- Published onOctober 4, 2017
- In Mapping the Zeitgeist
- By Sarita Digumarti
Analytics is one of those fields where ‘learning’ best happens through ‘doing’. One can attend as many courses or classes on R or Python but there is no substitute for actually working on the R console or writing Python code to manipulate and analyze data. Similarly, it is important to get the experience of working on ‘unclean’ data sets – data sets that have missing values, wrong values, incomplete information and other inconsistencies. This is how real-life data will be, may as well get used to it.
A Capstone project, therefore, is an important part of any long-term analytics course. In the Executive Program in Business Analytics (EPBA) that we run jointly with SDA Bocconi, we take special care to ensure all our students get a flavor of real-world problems with the Capstone project. We have a dedicated team that works to ensure that there are enough projects, that the projects have enough substance and that there are industry mentors for each project.
There is a lot of effort that goes in from our side to make the Capstone project a strong learning experience for every student. However, there are many things that you as a student can also do to make sure that you get the most out of this unique opportunity to work on real business problems.
What can a student do to maximize learning from a Capstone project?
Choose your topic with care
While every new analytics project would be interesting, try to choose something relevant. Relevant, in this context, means something that at least one of your group members has some experience with. It could be the industry, the type of problem or even the kind of data you will be looking at. For example, if one of you comes from a telecom background and your project is on predicting customer attrition in the telecom industry, then you can leverage the telecom expertise you have internally to come up with a far more insightful analysis than if you have no experience of the industry.
Keep your objective extremely focused
Remember that you have limited time for a Capstone project. Keep your objective focus razor-sharp. It is better to do a little but do it well rather than do a poor job of trying to do too many things with your data.
Look at this as an opportunity to learn something new
Try to use the project as an opportunity to learn something new. For example, you may know R but have never used machine learning algorithms in R. A Capstone project is a good time to learn this.
Learn about the industry
Students often start the analysis straight away without spending enough time to understand the context of the problem. In real life, data scientists will spend tons of time understanding any new industry. They would have multiple calls/meetings with the client to understand the context of the problem. You should follow the same strategy for a Capstone project.
Engage with the SME
Make sure you spend enough time with your project mentor. The mentor will provide you with all the information to start with and then guide you through the project. The mentor will have valuable experience and knowledge about your project and the more you can get out of them, the better your final results would be.
Come up with practical recommendations
Nothing irritates a client more than half baked recommendations to solve the problem at hand. I have heard students recommend “Open business in China and Singapore in the next 3 months” or “we recommend closing down of 5 of the 8 product lines to improve profitability”. Such recommendations show a naivety towards business reality and takes away from the seriousness of your effort.
End with what else is possible
Always end with what more could be done. Both you and the client know that you have very limited time in the Capstone project. If you spend time to chalk out what else could be done in the future (by you or someone else), it shows foresight. I have seen that clients really appreciate if they can see a clear path moving forward at the end of the capstone project.
These are some tips for anyone working on an analytics capstone project.
Here are some of the projects by the EPBA students that were well appreciated by the clients.
Provide data-based insights to the sales team about the prospective buyers’ propensity to buy the solutions of the client so they can offer the right product to the right customer at the right price.
Techniques used: User based collaborative filtering, distributed random forests
Tools used: R
What made this a success: Client had never used collaborative filtering and was very impressed by the power of this technique.
To create a credit scoring engine which will help a peer to peer lending company evaluate hundreds of thousands of applications in a fraction of the current time with better accuracy.
Techniques used: Neural networks, Random forest, support vector machines
Tools used: R, Python, WPS, Spark
What made this a success: The team used this opportunity to do comparative evaluation of different machine learning techniques in credit scoring. They are working on developing this into a white paper.
Improve the viewership of a news site by offering better reading recommendations to its audience via a more powerful recommendation engine.
Techniques used: 2 techniques were used and compared – collaborative
Filtering and content based recommendations
Tools used: R
What made this a success: Client thought that collaborative filtering will be a far superior approach but the results showed that till they hit a certain audience volume, content based recommendations will work better.
Analysis of shopper behavior for a UK based food chain
Techniques used: Multinomial regression and cluster analysis
Tools used: HIVE, HQL, R, Python
What made this a success: None of the guys had worked on Python before. Yet, a lot of the project was done on Python and all the participants walked away with a good knowledge of the language.
To craft an approach that effectively classifies tweets and captures user sentiments about a large e-commerce company in India
Techniques used: Multinomial regression and cluster analysis
Tools used: R, Tableau, KNIME, Excel
What made this a success: The team had to work with limited data and the analysis got over fairly quickly. The team spent additional time on creating impressive visualizations with Tableau. The work was highly appreciated by the client. The visualizations were even showcased at the next senior leadership meet.
