April 9, 2019
When you listen to music, are you more likely to listen to a whole album or repeat one song 17 times? If you’re like fourth-year management student Claire Fisher, your answer is likely the latter.
“I wasn’t surprised when I saw that reflected in the data,” she said.
The avid music listener used an app to track her listening habits during the Fall 2018 semester. She then exported the data — song title, artist, time of listen, number of listens, etc. — into Excel. After several hours of cleaning and tweaking, she plugged the data into Tableau, a data visualization software taught in Moore School analytics courses, to show the frequency and time of listen for songs from her top 16 artists. She even incorporated song clips into her data visualization, so users can click on an artist and hear a sample song.
“If you see the data in her Excel spreadsheet, it doesn’t really look exciting, but then she took it, imported it into Tableau, and made it interactive,” said Stacey Mumbower, director of the Center for Applied Business Analytics and Fisher’s management science professor. The skills she learned through this — data collection, data cleaning, using data visualization software to make interactive charts and tell a story — all of those are skills that we’re teaching Moore School students to do with any data set.”
Fisher used her data visualization, titled “Millennial Music Habits,” in an exhibit at the first UofSC Creativibe event, where students, faculty and staff across the university showcased their creative and innovative ideas. Mumbower and Fisher were both impressed that her exhibit not only attracted a lot of viewers, but that they also stuck around.
“Some students and other attendees stayed for several minutes to listen to the different song clips I included in the visualization, and a few people were even dancing along,” Fisher said.
At the end of the event, she won runner-up in her category, Creativity Explored.
“Now I feel like I can take these skills and use them in my future job because I applied what I learned in class to this outside project and won this award,” she said. “Data analysis isn’t all numbers and statistics. It can be something fun that you do in your free time and even win an award for.”
But she isn’t stopping there. Fisher will be presenting a variant of her Creativibe exhibit at this year’s Discover USC on April 26. As she enjoyed this and other data analytics projects she’s completed for her business analytics concentration, she is actively applying for analytics-focused jobs to start after graduating in May.