst in the largest tobacco company worldwide, I have witnessed the rise and fall of countless products, but I will never forget the time I had to delist three products off the market within one day. For me, those products were far beyond mere tobacco goods; they were manifestation of bloods, sweats and tears of hardworking teams, a careful 2-years blend formulation, and a hefty $40 million investment. Within months after the launch I watched their market share plummeted due to something we failed to foresee: the Indonesian market was just not ready. The consumer data available was abundant, yet we failed to unleash the meaning and pattern of those data, hence failed to anticipate the future outcome. That event struck me hard as an engineering undergraduate, that it is essential to not only build a good product but also to practice consumer-centricity and leverage those data to eliminate uncertainty. On a larger scale, the situation is even more concerning, where data remains an under-addressed focus in Indonesian political landscape despite its high relevance. A discussion with the Deputy of Presidential Office opened my eyes on how data in Indonesia is limited to complementing existing administrative practices, such as digitalization of analog data, rather than creating an entirely new value stream and acting as a core component in public policy process. I couldn't ignore the power that data could bring to vast arrays of industry, which is why I am determined to pursue a career in Data Analytics.

Within the next 5 years, I aim to establish a data analytics consultancy firm to help companies in Indonesia make better business decisions through predictive analysis. After my past working experience, I believe that I can bring a strong technical fundamentals and management skills to the table. My digital marketing internship in Indonesia's unicorn startup, where I assisted them to create expansion plan to an untapped market segment, has taught me how to create simple machine learning model to cluster certain customer profile using Phyton sci-kit learn. Serving as a runner up in Deloitte's business case challenge in Sydney, I learned how to deliver concise statistical and anecdotal data visualization to a pressing business issues. In addition, my active participation in McKinsey's Young Leaders for Indonesia and Harvard PAIR Conference has equipped me with a global exposure and a strong sense of teamwork.

However, given the problem diversity and various levels of complexity of every company, I have yet to find a viable business model innovations to establish my goals. Realizing that I still have a long way to make consumer-centric and analytical culture within companies, I believe that Columbia's Applied Analytics program could incredibly help me achieve my career trajectory. Firstly, the curriculum offer a perfect mix of advanced data computing and organizational context, which will aid me with the tools and frameworks to create analytical culture within an organization. Secondly, the program is advised not only by notable professors, but also proficient data analytics practitioners. Among them is Ben Royce, a former student of Columbia SPS whom currently works as Google's Creative Effectiveness lead. I am particularly interested in his focus in consumer centricity and eliminating uncertainty within an organization, and I am keen on assisting his research aside from my study. Lastly, the program offers a unique Capstone course, where I would have the opportunity to synthesize what I have learned to a real-world analytics project of leading organizations.

After finishing master's degree, I believe that I would have already found a solution along with an effective business model so that I can embark on an entrepreneurial journey to build a consumer-centric and analytical culture within companies in Indonesia. To further scale up the impact of my firm, I aim to collaborate with One Data Indonesia, a government-owned data center, and aid the Indonesian government for an evidence-based policy planning. I look forward to embark my journey in Columbia University, and help solve pressing business problems with the beauty of data analytics.

Holt [Contributor] - / 9,531 2963  
Apr 16, 2020   #2
The first 2 paragraphs are what directly affect the length of your essay. Too much backstory is affecting the actual goal of the presentation. Limit the discussions. Summarize the event and simply say the delisting of the 3 products showed you something about your education, that it was lacking because you failed to read the warning signs, despite the available data. There is no need to go into too much detail. You only have 500 words to work with. You should be comparing your content against the prompt requirements. The second paragraph is superfluous. Merge the content of the first and second paragraph into one paragraph. Use only the highlights and/or important data in the presentation. Not all that info is required.

The last second to the last paragraph sounds like you are introducing the faculty instead of admiring them. Simply say the name of the person ang what you hope to learn from him during class.

If you work on these aspects, you should see an immediate reduction in your word count and a more focused application essay.


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