Is your ad campaign really effective in attracting new customers? What would be the impact if your organization were to offer a new service? Does it make sense for your firm to partner with another group?
Answering these and many other business questions requires a closer look at the data. And for young professionals who want to know how to apply data-based tools to any type of management issue, the Rotman School of Management’s new Master of Management Analytics (MMA) program is a smart place to start.
This nine-month program, welcoming its first class in August 2018, will give aspiring analysts a solid foundation in the uses of data to solve business problems.
“Today, every business decision is made based on numbers and evidence. To be competitive and relevant in the industry, you need to have the technical knowledge, business awareness and communication skills to support management.”
-Dmitry Krass, Professor of Operations Management and Statistics and Academic Director, MMA program
For Dmitry Krass, professor of Operations Management and Statistics and academic director of the MMA program, the goal is to fulfill a crucial industry demand.
“It’s hard to find a business area that doesn’t have a need for data-based analytics,” says Krass. “The exponential growth of data available through personal devices and web-based interfaces, combined with the increased ability to store and manage big data, provides major opportunities for companies to better market and manage their product.”
Master quantitative analysis and becoming better communicators
When Krass began meeting with dozens of industry leaders — including vice presidents at large banks, directors at small agencies and managers at hospitals — to develop the business case for the new data-focused graduate program, common themes emerged.
“Today, every business decision is made based on numbers and evidence,” Krass adds. “To be competitive and relevant in the industry, you need to have the technical knowledge, business awareness and communication skills to support management.”
“Our students will graduate with the confidence, communication skills and industry experience to take on any business challenge and offer real solutions.”
- Susan Christoffersen, Vice-Dean of Undergraduate and Specialized Programs.
With these key points in mind, the MMA faculty leads designed a program that would give graduates a competitive advantage in the job market.
Students will be using a range of tools, including Python, SAS, SQL, R and Excel. And they’ll be supported and encouraged to write professional certification exams while completing classes.
To acquire industry experience during the program, MMA students will be assigned a capstone project, where they will be paired with an organization to solve a real management issue. They’ll have access to real data sets and, with guidance from faculty, have the opportunity to analyze and present solutions to industry partners.
These students will also be completing sessions and receiving individualized support from the Self-Development Lab, a resource at Rotman aimed at helping students improve their communications and interpersonal skills.
“We’ll be selecting some of the most talented applicants for this inaugural class,” explains Susan Christoffersen, vice-dean of undergraduate and specialized programs.
“This program is about putting it all together. Our students will graduate with the confidence, communication skills and industry experience to take on any business challenge and offer real solutions.”
Beyond the Classroom
The benefits of this new MMA program extend beyond the classroom.
When it comes time to search for jobs, students will enjoy one-on-one support with resume and interview preparation from a career coach. They will also benefit from online career resources and professional development workshops.
As with every Rotman class, incoming students can also expect to make a group of new friends and walk away with some memories.
“Through classes, group work and extracurricular activities, our students inevitably form a community,” says Fiona Duley, assistant director of recruitment and admissions for the MMA program.
Duley, who has worked with the professional MBA and specialized finance programs at the School, has seen students make industry connections and find mentors through networking events and activities, time and again.
“Many new life-long friendships and careers begin here,” she adds.
Helping launch new careers is what Krass is most excited about. Recently, he has caught up with former MBA students who have taken his predictive analysis course.
“For those who’ve pursued analytics, it’s been interesting to trace their career trajectories to see where they’ve ended up,” he says. “I’m looking forward to seeing where our MMA students will go. The sky’s the limit.”
Are you a current university student or new graduate interested in the MMA program at Rotman? Learn more about our upcoming Master of Management Analytics Datathon (November 3-4, 2017).
Written by Rebecca Cheung