How big data is changing the face of business

Businesses increasingly rely on data to make strategic decisions. As businesses track and capture more and more types of data, the need for talent who know how to manipulate and interpret this data is increasing.

Many successful companies such as Amazon, eBay, and Humana have built their entire business model around analytics. They struggle to find new, well-qualified employees. The workforce demand has already outnumbered qualified job seekers with the gap predicted only to increase

According to Constellation Research, recent developments in using business-data analytics to direct strategies are a just a precursor to what is to come. In 2018 and beyond, the study predicts, we will see analytic methods becoming more intelligent through the use of advanced analytics, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). These smart capabilities are already evident in areas such as data prep, discovery, analysis, prediction, and AI-powered prescriptive applications. As the rate of technology adoption advances, the need for professionals who are experts in these fields will increase.

Many businesses have data, but talent is the differentiator. To address the growing need for analytics talent, the University of Louisville is working closely with local businesses to create a new graduate degree in business analytics. This new Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) program at the university leverages the strengths of the faculty in areas such as statistics, machine learning, database, computer science, operations research, marketing analytics, business communications and strategy.

By blending the faculty’s diverse skill sets into an integrated curriculum, this new program offers deep insights into business analytics problems. The 13-month evening program will launch in August. As the only program in the region, the MSBA program partners with businesses such as Accent(x), Brown-Forman, Edj, GE, KFC, LG&E KU, Papa John’s, Texas Roadhouse, Trilogy, and UPS to fine-tune the curricula to match industry needs and to offer opportunities for competitive paid internships.

A paid internship is rare among graduate programs, especially one that lasts for the length of the program. Although it is getting more popular to give students work experience, most universities offer internships for only a few months and more commonly unpaid. When entering the job market, University of Louisville students will benefit from having professional experience in addition to educational credentials. Students graduate ready for positions well above entry level.

Data analytics is no longer a luxury. Large and small companies alike must take advantage of the insights data brings to compete in today’s data-driven economy.

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