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5 US Business Schools Blazing A Trail In Big Data Analytics

In today’s business world, big data analytics skills have become increasingly important


Mon Nov 27 2017

Opportunity abounds for people who can extract value from Big Data—complex, overwhelming datasets that can offer predicative insights.

Data has become currency unto itself. Now that corporations have your information, they need people to harness and transform that data into something tangible.

Academia has been a particularly fertile petri dish for companies to develop solutions to understanding their vast quantities of data. In the last 10 years, many top American business schools have sought to incorporate Big Data techniques into their curricula, either through MBA specializations or standalone degrees.

Here’s five US business schools blazing a trail in big data analytics:

1. MIT Sloan


 MIT Sloan’s long been a fixture at the data science rodeo and, in many ways, has set the tenor for contemporary data degrees. 

Michelle Li, director of MIT Sloan’s Master of Business Analytics Program, says: “Academic excellence in data science and business...

ics has always been core strengths of MIT Sloan and the MIT Institute more broadly.

“A critical component of MIT Sloan’s education is being able to combine rigorous theory with real-life business problems. From the globally-recognized Operations Research Center to the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory to the Initiative on the Digital Economy—strong communities of thought leaders within Big Data, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence have allowed MIT Sloan to attract the most talented faculty, students, researchers and companies.”

2. Duke Fuqua


Duke Fuqua’s Master in Quantitative Management (MQM) and Management Science and Technology Management certificates are two stellar examples of more recent programs that give graduates the skills to identify insights, explain the business applications effectively, and help put that information into action. 

Senior associate dean Russ Morgan explains:

“We know that every aspect of business is being enhanced by analytics in some way. We are continually in conversations with industry about skills needed in business today [and] we hear again and again from business leadership about the need for people who could not only identify key insights in big data and translate those insights into actionable tactics in a particular business.

“Being able to communicate the insights and the potential impact and actions is a critical piece of being effective in this area.”

3. Wharton


The nature of data science creates a certain distance from the insights the data represents. Whereas many programs foster that detachment, the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative opts for a “Learning by Doing” approach to data, according to Eric Bradlow, Chair of the Marketing Department, Professor of Marketing, and WCAI Co-Director.

“We have been able to utilize these data sets to increase academics’ access to real problems and therefore practical algorithmic solutions to them. We utilize data and the problems of real companies in developing content—online courses, workshops, and datathons—that give our students hands-on experience in analytics.” 

4. UCLA Anderson


UCLA Anderson’s slogan “Think in the Next” is embodied by the school’s Easton Technology Management Center, which equips future business leaders to “understand the power of big data analytics regardless of their concentration or industry.” 

Faculty Director John Blevins explains: “Big data is a powerful tool business leaders must leverage to make informed, insightful and immediate decisions that enable them to rise above their global competition.

“With over 29% of students coming to Anderson from a technology background and over 32% leaving campus with jobs in the technology field, our campus is globally known as the MBA program where business management and technology leadership come together.”

5. Yale


Insights from algorithmic systems have the potential to offer broad perspectives that benefit companies, consumers, and society at large. Yale’s Centre for Customer Insights’ (YCCI) Big Data projects have embraced issues with far-reaching impacts.

Recent projects have involved collaborations with a fintech firm to select and incentivize front-line customer care professionals; IBM to develop a predictive model for anticipating consumer churn rates in the telco industry; and optimizing resource deployment to improve roadway safety for the TN Highway Patrol.

The truth about socio-technical systems is they can only tell us so much unless they are tempered by consumer insights. A human-centric approach to data seems to be one of the cornerstones of YCCI’s ethos as Director and Professor Management and Marketing Ravi Dhar explains:

“What Yale has tried to do is take an approach that integrates the top-down strategic frameworks with bottom-up analysis of the data.

“For example, the data is excellent at looking at consumer footprints in arms of 4W’s: who, where, when and what. But data requires top down consumer insights framework to answer the fifth W: the why. Without the why, it is hard to generalize the learnings to many situations.”

Student Reviews

Duke University Fuqua School of Business




On Campus

Supportive atmosphere

The professors at Duke university exhibit exceptional commitment to the success and well-being of their students by ensuring their academic growth and fostering a supportive social atmosphere. Moreover, the entire community is recognized for its amicability and inclusiveness.




On Campus


The people or the students are without a doubt Duke's greatest asset. While all students are driven to succeed, they are also enthusiastic about a variety of hobbies. You run across a huge lot of diversity. It is the ideal example of a school with well-rounded students and the ideal balance of campus life in a metropolis.




On Campus

Happy to school

All I could ever hope for is Duke University. That really epitomizes the "work hard, play hard" philosophy that elite colleges frequently pursue. Even though you'll have a lot of schooling to complete over the week, it's simple to keep focused because all of your friends are putting in similar amounts of effort. Many events taking place on and around campus on the weekends provide a great way to unwind. The combination of demanding academics and traditional college fun strikes the perfect balance.




On Campus

Good schooling

Living, eating, learning, and developing who you want to be as an adult are all fantastic at Duke. I participated in student athletics, and I couldn't have asked for a better interaction with the faculty and other students. I appreciate all of the help I get from the Duke community more than anything. Furthermore, the teachers take the time to get to know you, and the lectures are diverse and demanding (if you do the same). I'd give it a 10 out of 10.




On Campus

Beautiful School, Nice Classes

DU remains one the greatest and best universities that I have ever stepped in. The school is beautiful and neat. The classes are spacious and also very nice. I enjoyed attending my Lectures in those lecture halls. I also loved the Lecturers because of the good work they did. The university also has very good dorms that are given to students on first come first serve basis and they are affordable





Amazing experience

I received my B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Global Health with a minor in Chemistry from Duke University. I was able to grow as a student, scientist, and global health advocate with the help of my friends, professors, and other mentors I met along the way. A lot to learn if you look and ask, a great place to learn for those who want to learn.





whirlwind of growth and change

An amazing 2 years, with covid and everything else happening Duke has been a place of growth for me. The courses , classes were one of a kind, online and on campus. But the valuable lessons learned in the classes are irreplicable. The students are amazing here, so much diversity , I had no problem fitting in. The teachers are down right brilliant and so helpful. Don't be afraid to ask them anything. Graduated with my MBA with Duke and now my future awaits.




On Campus

One of the best for Business students

Graduated with an MBA. The classes were very insightful and engaging. The staff are very easy to deal with. The teachers and students, are truly amazing people. Grateful to all the people I've met along the way at Duke. I've learnt a great deal that will help me in my future endeavors. The campus itself is a marvel, it is beautiful.




On Campus

The university campus is awesome

I graduated with a masters degree in Religious Studies from Duke University. One thing I really liked about the university is its huge campus. It is spread in a large area with a lot of greenery and also have the facilities of reading rooms for single person also. My department building was very well taken care of. The library is immensely populated with books for all your needs. The faculty is very nice to students. The classes are equipped with latest technology to cater the needs of students. The University also provides room rentals for international students. They are very well maintained and priority is given to the International students for a comfortable stay there. There are weekly events conducted by the University as well as Student clubs for the entertainment of students. Anybody can take part in them and show their talents. I enjoyed my degree and I graduated in 2021 and was very happy that I had graduated from a reputed University.