OHIO’s Online Master of Business Analytics Overview

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Learn more about Ohio University’s Online Master of Business Analytics.

Transcript

Amanda Scaperotta:
Hi, thanks for listening to our Online Master of Business Analytics program overview.
Amanda Scaperotta:
Today, we’re going to cover our program overview, those details about the Online Master of Business Analytics program, and talk about the admission requirements, go over some general questions and provide those answers, and also today on the line, you have myself, Amanda Scapperotta, program specialist, and the director of the program, Dr. Bill young.
Amanda Scaperotta:
We’re going to jump right in to the program overview details and highlights regarding the master of business analytics program with Dr. Bill young. Before I pass this on to Dr. Young, who is the director of the Online Master of Business Analytics program, I wanted to go over the benefits and the highlights of the program. Throughout the program, you’ll be learning about practical applications for analytics within the workplace, you’ll gain greater insight into how data can impact your strategic decision making skills, and you’ll become more familiar with the information systems being used by major corporations today. Dr. Young is an award winning mechanical and systems engineer. He’s a published scholar who leads research focused on descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics. He has developed and deployed a variety of statistical application and machine learning based methodologies. He also designed this program for working professionals and throughout the program, you’ll be able to enhance your ability to use data for achieving organizational success.
Dr. Bill Young:
Definitely want to take a minute or two and talk about our curriculum because I’m really proud of the way our curriculum has been designed. So let’s take a broad overview. Our program is a 30 credit hour program that could be finished in five semesters, or 20 months, and it consists of 11 courses. And like I mentioned earlier, when we take you through the program, we assume that maybe you haven’t had courses for a while. Maybe analytics is something that is intimidating to you. Maybe you had some experiences in college with probability and statistics that don’t necessarily bring back great memories, but we really focus on what’s applicable to analytics, what’s applicable to the problems that you’ll be solving in business, and we don’t really get caught up too much in all the mathematical jargon and things of that nature, which will hinder your ability to actually apply analytics later.
Dr. Bill Young:
So let me take you through kind of the journey, if you will, with our curriculum. Gardner defines analytics in three main pillars, descriptive analytics, predictive, and prescriptive. So a lot of my discussion right now is going to be centered around those pillars of analytics. Descriptive analytics is where we start. And that is of course, where we get you familiar with an Excel environment to do descriptive analytics, which includes summarizing data, building dashboards and some probability and statistics that will be used later in courses like predictive analytics. So in a nutshell, descriptive analytics is all about looking at historic data that we’ve collected and just summarizing it through visual charts or tables.
Dr. Bill Young:
When we move into predictive analytics, we’re really talking about using that historic data that we have captured in trying to forecast the future. That future can be very short term or very not so far in the future, or it could be several maybe years out really depends on the business scenario, but it’s all about making forecasts. What will the market look like? What is our operations look like? What is the demand for this product look like in the future? If we assume the future, the near future, looks like the past. When we come to, I’m going to skip a couple and talk about prescriptive analytics and then talk about how all the other courses support this paradigm.
Dr. Bill Young:
Prescriptive analytics is just like a prescription that your doctor would order for you and assign to you. Prescriptive analytics is all about here’s the mathematical algorithm doing its work and saying, this is the best decision you can make under these assumptions of about your business, which you know those assumptions and you know very well how your business operates, under these assumptions, this is the best we can do. And that’s kind of like a prescription that you would take for health and things of that nature. So prescriptive analytics is really the highest order of analytics because it directly relates to that business decision.
Dr. Bill Young:
So what about these other courses? Well, for example, business intelligence, we offer two courses in business intelligence and those courses are centered around really managing data. So when you think about all the sources of data that we have, that could be locked up into spreadsheets or better yet locked up into many different data bases or through a systems like CRM and things of that nature or ERP. So many different sources of data, how do you manage that? Because ultimately we want to be able to analyze that data in a manner that we can make better business decisions. So that information needs to be wrangled, if you will, you might have heard that term if you’re looking into analytics. So just basically means managing it.
Dr. Bill Young:
So BI, business intelligence, is definitely an environment, the course, the series that will help you manage that data so you can do the analysis and don’t get me wrong, you’ll do an analysis of that data in those courses as well. Then when we talk about programming for analytics, that’s a really popular course right now because things like Python, programming language like Python are really essential. And we’ll talk about the software in a little bit, but automation or it could be a multitude things that you want to automate in analytics, but when it comes down to it, mathematical algorithms have sort of a set design to that and really to get the best accuracy, a lot of experimentation usually needs to be conducted. So why not use and leverage a programming language to really take in the power of computers and automate that exploration of those models.
