Business Analytics MBA Track

At the intersection of business and technology, Business Analytics reflects the strengths of the Tepper School. With an operations research and information systems foundation, this MBA Track is relevant to marketing, operations, consulting and other fields that integrate big data principles into business strategies.

Technological advances have impacted our world - and the the business world in particular - in fundamental ways, and the Business Analytics MBA Track is designed to prepare students for careers in this dynamic field. Massive amounts of data are being gathered and stored, from individual medical records to transportation data for large logistics providers. Moreover, ever faster computers and optimization methods have become available to transform this data into information for better decision-making. All this makes it possible to apply advanced analytical methods to business problems that were impossible 10 or 15 years ago.

The over-arching methodology that refers to the skills and technologies to explore past business performance to make better decisions is called Business Analytics, an arena that uses data, statistical and quantitative analysis, predictive modeling, and optimization to make businesses perform better. There has been extensive, popular interest in Business Analytics over the past few years, including popular management books that are likely familiar to students interested in this field, such as Competing on Analytics or Smart (Enough) Systems.

This has translated into significant business interest – IBM, for example, has created a separate consulting area called “Business Analytics and Optimization” that includes more than 4,000 consultants. There are dozens of job listings at Monster.com with “business analytics” in the title, and hundreds more with that term listed as a required job skill. These jobs come from companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Johnson and Johnson, Bank of America, and many other top firms. An additional compelling aspect of this arena is its #7 rank in Gartner’s "Top 10 Strategic Technologies," another indication of the expected importance of Business Analytics in the near future.

Being at the intersection of business and technology, Business Analytics reflects a longstanding, core strength of the Tepper School as well as Carnegie Mellon University. In many ways, it defines our approach to teaching and learning, not just to operations research and information systems, but also with its relevant application to marketing, operations management, consulting and other fields.

The Business Analytics MBA Track is appropriate for those students interested in transforming large amounts of data into better decisions. Possible careers include consulting in data-rich environments, analytical marketing, information technology, and financial data analysis. Applicants to the track should have a strong interest in analytical approaches to management, as shown by aptitude in courses such as Optimization, Probability and Statistics, and Statistical Decision-Making.