The Making of a Successful Analytics Master Degree Program: Experiences and Lessons From an Asian University

The Making of a Successful Analytics Master Degree Program: Experiences and Lessons From an Asian University

Michelle LF Cheong (Singapore Management University, Singapore, Singapore)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/IJBIR.2017070101

Abstract

Singapore Management University's School of Information Systems is a young school within a young and small university in Asia. Being young and small, establishing a successful analytics master degree program required extensive landscape research, assessment of its own strengths and weaknesses, having a committed team, and having a clear vision to meet the ever-changing needs of the industry. The Master of IT in Business (Analytics) program, established since 2011, has grown from an annual intake of 16 to 128 students in six years. This article attempts to describe the design process, challenges faced, decisions made, and the key actions taken, which resulted in an extremely successful analytics master program. The experiences and lessons drawn can become valuable references for other universities who are also planning to launch analytics master degree programs. The article also summarizes the 11 key takeaways which can be used as a strategic guideline.
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Literature Review

The rise of data science is briefly described in a Forbes article published in 2013 (Press, 2013), which traces the timeline for the evolution of the term “Data Science” and its use, by listing the major publications, activities and conferences from 1962 to 2012.

By 2009, the world has reached a technological maturity level in terms of the critical mass of people with social network accounts, and the exponential rise in the use of mobile devices to support every other aspect of our lives. Massive amounts of data are created every second, and data analytics has become the next big thing which cannot be ignored. McKinsey has predicted that “By 2018, the US alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions” (McKinsey, 2011). It represents an unprecedented need and opportunity for universities around the world to start to offer bachelor and master degree programs to train data analytics professionals.

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