Across industries today, data is a powerful and necessary tool for business. To be a leader in the big data revolution, professionals must embrace data management and analytics as part of strategy. The Broad College’s Master of Science in Business Data Science and Analytics answers the exponential demand for professionals to become an integral part of this data transformation.

The program, formerly known as the M.S. in Business Analytics, is STEM-certified and ranked among the top 10 U.S. programs. The name change helps to better communicate what the program offers to students and potential employers and reflects how the program has evolved to align with the ever-changing analytics environment.

“As we encourage a student population with a diverse set of experience and academic backgrounds — like computer science, business, liberal arts, economics — the name change will allow them to pursue job opportunities that best match their skillset,” Gayle Nelson, assistant director of graduate programs, said.

“For instance, a computer science major would most likely want to pursue a data scientist position, whereas a business major might wish to pursue a business analyst position. The name change will allow students to best position themselves in the job market for a position that best matches their skills.”

In addition, the new name more accurately reflects the employment positions obtained by the graduates of the program. Nelson and program staff reviewed job titles of recent graduates to find that 60% included business analyst and 40% included data scientist.

“As organizations continue to invest resources and talent in data and analytics, there has been an increasing need to dive deeper, beyond traditional business intelligence and reporting work streams, to highly technical work focused around advanced data science solutions and machine learning,” Justin Gould, a 2018 alumnus of the program, said.

“Moreover, tools, technologies and techniques within data science change rapidly. Changing the name will help students fill an important gap of professionals who can leverage strong business acumen, technical skills and experiences from experiential learning to become a key player in the digital transformation and big data revolution.”

The new name also indicates the ongoing updates being made to the curriculum. While the focus of the program is on business, an emphasis on analytical skills and data science continues as this environment has become more technical.

“We teach students a lot of data science techniques and skills, including database/SQL, R/Python programming, big data, data mining, machine learning algorithms and more,” Julian Guo, assistant professor in the Department of Accounting and Information Systems, said. “We pair this with content that is traditionally taught in business analytics, such as statistical analysis, data visualization and storytelling (business communication).

“Given that our program approaches both data science and analytics, the name change will better reflect what Spartans will gain from our program.”

Students who enroll for Fall 2021 will receive degrees with the new program name. To learn more, visit the M.S. in Business Data Science and Analytics program page.