Designing a Business Analytics program, Part 3: Structure

This post continues two earlier posts (Part 1: Intro and Part 2: Content) on Designing a Business Analytics (BA) program. This part focuses on the structure of a BA program, and especially course structure. In the program that I designed, each of the 16 courses combines on-ground sessions with online components. Importantly, the opening and closing of a course should be on-ground. The hybrid online/on-ground design is intended to accommodate participants who cannot take long periods of time-off to attend campus. Yet, even in a residential program, a hybrid structure can be more effective, if it is properly implemented. The … Continue reading Designing a Business Analytics program, Part 3: Structure

Designing a Business Analytics program, Part 2: Content

This post follows Part 1: Intro of Designing a Business Analytics program. In this post, I focus on the content to be covered in the program, in the form of courses and projects. The following design is based on my research of many programs, on discussions with faculty in various analytics areas, with analysts and managers at different levels, and on feedback from many past MBA students who have taken my analytics courses over the years (data mining, forecasting, visualization, statistics, etc.) and are now managing data at a broad range of companies and organizations. Content Dealing with data, little … Continue reading Designing a Business Analytics program, Part 2: Content

Designing a Business Analytics program, Part 1: Intro

I have been receiving many inquiries about programs in “Business Analytics” (BA), online and offline, in the US and outside the US. The few programs that are already out there (see an earlier post) are relatively new, so it is difficult to assess their success in producing data-savvy analysts. Rather than concentrate on the uncertainty, let me share my view and experience regarding the skill set that such programs should provide. To be practical, I will share the program that I designed for the Indian School of Business one-year certificate program in BA(*), in terms of content and structure. Both … Continue reading Designing a Business Analytics program, Part 1: Intro

Trading and predictive analytics

I attended today’s class in the course Trading Strategies and Systems offered by Prof Vasant Dhar from NYU Stern School of Business. Luckily, Vasant is offering the elective course here at the Indian School of Business, so no need for transatlantic travel. The topic of this class was the use of news in trading. I won’t disclose any trade secrets (you’ll have to attend the class for that), but here’s my point: Trading is a striking example of the distinction between explanation and prediction. Generally, techniques are based on correlations and on “blackbox” predictive models such as neural nets. In particular, text mining and … Continue reading Trading and predictive analytics

Eight great projects

As the Fall semester just came to a close, another cohort of 36 MBAs completed the data mining course at the Smith School of Business. Students worked throughout the semester on real business problems with real data. From data collection, through exploration, and modeling. Projects ranged from more socially aware (Profiling the medically- insured vs. uninsured in the USA; Reverse-engineering student loan deference algorithms) to more $ aware (Customer retention at an online fitness company; Drivers of dividend decreases) . A few projects on real-estate and travel (Determinants of flight delays from Washington to Honolulu; Factors leading to a quick-sale … Continue reading Eight great projects