Mastering Business Analytics
New graduate program addresses need for business analytics professionals.
by Justin Walker
Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business and College of Arts & Sciences (A&S) have launched a joint graduate program—a Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA).
“Business analytics is and has been a growing field,” Sandeep Mazumder, the William E. Crenshaw Endowed Dean of the Business School, said. “This cross-disciplinary program strengthens both the Business School and Arts & Sciences while furthering the University’s Data Sciences initiative.”
The MSBA program is a perfect representation of developing quality programs to address ever-evolving needs, Baylor University Provost Nancy Brickhouse said.
“I am excited to add the MSBA to our growing portfolio of graduate programs that provide terrific career opportunities for students from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds,” Brickhouse said. “Current undergraduate students from Baylor—as well as other universities across the country and globe—will be well-served by acquiring this valuable skill set.”
Jonathan Trower, associate professor and chair of the Department of Information Systems and Business Analytics (ISBA), said the MSBA program could set graduates apart from others because of its unique business focus.
“What differentiates this program from other analytics or data science programs on campus is the business emphasis,” Trower said. “That seems to be what a lot of the marketplace wants—people who can understand not only the technology behind the analysis of the data, but also the business application of it.”
Trower said the idea for such a program started several years ago from conversations with James Stamey, professor and chair of the Department of Statistical Science in A&S. The two realized that a partnership among the departments and colleges would be mutually beneficial.
“Statistics brings content such as courses in regression, forecasting and multivariate methods that complements the strong course work in business analytics that the Business School has offered for years,” Stamey said. “We are also excited about corporate partnerships that will allow the students to participate in the full business analytics workflow in a capstone class that will be led by statistics faculty.”
Students can begin the MSBA program in the summer and graduate the following spring. The program will feature a combination of ISBA, Statistics and other business courses totaling 36 credit hours.
The program will feature a course on Ethics and Business Analytics, which is essential to the University’s Christian mission, Stamey said.
“A big part of data science is data ethics,” he said. “The same will be said about this program. It is important for our graduates to understand the ethical approach to business analytics.”
Trower said that graduates would have many job opportunities through this program due to the analytical and technical skill sets they will gain.
“I think there are a lot of opportunities for graduates in this unique program,” Trower said. “It is a great technical skill set for students within the business context. They will have that business background, regardless of where they are coming from.”
Baylor Business Review, Spring 2023