Scope of MBA in Business Analytics – IIM Kashipur

Analytics is a booming field right now and there is a heavy demand for analytics professionals. An MBA in Business Analytics will give you an overall understanding of how the analytics industry works as well as what role you would be required to perform. You may want to tap into this challenging and demanding field if you have an analytical mindset or an interest in statistics. The multidisciplinary MBA in Business Analytics covers technical, corporate, management, leadership, and communication training as well as business-analytical qualifications.

The MBA (Analytics) program at IIM Kashipur is a two-year full-time residential program which aims to prepare managers and future leaders who will shape the increasingly technology-oriented and data-driven world. It focuses on grooming its students to acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes for leadership profiles so that they can seamlessly navigate the ever-changing business landscape. The primary objective of the institute is to nurture the students through a balanced mix of academics, industry exposure and co-curricular activities. Here is an overview of why and what all parameters one must consider before giving a thought of pursuing MBA in Analytics.

What to Learn?

An MBA trains business leader, including managers, and your primary area of education in business and management. Your MBA program, including “hard” and “soft” business skills, gives you a strong understanding of business fundamentals. This is taught in a fixed sequence of necessary courses or “core courses.” Some of the classes you may encounter as part of your MBA core include:

· Accounting

· Finance

· Marketing

· Ethics

· Operations

· Macroeconomics

· International Business

· Microeconomics

· Human Resources

· Leadership

Your concentration on business analytics will delve into specific business analytics and data expertise and also teach you to understand business issues via a data-driven lens. The most advanced business analysis tools, case studies, and projects, including real-world data, allow you to practice practically. Some of the classes you may see offered as part of a business analytics MBA concentration include:

· Spreadsheet Modelling

· Accounting Analytics

· Marketing Analytics

· Financial Analytics

· Business Statistics

· Applied Regression

· Principles of Management Science

· Data Mining

· Forecasting and Modelling

· Business Computing

Data science vs Business Analytics are separate disciplines, which are quite often  used interchangeably. A layman may not be so concerned with this interchangeability, but professionals have to use the words appropriately, since they have a broad and immediate effect on the company.

Is Business Analytics and Data Science the same?

A Business Analyst’s job includes researching and extracting useful information to clarify business performance (present and future) from data sources. The correct plan to develop the organization is often decided by a Business Analyst. Whereas, Data scientists gather, analyze, and interpret broad data sets and use their analytical, mathematical, and programming skills to decipher valuable insights for solving difficult business problems. The three major factors that differentiate business analysts from data scientists are overall responsibilities, skill sets, and user interaction.

  • Overall responsibilities: The functional requirements that inform IT system design is provided by business analysts. On the other hand data scientists derive significance from the data generated and processed by such systems. Data scientists may also simplify the activities of the company analyst and be able to provide some of the market insights. Taking monetary benefits into consideration business analysts are slightly paid more than data analysts.
  • Skill Sets: Business analysts need data science expertise as well as skills related to communication, critical thinking, negotiation, and management. Whereas, data analysts need similar skills with a more in-depth emphasis on technological data manipulation.
  • User interaction: Business analysts also have more direct contact with system users, clients, system developers, and others as project facilitators and managers than data analysts do. That’s because market analysts will also interview individuals and learn more about how to enhance technology to help business processes. During the course of a single project, they work collaboratively with others. While data analysts can initially collaborate to define important data sets with internal subject matter experts, the majority of their work is performed independently.

Considering business analytics and data science domain, the former attracts the target base more owing to its business coherence and state of the art application-related job role. Apart from these there are few more benefits of pursuing business analytics which are as follows:

  • More informed decision making: Business analytics can be a valuable resource when approaching a substantial strategic decision. For example, when the company needs to analyze its product line update, business analytics can be applied to determine whether the updated product has resulted in faster service, more precise recommendations for resolution, and higher scores of customer satisfaction are achieved.
  • Improved operational efficiency: Analytics, beyond financial benefits, can be used to fine-tune company processes. Business analytics can be used to forecast business operations and assist the company by more effectively timing maintenance, enabling it not only to save operating costs, but also to ensure that it maintains assets at optimum levels of performance.

Is Business analytics a good career option?   

As digitization has become a buzz in recent times with technology and data being utilized from local grocery shops to well-sophisticated malls, the demand for business analysts also has increased significantly. Moreover, as per the statistics, for every hour, terabytes of data are generated by 6 billion connected devices. With this increasing demand, there is an insufficient supply of professionals.

From the above-mentioned courses offered by MBA institutes, one can get the knowledge of the following skills: Python, SQL databases, and R, Survey/query software, Business intelligence, and reporting software, Data visualization, Database design, Problem-solving skills, Effective Communication, Creative Thinking and Industry Knowledge. These help them to be the best fit for diversified job roles, which include data analyst, supply chain analyst, big data analyst, business analyst, marketing analyst, finance analyst, HR analyst, etc. The increasing demand for MBAs with analytical skills has made Business Analytics a relatively new and popular specialization in the management domain.

What is a Business Analytics MBA Job Market?

