New business analytics degree offered

Bryce Gill, Assistant Biz & Tech Editor

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Next fall UW-Whitewater will be offering a new degree for business analytics. There is already a minor offered on campus but UW-W is the first Wisconsin public university to offer this degree program. Most business degrees already put business analytic classes into the curriculum, but it will now stand as its own degree. The curriculum is already outlined, so all students are able to check what classes will be required to complete this program.

“Data analytics is about solving problems and looking at the data you have, then figuring out how to make better decisions and helping people make the best decisions possible. Some of what we teach in the program is some programming that is required so even if you have never programmed or never thought about it, that’s okay you can still go through the program and be successful,” said IT supply chain Management professor, Dr. Alana Platt.

Business analytics works fluidly with computer science. However, instead of writing programs, business analytics synthesize the data given from the programs. For many students who are taking computer science classes, the classes that will be offered will allow for a new perspective of programming and using programs created.

“I’ve had a lot of students who take a couple of computer science classes and then really do some discovery of what they thought they wanted to do and what they actually want to do because they are so different. They do go hand and hand but they’re still so different. We have a couple of students who are double majoring in business and computer science,” said Amy Zelinger, one of the business advisors at UW-W.

Since social media is a relevant and contemporary skill for many employees to have, data analytics would consist of following what consumers are clicking on and what interests certain people in particular demographics. This allows for businesses to continuously offer and market what consumers are looking for.

There are a variety of employers in the business industry that are in search of students with this specific skill set to help further benefit their organizations. UW-W’s new program will offer an opportunity for any and all students who are interested in technology to learn these skills and apply them to advertising, or marketing.

“There is a unique demand for students with higher analytical skills and usually they’ll hire people specifically with this skill set to do it more on an enterprise level and so they will support the analytics work. Right now we are making sure we have a good amount of set classes for the major that will be starting this Fall. We envision quite a few students will switch from the IT area or [there will be] a great amount of double majors,” said Dean John Chenoweth.

Many business advisors are able to speak about the program and how it can benefit each student, so stop by Hyland Hall and set up an appointment. Anyone who is studying computer science or general business are also encouraged to speak with business advisor about a possible career in business analytics.