Massey University expands master of analytics programme with SAS

Massey University has significantly expanded its relationship with analytics provider SAS.

In 2015, Massey chose SAS advanced analytics software to enhance its master of analytics programme at the Auckland campus.

The newly expanded relationship provides additional SAS support for two new programmes, adding master of analytics in health and master of analytics in public policy to the original master of analytics in business.

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“We started with 17 students and SAS has been an important partner from the very beginning,” says Professor Leo Paas, analytics programme leader at Massey University.

“SAS sponsorship and research funding has been extended to the new health and public policy streams and we expect steady growth in student numbers as they become established," says Paas, in a statement. "There is a real need for analytics in these sectors, whether it’s to improve services like the placement of ambulances or to better identify tax fraud.”

SAS has also arranged student internship opportunities at some of Australasia’s largest firms and enabled students to qualify for SAS certification credentials.

Paas says this additional support has contributed to the success of the programme.

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Massey University’s expanded masters programme is an important move in addressing a fast growing need, says Geoff Beynon, SAS New Zealand general manager.

Geoff Beynon of SAS

“The world is facing a serious shortage of qualified data scientists and New Zealand is not immune,” says Beynon.

“As increasing numbers of organisations in both the private and public sectors seek to exploit the power of advanced analytics for improved decision making, Massey graduates with SAS skills and certification will find ready career openings.”

Of 120 students of Massey’s programme to-date, 60 have since graduated.

These include Stefan Poninghaus who spent his internship at FIRST Digital and is now with the company full-time in the role of digital data scientist.

He says his exposure to a real world SAS environment as an intern was invaluable.

“It really helped me understand the importance of good communication in business. Finding the right data and analysing it for decision making is only productive if you can present the outcomes to your stakeholders, effectively. That’s what employers want from their analysts.”

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