There is a shortfall of 1.5 million analysts, according to a report by the McKinsey World Institute. With an MBA in Business Analytics, you are eligible for a large range of careers, including popular C-suite jobs. This is because MBA graduates are qualified to hold leadership positions in a number of business environments. In all types of businesses, health industry marketing, supply chain management, data-driven decision-making is increasingly in demand. Based on their domain knowledge, skills and work experience, companies typically offer these job roles to candidates. The high demand for professionals with an MBA in Business Analytics is generated by MNCs, retail and manufacturing companies, IT companies, e-commerce companies, consultancies, telecommunications companies and business analytics and intelligence companies. MBAs are hired not only by MNCs but even by startups. As an MBA is primarily a business degree in Business Analytics, you will not be looking at data science work. You’ll be eligible for data-driven positioning instead. You will also have the advantage of competing with a background in analytics for more general positions in business management.

To conclude, the MBA in Business Analytics is an upcoming field of expertise in all sectors of the industry that is gaining increasing traction. The specialization demonstrates a positive and promising outlook, and you can go ahead and begin your MBA journey in Business Analytics for those of you who have long been skeptical about choosing this career path!

Deshmaa RT and Sakshi Poddar

MBA (Analytics) 2020-22

Indian Institute of Management Kashipur

Essential learnings from shift to online education amidst Covid-19

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The business schools have conventionally been staid in their approach to teaching methods — the area in which there have been but few innovative developments for decades. The face-to-face teaching-learning process still dominates despite the advent of online learning. Faculty prefer the face-to-face mode from the viewpoint of convenience in responding to questions from a mass of students, carrying out interactive discussions and explanations, derivations or solving problems on the whiteboard.

However, the change seems to be a constant in education. The paradigm shift in pedagogy to online mode offers one means of making such change due to pandemic. Online teaching is helping us to beat the Covid-19 lockdown and catch up with the academic schedule. Nevertheless, at the same time, I fear that the paradigm shift in pedagogy to online mode may alienate economically disadvantaged students who do not have access to digital classes.

We do have some essential learnings from the online classes.

  1. The online teaching-learning process in business schools is undoubtedly useful. In some ways, such as making (theory and lecture) more structured, promoting self-learning, and prior class preparation among students, reducing spoon-feeding, it is perhaps more effective than the face-to-face mode.
  2. Examinations need not be in sit on-campus mode; open-book take-home exams designed to assess higher-order thinking skills or online exams are more effective, at least at the post-graduate level.
  3. Blended learning as a pedagogy appears superior to the conventional face-to-face teaching-learning process from the student’s perspective, to cater to fast and slow learners equitably.

In general, I believe that the current crisis and the response mechanisms put in place by the institute and other leading business schools will bring about a paradigm shift in pedagogy and that these new teaching-learning processes will be more effective.

Dr. Sunil Kumar Jauhar

Assistant Professor

Operations Management & Decision Sciences

Switching to the virtual mode of learning during the pandemic

Imparting formal education has been traditionally conceived through a single-mode within a close setting. Within this concept, the learning and knowledge are possessed, selected, structured, and transmitted by a teacher to students. This mode does not provide an opportunity for the formation of a dialogue between a teacher and students. Though this mode is rationalized as the finest, the present scenario calls for constructing an alternative virtually based mode.

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Virtual or online mode creates a co-constructed approach in learning and facilitates the development of online learning communities. This approach allows students to engage actively in the discovery of alternative forms of knowledge and denaturalize the assumptions of a subject. This paradigm shift in pedagogy transmutes the usual transmission of knowledge into cooperative learning, assists in neutralizing the power relations between the positions of instructor and student and brings them together and elevates their creative potential.

In the context of higher education, this shift embraces constructivist pedagogy and technology. The philosophical assumption in constructivist pedagogy is the learner constructs a version of reality that is situated in a context of social interactions with other learners and institutions. As the shift promotes collaborative learning and enhances reflexivity, an action extends thought — reflection shaped by the consequences of the action. It allows learners to actively engage one another in ideas and perspectives they hold to be educationally valuable, exhilarating, and stimulating. It is through the design of the online learning environment, with an emphasis on shared educational goals, support, collaboration, and trust that these processes can be most effectively and functionally activated.

Dr. Rahul Ashok Kamble

Assistant Professor

Organizational Behavior & Human Resource

Dealing with the challenges of online mode of learning amidst Covid-19 pandemic

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COVID-19 pandemic has forced global experimentation in many facets of lives. Education can be one of the several arenas that this crisis is going to change. Learning online can be a lot more complicated than simply being acquainted with setting up a Zoom account or Google Classroom. Initially, I had two major instinctive apprehensions for remote teaching that could hold me back during the unprecedented transition from offline to online mode. First, being gripped by the mechanics instead of focusing on the purpose of learning. Second, the greater emphasis on the content alone. This pandemic has added an extra layer of complexity to the anxiety associated with online learning. Learning is more than just a transaction between an expert and a novice. So, as an educator, the major challenge was to overcome the temptation of embracing a narrow view of cognitive learning. Because socio-emotional learning is also crucial especially in situations of crisis when one’s anxiety is likely to be much stronger.