Dr. Bill Young:
But it’s certainly not limited just to the automation of those predictive and prescriptive models. It could also be we have a model that we would like to put in place in our organization, maybe capturing data from a CRM or a certain database that’s out there, and how do we actually automate this to where we can have users interact with it, maybe internally to our organization or externally to our organization? So all those tasks center around programming and furthermore, we have classes in strategic use of information systems, which relate to how organizations are using those systems today to drive those business decisions. And we also have strategic use of analytics. And that is another interesting course in my opinion, because it talks a little bit about how to, and dare I say, strategically use, business analytics, and that can really encompass a multitude of topics, for example, ethical use of analytics.
Dr. Bill Young:
So we’re driving decisions in business and maybe it’s healthcare related, maybe it’s insurance, maybe it’s banking, what are some sort of ethical guidelines or case studies that we might have had in the past that we can learn from and make better decisions? Because ultimately we’re designing algorithms and designing the systems in place to make decisions. So we have to have a good solid foundation of ethics, and the course is not all just ethics by the way, but there is a focus of ethical use of information in that class. And then we have another class that’s really coupled together, the applied business experience and the analytical practicum, those courses are taken together. And essentially based on our MBA program or master’s of business administration program, you’ll be joining teams from our MBA program and you’ll be representing the analytical capabilities of your team.
Dr. Bill Young:
So it’s one of the only courses that we offer team-based work. Most all other courses are completed individually. And we’ll talk about the structure of those courses in a little bit, but this one you’ll be doing some analysis and presenting your analysis alongside a simulated business experience. So the environment is simulated through a computer situation and you’ll be competing against teams and you’ll be driving some analysis that might change the strategy of your team. So it’s a really cool environment because this directly reflects to what will be asked of you later. You are going to be the one that does the analysis and how do you convey those results in a meaningful way to actually augment decision making.
Dr. Bill Young:
I mentioned the importance of leadership and strategy earlier in the benefits of the MBA program. And as I mentioned, leadership and development program is one of our distinguishing factors amongst the programs you might be looking at. And the leadership and development program is really going to be really a nice event, I will say, for you to come to. It’s a two day event that’s held on our Athens campus. And it’s a great time that you can meet fellow students in the program, students from other cohorts, and of course your faculty and the staff that you work with. So it’s a really nice environment. I’m really happy to say that I constantly hear from our students who might’ve been a little bit hesitant about coming to Athens and coming to the leadership development program, but I am always really happy with the feedback that we get related to this program and to our program to be quite honest.
Dr. Bill Young:
So anyway, what do you get out of this program? Well, again, if you’re one of those two student demographics that I mentioned earlier, if you’re the student coming out of a bachelor’s program that wants to kind of change their focus or supplement their focus that they studied in an undergraduate environment, it’s great because you’ll be thrusted into that role of analytics and having leadership skills and having sort of a leadership awareness of how you need to lead yourself, how to you lead others, and what are the things that you can do along the way to help you navigate your career is really important to have that early experience. And again, if you’re a student that has several years of experience, that’s great too, because you’ll most likely be asked to lead your company through an analytical revolution when it comes down to it.
Dr. Bill Young:
And that revolution might start out small and mentoring a small number of employees, but it could exponentially sort of elevate to a level that you have several teams, even perhaps. So the leadership development program really augments all those kinds of activities that you’re going to be asked to do later in your career. So it’s a really a great environment, really. We hear from guest speakers across the nation when it comes to specific issues about just current events and leadership or stories about leadership and some of our guest speakers journey through their career. Again, how to lead others and how to lead yourself, how to know more about what leadership is all about and key things that you can really focus on to navigate your career. So it’s a really great environment, I’m really happy to say, and you’ll have that experience. You’ll have a great experience here with the leadership development program.
Dr. Bill Young:
I definitely want to take a few minutes and talk about the software that we feature in our courses, because it’s one of the questions I always get from perspective students. And I think primarily the reason why is because they’re asked if they know the software capabilities or they’re asked to learn them, they might not know necessarily what their capabilities actually are just yet, or the capabilities of analytics in general, or the differences between descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics or something of that nature. But they’ve heard of these software titles. So wanted to give you an overview of what you could expect. And I will also say that our courses, we refresh, we redesign these courses often to really make the environment that is best for you. So for example, if you look at the first block of classes, descriptive analytics is the first one, predictive analytics, and prescriptive analytics.
