Welcome to Student Group Spotlight! Every month, we will feature a different student group to demonstrate the many diverse groups we have at MacEwan and how they all contribute to a vibrant, thriving community on our campus.
Meet the MacEwan Data Analytics Club (MDAC)! We sat down with two of their executives to discuss the origins of their club, misconceptions about data analytics and their upcoming workshop and mixer!
SAMU: Tell me a bit about yourselves. What year and program are you in?
Briana: Hi, I’m Briana McWhirter. I’m the President and VP of Events! I’m in my last semester of the Bachelor of Commerce program, majoring in Supply Chain and minor in Business Intelligence. I also previously earned a business management diploma.
Juzette: Hi, I’m Juzette Gajudo. I’m in my third year of the Bachelor of Commerce program with a major in International business and a minor in Finance, and I’m the Vice President at MDAC!
SAMU: What is the MacEwan Data Analytics Club, and what do you do?
Briana: We were just approved last September, so we’re a brand-new club! We do a lot of events, but we focus on trying to debunk the stigma that data analytics is highly complex and that you need a Business Intelligence (BI) minor to be in this club, because you don’t! We also teach students how to use Tableau and show them step-by-step what data analytics is because it’s basically required by every industry to know some basic data analytics skills like Excel.
Juzette: The MacEwan Data Analytics Club is a place where anybody can go. It doesn’t matter what your major or experiences are, just as long as you are interested in data analytics! We aim to get students interested in data analytics and teach them about the benefits and applications of it.
SAMU: Was there an incident that inspired you to start this club?
Briana: One of my professors reached out to us and wanted us to expand on the BI minor to increase awareness of it, and show how data analytics is making its way into every industry. We sent out an email and hosted an information session to build the Executive Team.
Juzette: I joined the club during that information session! Initially, I didn’t know much about data analytics. I thought I needed to know Tableau, coding and things like that, and I became overwhelmed. Still, one of my professors reassured me and told me I didn’t need any experience to join, so I went into the information session and left as an executive!
SAMU: What is your favourite part about being a member of the MDAC?
Juzette: As a member, I love meeting similar-minded people because I didn’t know many people interested in data analytics before. Because of the club, I’ve met so many new people, made connections and learned about the fantastic opportunities out there!
Briana: In our club, we have been doing a lot of team bonding, like playing pool and more, but I find that I’m making friends, which is something I couldn’t do as easily in my first diploma or other years of schooling. So, the connections I’ve made have been the most rewarding experience!
SAMU: What made you interested in data analytics?
Juzette: When I first started at MacEwan, I was in Legal Studies, but then I moved into International Business and took a Business Statistics class that opened my eyes to my interest in analytics! I realized I wanted to keep doing this and eventually joined the MDAC to learn more about data analytics. Since my minor is in Finance, I figured if I knew a little about data analytics, it’d help me because it’s in every field, even hospitality!
Briana: What made me interested in data analytics is I was in an online supply chain class, and my favourite professor mentioned the new Business Intelligence minor. My mom overheard and told me I needed to take the minor because of how valuable that information is, and I thought it sounded interesting, so I took it! I have found the minor extremely rewarding. I got to work with external partners, and it was the most fun I’ve had!
SAMU: What kind of events do you have planned for the upcoming year? Is there anything you are especially looking forward to?
Briana: I am the VP of events, so I design, create, and execute the events. We’re planning a Tableau workshop for February, a case competition, and a networking mixer in March! Our Tableau workshop will go step-by-step through the program fundamentals and certifications so we can prepare students to take the certification exam! Tableau is a business intelligence and data analytics platform, so we want to encourage students to learn how to use it and get certified. For the case competition, an external partner will recruit students who will form teams and go head-to-head to apply their knowledge and skills to solve a business problem. Their solutions will be judged by a panel of experts, and the winning team will receive a prize!
Juzette: I’m looking forward to the networking mixer especially! Some of the previous mixers I’ve been to had the same kinds of people with the same backgrounds and interests, but with data analytics, you never know who you are going to meet because there is such a wide range of backgrounds and people!
Briana: We hope to bring every perspective possible to our networking mixer to ensure every industry is represented so we can provide lots of opportunities to our members.
SAMU: What are some of the ways you educate students about Data Analytics?
Briana: Data analytics isn’t as complex as it’s made out to be! Someone interested in learning it can head to LinkedIn and take a free course or come to our information sessions, events and Tableau workshop and have us help them! Our networking mixer will be an excellent opportunity to learn more about data analytics!
SAMU: What would you say to someone considering joining a Student Group?
Briana: Dive in and be a part of something incredible! Joining a student group isn’t just about learning; it’s about building a community of like-minded people who share your passions.
Juzette: You never know who you’re going to meet! Just have fun and join; there’s no commitment if you’re a general member!
SAMU: Anything you want to plug before we end?
Briana: Check out our website for our upcoming events! We’re hosting a case competition soon and are looking for 32 students to join, you can head here to learn more and apply. We’re also looking for a few executives to join our group; all the information is online!
Juzette: Make sure to check out our posters in the halls; they always have QR codes to scan to learn about what we are up to!
You can connect with the MacEwan Data Analytics Club on social media through Instagram @macewan_data_analytics_club or their linktree.
Follow SAMU on social media through Instagram (@sa_macewan), Twitter (@SAMacEwan), and Facebook (Students’ Association of MacEwan University) to stay up to date on the latest events, programs, and services from your students’ association.