NYU Stern: Imparting the Best of Business Analytics Education to Build Data Professionals

Roy Lee

The New York University (NYU) Stern MS in Business Analytics program is an advanced business degree program teaching executive how to understand the role of evidence-based data in decision-making with an aim to leverage data as a strategic asset. In the first half of the program, students are exposed to the fundamental concepts and principles of business analytics, such as modeling skills, foundational programming skills, and methods for dealing with data. NYU Stern MS in Business Analytics teaches students the skills to perform complex statistical and econometric modeling. Students are exposed to several programming languages and software packages to increase their awareness of tools that can be used to solve business problems. The second half of the program expands on these fundamental concepts and focuses on the business applications of these foundational tools.

Courses in the NYU Stern MS in Business Analytics program focus around the domain-specific areas such as analytics strategy, marketing, optimization, and revenue management. Students tackle examples of data-driven decision-making in firms and consider the strategic, policy, and economic implications of business analytics. NYU Stern MS in Business Analytics program additionally includes a course on data privacy and ethics, which is a pressing issue related to business analytics, and of growing importance.


Exceptional Business Analytics Program

NYU Stern’s Master of Science in Business Analytics program is positioned at the intersection of business and analytics/data science and is designed for experienced professionals who pursue their degree while continuing to work. What makes NYU Stern’s Master of Science in Business Analytics program unique is that it teaches students to become analytics translators. Students study to build a foundation on the data science/analytics fundamentals so that they can speak to the technical, but more importantly, use business expertise and domain knowledge to leverage the data to become a strategic asset. In the process, what often gets lost is that data science/analytics are just tools. The real power behind analytics is when right people who have the knowledge and business acumen to use it to the company’s advantage are achieved. That is why Master of Science in Business Analytics program, housed in a top business school, stands apart from the rest of programs that are based in engineering or mathematics.


Bringing Analytics Education to Executives

NYU Stern’s MS in Business Analytics program is uniquely positioned for an executive audience. The average age of the students is 37 and the average work experience is 12 years. NYU Stern MS in Business Analytics is a part-time program where students are working full-time and study part-time.

Students taking the course come from different geographic regions and industries where each can share their perspective on how analytics is being used in their businesses. This diverse representation is intentional because, in an executive program like this, work experience is important. Students not only learn from the faculty but also learn from each other.


Motivating Leadership and Global Faculty

NYU Stern’s Master of Science in Business Analytics program draws inspiration from its Global faculty who inspire students to lead data science careers worldwide. Roy Lee serves as Assistant Dean at New York University’s Stern School of Business, responsible for providing the strategic direction and oversight of the School’s Executive Programs (EP) group. The EP group serves as an innovation lab for NYU Stern, creating and developing high-quality degree and non-degree programs for experienced professionals that increase and diversify the School’s portfolio of offerings. In addition, Roy serves as the analytical lead working on a School-wide initiative to develop and foster NYU Stern’s internal data analytics capabilities.

Participants in the program have the advantage of learning from world-renowned NYU Stern faculty, selected global faculty, and leaders of industry who have practical experience. “In a field where transformation in analytics is happening quickly, we have faculty who live both in the academic world and in the practitioner world where a lot of the changes are happening, Roy said.


Adding Value to Analytics Delivery

“Our students gain a sense of confidence and credibility. Post-graduation, our students gain confidence by having technical capabilities to speak the language to understand how to work with data and become a translator of that information, or a disruptor of business thought and strategy in a positive and impactful way,” said Roy. They also now have the credibility of the NYU Stern degree, along with a specialized skill-set, where they can blend their business domain knowledge along with next-generation analytics to add increased value to their organizations.


Peer to Peer Interaction 

The learning from the MS in Business Analytics program extends beyond the classroom pedagogy.  Specifically, students should choose a program where their peer group will be as important as the faculty who teach in the program. With NYU Stern MS in Business Analytics global program, students coming from different nationalities and diversity in a cohort leverage an opportunity to challenge their perspective and assumptions that they may have and this enlightens them to new ways of approaching data-related business problems faced across different industries, job functions and locations. The peer group at the college adds a depth to the learning experience, beyond the classroom through discussions and debates in-class, leading to intellectual, stimulating conversations and amazing learning experiences.


Offering Practical Exposure for Industry Collaborations

The MS in Business Analytics Capstone is a team-based project in the program curriculum, which gives students the opportunity to demonstrate an understanding of the core competencies taught throughout and apply them to real business problems. Capstone projects use business analytics to address a specific strategic issue. All projects include data mining, modeling and/or other business analytics techniques learned in the program. Past projects range from improving operational efficiency in hospitals by using analytics, using HR analytics to predict talent acquisition and identifying drivers for workforce performance, and the development of an application for surge pricing models for electric vehicles.


Analytics-Driven Organizations: The Way Forward

The advancements in big data, AI and machine learning are changing the management of organizations in that they are forcing companies to become data-centric – to shift from intuition-based decision-making to data-driven decision-making. The sheer size and scope of big data makes it harder for companies without an analytics strategy to be able to separate the signal from the noise. “Companies have to think strategically about how to build their organizational structure to extract the full value of analytics. Five years ago, if the industry was able to leverage analytics, it could gain a competitive advantage. Five years from now if they don’t, they’ll be left behind,” added Roy.