Dr. Bill Young:
We focus on an Excel environment and add on like Frontline Solver for Excel. And the reason we do that is because you’re going to have these courses at the very first part of your program. And we want to get you in an environment that you can start seeing the return on your investment when it comes to analytics. You can take the skills that you’re learning directly from this course and really start to use that immediately. So that’s one of the great things about me personally teaching this course is that I hear from my students all the time I’m the Excel guru or master or Ninja even I hear sometimes about Excel and I’m sharing my knowledge and doing all this analysis for my company that used to take hours and hours or days to do. Now, I really created an environment that really can expedite that time.
Dr. Bill Young:
Then when we get to more sophisticated classes in terms of the analytic spectrum, like predictive, for example, we do use an added to Excel, and you might be wondering, well, why do we focus on Excel? We want to get you in a platform and environment that you can build your confidence and build your understanding of the paradigm of analytics, put those skills to use, and then slowly, and at the right time, sort of merge into other more capable software titles. For example, predictive analytics too, is a great environment that you’re coming out of predictive analytics one class where you might’ve had Excel or some add ins to build predictive models in Excel, but then you know those models, you know the foundation that would be required of that predictive analytics, so why not take that time and learn a little bit about R or maybe Python in terms of a predictive environment.
Dr. Bill Young:
So this list, again, is just representative of the classes today, as we record this video. So we’re making changes all the time, and these are the programming languages and software titles that are really popular and in use today. So another example might be programming, already mentioned that that’s our Python based course. Even if you go into, let’s say a predictive two, learning Python, you’ll learn it in more of an applied manner where it’s like how to import a library or some sort of package where you’re leveraging sort of a low level programming environment to do analysis, but then it’s augmented by or supplemented by some other tools maybe inside of or outside of Excel, and then you get to a part that you really need to know the fundamentals of programming outside of just a sort of a plug and chug environment, maybe.
Dr. Bill Young:
And dare I say that predictive analytics, you really need to know the background of programming, and we’ll assume just like we assume you really don’t remember probability and statistics, or it’s been a while since you’ve had it, we kind of assume you know nothing about programming coming in and we assume you know nothing by the way of the probability and stats that often is worrisome to our perspective students. I can say this, with any class, if you have the right work ethic and motivation to learn analytics, you will be successful. So programming is another one of those environments where we’ll walk you through at the right amount of pace, at the right amount of time, to where you have a much more solid foundation of leveraging programming language, such as Python in that course.
Dr. Bill Young:
And then the BI courses, BI one and two, we’ll get into a Microsoft SQL server environment, Visual Studios environment, and learn how to manage that data that I was discussing earlier, because if you could manage data, then you can start doing the descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive forms of analytics. And with that being said, there’s also some other courses, not on this list that we do leverage, Tableau and a few other software capabilities like SPSS, for example, in our strategic use of analytics. So as you can see, we cover a variety of software That’s really catered towards setting you up for success from day one and when we complete the program together at the end, you’ve really had an exposure of these software titles that are really demanded for in business today.
Dr. Bill Young:
Another question I get quite often is what kind of computer would I need in terms of completing the program? And I can’t stress high enough that a PC environment is going to provide the best experience possible for this course. But with that being said, I will say Mac is okay, it’s just that analytics and analytics software in particular are really designed mostly for a PC environment. And even though you can get a Mac to work with the software we use, sometimes it’s not as seamless. So if you’re sort of on the market wanting to buy a computer, I would heavily encourage you to buy a PC. But again, with that sort of asterisk, that a Mac will work, you just might have to go through extra hoops of installing a VMware sort of environment, where you’re installing Windows on your Mac, and then later installing the software specifically that you need on your Mac to emulate that Windows environment.
Dr. Bill Young:
So it is possible, don’t get me wrong. So if you have a Mac and you don’t want to invest in a new computer, you will be okay. Might not be the best experience, but after a while, there’s a learning curve associated with how to get a Mac up and running in an analytical environment. You’ll be fine. So if you’re in the market for a new computer, I would really focus on buying a computer. So when it comes to analytics, the more powerful the computer, the better. So what would I recommend in terms of very minimum? I would look for a machine that has Windows 10 on it for sure, at least Windows 7, at least eight gigs of RAM. But if you can get a deal on more Ram, that’s going to be good.
