Vagner (BS ’96, MS ’04) Learning on the Analytics Path

GAINESVILLE, FL:  Lifelong learning is something we try to instill in students before they leave campus.  Oliver Wagner (BS ISE 1996, MS ISE 2004) brought the point home in his address to the Sales Engineering Seminar on Tuesday, February 19.  “Never stop learning,” he told the students.  Given the rate of change of technology, “it is getting harder and harder to keep up,” he said.  “You can’t rest; you can’t get comfortable.”

The President and Principal Architect of Solution Forge provides expertise and solutions in the information technology field, along with the growing area of “complex analytics.”  “Complex analytics is the future and its going to be included in everything we do,” Vagner told the engineers.  The key, he said, is to turn all of the data that is now being collected into “actionable results.”  He discussed how the field is moving from simply providing descriptive and diagnostic statistics on the data available to using the data to be predictive and prescriptive.

In addition to building their skills in information technology and analytical ability, Vagner stressed the importance of working hard and developing communications skills.  “You want to deliver excellence.  People see that and those relationships help you,” he said, noting that his track record and network generally lead to his next client or opportunity.

In conclusion, he returned to his opening theme of lifelong learning. “You don’t have to know everything,” he said.  “But you have to want to learn.”