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The College of Business at Valparaiso University has developed a new major in business analytics, joining an emerging trend in higher education seeking to address a growing marketplace need. The program will build on the College’s history of developing ethical professionals who are leaders in their fields.

“There is a shortage of employees who have the knowledge and skills to take advantage of ‘big data’,” said James Brodzinski, dean of the College of Business. “Business schools — including Valparaiso University’s College of Business — have a responsibility to educate data-savvy managers who have the conceptual knowledge and quantitative skills to be able to frame and interpret analyses in an effective manner.”

A report from the McKinsey Global Institute states that by 2018 there will be a shortage of up to 190,000 analytical professionals, in addition to a deficit of 1.5 million data-savvy managers with effective decision-making skills — in the United States alone. With 90 percent of the world’s data created in the past two years, according to IBM, companies are looking for employees who can harness this data, analyze it, and provide executives with the information needed to excel.

Students in Valpo’s business analytics program will be equipped to meet this need through a rigorous curriculum that focuses on spreadsheet modeling, database management, statistics for decision making, visual effects, and data mining.

The Valparaiso University College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, placing it among the top 5 percent of business schools internationally. The College’s new business analytics program is part of the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree, which also offers majors in accounting, finance, international business, management, and marketing.