Every day, businesses are required to make important choices, from the very smallest of details to the big picture.
So it pays to have someone who understands how to evaluate relevant data that help inform the decision-making process – someone like Dr. Mehdi Jourabchi.
The Dhillon School of Business professor is part of a new Business Analytics (BANA) pathway in the Master of Science in Management (MSc (Mgt)) program, teaching Business Decision Analytics (BANA 5004) – an important component of management science and decision sciences.
“Business decision analytics builds a foundation for some of the most important operational decisions made in business today and in a number of industries, including retail, transportation, healthcare and financial services,” says Dr. Jourabchi.
“The Business Analytics concentration provides students with the skills to identify the problem, then formulate, manipulate and solve an analytical model to generate insightful analyses and solutions, interpret the results and implement a decision that yield the best possible outcome.”
The BANA pathway is part of the MSc (Mgt) program and students majoring in any of the six areas (Accounting, Finance, Human Resources Management and Labour Relations, International Management, Marketing, and Policy and Strategy) can take the BANA concentration, regardless of their career goals and previous experience.
“The intention of the BANA program is to help students become a perceptive and critical user of quantitative models in an organization. In my class students will be using case studies that aim to develop an intuition behind different models,” Dr. Jourabchi says.
“In particular, the BANA pathway allows students to identify sources of data and create analytical data sets, link data to models and decision tools, then interpret those models and link them to business value.”
Dr. Jourabchi – whose research focuses on sustainable logistics and supply chain management using organization theory, analytical modeling and data analysis – says now more than ever, businesses need skilled employees who can structure, analyze and use data to advance organizational strategy.
“With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), and online platforms and e-commerce, there’s more data available to businesses than ever before. On the other hand, the world of data-driven decision making is moving fast and there is a growing industry demand for graduates with the skills to analyze and interpret data and apply it to solve business problems,” he says.
Currently, MSc (Mgt) students can also follow a thesis pathway to earn their degree, an option that will remain as one of the two pathways from which students can choose.
Students enrolled in the BANA pathway will be required to complete coursework as well as an applied, experiential project. The focus of the experiential project should be on the analytical application of data science in the student’s area of interest (for example, in Marketing, Human Resources or Finance) and the proper interpretation and use of analytics findings rather than on data programming