Corporate Needs

Forrester Research says, "Businesses are drowning in data but starving for insight."  As a result, the ability to gain insight from data is becoming a business asset. According to Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC)'s report Data Driven:  What Students Need to Succeed in a Rapidly Changing Business World, CEOs are fixated on using data analytics and that 85% of them put a high value on data analytics for their company. 

Our program will address industry demand for educated professionals who know how to communicate the results of technical analyses in plain, non-technical, managerial terms so that information is relevant and effective in business settings.  Students will have opportunities to create visualizations of results throughout every course in the program and will have an entire course dedicated to the topic of data visualization.

Data Science Skill Set

Linda Burtch, Managing Director of Burtch Works Executive Recruiting, described the skill set of the Data Scientist as a predictive analytics professional who uses statistics and predictive modeling to solve business problems, and who has experience with tools for organizing unstructured, often streaming Big Data.

This skill set requires extensive academic training. Burtch reports in her 2015 study, Salaries of Data Scientists, that 92% of data scientists in the United States have an advanced degree:  48% have a Ph.D., and another 44% have a Master’s degree. In addition to technical skills, she believes that data scientists must also be taught business acumen: “the number one complaint we hear from companies about data scientists is that they lack business knowledge and skills.”

The new dimension identified here is business acumen: an understanding of the realities of the business setting that includes understanding how business performance is measured, what motivates business managers, how business processes are executed, how different parts of an organization work together, and what constraints managers face in different industries.  Data Scientists must incorporate these realities into the structure of models and interpret the results in terms of these real business parameters.  The analyses results are not just a set of numbers, but numbers that need to be interpreted through the implications they have for the workers and managers involved, as well as for a company’s competitive position. As data scientists working in business settings, graduates of our program will possess business knowledge and skills and be well prepared to analyze data, interpret results, communicate results in terms of business, and serve as creative thinkers and problems solvers to meet the needs of the business industry.

The MSBA Program is accredited by AACSB and SACSCOC.