University Senate                                                       

Proposed: May 2, 2014

Adopted: May 2, 2014

 

RESOLUTION TO APPROVE A MASTER OF SCIENCE
IN APPLIED ANALYTICS (SCE)

 

WHEREAS, the ocean of data now available presents organizations across industries and sectors with challenges never before experienced as well as novel opportunities to exploit data to advance their business, organizational, and strategic goals; and

WHEREAS, there is a critical shortage of leaders and managers conversant with analytical tools and models who can lead technical teams and command data to solve complex problems, inform strategic decisions, prompt action, and create value; and

WHEREAS, the proposed program equips professionals with the analytic methods and tools together with leadership and communication skills to use analytics in an ever-changing global market; and

WHEREAS, the proposed program draws on SCE’s core strengths in strategic communications, management, leadership and ethics, as well as from the Arts and Sciences analytical disciplines and social sciences, and will include the perspectives of sector experts and leaders from private and public organizations in a curriculum that is practical and applied; and

WHEREAS, the proposed program is designed for mid-career professionals and uses a hybrid format of meetings in person and online instruction; and

WHEREAS, the proposed program does not replace or duplicate any existing programs at SCE or the University, but does complement the existing M.S. in Data Science offered by SEAS;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Senate approve the program leading to an M.S. in Applied Analytics.

Proponent
Committee on Education


 

1) Purpose

A) Describe the purpose of the proposed program and the professional and educational
assumptions that underlie it.

The ocean of data now available presents organizations across industries and sectors with
challenges never before experienced as well as novel opportunities to exploit data to
advance their business, organizational, and strategic goals. A serious obstacle to realizing
these opportunities, however, is the critical shortage of leaders and managers who are
conversant with analytical tools and models and can effectively lead technical teams and
data experts and command data to solve complex problems, inform strategic decisions,
prompt action, and create value for their organizations and stakeholders.

As analytics touches every aspect of an organization from IT to HR to marketing to sales,
leaders who know how to develop and deploy analytics talent, systems and tools in an
integrated, enterprise-wide framework and build an analytical culture will enjoy a
competitive advantage and drive success in their organization.

The proposed MS program in applied analytics equips professionals with the analytic
methods and tools together with leadership and communication skills required to
develop analytics as a strategic capability and leverage it to strengthen business
decisions, create value and generate solutions in an ever-changing global market. It is
intended for working professionals with several years of experience and a professional
readiness to implement the learnings from the program. Graduates leave the program
ready to help guide the transformation of their organizations into next-generation data savvy
enterprises.

Core Components:

The Leadership, Management, Communication Core develops an enterprise-wide
perspective on data and the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to inspire, create, and
lead an analytical culture within an organization. Graduates learn to create strategy and
articulate the strategic goals of an organization; lead analytics initiatives that support and
determine the future state of an organization; develop analytics talent, teams, processes,
services, and communication; and drive collaboration and institutional innovation.

The Applied Analytics Core develops a broad understanding of the frameworks for the
use of data to inform real-life business problems, and the chain of inferences leading
from data collection to utilization for decision-making. This core introduces students to
the methods and range of tools and systems that organizations use to conceptualize,
collect, manage, analyze, and present information and data, and make it actionable by
the end user. Graduates learn how to integrate that knowledge with the principles and
practice of analytic, strategic and systems thinking in order to drive business intelligence
and create value.

In the Integrated Capstone Project students apply what they learned in the two core
components to real-world, industry-sponsored analytics projects. The capstone project
provides students with hands-on experience applying analytics to the design,
development, implementation and assessment of analytics solutions to organizational
needs. Graduates leave the MS program in Applied Analytics ready to deploy this
knowledge of tools within their organization to turn data into knowledge, insights,
strategic decisions, and action, and guide the transformation of their organizations into
analytics-savvy enterprises.

B) Discuss how the proposed program furthers the mission and plans of the department or
school.

SCE has created an attractive, new paradigm of professional and cross-disciplinary higher
education, centered on developing programs that respond to the needs of emerging
professions of the 21st century and that educate highly accomplished or truly promising
professionals working in these emerging professions who demand a rigorous, accessible
learning experience that will advance their careers and achieve a positive impact on
society.

