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OU business analytics program focused on strategy
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
OU business analytics program focused on strategy

In order to find success in the 21st century, businesses are relying on cutting-edge technologies to collect, sort and analyze data related to customer and client needs, their competitive environment and key performance indicators to support data-driven decision-making and business planning. 

This data is often voluminous, originates from a broad array of sources and can be overwhelming to companies not fully prepared to manage it.

Corporate decision makers looking to get a handle on this potentially transformative business practice are contributing to a tremendous demand for highly skilled, knowledgeable and strategic IT professionals who are well prepared to harness the power of data analysis.

Looking to help American businesses answer this demand, the Oakland University School of Business Administration offers a one-year, half-online Master of Science in Information Technology Management/Business Analytics degree program.

"The demand for people with business analytics expertise in this country will be on the order of 100,000 to 150,000 through 2020," said Mohammad Dadashzadeh, Oakland University professor of Management Information Systems and chair of the Department of Decision and Information Sciences.

"Companies have been collecting immense amounts of data they might need to inform their business strategies and move forward, and now the time has come to get the return on the investment they've made."

Dadashzadeh noted that the most successful American companies in recent decades – corporations such as Amazon, Netflix and Walmart, among others – have built empires by understanding the broad scope of data they collect, using it to accurately anticipate consumer behavior and developing business plans to effectively meet evolving consumer demand.

In addition to offering a rigorous curriculum focusing on data warehousing, business intelligence, Big Data management, predictive and prescriptive analytics, and application systems analysis and design, the MSITM/BA program offers students a hands-on educational approach that engages real-world business partners that seek analysis of their own collected data or that of clients, as well as sound direction on what it means to develop and implement agile business plans.

Warren, Mich-based MSX International (MSXI), the leading global provider of Human Capital Solutions and Retail Network Solutions, has been pleased to work with MSITM/BA students who are anxious to get hands-on experience with real-world data and cutting-edge data analysis strategies to help them learn and also to best serve the company's client base.

"Our clients turn to us to refine data into actionable information. We welcomed the opportunity to partner with Oakland University's MSITM/BA program to give students a real-world experience that benefits them," said Brendan Walsh, vice president and chief information officer, MSXI.

"We're proud to contribute to the success of the program, and by extension, the regional economy. By providing internship opportunities for the program's students, we're helping build the skills for the next generation of workers and also providing sound data and analysis to help our clients innovate and make solid business decisions."

Dadashzadeh said the MSITM/BA program is now expanding partnerships with area businesses and corporations to include student work projects not just during their capstone project in the fourth quarter of study, but throughout the educational process.

Students new to the MSITM/BA will begin work on a corporate project as soon as they step foot into the program, and the data analysis deliverables they are expected to produce for partner businesses will grow in scope with the completion of each academic term.

"With this kind of exposure to the work they'll eventually be doing, students know this is a tough program that is going to prepare them well," Dadashzadeh said.

"They also know that when they complete the program, they're going to be able to take the skills they've gained just about anywhere they want to, and they know they're going to have opportunities to build great careers with them."

Businesses partnering with the MSITM/BA program stand to gain a great deal of insight related to questions that may have been thwarting potential growth. Individualized, thorough and expertly guided MSITM/BA-led project is made available on a quarterly basis in return for nothing more than a modest commitment of time necessary to provide students with collected data and a list of strategic planning questions the partner business would like to see answered.

To learn more about business analytics research available through the MSITM/BA program at OU, prospective business partners should contact Dadashzadeh at dadashza@oakland.edu or (248) 370-4649. Prospective students can learn more about the program at oakland.edu/MSITM-BA.

Oakland University is a vibrant academic community with nearly 20,000 students and more than 260 degree and certificate programs. To learn more about academics, achievements, and events at OU, visit the news site at oakland.edu/newsatou and follow the news team on Twitter at @OaklandU_News.


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