Loyola University Chicago

Quinlan School of Business

Business Data Analytics graduate degree program welcomes first class

Business Data Analytics graduate degree program welcomes first class

Students enrolled in the M.S. in Business Data Analytics program engage in group work in Professor Mary Malliaris' statistics course.

This fall, Quinlan launched a new graduate degree program in Business Data Analytics (MSBDA). Through the one-year cohort program, students are prepared to become responsible leaders in the fast-growing field of big data.

The MSBDA provides specialized, hands-on knowledge of techniques and software used to analyze data, as well as an understanding of the practical business applications of these skills.

“Our goal is to give managers who are making decisions at firms, tools and techniques to leverage data and make better business decisions,” says Steven Todd, PhD, associate dean and MSBDA program director.

Here, Todd shares some additional insights on the new program.

Who should consider this degree program?

This program is ideally suited for someone with 3 to 5 years of professional experience, with a background in a variety of subjects. People with a business, arts and sciences, or engineering degree will definitely benefit from the program.

Data is being used by all types of companies, so professionals in many industries can benefit from this degree program. Those who are currently working in groups that analyze data, or groups that make decisions related to launching new products and developing strategy, such as R&D, would find value in this program.

Why is understanding data analytics critical for today’s businesses?

Businesses have always relied on data, but today there is just so much more data and more sophisticated ways to use it to make well-informed decisions. With this reality, it’s important for individuals to have a grasp of how to work with data and how data can be used to solve problems.

What makes Quinlan’s MSBDA program stand out?

Our program sits in the business school, and is oriented towards business decision makers. This program could have been in the engineering school and oriented towards scientists, or in the Computer Science department and oriented towards programmers, but we chose to put it in the business school and hone in on business decisions. All elements of the curriculum incorporate that approach, including a capstone course where students work on a business project where real decisions are being made.

Also, the program is structured using the cohort model. By taking classes with the same 20 people, a student’s relationship with others in the program is more meaningful. We think that those network effects have value and that’s definitely another distinguishing factor of Quinlan’s program.

What are Business Data Analytics courses like?

As a full-time program, students are required to take three courses a quarter, beginning with six foundational courses, such as statistics, programming and ethics. Following the core courses, students select five elective courses based on their interests.

Our program is structured so students who are working full time can still fit this full-time program into their schedules. Each quarter, two of the three courses are on Saturday, while one course is during the week, in the evening.

Are companies hiring people with analytical skills?

We definitely know that companies are looking for these skills. Companies want employees that can work with data, analyze data, and can make decisions using data. They often even have specific software needs based on the field. For example, in the area of data visualization, companies want candidates with Tableau expertise, and these are the skills that we help students develop.

We’ve spoken to employers and have surveyed the marketplace, and we’ve seen that there’s a massive shortage of talent in the market today and a high demand for these skills.

Learn more