[View the Best Business Schools for information systems.]
NYU's M.S. program, for example, will teach students "both to understand the role of evidence-based data in decision making and to leverage data as a strategic asset," according to its website, and "is designed for experienced professionals interested in gaining competitive advantage through the predictive potential of data." Courses will include Dealing with Big Data, Data Mining for Business Analytics, and Probabilistic Models for Finance, the site states.
Anindya Ghose, a codirector of NYU Stern's Center for Business Analytics, is one of the proponents of big data who doesn't buy Zupan's distinction. Big data is a tool that companies need to use to do effective business analytics, allows Ghose, whose research focuses on the economics of information technology. But rather than downplaying the importance of big data, he says it's "one of the biggest transformations we have seen in the industry ... [which is] here to stay, and it'll just get bigger."
Ghose has also observed significant demand from job recruiters for analytical skills. "Most companies understand that there is some value in business analytics and big data, but they just don't have, often, the in-house skills to do something with that," he says.
[Read about how some MBA students learn as virtual avatars.]
Ryan Melnikas, a second-year MBA student at Indiana's Kelley School, has also heard there are opportunities for MBAs in the field. "It's telling that field has adopted several names, because most people in business are intrigued by the field but don't quite know what to make of it," he says.
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