Business analytics has the potential to make modern organisations more efficient, robust and successful than ever before. Source: UNH
The global market is continuously evolving through competitive and regulatory pressures, necessitating fast and accurate business decisions. Big data has disrupted the skills and knowledge required of employees across functions to deliver value to their organisations.
The McKinsey Institute projects that the US will face a shortage of about 190,000 data scientists and 1.5 million managers and data analysts who can interpret and implement data.
These are essential skills that businesses need to unlock insights that bolsters their competitive edge.
It’s clear that business analytics has the potential to transform modern organisations, and improve their business strategies, making them more efficient, robust and successful. Despite that, deriving insights from data and converting that knowledge into action, is a skill that requires trained experts.
Narrowing the data-driven professional gap
The University of New Hampshire (UNH) Peter T Paul College of Business and Economics is responding to the strong demand for highly trained business analytics experts.
Its Business Analytics Initiative is driving the expansion of undergraduate and graduate programmes, course offerings, research and engagement opportunities that connect students with businesses to work on solutions to real-world problems. This culminates with career-ready graduates who can harness the power of data and employ analytics tools to create value for their business.
The initiative also draws on faculty expertise across diverse fields, including decision sciences, operations, information systems, marketing, finance, accounting, and human resources.
Paul College has also launched a new Center for Business Analytics aimed at providing businesses with the help they need to sustain competitive advantage — graduates who can harness the power of big data and support to help them employ analytics tools to create value for their business. It also serves as a “hub” to bring together the knowledge and expertise of professors, students, and industry professionals working in the business analytics field.
A future-forward business education
Paul College is one of the top business schools in the US; it’s MS in Business Analytics programme will develop students’ skills in data analysis and visualisation, predicting/forecasting future probabilities and trends, in addition to helping leaders make decisions in resource-constrained environments.
Here, students are taught by faculty that are immersed in big data research, including cybersecurity, while students also benefit from exposure to the latest challenges businesses face to help with real-world application.
The programme is also comprehensive — it covers the three main pillars of business analytics, including descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics, giving students a full understanding of the discipline.
Further attesting to the school’s prowess is its AACSB accreditation. This makes them among the elite few — or five percent of business schools worldwide — to meet the gold standard for the highest quality business programmes.
Another allure of the MS in Business Analytics lies in its STEM-designated focus. International students who graduate from this programme will be able to apply for a 24-month OPT STEM extension to their 12-month Optional Practical Training Program (OPT) period, which will allow students to work in the US for up to 36 months after graduation with no additional visa requirement.
Paving the way for a successful career in business analytics
Peter T. Paul. Paul College associate professor Khole Gwebu notes that while the field of business analytics is not entirely new, the rapid growth in the amount of data produced by businesses and advances in computing technology the field is rapidly changing, and it is also changing the manner in which many business decisions are made.
A survey by Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services, for instance, found that nearly 97% of companies with revenues of more than US$100 million are using some form of business analytics, up from 90% just two years ago. The report adds that companies are looking to analytics to solve big issues, with the primary focus on money: reducing costs, improving the bottom line, and managing risks.
With business analytics growing in both small to large businesses, it’s clear that opportunities are abundant for graduates with the right skills.
Successful completion of the MS in Business Analytics programme can open the doors to new exciting job prospects, including, but not limited to: analyst and Six Sigma planner, business intelligence analyst, data analyst, manager of modelling and analytics, market research analyst, pricing and revenue optimisation analyst, project manager and quantitative analyst/modeller.
Some of these careers are also highly in-demand. A LinkedIn report, for instance, notes that data scientists and data management analysts are among the fastest-growing jobs today.
Paul College alum Samantha Woodward, a marketing operations specialist at Bottomline Technologies, concurs.
“I believe I got my current job because of my experience in analytics attained while I was an undergraduate at Paul. The marketing department at Bottomline is becoming more data-driven so my skills align well. What I am learning now in the MS in Business Analytics programme can be immediately applied,” she said.
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