This article continues the series, “IQ Graduates at Work,” that follows the careers of graduates from the UALR Information Quality Graduate Program.
Syed N. Shezan (MSIQ 2012) recently accepted a position as Solutions Consultant with Modern Analytics in San Diego, CA. Modern Analytics is an implementation partner with SAS/DataFlux for Master Data Management (MDM), and has been working in the data analytics and data mining industry from the past 40 years. While he was in the MSIQ program, Shezan also worked as a Data Analyst at the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) prior to accepting the position with Modern Analytics. At ADE Syed worked with the Students Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) where he gained experience in entity resolution and entity identity management using OYSTER. In his current role, he will be responsible for MDM implementations using DataFlux and SQL Server that involve creating MDM Hubs and DataFlux Web Management portals for clients.
Syed believes that the MSIQ program gave him a firm foundation for his career. According to Syed “All my new responsibilities are parallel to what I learned in Entity Resolution during my MSIQ program. Without this education, I would not be able to apply the information quality principles and rules such merging or clustering references. Entity Identity Information Management is also one of the key IQ concepts that I will be applying in my new job.”
Syed was born and reared in Hyderabad, India. He completed his undergraduate degree in electrical and electronics engineering from Osmania University. Even though he did not have a strong IT background at the time, his strong analytical skills allowed him to placed with Accenture right out of undergraduate school where he worked for more than two years before coming to the U.S. At Accenture he worked in ERP and CRM applications and very-large customer databases. This is when he first became aware of data quality issues and their impacts on business results. Syed originally came to the U.S. to pursue an MBA in Information Technology. While working on his MBA, he had the opportunity to work at Motorola as a CRM consultant where he again encountered data quality issues. He first learned about the UALR IQ program, while discussing some of these issues with a friend who had recently been graduated from the program. After learning more about the program, he decided to enter the program in June 2011.
While studying full-time at the UALR, he also worked as research assistant. During his studies he had the opportunity to work on various database sources such as RDF, MySQL, Graph Databases, SQL, Oracle, and delimited data files. He also learned about IQ frameworks, principles and rules, and had the opportunity to work on new tools such as Dataflux and OYSTER for Master Data Management. He also completed an ISO 8000-110 certification in Master Data Quality Management which gave him the confidence to apply his knowledge with clients. His favorite courses were Entity Resolution and IQ Tools that exposed him to many new concepts and technologies.
Syed credits the UALR IQ program for much of his current success. In a recent interview he stated that “I now have an excellent opportunity to apply what I learned in MSIQ program under the aegis of Dr. Talburt. I could always reach out to him for assistance during our projects and during my graduate assistantship. I attended the IAIDQ student chapter meetings and OYSTER development meetings during my tenure at UALR which played a big role in learning the IQ principles and applying them to my job. The things I learned in my Principles of Information Quality, IQ Tools, and Entity Resolution courses helped me in both my graduate assistantship and my internship at Arkansas Department of Education. The Data Governance Framework I learned in Dr. Pierce’s class helped me to understand the Data Governance Maturity Model including the IBM and DataFlux models that I work with now. These skills also paved the way for my job search and gave me plenty of opportunities and offers for data quality positions with major organizations including interviews with Home Depot, ADE, Acxiom Corporation, Washington Sanitary Suburban Commission, Modern Analytics, Midwest Consulting, Tek Systems and many others. The Entity Resolution course was probably the most helpful to me in both my internship and my current position.
I am also very grateful to my mentors, Dr. Talburt and Dr. Pierce. In addition I received tremendous help from several of my instructors including Dr. Nelson, Dr. Berleant and Dr. Agarwal in nurturing their students to become true Information Quality professionals. I also had a close relationship with many of the students in the program as we shared our skills and gained mutual knowledge in both programming and IQ practice, especially Huzaifa Mujhtehdi and Mahmood Mohammed who were both very helpful to me.”