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Navigating the World of Big Data

Big data has quickly become the new buzz word of the 21st Century. Especially as all sorts of businesses begin to realize the immense value of data, the demand for data analysts or data engineers grows by the day.

Data roles today are no longer limited to statistics and the workings of basic computer science, it’s now evolved into a new business role where talents must have the skills beyond simply utilizing automated processes. This means that those roles have now evolved to add value to companies that need to assess their data to support business decision making and identify optimum business solutions.

In reaction to this commercialization of big data and its manpower demand, the HKUST Business School has rolled out a one-year full-time or two-year part-time Master of Science degree program in Business Analytics (MSBA).

“MSBA graduates leave with much more than the typical technical skills to execute data analytics, but also with developed data-analytic thinking, business acumen, and communication skills to take on front office roles and take part in the process of leveraging data for adding value to their firm or clients,” Prof. Lancelot James, Chair Professor and MSBA Academic Director said.

Taught by world-class faculty from around the world, the program boasts a cutting-edge curriculum that provides students with a solid knowledge of business analytics by bringing together a wide range of knowledge in Applied Statistics, Modelling, Optimization, and Information Management.

As a result, students who leave the program are well equipped with data analytic skills that optimize business performance and allow them to apply real business problems in areas such as consulting, finance, management, and marketing.

Indeed, data specialists with relevant formal business training have shown to play a significant role in the consulting industry in recent years. As such, the program has stepped up in introducing analytics consulting and management courses to the curriculum in response to this growing demand in the industry.

As a further result, graduates of the program are competent in integrating cross-disciplinary knowledge with analytics to manage complex data structures in a business environment, analyze real business problems, and play leading roles in successful business strategy execution using analytics.

In this way, students are able to step into the workplace with the skills and knowledge to use data to achieve competitiveness and further aspire to be a team leader. Furthermore, they are able to see the value of understanding data within a business mindset as a key takeaway of the program.

“I acquired several hard-core skills in data analytics and modeling. Most importantly, I learned how to break down and synthesize problems in different scenarios which has benefitted me in my career journey in management consulting,” Joyce Wu, a graduate from the 2017 cohort, who now works at McKinsey & Company, Hong Kong as an Assistant Manager, said.

To further help graduates navigate a real-world environment, the MSBA program is famed for providing plenty of opportunities and platforms for students to network with industry practitioners and senior management to get insight and seek out career opportunities.

The popular MSBA Enrichment Workshops have seen experts from all sorts of industries share their learnings through talks, seminars, faculty symposiums, company visits and networking events.

Some of the more recent events include an enrichment workshop by Benjamin Chow, Head of Analytics for Asia for Real Capital Analytics, who talked about how data analytics is transforming the real estate industry. Students got the opportunity to hear about how data is now driving the real estate markets as well as gained valuable insights into recent capital market trends.

On other fronts, students also got to interact and hear from two Kellogg-HKUST Executive MBA alumni, Khai San Banh and Akihiko Katayama, on their experiences in starting a business analytics advisory firm, Sprint Milestone. They got to hear all about how they used their extensive data analytics experiences in banking combined with automation, analytics and AI solutions to provide insights to their clients. The alumni sharing has now also turned into a meaningful collaboration of a programming workshop from Sprint Milestone. Students of the workshop will get the chance to continually interact with the senior executives and find out how they can execute programming skills and apply them to real business cases.

Turning to the highly profitable world of gaming, the program invited Andrew Pearson, Founder and Managing Director of Intelligencia Limited, to deliver a powerful and insightful talk into how gaming executives can utilize AI to help fine-tune campaigns and gain market segments while optimizing their overall operations.

On top of these enrichment opportunities, on-site visits and tours are also regularly arranged allowing students to experience all kinds of outside class activities that help them to gain a better understanding of the industry landscape in person. According to MSBA Alumna Mora Lin, these visits allowed her to understand how data can be applied across different industries.

“It allowed us to think about our career prospects,” she said. “Most graduates become business analysts, data scientists and many go into consulting.”

But ultimately, “whichever career path students choose to take, it’s the exposure to a breadth of real-world problems and gaining the insight into how to tackle these issues that will give students a leg up”, said Prof. Lancelot.

And if that’s not enough, students will also receive incredible support to help spearhead their career paths in a digital era. Support will come through the program’s career services, which offers workshops, career fairs, career treks, 1-on-1 coaching, resume polishing, and even job postings & weekly career newsletters.

“All these together is what makes the MSBA program an enduring go-to place for students, where a world-class program can help equip students with the business acumen to navigate a corporate environment fostering them to become future decision makers,” Prof. Lancelot said.

The HKUST MSBA program is acclaimed globally, join the program and prepare yourself to play a leading role in executing successful business strategies using analytics! To jump on board, submit your application NOW at LINK.