MSBA grad jumps headfirst into data as he prepares for a career shift from development to analytics

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Niloy Chatterjee

Master of Science in Business Analytics Class of 2020

Senior Integration Specialist, Accenture

Niloy Chatterjee had spent more than eight years in the software industry as an application developer before returning to school for a master’s degree in business analytics (MSBA) from the University of Maryland.

“Oracle integration is nothing but dealing with data — enriching and transforming it,” he says.

Recognizing the vast scope of data science, he knew that gaining expertise in data analytics could help him dive deeper into all major industries, not just those using Oracle, providing him more holistic experience.

“The field of data analytics empowers everything we’re doing [in business] and helps us achieve better results.”

“We are collecting so much data, but we are not making good use of it,” Chatterjee continues. “Data analytics is an answer for that.”

A senior integration specialist with the global consulting firm Accenture, Chatterjee says he received offers from other universities, but most programs didn’t have the level of rigor he believed could take his analytics knowledge from amateur to expert level.

“I did not have a second thought in selecting Smith’s MSBA program over the others to complete my master’s,” Chatterjee says. “The Smith MSBA program is one of the best in the country, taught by professors of global reputation and designed to suit working professionals.”

Despite being local to Maryland, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented him from visiting the UMD campus as much as would have liked. This didn’t keep him from taking advantage of everything Smith has to offer, however.

“I never had the feeling I was doing it online,” he says. “I had 100% access to the university’s resources: the library, the HireSmith career portal, job fairs, seminars and webinars, career counselors, networking events, social clubs and all that a campus student gets.”

The MSBA faculty were also key in making Chatterjee feel supported as an online student.

“Every professor is very easy to access. Despite their busy schedules, they can be reached with any questions you have. I got tremendous support from my professors in class and after class with Zoom sessions or emails.”

In addition to one-on-one interaction with his professors, Chatterjee benefited from class discussions that allowed him to connect with other students and share tips and tricks.

“Students were regularly assigned to breakout sessions with different folks, giving them the opportunity to network with their peers throughout the course.”

As with the majority of UMD’s online students, Chatterjee completed the program while maintaining a full-time job. To stay organized, he set aside a specific time each day to study and complete his MSBA coursework. Still, he made sure to carve out time for breaks and dinner dates with his wife. 

“Even though the program is online, you have certain conveniences an on-campus program cannot provide. For working professionals, balancing their education and work and maintaining a family is a big challenge. Smith’s MSBA program gives you all the flexibility needed.”

Chatterjee keeps in touch with his Smith career counselor as he works toward transitioning to a new role within Accenture that would let him analyze real-world data. He is also pursuing Python certification for data science, which is just one example of Chatterjee’s commitment to continuously enhancing his skills and building on the knowledge he gained in the Smith MSBA program.

“After earning my degree, I feel like I am prepared to make sense of gathered data, measure business performance and help my company make predictions or decisions using statistical methods and techniques.”

When it comes to balancing academics with the personal and professional aspects of your life, Chatterjee has this advice to share with existing and prospective students.

“Try to stay focused and utilize all the help you get from UMD. Everyone has their own reasons for going back to school, from increased earning potential to career advancement. Smith can add a tag of respect to your profile in your upcoming career growth.”