Data & Analytics

Wake Forest Launching 10-Month Analytics Master

A new 10-month master's degree at Wake Forest University will arm students to understand and apply business analytics. Hosted within the School of Business, the Master of Science in Business Analytics was designed with "substantial input" from corporate partners, including ExxonMobil, Oracle and Procter & Gamble.

The curriculum is currently organized to start with a five-week summer module that focuses on the technical skills required by the program, including probability and statistical modeling, the use of SAS, programming with R and career management. The fall semester consists of courses in data management and predictive analytics and data mining as well as "mini modules" that examine analytics, business metrics, data visualization, data analysis and business modeling. The spring semester consists of mini-courses in forecasting; prescriptive analytics; and analytics in supply chain, marketing, human resources, finance, process and online marketing.

Students will receive hands-on experience working with real-time data from retailers such as CVS Health and Lowes Foods, which participate in Wake Forest's Retail Learning Labs, a part of the school's Center for Retail Innovation, Launched in 2014, learning labs uses technology to detect smartphone signals and track shopper movements through stores to monitor customer behavior. The analytics students will analyze the sizable data sets mined from the lab and develop insights to help the retail partners.

"We are distinctively positioned to leverage our deep industry partnerships and highly specialized Retail Learning Labs to launch this innovative program," said Charles Iacovou, dean of the business school, in a prepared statement. "We have built this program specifically to address the ever-increasing marketplace demand for employees with unique, superior talent in business analytics." The program, he added, "is designed to develop principled professionals who can leverage analytics skills with business acumen and add immediate value to any organization across a range of industries."

The program will kick off in July 2016 with its first class; students who are successful will graduate in May 2017.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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