Kutztown University now offers a new minor in business analytics within its Department of Business Administration. Business Analytics is a program that will help students apply statistical skills to more effectively arrive at data-driven business decisions. Employers are seeking these skills across a wide variety of business fields, including marketing, operations, human resources, finance and accounting.
The advancement of information technology has allowed firms to better harness their data in order to identify new opportunities and to improve performance. As important as the analysis of the data itself is, the ability to communicate the results of those analyses to others within the firm is equally vital. The ability to do these things well confers a competitive advantage on firms.
“Business analytics combines the fields of business and information technology,” said Dr. Gary Chao, interim department chair for Business Administration. “The business aspect requires an understanding of the business processes as well as the practical limitations and opportunities that exist. The analytical part requires an understanding of data, statistics and computer science. This combination of fields allows business analysts to bridge the gap between management and technology.
“Business analytics utilizes statistical analysis, data visualization, data analytics, process analysis and optimization to improve organization decision making process,” Chao continued. “These models can be used to identify potential, to predict outcomes, to inform decision making and to optimize the current activities. By learning from existing data, business analytics can make concrete recommendations to solve problems and improve businesses.”
Chao hopes this new program will allow both business and computer science students as well as other Kutztown students to step out of their comfort zone, to explore various fields, to be more competitive in the job market and to advance within their future careers. Courses offered within the program include Data Visualization, Business Intelligence and Operation Management.
- Data Visualization – presenting data with visual formats to help readers comprehend current and future situations.
- Business Intelligence – analyzing data and giving insights to make the best decisions.
- Operations Management – focusing on business-related processes to improve effectiveness and efficiency.