Socio-emotional distress like loneliness or anxiety can wear away our cognitive capability also. Therefore, for effective online learning, a balance of knowledge with a focus on people and emotions is required. A shared and holistic learning process in online mode was subject to other challenges like the digital divide, attention span (multi-tasking that we often do in online mode), low motivation, and novelty of online platforms. Virtual office hours provide that another window of conversation and connection that would have been missed in remote teaching. The crisis has caused some disruptions in the learning process but with some readjustments in online learning, we were able to address students’ disorientation as well as getting on with the curriculum. Online learning might be a short-term response to COVID-19 but it has paved way for a lasting digital transformation of education.

Dr. Preeti Narwal

Assistant Professor (Marketing)

Experiences and learnings from the paradigm shift in pedagogy to online mode

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The onslaught of online teaching-learning practices that entailed the COVID19 outbreak in recent times has outvied the traditional pedagogy of a physical classroom experience both from temporal and spatial contexts. The usual classroom environment has been replaced by a digital space where many of the teaching-learning assumptions are being questioned every day. It has brought new issues, challenges, and opportunities to the omphalos of educational praxis. At best, it has enthroned the learner at the centre and compelled the teacher to negotiate the curriculum through digital intermediaries and applications that were hitherto unknown to both. While the virtual reality has become new normal and opened up avenues for action research, it has once again startled many to the core. Being an abettor of open and distance education since the 1990s, for me, it was a long battle won at last. A battle that we lost innumerable times when our colleagues and fellow educationists vacillated the reliability and validity of teaching, learning and degrees earned through ‘distance mode’. Even after the establishment of an open university almost in every state, the government used to give public notices announcing that degrees obtained through distance education are equally ‘valid’. COVID19 has pushed all those egotisms to the periphery and firmly entrenched the online education system that is going to be the new paradigm for years to come, perhaps much after this pandemic.

While the traditional classroom is seen as a powerful space where the physical presence of the faculty is set as the apotheosis of knowledge, the online classroom has made the field more democratic. I am now au courant of the fact that unless and until I make the content attractive, relevant, and rich, the audience might just occlude me from his/her reality and I would be facing more blank screens (when students’ cameras are off). I can no longer afford to unleash the drudgery of monologues on the students and as such I have to deliver the content from with a design thinking approach where graphics, narratives, and the platform (e.g. Zoom) are all in sync with the theme of my session. The art and the aesthetics of audio-visual contents that were long considered the tinge of the media and journalism experts have now become the existential survival skill for the online faculty. The jury is out and the potential outcome of my delivering classes online over the last few months will perhaps reiterate an apophthegm that I heard from one of my senior colleagues — ‘to teach or not to teach, do whatever you like in class but never bore your students’. That fulmination looms much larger today for any teacher when both the dramaturgy and the stage have gone virtual and if something goes wrong it might even go ‘viral’.

As a researcher, while my field teams are cooling their heels at home, online classes have opened up an enormous space for conducting digital ethnography or Netnographic study from the comforts of our homes. That is an added advantage that would have perhaps remained in the penumbra, had we not been forced into this homebound exile by the pandemic. The Socratic classroom has taken a backseat for now and the flip-class has taken a lead in enriching students’ engagement and active learning at different levels. We are now more conscious of the difficulties, digital divides, affordability, and access issues in connectivity and the differentiated learning preferences of our disciples. That is a new nirvana for me to suspire for.

Dr K M Baharul Islam

Dean (Academics) and Professor (Communications)

Chair, Center of Excellence in Public Policy and Government

Embracing the online mode of learning in the new normal

आत्मानं सततं रक्षेत् (One must save oneself under any circumstances) is a famous quote by Swami Vivekananda. We all in academics did that under the COVID-19 circumstances to save ourselves from stagnancy, by embracing the online mode of teaching and learning.

Interestingly online education, distance mode of education, and learning through correspondence were earlier part of the non-formal education system but today the above mode of teaching and learning is being adopted by the formal education system too. Globally adaptation to the wave of change brought by COVID-19 has become the new normal. How long would this continue, that just depends on the solution scientists would decode to trash the virus! Duration of this new normal may call for change in the definition used for a long, to classify formal and non-formal education. What if the division between both the type of education (formal vs non-formal) based on the mode of teaching and learning, gets blurred! I am thrilled by the idea of more than analyzing its outcomes! Would it be really and only bad? Or there is some good in it as well? The answer lies only in the future.

What is happening at present on the academic front? In my attempt to respond to this I would like to say what the Great Greek Philosopher Cicero, said once, “Summum bonum” which in Latin means the “highest good”. Talking about the present scenario, dealing with the COVID-19 crisis was made possible by technology, by online teaching, was there any better way than this to ensure continuity and overcome stagnancy? Teaching and learning via Zoom (or any online platforms) is the highest good, the thing at this point. Online teaching and learning made possible using the online platforms have the capacity to radically revolutionize the education system, and I presume, it will be for the “highest good” of every stakeholder involved. So I think what has happened in our attempt to adapt and move on is “Good” and what is going to happen in future due to technological development, let’s hope it will also be “Good”.

Dr. Madhurima Deb

Associate Professor (Marketing)