One master’s wasn’t enough for Alex Addison. While earning an M.S. in Information Studies from the University of Texas, he encountered big data problems, but the technology to truly solve them didn’t yet exist. So he worked as a software developer in Atlanta until he heard about the M.S. in Analytics (M.S.A.) program at Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business.
“I needed to get more out of my career,” Addison says. “And a lot of the stuff I did at Robinson wasn’t even possible when I was getting that first degree.”
As part of his studies, Addison participated in Insight Sprints that not only pitted him against partner firms’ issues but also enabled him to tear apart their raw data in order to find solutions. Alongside fellow M.S.A. students, Addison tackled two projects for global insurance and risk intelligence enterprise Starr Companies. In fall 2017, Addison and his peers evaluated the firm’s 10-K and 10-Q filings in an effort to find indicators of foul play committed by executives from client companies. The end goal was to accurately price Starr’s insurance and litigation products.
“A CEO who behaves badly might get sued by shareholders,” Addison explains. “Insurers can provide a product that covers those legal costs.”
In another Insight Sprint conducted in collaboration with Starr the following fall, Addison helped the company comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. Addison scoured its auto insurance documents and flagged private information like social security numbers, tax records, and medical and health data.
“That was good preparation because Congress possibly will enact a similar law at the federal level,” Addison says.
Not surprisingly, Starr offered Addison a full-time position as a statistical data analytical specialist. He graduated in December 2018 and recently assumed the role, which is part of Starr’s new analytics team.
“I learned so much at Robinson, and I’m really pleased with the results of the program,” Addison says.