Sarita has over 10 years of extensive analytics and consulting experience across diverse domains including retail, health-care and financial services. She has worked in both India and the US, helping clients tackle complex business problems by applying analytical techniques. She has a Master’s degree in Quantitative Economics, from Tufts University, Boston, and a PG Diploma in Management from T.A. Pai Management Institute, Manipal.
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in Data Science students are required to complete a capstone project, which is done over the last two semesters of the program. Capstone projects challenge students to acquire and analyze data to solve real-world problems. Project teams consist of two to four students and a faculty advisor.What is a capstone project in data analytics? ›
in Data Science students are required to complete a capstone project, which is done over the last two semesters of the program. Capstone projects challenge students to acquire and analyze data to solve real-world problems. Project teams consist of two to four students and a faculty advisor.What is capstone project in business analytics? ›
The capstone allows students to demonstrate their knowledge in key areas of business analytics by completing a complex consulting-based project. The capstone requirement is worth three credit hours and is completed over three semesters. Semester 1: Career Development.What is capstone project in Upgrad? ›
The capstone project is an integral part of the successful program completion and will run throughout the program duration. This project will enable a deep understanding of the subject matter and foster the practical application of the program learning in real-world business scenarios.What are the 4 capstone project elements? ›
- Parts of a Scientific & Scholarly Paper.
Capstone project examples
Analyze soil samples from different areas or over time; study the population of a local animal; experiment with plants and seeding; run a summer camp for children to encourage science and outdoor exploration; found a community garden.
A capstone course has expectations similar to a project. The difference is that the scope of the project is defined so that the results can be achieved within a semester. Also, students work with the instructor of the course (or another faculty member, if required) rather than a faculty committee.What is the difference between capstone project and research project? ›
Research projects focus more on developing or proposing theories, whereas capstone projects focus more on achieving tangible or intangible results through research.Is a capstone project difficult? ›
While a project of this scope and scale can be challenging, it can also be very rewarding. The capstone project is usually the final assignment and plays a vital role in preparing students for the world of work thanks to its practical applications and ability to help hone students' professional knowledge and skills.How do you become a successful capstone project? ›
A successful capstone needs to have time management as a priority. Consider creating a schedule of when to do work on your project. These can be long-term goals you and your professor set, but they also needs to include personal goals for weekly and daily time management.
Benefits of a Capstone Course
Taking on a big, longer-term academic or professional project can be very challenging. So when you complete a capstone project, it can provide a confidence boost by demonstrating to yourself, your peers and your professors what you're capable of accomplishing in your field of study.
Most graduate school programs require students to write a thesis or complete a Capstone Project. Capstone projects vary from program to program and often are a requirement to provide students the opportunity to use what they have learned and apply it to a specific area of professional practice.Can a capstone project be anything? ›
Capstone projects could: present findings from an independent research based project; ● feature a set of experiments or prototypes organized around a central problem; and/or ● showcase a community service project or learning activity.How many pages is a capstone project? ›
A capstone paper may be 25 pages, where a thesis could be 100 or more, and is a more demanding research paper. If an undergraduate student chooses to further their education and enter into a doctoral program, the capstone project could be an invaluable tool in preparing for a thesis.What makes a good capstone project? ›
The best Capstone proposals are important but not urgent; achievable within the academic time frame and with the resources available; provide a clear definition of the problem or issue to be addressed; have a realistic scope; and specify tangible deliverables for the Capstone team to provide.Which is harder capstone or thesis? ›
Thesis and capstone projects synthesize your overall learning, taking the knowledge you've gained throughout your program and applying it to your own research. A thesis, which often requires more intensive research than a capstone, may span multiple years depending on the level of the psychology program.How do I choose a topic for a capstone project? ›
Choosing a topic
For a capstone or thesis topic consider: Issues that are relevant to your workplace, classroom experience, or career goals. A topic that has caught your eye in your textbook, a journal article, or an issue that you explored for previous classwork or projects and would like to pursue further.
Everyone's capstone paper should contain the following elements: a title page, abstract, introduction, body, conclusion, and reference list. Click on the link below to open and make a copy of the capstone paper template.How do you structure a capstone project? ›
- Cover page with: Title. ...
- Project Summary. A brief summary of the overall goal of the project and the final outcomes to be developed from. ...
- Literature Review or Annotated Work to Support the Project. ...
- Methods of Project. ...
- Timeline. ...
- Final Product. ...
- Dissemination. ...
Still, if you take Capstone, aspects of the program—especially the long research paper—will likely look desirable to most colleges. The independent research AP Capstone requires could be the topic of a college essay or at least something substantial to talk about in an interview.
