Patrick Shaughnessy's Portfolio Project
Hi Patrick! Could you give us a brief overview of your educational and professional background before enrolling in the CareerFoundry Intro to Data Analytics Course?
I earned a B.A. in English from Creighton University (Omaha) and a Master’s degree in International Management from Thunderbird, The American Graduate School of International Management (Phoenix). I then worked for years in consumer credit analytics and risk management. I used analytics to help lending institutions make more informed lending decisions, consumers discern the right financial tools for themselves, and the secondary lending markets to price risk accurately. In 2019, I went back to school and earned CompTIA’s Security+ certification from City Colleges of Chicago.
What inspired you to enroll in our Intro to Data Analytics Course?
Strictly speaking, Data Analytics was already my career. However, I am a lifelong learner—and, having been out of the classroom for so many years, I was curious about the new methodologies in the analytics space. I wanted to see which methodologies may have become popular in the classroom, but haven’t quite made their way to the corporate workspace yet.
I chose CareerFoundry because it offers its students the chance to take advantage of technology, to automate, and to apply advanced analytical and presentation skills—all without the need to wait for a traditional Fall, Spring, or Summer semester.
What did you enjoy most about the course?
I enjoyed stretching myself to learn Excel’s advanced tools such as Slicers and Pivot Tables, and refreshing my memory on the fundamentals of data organization such as formatting, cleansing, and sorting techniques. My tutor Jerome and my mentor Kim offered key insights throughout the course and were integral to my success.
More generally, this course allowed me the opportunity to step back and acknowledge the strategic value of analytics in removing phrases like, “I think,” “I guess,” “it seems,” and replacing them with “the data correlate,” “based upon the trends,” and “the analysis forecasts.” I appreciate the ability to present quantitative analyses that can be utilized to make objective, data-driven decisions.
With regards to your new skills, what are your hopes for the future?
As I transition into cybersecurity, one of my goals is to be able to quantify the types, duration, sources, and severity of attacks on computer networks and IT systems and use those insights to prioritize and guide responses. Only by ranking each threat can we provide the most timely, strategic, and effective response. Cybersecurity is a complex, dynamic, and ever-changing field, which is a great fit for someone like me who is always seeking new challenges and new learning opportunities.
In the final project brief for the Intro to Data Analytics Course, students are asked to imagine themselves as analysts for a new video game company, GameCo, which wants to use data to inform the development of new games.
Below is Patrick’s descriptive analysis of a video game data set to foster a better understanding of how GameCo’s new games might fare in the market.