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Bachelor of Information Technology students cap off year with real-life experience

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Bachelor of Information Technology students are capping off their studies with real-world business experience.

The Melbourne Polytechnic students are involved in capstone industry projects which put their newly learned expertise in business analytics, software development and network security to work to provide solutions for businesses.

The students, connected with NorthLink’s North West Melbourne Data Analytics Hub and Northern Industry Student Placement Program, delivered data analytics to businesses in Melbourne’s north and west in food manufacturing, health and community services – to great success.

‘Students have done a terrific job with their placements and the businesses are delighted with the work,’ says Chris James, executive director of NorthLink Technology Enterprise Centre at La Trobe University.

‘Dr Sita Venkatraman has gone beyond the call in her work bringing industry and students together.

‘We are hoping to deliver more projects like this in 2020 with Melbourne Polytechnic.’

Sita, the project leader, says the students worked on projects with Melbourne Farmers’ Markets, NorthLink, Floridia Cheese, Yin Energy Balance, Westgate Community Initiatives Group and Unity Health.

For the year-long projects, in the first semester students work out the client’s requirements and do the analysis and design, then the second semester is about implementation.

For example, for the farmers market non-profit organisation the students researched by going to markets on weekends and delving into social media. One group worked on a consumer profile, the other a producer profile, then they developed a database and prototype and helped the stakeholders to understand technologies that can help them grow.

For NorthLink analytics hub the students migrated its database from an old legacy system into newer technology, developed analytics for the database, cleaned it up and input missing data, measured the quality of the data and developed a dashboard.

For Floridia Cheese, they visited the factory in Thomastown, to analyse an issue with record keeping, then came up with the design of a database that can do calculations and payments accordingly, while for small business client Yin Energy Balance yoga studio, the students are working on consumer app development to provide customers with a more personalised service.

For the Westgate Community Initiatives Group, students are providing business analytics around consumers and products for a store in Seddon and online, while for Unity Health they are looking at drug interactions of medicines and supplements and developing a consumer app for patients having drug treatment and taking complementary medicine.

Sita, senior lecturer in Melbourne Polytechnic’s Department of Information Technology, says the clients were very impressed with the students’ work.

‘The forum members in final presentations by students said “wow you really incorporated every bit of what the consumer wanted”, really they were very pleased with the way our students completed,’ she says.

‘Overall it has been really positive feedback. The students were challenged but at the same time with a can-do approach they were able to do very well.’