History of data analysis is homomorphous with the history of business itself. Business always used data to make decisions but it remained confined to a small size of structured data related to a specific problem area. The advent of computers, computer networks and thereafter Internet, led to proliferation of business data and simultaneous development of tools and technologies for processing them. Since 1990s, with the spread of ERPs in businesses, the accumulating data led to businesses implementing Data Warehouse and Data Mining applications. Business Analytics as a step forward evolved as a multi-disciplinary field that uses scientific methods, processes, algorithms and systems to extract knowledge and insights from structured and unstructured data.
While many businesses enthusiastically adopted analytics in management, it was largely as a method to leverage data resources. The data has since undergone sea change with new technologies like Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, Block Chain, Robotics, sourced from within the companies and from outside. It is pushing the business world to recognise it as a new paradigm within analytics involving new genre of data as well as new modes of processing that requires new skills and aptitudes in future managers, with huge implications to business education. These data–structured, semi-structured, unstructured and streaming—grew enormously in volume as well as complexity, giving rise to Big Data and consequently, to a new paradigm of Big Data Analytics (BDA).
After careful study of the prevailing market for analytics education in the country, we had observed that most courses were catering to the current business needs for having skilled personnel to handle tools and techniques in vogue today. Therefore, even the B-schools that have embarked upon this Business Analytics bandwagon, have largely took a technology route. GIM consistent to her mission to nurture leaders for sustainable business decided to incorporate Big Data Analytics (BDA) in its new course without losing the management orientation.
The vision for this programme is to prepare future ready managers who are well versed with the prowess of BDA with hands-on experience with handling of tools and techniques in vogue, so as to manage their respective domains most effectively. A year-long intensive interaction with practitioners, academicians and recruiters, both from India and abroad, were carried out along with literature survey. The insight gained from this exercise enabled us to conceptualize the approach and arrive at the draft course structure, which was validated by a 10-member Board of Studies, comprising eminent people in the field.
We have carved out a unique two-year full time course for our Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Big Data Analytics), which shall be offered to select students with flair for numbers and computers. A separate admission test—GIM’s Analytics Aptitude Test (GAAT)– is instituted to ensure the high quality student intake.
The resultant program provides students adequate understanding of different areas of management with a focus on use cases within them for the application of the BDA tools and techniques to create competitive advantage. Students will have exposure to statistical theory, data management including big data, and business intelligence systems including machine learning, artificial intelligence and deep learning and related tools, techniques and algorithms. The major emphasis is on providing hands-on training to the students using all major software tools in vogue and working on actual industry projects. At the end of the program, the students will be fully capable of comprehending actual business situations and apply appropriate tools and techniques of BDA to get enhanced insights into/around the issues/problems sensed by them so as to devise optimum solutions.
The state-of-the-art Data Science Laboratory equipped with all software and cloud service enables students to have hands-on training on actual data sets. We have tied up SAS Institute to provide backup pedagogic support to an in house faculty drawn from IIT, IIM and universities abroad. In order to ensure student learning, there is a close monitoring mechanism is in place, which enables us to organize special workshops and tutorials. There is a team of qualified Teaching Assistants, who hand-hold students through their leaning process. While Analytics is emphasized as their core competence, they are trained in entire gamut of management so as to equip them to understand the business domains. The management courses are designed in the form and delivered through case analyses that trains students to identify problem areas and draw up use cases for the application of BDA. A modern class rooms, specially designed to facilitate interactive peer learning are provided for management courses.
Apart from this core knowledge and experience required for future managers, the students are facilitated to develop those qualities and to internalise those values which will make them effective leaders in organisations. The programme involves extensive application of case-based learning, business simulations, seminars, and actual hands-on training, assignments both at individual and group levels, and intensive exposure to the actual business problems through five-months long on-site company projects at the end of the first year.
Placement and Electives
The programme provides for select companies being ‘Industry Associate’, which envisages intensive involvement of their analytics team in programme execution apart from placement. Besides GIM’s traditional bouquet of reputed companies participate in placement session.
The placement is envisaged largely through PPOs based on their work in the company during internship.
As the students return to the campus for their fifth and sixth term, they pick up such electives as to help them in their jobs. Most electives are taught jointly by the practitioners and in-house faculty, the former contributing the use case illustrations and the latter deepening the domain depth.
Author: Prof. Anand Teltumbde
Senior Professor & Chair, Big Data Analytics | Goa Institute of Management.
Anand is an alumnus of IIM, Ahmedabad, he held senior management positions in the corporate world, the last being Managing Director & CEO of Petronet India Limited. In academics, he was Professor at VGSOM, IIT, Kharagpur for over five years.