There’s a new global commodity on the block, and it’s here to stay. In the 21st century there’s no escaping it, as every click, search, like, or comment contributes to the daily data drive. Data is the new oil, and any modern-day MBA student worth their weight in gold will sit up and take note.
It’s not just the global behemoths Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Google, and Netflix that rely on data to grow and thrive in today’s modern market. Any company today needs employees who understand how sophisticated data and analytics tools are the difference between success and contemplating what could have been.
“It’s difficult to believe that MBA students can get away without having a minimum understanding [of analytics and big data],” says Dolores Romero Morales, who teaches the Analytics & Big Data course on the Copenhagen Business School MBA.
She always starts her class on The Copenhagen MBA by telling students it’s not an excuse to say, ‘this isn’t going to be my job’. You may not be developing the actual tools, she explains, but you will need to sit together with peers to discuss how to implement them into your organization to drive growth.
“I think that message has been understood by the MBA population some time ago.”
There is “quite a market” in Denmark for people who want to develop companies who act as data analytics consultants for existing organizations. “There is a need for more SMEs that can help companies better understand their data,” explains Dolores (pictured).
This taps into one of the latest analytics and big data trends. Although the idea of data tools has been around for a while, there is now a canyon of data from which information can be gleaned. Knowing how to select the important information and discard of the rest is a key skill.
Dolores explains that the complexity of the data we are dealing with is another trend she is looking into on the Analytics & Big Data course—she teaches her students the importance of deciphering the legitimacy of multiple sources of data.
“People talk of interpretability, as well as the comprehensibility of the models that we build to understand more about the data, but also the effort that the field is doing to try and make these models more intuitive.”
Hands on teaching
On the Analytics & Big Data course at Copenhagen Business School students are taught about data science research, data optimization, modelling, risk analysis, and data decision analysis.
“It’s a pretty hands on course,” Dolores asserts. “I let them use the tools and then interpret the outcome. I put a lot of stress on interpretation and creating a language they can use and understand.”
But this is just the beginning of the data revolution. As the tools grow in sophistication and the sets become ever larger, the skills MBAs need to decipher and interpret data will grow in importance.
“I think we are actually at the beginning of a very long path of trying to make our organizations more data driven,” Dolores says.
“Making organizations more data driven, and company decisions more based on data, is where the next big challenge is going to be.”