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Why an MBA in Business Analytics Puts You on the Fast Track

Top B-schools are preparing MBA students for careers at the intersection of business and technology as demand spikes for tech-savvy managers.
BY Braingain Staff Writer |   28-04-2015

Tech advances have impacted the world in fundamental ways, and the Business Analytics MBA Track is designed to prepare students for careers at the intersection of business and technology. Companies are desperate to glean insights from data analysis and the trend is not lost on the world’s top business schools, which are teaming up with data leaders to produce tech-savvy managers.

Companies see the benefit in hiring analytics talent and top schools, from NYU Stern, to HEC Paris to National University Singapore, are catering to demand. Yale’s School of Management has a Centre for Customer Insights, with IBM among the funders. Wharton has a similar Customer Analytics Initiative. Kelley School of Business at Indiana University not only launched an MBA in business analytics, but has signed a deal to offer something similar at the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow.

"With an operations research and information systems foundation, the Business Analytics MBA is relevant to marketing, operations, consulting and other fields that integrate big data into business strategies," says Gaurav Modi, a graduate of the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon, which has a sought after business analytics program for MBA students.

“I was heavily recruited by companies,” adds Modi.

While we have a growing number of tools to store, manage and run data, its interpretation still requires a skill that can’t be automated — human finesse.

“With an abundance of information, knowing what to pay attention to is a superpower. For the next few years, the labor market advantage will belong to business analytics students with the ability to distill huge data sets into valuable B2B or B2C insights on behalf of organizations," says Alistair Croll, author of "Lean Analytics: Use Data To Build A Better Startup Faster."

Lucrative Job Prospects

Big data will very likely change the way many people run their businesses and this is turning this field into a very lucrative one. Globally there is increasingly a trend across the IT sector to hire MBA graduates with business experience within analytical roles. Consulting firms are also top recruiters of business school graduates with analytic skills, driven by companies investing in their data.

“Business analytics is determining the winners and losers in most industries. Ford cites analytics as playing a major role in its turnaround. Many companies such as Amazon, Google and Facebook have built their entire business model around analytics. Companies that see this are looking for the talent needed to integrate business analytics into their business strategy,” says Ken Gilbert, the department head for University of Tennessee’s Business Analytics program.

The University of Tennessee is among a growing number of institutions offering business analytics degrees. In 2010, the McCombs School of Business was the first in the U.S. to launch degree programs in business analytics at the undergraduate and MBA level.

The feverish demand for analytics programs has intensified this year: since January the Kogod and DeGroote business schools have announced plans to launch analytics and software courses, reported "BusinessBecause." ESSEC Business School, Amsterdam Business School, and CEU Business School kicked off data programs in 2015.

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