Dr. Bill Young:
If you can get a deal on a solid state hard drive versus a mechanical hard drive, that’s going to be better, but neither one of those hard drive decisions are really going to matter that much. RAM is of course important, like I mentioned earlier, the more, the better, but eight gigs should be fine for all the type of analysis that you’re going to be working on. So internet is going to be really quintessential for a online program, of course. So if you can get a faster internet or even if you start the first week or you start the program with the current package that you have, that’s great, check it out, see how it works. If you get into a Adobe Connect environment and see how that session runs, see how, in week one, the video stream or download for you.
Dr. Bill Young:
And then hopefully you have some sort of, hopefully you don’t have any problems, but if you do, you can always bump up your package. But we don’t hear a lot of complaints or a lot of situations where students have internet problems, like maybe 10 years ago or so. So that’s really not a concern. As far as software goes, you’ll be starting in an environment that uses Microsoft Office and we provide, since you’re a OU student at that time, we provide you with that software for free. So there’s a way you can download Office 365 and have that. So you’d be good for the first class. And then the software that we use later usually we have academic licenses with these companies to use the software. So really the cost, the extra costs associated with our program is very minimal because quite frankly, a lot of our courses don’t have required course textbooks.
Dr. Bill Young:
Some do. So I definitely want to say that some do. Some have a subscription services with other sites that have case study articles and things of that nature, but a lot of classes, I can name at least five off the top of my head, descriptive analytics, predictive, predictive two, prescriptive, BI, BI two, those courses right now currently don’t offer books. So my recommendation would be as put that extra money that you think you might be spending for books and put it into your computer requirements if you’re buying a computer, and if you’re not buying a computer, and even if you are buying a computer, I would heavily recommend a second monitor. So as you’re watching the videos and you’re trying to complete the activity, you want your activity sort of on one screen while you watch the video on the other, it’s really going to make your life more pleasant in an online setting. So those are two recommendations that I have for you. Of course, you can always reach out and ask your enrollment advisor if you have any more questions related to your computer setup.
Amanda Scaperotta:
I wanted to talk about our accreditation here at Ohio University. Our College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which recognizes the best business schools on a global scale. Our College of Business was one of the earliest accredited schools, and we’ve maintained our AACSB accreditation for over 70 years now. We wanted to go over the tuition and scholarships offered here at Ohio University for the Online Master of Business Analytics program. As you can see on this screen, in state tuition, which would be if you reside in the state of Ohio, it’s $1,175 per credit hour. And if you reside out of the state of Ohio, the cost per credit hour is $1,194 for the Online Master of Business Analytics program. The total for the tuition is also displayed on the screen. We also have scholarships available for alumni of the university, student veterans, members of the active or retired military as well, and we offer scholarships for our corporate partnerships.
Amanda Scaperotta:
To give you guys a little bit more information, if you qualify for one of these, for this scholarship, it would be $5,000 towards the Online Master of Business Analytics program. We wanted to stress online doesn’t mean out of touch when you’re taking an online class at Ohio University. You’ll have the opportunity to connect with classmates in your program, network with students enrolled in other online business programs, along with alumni and faculty. Many students find that they get to know each other within the program and form text or email groups outside of the Blackboard system. At Ohio, we are student centered. Students receive high touch support from our faculty who are experts within their fields of study. Our online students are not an afterthought. Our online students are part of our student body here at Ohio University.
Amanda Scaperotta:
The Online Master Business Analytics program was designed for working professionals. Coursework and assignments are posted online for you to self study at your pace. And this program was designed to be flexible by Dr. Bill young, to fit your lifestyle. Students can take one class at a time and classes are in seven week increments allowing you to take up to two classes per term. And if you’re wondering what a successful online student looks like, you need to be self motivated, have very effective time management skills, create a good working environment for yourself so that you can complete your assignments and have time to study as well, and never be afraid to ask questions at all.
Amanda Scaperotta:
I’m going to go over some general questions that we get quite frequently in the admission requirements for the program. There is no GMAT or GRE scores required for admission and acceptance into our Online Master Business Analytics program. You will need to provide your current and updated resume, three letters of recommendation, and fill out our online application. And there is a $50 application fee associated with that online application. We’ll also need your official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. If you do have any additional questions or need help throughout the admissions and application process, that’s what our enrollment advisors are here to help you through.
Amanda Scaperotta:
So on the next slide, I’ll provide the email address and phone number to get in contact with one of our enrollment advisors to help you with this process. Thank you for listening to our webinar today. Just wanted to mention that we have three starts per year for this program. That’s spring, summer, and fall. Go ahead and get in contact with one of our enrollment advisors by calling the number you see on the screen or emailing the email address you see on the screen. Thank you.