Your capstone requires execution of a project in which the final product is a potential deliverable for a work- place audience accompanied by a rationale report. Example deliverables include a training manual, a set of public relations materials, a website (design and content), or a usability assessment.Why is it called a capstone project? ›
The term derives from the final decorative coping or "cap-stone" used to complete a building or monument. In higher education, the term has been in common use in the USA since the mid-twentieth century, although there is evidence that it was in use as early as the late 1800s.What is another word for capstone project? ›
Also called a capstone experience, culminating project, or senior exhibition, among many other terms, a capstone project is a multifaceted assignment that serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students, typically during their final year of high school or middle school, or at the end of an ...Should I put my capstone project on my resume? ›
A capstone, thesis or senior project can be included if your major had one. ←WORK EXPERIENCE: Use action verbs to describe your experience.What is another name for capstone project? ›
A capstone might be called a culmination project, senior thesis, or a final exhibition.Is capstone like a thesis? ›
They both follow a similar basic format and represent a scholarly effort of high quality. However, practice-based programs can use a capstone project to emphasize preparation of the student for professional practice. In contrast, a thesis is an academic-focused research project with broader applicability.What is the problem statement in a capstone project? ›
The problem statement clearly defines the scope and expected content of the project. It addresses novelty, customer needs, specifications, constraints, evaluation criteria, market, goals, and any other specific relevant issue of the project.Does capstone project count as experience? ›
A Capstone Project Enhances Your Resume
A capstone programme can help you gain practical work experience to add to your resume. This can be a great way to show off your skills, learn new ones, and get some experience working in a team environment.
Fail rate: 87.03%.What is a passing grade for capstone? ›
To pass the Capstone Exam course and earn a certificate, you need to achieve a total score of at least 50%.
If you have failed your capstone course, or a combination of a comprehensive exam and a capstone course attempt, you are no longer eligible for degree conferral.What are the 4 basics of machine learning? ›
In this article, let's take a closer look at the four main types of machine learning and their respective applications: supervised learning, unsupervised learning, semi-supervised learning, and reinforcement learning.What are the four pillars of machine learning? ›
In particular, I will discuss various models and algorithms for tackling the following four key tasks, which I call the “pillars of ML”: prediction, control, discovery and generation.What are the 4 methods for machine learning? ›
There are four types of machine learning algorithms: supervised, semi-supervised, unsupervised and reinforcement.How long should a capstone presentation be? ›
1. Time: The presentation should be 5 to 7 minutes in length. 2. Multimedia: A PowerPoint or Prezi may be used to help structure the Capstone Experience Oral Presentation.How long is the average capstone? ›
In most cases, the capstone project will be an interdisciplinary study of approximately 25-35 pages in length that demonstrates graduate level research and writing skills.What should students do before they start their capstone? ›
Before you start working on your project, it is essential to do your research. This will help you better understand the problem you are trying to solve and give you direction on how to solve it. Not doing your research can lead to wasted time and effort spent on something that may not even be possible to solve.What is the best title for capstone project? ›
- Evaluation of free clinic process.
- The role of project management in effective political campaigns.
- The practice of ethical thinking in administration.
- Modern strategies for rate of return and capital investment.
- The importance of conflict administration for big companies.
Capstone Projects vary in length, but you can expect to spend about 4 to 8 weeks working on your project, making revisions, and reviewing the work of your peers.How many words is a capstone project? ›
Still, when writing your senior capstone project, it may go up to 80-100 pages, especially if you are going for a doctoral program. Speaking of college students, the maximum length that is usually accepted is 10,000 words, not counting your references.
Finally, you'll spend about nine hours completing your capstone project: a case study. It's optional but highly recommended. During this course, you will choose your case study scenario, ask the right questions, clean data, process and analyze data, and use visualization skills to present the data.Can I complete Google Data Analytics course in 1 week? ›
It takes 6 months to complete the Google Data Analytics course. However, students have the option to complete this course in less than 6 months.Can you finish Google Data Analytics in 7 days? ›
Time Investment and Certification
The total time needed to complete the Google Data Analytics Certification is 181 hours. You can split this into 8 months of studying around 20 hours per month. To get the Google Data Analytics Certificate, you need to complete eight courses including all graded assignments and exams.
Like any acquired skill, learning data analytics poses unique challenges and requires time and commitment to master. Learning to work with big data can be difficult, especially for those without a technical background or who don't have prior experience with programming languages or data visualization software.Is capstone harder than thesis? ›
Thesis and capstone projects synthesize your overall learning, taking the knowledge you've gained throughout your program and applying it to your own research. A thesis, which often requires more intensive research than a capstone, may span multiple years depending on the level of the psychology program.Can you fail a capstone project? ›
Yes, you can fail a capstone course. However, failing a capstone course at some universities could disqualify you from graduating from that particular major or program. Other schools could require you to revise your capstone project until it's approved or you receive a passing grade.