The power and influence of data analytics is driving business in ways we have never seen before. Its enduring objective is to solve business problems more efficiently and effectively – whether it’s selling to customers, hiring the best employees, or anything else to do with decision-making. But the challenge with analytics, as noted in our lead story on the topic, is finding the people: People who can collect and analyze data, people who can interpret what the data mean and people who believe in the capacity of analytics to solve what was previously impossible.
For decades now, that is where the Terry College of Business has entered the equation. We can trace our DNA in the analytics revolution to a time before “analytics” was even a term commonly applied to business. Nearly 40 years ago, the Terry College pioneered the first master’s degree in marketing research, and the MMR continues to be the graduate program at the forefront of a profession that lives and breathes data to guide marketing strategy at the biggest consumer brands. A new option for students looking to hone their quantitative skills at Terry is the Master of Science in Business Analytics. The first cohort of 25 MSBA students enrolled this fall, and we expect interest in the program to scale rapidly.
What makes these two Terry College degrees distinctive from others like them is the delivery of hard data skills with the exceptionally well-rounded business sense and communication abilities that pull the levers of teamwork and leadership. Every MMR and MSBA student will be engaged in an intensive outside consulting project before they graduate, essentially turning their analytics classes into a first job.
As a college, we are constantly focused on how we can create as much educational value for our students and expand their opportunities after graduation. Of late, we have added undergraduate areas of emphasis in human resource analytics, digital marketing and data analytics, a new advisory track to the Master of Accountancy program, as well as a data and analytics initiative in partnership with KPMG, new business analytics and financial technology concentrations in the Full-Time MBA program, and one of our newest undergraduate certificates is in actuarial science. I am incredibly proud of the leadership within our faculty, who help us discern fundamental shifts in business from fads and respond accordingly in our curriculum. Data-driven decision-making powered by waves of new technology is transforming business, and the varied ways we have incorporated analytics into every Terry College program is an important sign of the times.
Benjamin C. Ayers, Dean
Earl Davis Chair in Taxation