Wake Forest unveils 10-month M.S. in business analytics

New degree program targets marketplace demand for skilled analytics professionals

analytics-mbaA new Wake Forest University School of Business program designed to educate professionals in the high-demand field of business analytics will welcome its first class in July 2016.

The 10-month Wake Forest Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) program is designed with input from corporate partners to ensure the university is exceeding industry demands and delivering performance-ready professionals who are driven to achieve results with integrity.

The program has been developed with substantial input from leading organizations including ExxonMobil, Inmar, Oracle, Procter & Gamble, and WestRock. Executives from these companies and others will serve on the MSBA board of advisors to ensure the curriculum remains cutting-edge.

Using live, real-time data from retailers, such as CVS Health and Lowes Foods, provided by the Retail Learning Labs through the School’s Center for Retail Innovation, MSBA students will analyze large data sets, master technological skills such as data mining and predictive modeling, and formulate actionable insights to corporate partners through hands-on experiential learning. Through this blend of classroom and real-world experiences, graduates will discern critical relationships between data and organizational performance.

“We are distinctively positioned to leverage our deep industry partnerships and highly specialized Retail Learning Labs to launch this innovative program,” said Charles Iacovou, Sisel Distinguished Dean of the School of Business. “We have built this program specifically to address the ever-increasing marketplace demand for employees with unique, superior talent in business analytics. The MSBA program is designed to develop principled professionals who can leverage analytics skills with business acumen and add immediate value to any organization across a range of industries.”

Highlights of the MBSA program include:

  • Focus on experiential learning projects with corporate partners and in-class use of real-time, live retail big-data from the Retail Learning Labs in the Center for Retail Innovation and its corporate partnerships.
  • Commitment to communications, teamwork and leadership skills, and an understanding of the responsible and ethical use of data for making better business decisions.
  • Emphasis on learning across the full spectrum of analytics-based descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive methodologies coupled with strong business knowledge from courses such as Business Metrics, Analytics in Society, Analytics in the Boardroom, and business domain applications.

“We assembled a group of highly-accomplished analytics professionals to advise us as we sought to build, from a clean slate, a program connected to the marketplace,” said Jeffrey Camm, Associate Dean of Business Analytics and Inmar Presidential Chair of Business Analytics. “Their guidance led us to construct a program that not only provides the necessary technical skills, but also focuses on business acumen and experiential learning. When we bundle that with the retail big-data we have from our Center for Retail Innovation for use in the classroom, we feel we have a unique program that will ensure that our graduates will be able to add value from day one. Furthermore, with innovative courses like Analytics in the Boardroom and Analytics in Society, this program leverages the strength of Wake Forest as a liberal arts university focused on educating the whole person.”

Wake Forest MSBA graduates will develop the deep quantitative capabilities and technical expertise to create business and social value in a variety of career settings, with marketable skills valued by top employers. Specific roles at leading employers include: Management Analyst/Consultant; Data Analyst/Scientist; Business Intelligence Analyst; Program and Marketing Manager; Big Data Analytics Specialist; Research Analyst; Manager of Services or Manufacturing Operations; Market Research Analyst; Business Intelligence and Performance Management Consultant; and Pricing and Revenue Optimization Analyst.

To be eligible for the MSBA program, applicants must hold or be pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business, engineering, mathematics, economics, computer science or liberal arts. Successful completion of coursework in calculus and statistics is required. Some programming experience is recommended but not required. Recent college graduates with limited or no full-time, post-graduate work experience are encouraged to apply.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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