The Rise of Big Data in Business and GGU’s New Master’s Degree in Business Analytics

Technology has utterly transformed business, and the San Francisco Bay Area has been at the very epicenter. Companies founded in this region, such as Facebook and Google, are pushing out data nearly at the speed of light, and their users are consuming it at a mind-boggling scale. Every minute, Facebook users send 31.25 million messages and view 2.77 million videos, while Google processes 3 billion searches every day. Data are also being collected through the so-called Internet of things, which includes location and other metadata from cell phones.

Business Analytics professionals help companies turn data into simple, actionable information – whether in numeric, narrative, or visual forms. They do this by various means such as programming, handling big data sets, statistical analysis, and communicating the specific value of their conclusions to their colleagues and upper management. Even with large investments in analytics across industries, only 0.5% of all business data is ever analyzed or used by companies.

The need for data analytics wizards has grown almost as fast as the data itself. By 2018 there will be a shortage of up to 190,000 trained data analysts in the US, and a shortage of 1.5 million managers and analysts with the understanding of how to use the data. Forbes reports that demand for business analytics professionals in San Francisco and the Silicon Valley is the highest in the nation. For many of these reasons, US News & World Report ranked Business Statistician first on its list of best business careers. Data analytics skills span a number of business disciplines such as Finance, Financial Planning, Management, Marketing, HR, IT, Operations, Supply Chain, and other fields.

Because well-trained analytics professionals are fundamental to market research and company decision making, salaries for business analytics professionals well exceed $125,000 a year in San Francisco.

New Master’s Degree Program At GGU

GGU’ s new Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) degree program – available at its San Francisco campus or totally online –  enables students to seize on the lucrative and abundant opportunities presented by the rise of Big Data. Courses will be taught by core faculty as well as practicing professionals in the data analytics field, such as Ana Lelescu of the IBM WatsonHealth initiative and Google’s Andrey Aredakov.

The MSBA provides a toolkit of data analytics theory, processes, tools, and techniques that can be integrated into business depending on the business discipline and needed outcomes. Here is a taste of some of the topics and skills students will learn in the program:

  • Big Data and its supporting technologies
  • Business applications of data
  • Preparing data for analysis
  • Data visualization for effective communication
  • Descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytic disciplines
  • Machine learning and algorithms
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Data security, privacy and ethics
  • Corporate issues: data policy governance, ownership and strategies
  • R and Python programming languages, SPSS Modeler Text Analytics,
  • SAS EnterpriseMiner, Machine Learning, Tableau, SQL, NOSQL, OLAP and Hadoop

Why Golden Gate University?

Golden Gate University was named the #1 university for adult education in the US (Washington Monthly) because its programs best geared to the needs of working professionals—with faculty are practitioners in their field, night and online classes, and downtown San Francisco networking opportunities that are second to none. For over 100 years, GGU has developed innovative programs that keep pace with the rapidly changing world of business. We invite you to learn more about what this program offers.


Request information about the Business Analytics master’s degree >>

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