New Business Analytics Certificate Broadens Education Programs at OU

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New Business Analytics Certificate Broadens Education Programs at OU

courtesy of Oakland University

courtesy of Oakland University

courtesy of Oakland University

Falin Hakeem, Staff Reporter

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Oakland University’s School of Business Administration is now offering a graduate certificate program in business analytics. The program is available beginning fall 2017.

According to NG Data, business analytics is “the study of data through statistical and operations analysis, the formation of predictive models, application of optimization techniques, and the communication of these results to customers, business partners, and college executives.”

Vijayan Sugumaran, professor of management information systems, said business analytics has been recognized by many organizations as a valuable activity.

“However, finding people that have the requisite blend of quantitative, computing and business domain knowledge and skills for business analytics work is proving to be a challenge,” he said.

Sugumaran added that graduate certificate programs can help address this challenge by providing a time and cost-effective way for people to fill in the gaps in their knowledge and skill base in preparation for business analytics work.

“Our business analytics minor at the undergraduate level and concentration at the graduate level have been very popular for several years now,” said Mark Isken, associate professor in the department of decision and information sciences. “This certificate program provides a path for students who might not be interested in pursuing a master’s degree right now but want to take courses in business analytics. Short, focused certificate programs have become increasingly popular in higher education.”

The program includes five courses, three of which are required and two electives; Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics, MBA with a business analytics concentration, Master of Science in IT management with a business analytics concentration, business analytics concentration and business analytics minor for Oakland undergraduate students in any major.

“The required courses focus on the fundamentals of business analytics, practical computing for data analytics and applications of novel analytics techniques in managerial decision making,” Sugumaran said. “The elective courses cover a variety of topics such as advanced databases and big data management, web analytics, operations analytics, management science, econometrics and advanced statistical techniques.”

Sugumaran said the graduate certificate program is intended for quantitatively and technically strong students in any major interested in developing business and data analytics skills.

“This program allows us to teach not only technical courses but also apply the analytics tools and technologies to solve problems in many different disciplines,” he said. “The interdisciplinary nature of the program allows us to reach a broader audience, the potential to produce graduates with business analytics skills to meet the industry demand is an exciting aspect of the program.”

Isken said his favorite part about teaching business analytics courses is that the field is still evolving, which keeps him constantly learning new things.

“My courses tend to draw talented and highly motivated students interested in learning how to apply quantitative and computational tools to challenging business problems,” he said.

For more information about the program, visit the business analytics page on Oakland’s website.