Big Data Study: Is It Really A Business School Essential?

Seventy per cent of the program will be taught in four residential modules, and 30% online. One of the modules will take place in Silicon Valley, and feature a heavy emphasis on marketing analytics and entrepreneurship, as students spend 10 days visiting a range of companies, Hartmann says.

Hartmann expects the EMBA to attract people with IT backgrounds, such as CIOs, CTOs, and employees who are a step or two down from those positions in large companies. He also expects the program to draw marketing professionals such as CMOs.

The cost is $78,000 in Canadian dollars, about $62,000US as of Feb. 10.


A decade from now, Hartmann anticipates, all EMBA programs will place a strong focus on data analytics.

Michael Hartmann, McMaster University DeGroote School

Michael Hartmann, McMaster University DeGroote School

While McMaster hypes its new EMBA as a vanguard effort in that educational space, it’s not alone in addressing the need to bring working professionals up to speed on big data. Harvard Business School is offering a four-day, $8,750 executive education course in “Competing on Business Analytics and Big Data” in June. The University of Virginia Darden School of Business is offering a four-day executive education course in October called “Strategic Marketing Analytics: Leveraging Big Data” for $4,900. Indiana University Kelley School of Business offers a graduate certificate in business analytics – a hybrid exec ed program typically taking a year and costing $1,145 per credit hour for a cost of $13,740 for the 12 credit hours, barring increases while a student is mid-stream.

The Simon School isn’t the only institution increasing its focus on business analytics. New York University’s Stern School of Business, Arizona State University’s Carey School of Business, and Michigan State University’s Broad Graduate School of Management plan to debut master of science programs in business analytics in fall 2013. The University of Texas—Austin’s McCombs School of Business already has an analytics M.S. program, and Indiana University—Bloomington’s Kelley School of Business offers a specialized MBA in analytics.

Zettelmeyer says schools should not neglect management skills development in the rush to teach data analytics. “What makes me nervous is a program or an educational approach that decides to back off on the managerial piece in favor of the data science piece. We need to add the data science piece.”


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