“People who can do high level math are practically a commodity. People who can figure out which problem is the right one to solve and then apply high level math are very expensive and elusive. People who can communicate effectively the answer in such a way managers can understand, priceless.” Dave Clark, Amazon.com, executive, and University of Tennessee MBA Class of ‘99.
The goal of the Business Analytics concentration is to equip you to achieve better business performance through the use of data analysis and quantitative models. Business Analytics encompasses four overlapping areas: data mining, business process optimization, applied statistics and business intelligence.
Data Mining involves gleaning information from a company’s database of historical records. This information can provide important strategic insights. For example, which customers are most likely to respond to a catalogue mailing? Are there common attributes that can be used to identify those customers who will cancel their insurance policy? What set of variables are best at predicting whether a potential customer’s visit to a website will actually result in a sale. What distinguishes those transactions in which the customer returns the purchase for a refund?
Business Process Optimization is focused on better understanding and improving complex business processes. For example, in order to understand how to improve the performance of retail outlets, a retail manager may need to objectively compare the outlets’ performances. Such a comparison is difficult because the retail outlets differ in many ways (e.g., floor space, advertising budget, population of the neighborhood, number of employees, etc.). The comparison is made even more complex because there are many different measures of performance (e.g., total sales, profit margin, gain in market share, customer satisfaction, etc.). The tools of Business Analytics simplify the task of analyzing such complex processes.
Applied Statistics involves collecting and analyzing data and using this data to gain business insights. Applied Statistics sometimes involves conducting business experiments in order to answer important questions. For example, suppose a retailer plans to launch a coordinated advertising campaign and in-store display to boost sales of a particular line of products. Before the company launches the campaign nationwide, it first may conduct experiments in selected locations to better understand the impact of advertising variables such as the mix of advertising media used, the type of ad used, and the attributes of the display (size, color and placement).
Business Intelligence involves providing decision makers with a “dashboard” of real-time information needed for decision making. For example, using Business Intelligence allows companies who purchase media advertising to make better decisions regarding when and where to buy airtime.
An MBA concentration in Business Analytics prepares students for careers that involve the analysis, interpretation and management of data as well as linking findings from the data to business strategy.
The following courses are required for a concentration in Business Analytics:
In addition, you must choose two of the following courses:
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