New Arizona State Business Analytics Program to Combine Information Systems with Supply Chain Management

by   |   February 7, 2013 11:33 am   |   0 Comments

One in a series of articles profiling university programs focusing on big data and analytics education.

Arizona State University is building a new Master of Science in Business Analytics program to start in the fall of 2013 that will focus on implementing analytics into day to day business processes and managing those systems.

Built by two departments in the W.P. Carey School of Business, information systems and supply chain management, the program is designed to prepare graduates to focus on business process improvement and optimization through data analytics, while also learning about what IT architecture is required to run those streaming analytics in real-time or near real-time.

“Down the line we see that in addition to the strategic analytics, you really need to be able to have operational business intelligence,” said Michael Goul, the chairman of the information systems department. “That means that the [analytical system] has to support all of the activities in the supply chain, it has to be as real time or right time as is needed in that environment. It needs to embed the analytics into the business processes, and manage and govern the fact that you’ve embedded them into those processes will be the new challenge.”

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Goul said he and the head of the school’s supply chain management department, John Fowler, collaborated to establish the new program, adding that the faculty is still forming its curriculum and recruiting students. The program will start as full time and run for nine months. The first cohort of students will start in the fall semester of 2013. Goul said the program hopes to bring in 50 students per cohort.

Students at the school in Tempe, Ariz., will have a hands-on practicum project to complete to graduate, where they’ll work with local companies like American Express, Intel and Honeywell using actual business data. Graduating seniors from Arizona State who are accepted to the program will also have internship opportunities in the summer between their undergraduate graduation and the start of the program, Goul said.

The program’s guiding principle, Goul said, is to teach students how to take analytics technologies and immediately implement changes to optimize business.

“We don’t want to train somebody who can go out there and produce a bunch of numbers,” Goul said. “We want them to understand what those numbers mean, that they have to be normalized and have some properties for decision making.”

Arizona State already works with SAS, and Goul said the program is consulting with IBM and Teradata as technology partners. The program is currently debating how much R programming should be included in the curriculum, and Goul said he has his sights on top level visualization lab with as many visualization tools as possible.

Program details:

  • Program to accept first students in fall of 2013; target class of 50 students.
  • Nine month, full time or 16-month online program.
  • Total costs for Arizona residents are $29,600; out of state residents pay $44,100.

Program features:

  • Capstone practicum project involves students working with local businesses on real data.
  • Working with IBM, Teradata and SAS.
  • Internships available for students between undergraduate graduation and start of program.

Email Staff Writer Ian B. Murphy at Follow him on Twitter .

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