Student teams from across the nation compete at the annual Business Analytics Competition hosted by Manhattan College each spring.
Modern businesses generate and store massive amounts of data — from web clicks and sales, to advertising placement and consumer habits. The field of business analytics involves drawing correlations and insights from this data. These conclusions are used to drive business decisions and actions.
Why Choose Business Analytics?
Analytics is one of the fastest growing areas of business. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, job growth in this field will increase by 30% in the next 10 years. Companies, both large and small, are hiring new analysts each year to help optimize their business processes and services.
Analytics is also one of the most practical and hands-on fields in today’s world. With the increase of data-capturing technology, business analysts are needed in nearly every industry, including:
meet and network with peers and industry professionals
Competing teams analyze business-related data sets and present their solutions in both poster format and oral presentation to judges. Participating teams are recognized at a special award ceremony that takes place at the end of the competition, and the top three teams earn a monetary prize.
The conference also includes talks from data analytics professionals who provide insight into topical issues and trends. Past speakers have included industry professionals from Verizon, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft, among others.
“I found a good mix of affordability and small class sizes at Manhattan College. I like that all the classes here are under 30 people. I like that my professors know me on a first-name basis. I like that I can go to their office hours at any time, and they're always very welcoming.
"I started as a computer engineer because I’ve always liked technology, but I didn't know if I wanted to be in computers full-time. So I switched over to the business side, and eventually I settled on marketing and the new business analytics co-major. It was a really nice mix for me because it factored in the technology that I had always liked when I was younger, with business, which I find really interesting, and good career opportunities.
"The two majors are strong complements. The way I've always thought of it is that marketing is a soft major and business analytics is a hard major. That’s not to say marketing is easy, but to say that I think coupling a more social science-based major like marketing or management with something that's statistics-based like business analytics or finance, gives employers a really attractive candidate, because you know both the human side and the numbers side. That's becoming increasingly important. If you look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, growth in the field of marketing research is huge. It's rated as one of the fastest growing fields. I think this dual major has a lot of applicability to anything in business, and it gives you tons of options.
"High school was easy for me, but I wasn't always challenging myself as much as I should have been. In my sophomore year at Manhattan, I became a Jasper Summer Research Scholar. I worked with Dr. Poonam Arora, who really really pushed me to learn new things and to work harder than I ever had before. It’s the best thing I've done for my career so far, and it's paying off now in the job interviews I have. Manhattan fosters this kind of teamwork because it's a small college and it's easy to speak to professors.
"Our research was based on behavioral economics and decision-making. We did one really interesting project on hurricanes, and the implication that experience with hurricanes has on future preparedness.
"I’ve also had two Fortune 500 internships during college. I worked at Sherwin Williams as a marketing analyst and I worked at Express Scripts, which is a very large Fortune 20 pharmacy benefits management company. I was a business analyst intern, and I worked in the government programs group. One of the projects I was assigned to is called Co-pay Assistance, where we tried to get buy-in from pharmaceutical companies to give rebates or lower drug costs to people who are experiencing financial hardships.
"Another experience I enjoyed was competing in Manhattan’s first ever Business Analytics Competition last year. In class, you have the opportunity to do a few cases studies, but you don't really have this year-long time frame that we spent on this project. We worked with a massive data set that had tens of thousands of entries. This is where business analytics really came in handy, because we had to dig down deep and find trends and patterns in the data. It was great learning experience. It hones your presentation skills, and it helped me a lot with the way I view data. When you're presented with a problem in this competition, you really can't go to the professor and ask how to do it. You kind of figure it out on your own, and that’s the best way to learn.”
What Will You Learn?
The business analytics major teaches students how to:
use standard methods, tools and software to collect and manage data
apply modeling and data analytics techniques to find solutions to real world business problems
explain complex analytical models and their results to technical and non-technical audiences
Students can also pursue a dual degree in business analytics and computer information systems (CIS).
Business analytics involves forecasting solutions based on the information you have. These skills are in high demand across a wide range of industries and disciplines including management, human resources, finance, marketing, operations and technology. Some careers of interest include: