In an increasingly data-driven world, more and more companies are asking their employees to understand analytics. This is especially true in the tech industry, especially today.
Until the last decade, there wasn’t enough data to solve business problems, says Nathan Colaner, director of the Master of Science in Business Analytics program at Seattle University’s Albers School of Business and Economics. to understand it. “Finding and training people with that skill set is imperative,” says Colaner.
Albers’ intimate MSBA program can help fill the gap. Developing students’ quantitative skills teaches them to make data-driven business decisions.
“At the end of the day, you need evidence to make strategic decisions.”
Located in the heart of a major technology hub, this private Jesuit B-School enrolls only 120 students each year at the MSBA and has class sizes of 20-30. Based on experience — Jennifer Hong, MSBA Professor of Marketing Analytics, says, “It’s only possible in Alber’s small classes.”
“The idea of keeping it small ensures that all students receive the care and attention they need,” Hong explains. “The bigger the program, the more competitive. We want our students to be able to join this program knowing they will be well placed in the careers they want.”
Hong sees analytics as a key component of data-driven decision-making. No matter what field a business student pursues, she says, they need some analytical and data management skills. “Especially in this day and age, and in Seattle,” she says.
rooted in data ethics
Colaner says many business problems are rooted in a lack of data. So people resort to guesswork or “throw spaghetti at the wall and see what works”.
“Over the past decade, the amount of accessible data has exploded,” adds Colaner. “If we can figure out how to get insights from it, we can address business problems.”
According to Hong, the Albers MSBA program provides students with everything to prepare them for a variety of analytical roles. “We teach students how to code, how to develop quantitative skills, and how to make sense of the data from those skills and tools. Most importantly, communicate internally with both team members and consumers. It’s about teaching them how to do it,” she says.
Despite the prevalence of data in today’s world, Hong believes that few people really know what to do with it. Here he is at Albers where his MSBA comes into play. “At the end of the day, you need evidence to make strategic decisions. This program gives people the confidence to work with the data out there.”
According to Hong, understanding data ethics is an important part of working with data. In fact, business ethics and law are the program’s core courses. “It’s not just the quantitative skill set that we want to develop. It’s also about ethical guidelines,” says Hong. “There are many ethical issues with data today, including data breaches, misuse, and dissemination of misinformation. These are some of the topics we really leverage in our program.”
“Ethics regarding the socioeconomic responsibility of analytics are emphasized throughout the curriculum,” adds Colaner.
Located in Washington’s growing tech hub
Our downtown Seattle location helps provide ample opportunities for students to connect with the tech community. “Because we’re in the heart of the city, we can connect with a lot of executives and alumni working in tech companies,” Hong explains.
According to Colaner, the school is serious about creating opportunities to interact with recruiters and tech people. This is done not only by inviting guest speakers to his classes, but also through events such as his upcoming Tech Bowl (a Super Bowl event sponsored by GeekWire). This event brings together marketing faculty and student chapters of the American Marketing Association to discuss Super Bowl advertising. The program also has a mentorship component. The annual event allows students to meet potential mentors in a “speed dating style” environment.
In addition, the MSBA Advisory Board, composed primarily of technology industry executives, helps develop the curriculum, assist with internship placements, and connect with the student and faculty communities. The school recently offered scholarships to laid-off tech workers. Today, they can earn up to $15,000 in scholarships through the Project Pivot program.
Teach two languages: business and data analysis
When it comes to choosing between this program and an MBA, Hong recommends that students first ask themselves what they want to specialize in after graduation.
She believes that MBA programs are best suited for students who want to make a career change in the business field, while MSBA programs are best suited for students who lack quantitative domain skills and are looking for that specific skill set. . It is also suitable for people who are used to analyzing data but want to learn how to understand data in the business she context.
Students can choose to do the program face-to-face or online. Alternatively, you can choose a combination of both. Both versions are usually completed in two years, but a student can complete it in as little as one year for her and as long as four for her. “There are sharing rules,” he says Colaner. “You can take up to five classes in other modalities while you’re working on your degree.”
“Graduates should be able to speak two languages: business and data analytics,” Colaner adds. “That’s really what a degree is worth.”
Learn to make sense of data, not generate it
Many students enter the program with little knowledge of numbers, but schools are developing prerequisite courses to help prepare them for the rigors of the program. This will help the Advisory Board to co-create it.
When it comes to participating in the program, Hong advises students to keep an open mind and not feel overwhelmed. “She doesn’t have to be intimidated by numbers and jargon,” she says. “At the end of the day, the whole purpose of the program is not to generate data, but to help people learn to make sense of it.”
“Our mission is to educate everyone,” she adds. “We want to guide students so that they can contribute not only to the organization they belong to, but also to society.”
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