Big data is perhaps the buzzword of 21st century tech. Big data is predicted to become the base of business competition in the future as machines have access to ever more data, and algorithms replace human decision-making.
At the same time, the US alone faces a shortage of up to 190,000 people with expert data analytics skills, as well as 1.5 million data-savvy managers and analysts, according to a McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report. The demand for professionals with big data analytics skills is clear.
With this in mind, the UK’s Nottingham Trent University has incorporated a Practical Machine Learning Methods for Data Mining course, into its Online MBA with Data Analytics, to offer MBA students real insight into the world of big data.
Digitalization across industries encourages huge data capture and understanding how to analyze this information is vital to success, but there are still various issues holding back progress. The US healthcare industry, for example, was predicted in 2011 to be able to create $300 billion in value every year if the sector could use big data creatively. In 2016 however, MGI found that only 10-to-20% of the opportunities had been realized. A lack of talent, process and organizational change, incentives and regulations were blamed for the slow development.
This is precisely the kind of area that NTU is focusing on. As part of their machine learning specialized module, students are taught how to interpret diverse diagnostic information stored by hospital systems and biometric data to help inform patient care and drug development.
MGI also found similar issues to those affecting healthcare in the US are affecting the public sector in Europe. The EU public sector was identified as an institution that could use data analytics to make government more efficient and reduce fraud, potentially saving €250 billion, but again it had failed to adapt to the new technology. Manufacturing only achieved 20-to-30% of the potential growth estimated in 2011.
NTU’s high-tech specializations, combined with the more holistic business education offered by the Online MBA curriculum, provide NTU grads with the exact skillset to face the barriers slowing the uptake of opportunities offered by big data.
And the top companies are leading the charge for this talent. Companies such as Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, GE and Alibaba, have amassed huge value on the back of their data analytics, processes and strategies.
Whereas in previous decades, factories and production lines defined who the titans of business were, now it’s the uptake of digital platforms, data, and analytical talent that sets companies apart.
Courses like Nottingham Trent University’s Online MBA with Data Analytics have never been so relevant. And with the demand for these skills outstripping supply, they’re only going to increase in value.