ReMAP Students Tackle Big Data in the Big Apple

2013 ReMAP New York trip
September 13, 2013

Two REMAP students, Joe Knooihuizen and Mike Hoven, were able to attend the I-MAX: Interactive Marketing Analytics Xperience in New York City this past summer, where they truly learned how to prepare for a career that is increasingly being driven by data.

It's a world full of data. From your social security number to the last oil change your car had, from the amount of money you earned to how much electricity was used in your residence, data of all kinds is compiled and stored in countless electronic formats. All this data has a name— Big Data. Big Data is a collection of data so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools or traditional data processing applications.

LSBE's Retail Marketing Analytics Program (ReMAP) provides students with the education and skills to understand the power that collected data has for use in business.

Two REMAP students, Joe Knooihuizen and Mike Hoven, were able to attend the I-MAX: Interactive Marketing Analytics Xperience in New York City this past summer, where they truly learned how to prepare for a career that is increasingly being driven by data.

Knooihuizen and Hoven, who are currently seniors, were two of just 30 college students nationwide who were accepted to attend the five-day conference sponsored by Marketing EDGE, KBM Group, and Wunderman.

Said Hoven, "The most fascinating things I learned from my experience at I-MAX was simply how much data is out there, how many companies exist just to keep track of it, and how the companies actually track it."

Customer-centricity is the concept that hit home for Knooihuizen while at the conference.

"It's a simple concept that basically suggests that business revolves around the customer," he said. "In a world where customers can instantly find the cheapest price for an item, the only thing that will make a business succeed over another is the customer's experience. Through Big Data, customer experience can be measured and optimized to give each individual a perfect experience. We're left with the questions of what is the optimal balance between data collection and customer experience, and how can businesses keep that data safe."

Through ReMAP, Knooihuizen and Hoven are learning valuable skills that will make them more marketable to employers.

"Businesses are increasingly understanding the importance of analytics, which means there are many more jobs available that relate to analytics," said Hoven. "Ultimately, ReMAP is providing the opportunity for us students to be ahead of the curve, which will open up a world of possibilities for our future."

"Through ReMAP, I've learned a very specific skill set, which not only applies to marketing jobs, but also to any job that deals with numbers and making decisions based on those numbers," said Knooihuizen. "ReMAP has given me the opportunity to be successful in a wide variety of careers."

Hoven attributed ReMAP as the reason he attained his internship and ultimately his post-UMD job.

"ReMAP provided me with the skills to get an internship at Target and impress them enough to offer me a job in the Business Intelligence & Analytics department," he said. "From there, I'd like to continue my education to work specifically with guest data using the concept of customer-centricity, which I learned at I-MAX, to further enhance Target’s guest experiences."

Knooihuizen's future plans hold no specifics, as of yet. However, he knows he's prepared for a variety of career options.

"This summer I worked as a supply chain intern at McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing," he said. "Normally, a marketing major wouldn't be able to work in that position. However, I've learned more beyond marketing because of ReMAP. So using those skills, I was able to excel in that position. If a job comes along that has an analytical component, I feel comfortable enough in my skills to apply for it."