The Three Pillars That Drive Our Online MSA
The Center for Business Analytics is the hub of the online MSA. Learn about how you can benefit from the three pillars that drive the program: curriculum, practice, and research.
Speaker in the video above:
Matthew Liberatore, PhD, John F. Connelly Endowed Chair in Management, Faculty Director, Center for Business Analytics, Professor, Management & Operations
Matthew Liberatore, PhD: I’m Dr. Matt Liberatore, faculty member within the Department of Management & Operations, John F. Connelly Chair of Management, Director Center for Business Analytics. The online MSA of Villanova is distinctive because the program was developed from the ground up by a group of faculty associates in the Center for Business Analytics. The Center for Business Analytics at the Villanova School of Business is built on three pillars: curriculum, practice and research. So, the curriculum piece really is a key driver of the center because the goal of the curriculum piece is to improve the analytics capabilities of all VSB students – undergraduate and graduate alike. The faculty within the Center for Business Analytics are the drivers of curriculum, and so we’ve been able to really develop analytics curriculum at the undergraduate level as well at the graduate. The undergraduate level, for example, we have an analytics minor, we have a required class in analytics and we are now moving toward an analytics co-major. At the MBA level, we have a concentration in analytics and of course the capstone program is our MSA.
So, curriculum is a major driver within the center. The other second piece is the practice piece. So, the goal of the practice piece within the center is to advance the dissemination of best practices within analytics not only to students, but also to business organizations. So, we achieve that by bringing in a variety of speakers, talking about a variety of case studies on analytics practices within business organizations, holding seminars, workshops, etc. to do that. The third piece is the research piece and the research piece really addresses the creation of new knowledge about analytics and only fits within two areas. The first area would be new analytics methods or the application of new analytics methods and the second area really addressees the use within business organizations of analytics. So, how is analytics best deployed within businesses? So, those the two areas of research and if you think about it the curriculum, the practice and the research areas are all mutually reinforcing and so our students benefit really from the knowledge gained in research and the dissemination of best practices because that all feeds back into the curriculum.
The Center for Business Analytics is governed by an advisory board of senior business executives from a variety of business organizations such as IBM, SAP, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Nestle Nutrition, Bank of America, Anaplan, Exelon and PPL and the power industries and Macy’s. So, the interesting thing about the advisory council is you’re getting the perspective of analytics from a wide variety of organizations and the advisory council obviously provides guidance and support for the activities that center engages in and, of course, is also a source of potential job placement for analytics-oriented students.
How can an online student gain value from the Center for Business Analytics? In a couple of ways, the first way is we do post a number of videos of our speakers. So, we have thought leader lecturers, we have workshops, seminars, etc. and many of those we’re able to post online. So, simply viewing those online will have a lot of value. Actually, I had an MSA student contact me and tell me that she looked at all those videos and was really impressed and learned a lot just by going through those videos. The second way that a student can benefit from the Center for Business Analytics is when it comes time for career placement and you’re working with our career folks to find a new position, the center can be helpful in that. The third way would be for if you have the opportunity to come and visit Villanova University. If you want to make a site visit you can make that and time that so that it comes at a time when we’re offering a key speaker or workshop or whatever and you’re very welcome to participate in any of those as well. The fourth way of gaining from the center is within your own organization if you’re interested in working on a project that involves analytics, whether it be a practice project or a research project, the center would be very happy to work with you in that regard.