Business professionals with a proficiency in business analytics are in short supply. According to a widely cited report by McKinsey and Co., by 2018 the United States 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.” The Center for Applied Business Analytics (CABA) was established in June of 2015 to build capacity in the field of business analytics across the Moore School and the University of South Carolina.
Mission and Key Goals
The mission of the CABA is to enhance business analytics teaching and research. A key goal is to provide our students with opportunities to better understand how to transform data into meaningful decisions through the use of analytics. The CABA plays a major supportive role in the Moore School’s business analytics curriculum, providing expertise in analytically rigorous methods. CABA also works with local and state business partners to bring in real-world data sets that can be used in teaching and research. By training our students how to make data-driven decisions using real company data, we better prepare our students to serve the needs of employers (state, regional and national).
Analytics Programs and Projects
The Moore School has offered a Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics beginning the fall of 2014 and recently approved a new undergraduate concentration in Business Analytics, which became available in the fall of 2015. By taking these program tracks, students are able to combine solid business skills with an understanding of analytics, a skill set that many employees are looking for.
CABA completed its first faculty-led student project in fall of 2015. The Benefitfocus Data Science team partnered with the center to analyze a data set of 260,000 anonymized records in an effort to understand the aggregate individual (e.g. age, gender) and contextual factors (e.g. premium differences, industry) that may explain employees’ likelihood of selecting a High Deductible Health Plan. The Moore School team included three students and two faculty members. At the end of the semester, the USC team visited Benefitfocus headquarters in Charleston, where the students presented the results of the project to company leadership.