Riding the Wave of Business Analytics: An Interview with GGU Adjunct Professor Arshad Khan

Arshad Khan, M.E, MBA, is an IT professional with expertise in business intelligence built over a 30-year career. He will be teaching Data Visualization and Storytelling as part of Golden Gate University’s new master’s degree program in Business Analytics. 

What are big data and data analytics?

Big Data refers to datasets or combination of datasets whose size and complexity is beyond the ability of conventional technologies and tools, such as relational databases, to capture, store, manage, and analyze within the time necessary to make them useful. Data Analytics is the collection of disciplines that use data for providing insight and helping make better decisions.

Why do business analytics skills matter?

People with analytics skills provide organizations with valuable and timely information that they can use to improve products, manage costs, and increase revenue. No organization can expect to compete or operate efficiently unless they understand what their data says.

If anyone wants to ride the wave of a growing field where there will be numerous high paying jobs for the foreseeable future, getting a degree in analytics will help them.

Can you describe a business analytics project that you have been involved with?

At Juniper Networks, I led a development effort that involved merging data from two independent systems to produce a flexible report which enabled us to analyze how we were doing against our competitors (such as Cisco, HP, and others) using various criteria (such as deal size, product family, geography, etc.). Without the ability to analyze data that was scattered, we were running blind.

What is your current job?

The company I work for, Modemetric, has developed a Business Intelligence analytics product that we think addresses a need in the market for a robust, secure, and flexible tool. Its Lantern product enables a self-service model in which non-technical people can create sophisticated reports.

Adjunct Professor Arshad Khan works at Modmetric, a company
that provides a Business Intelligence tool known as Lantern

What do you teach in the Master of Science in Business Analytics program at GGU?

Data Visualization and Storytelling is a class I teach where students will learn various aspects of data visualization—from theory to practice. They will also be introduced to a data visualization tool, which will be used for developing a project that will be assigned in this class.

What can you say about a business analytics career?

Data generation is increasing exponentially. If anyone wants to ride the wave in a growing field where there will be numerous high paying jobs for the foreseeable future, getting a degree in analytics will help them. There is currently a big shortage of analytics professionals, and this shortage is going to get worse in the foreseeable future. Data scientists are often the highest paid professionals at a company and can write their own salary ticket these days. Business analysts and analytics pros are among the most highly sought professionals. Go to Glassdoor and do a search for business analytics and you will see the latest salary ranges in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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