Student Spotlight: Amara James Moosa

Name: Amara James Moosa
Program: MS in Information Management: Executive Track
Expected graduation year: 2017
Job title: Senior Business Intelligence Analyst
Company: Imerys Filtration
LinkedIn profile

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a U.S. Navy veteran, a husband, and the father of two boys. I am originally from Sierra Leone, West Africa, and came to the United States in 1997. When I am not at work and doing homework, I enjoy spending time with my family, watching movies, listening to African music, exploring the coastal cities and old Catholic missionaries around the San Francisco Bay area, and going to the beach. I am a self-proclaimed data geek with particular love for data warehousing, business intelligence, data analysis, and data management. I enjoy reading about data, blogging about data, attending data meetups and SQL Saturdays, and volunteering my time to organizations that need data expertise. 

What is your academic background?

I earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Information Technology and Finance from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. My professional certifications include: 

  • MCPS: Microsoft Certified Professional
  • MCSA: Microsoft Certified Solution Associate SQL Server 2012/2014
  • MCSE: Microsoft Certified Solution Expert Business Intelligence
  • MCSE: Microsoft Certified Solution Expert Data Management and Analytics
  • SAS Certified Bade Programmer for SAS 9

How are you applying what you are learning in your program?

I am applying the skills in a lot of different ways.

I used the skills from Managing Information Systems Projects to create a project plan and a work breakdown structure (WBS), and to plan and manage our data warehouse migration project.

In Information Systems Analysis, I learned how to gather systems requirements, develop system use cases, develop systems data flow diagrams, and design an information system. I am using these skills to design a global inventory management portal for my employer. 

Before taking Introduction to Data Science, I relied heavily on Microsoft Excel for developing and presenting ad hoc analyses to users. I now use RStudio for running SQL queries against our data warehouse to extract, clean and present ad hoc data analysis to my users, and to validate data in our data warehouse. 

In Data Administrative Concepts and Database Management, I learned how to create business rules, design a logical and physical data model, and query data. Though I was already exposed to the language of SQL, this class gave me the opportunity to improve my SQL programming skills, and I used this skill every day at work. 

What do you plan to do after you graduate with your master’s in Information Management?

When I graduate with my master’s degree, I hope to move into a role where I can apply the skills I’ve gained in my program to perform the following tasks:

  • Coordinating analytic tasks for my organization.
  • Creating effective strategies for data collection.
  • Conducting research and implementing analytics solutions.
  • Developing analytical approaches to answer business questions.
  • Providing reports to end users with quality and actionable information.
  • Applying statistical knowledge, data mining, information visualization and data modeling to provide current and high-quality information.

How will this degree move you closer to your long-term career goals?

My long-term career goal is to become an analytics director. With this goal in mind, my advisor and I have put together a course plan with courses that will help develop my leadership, managerial, soft and technical skills in advanced analytics, data mining, information visualization and data science.

Tell us about your experience collaborating with classmates in an online environment.

My experience with the platform has been great. I really enjoy working with my colleagues. The breakout sessions during our live sessions are the best part of the program. During these sessions, I’ve been able to improve my teamwork skills and also learn more about my colleagues.

What advice do you have for others considering this degree?

I would advise anyone interested in this program to apply. The professors are great, the academic advisors are great, and the course selections are excellent. The professors and adjunct faculty do a great job of blending both theory and real-world applications in their lectures.