In this tradition, the proposed MSAA program has emerged in response to market research
and follows an in-depth consideration of curricular components and instructional design
affordances and constraints that are rooted in learning science. Together SCE’s programs
and graduates fulfill the School’s mission, “to transform knowledge and understanding in
service of the greater good: a just sustainable and compassionate global society.”
The proposed MSAA furthers this mission in several ways.

· The proposed, cross-disciplinary program draws together SCE’s core strengths in
strategic communications, management, leadership, and ethics and from the Arts and
Sciences analytical disciplines and social sciences. The program infuses these
disciplinary foci with the real-world perspectives of sector experts and leaders from
private and public organizations to yield a curriculum that is practical and applied.
Faculty and advisory board members include distinguished faculty (e.g., David Madigan,
EVP for the Arts and Sciences) and distinguished practitioners (e.g., Dr. Filippo
Passerini, President Global Business Services and Chief Information Officer, Procter &
Gamble and Dr. Thomas Herbig, Director, McKinsey Center for the Advancement of
Problem Solving).

· The intended audience for this program constitutes SCE’s primary audience:
professionals who are working full-time and who choose to study on either a FT or PT
basis in order to advance their careers and strengthen their organization’s capacity to
use data strategically to advance its core mission. SCE has developed expertise over
many years in working with such individuals and designing superior programs that meet
their academic and professional goals.
· The proposed program builds on SCE’s core strength in learning science, curriculum
design and networked learning, and utilizes SCE’s innovative and highly social online
learning platform. The MSAA is designed to be a hybrid program that
enables working professionals from anywhere in the world access to rigorous
education. Students gather face-to-face at the start of the program and twice
subsequently on Columbia’s Morningside campus for rigorous and intensive
residencies. They complete a large percentage of coursework online on SCE’s
networked learning platform. The format is ideal for local, domestic and international
students from around the world and faculty alike, many of whom are working
professionals who wish to enter into a learning compact in the field of applied analytics.
In essence the proposed MSAA advances SCE’s mission to integrate knowledge across
disciplinary boundaries, combine theory with practice, leverage the combined expertise of
SCE students and faculty, and connect global constituencies.

C) Discuss the relationship of the proposed program with the other curricular offerings of
the school. Will it replace or duplicate, in full or in part, any existing program?

The proposed MS program in Applied Analytics does not replace or duplicate, in full or in
part, any existing programs at SCE or the University. The proposed program does,
however, stand alongside the MS in Data Science, offered through the Fu Foundation
School of Engineering and Applied Science. The two are different programs. SCE’s
proposed program provides working professionals with the leadership and management
knowledge as well as an understanding of analytic tools that they need to lead and
manage organizations and teams that use of analytics as a core asset with strategic value.
The MS in Data Science provides students with a fundamental, technical education in
data science and prepares graduates to conduct data science in order to develop the
technology and tools “to unlock the power of global data.”

While these programs serve different constituencies in the first instance, they are
complementary as well. Graduates of the MS program in Applied Analytics who wish to
deepen their technical skills may wish to avail themselves of offerings in the MS in Data
Science. In turn, graduates of the MS program in Data Science who wish to strengthen
their capacity to lead and manage data-savvy organizations are welcome to take courses
in SCE’s proposed MS in Applied Analytics. We look forward to building on these and
other concrete synergistic opportunities with IDSE and supporting cross-School
collaboration.

2) Need

A) Describe the need that the proposed program is designed to meet.

With data storage that is now measured in terabytes, petabytes, exabytes, zettabytes and
beyond, it is clear that the amount of data we generate is exploding and challenging
organizations on an enterprise-wide level to think about how to use data to create core
value. Estimates indicate a desperate need for approximately 1.5 million leaders and
managers in all sectors of the economy, from finance to education to risk management to
manufacturing and beyond, who have the talent and skills necessary to access and analyze
data with varying degrees of sophistication so that data and the stories they tell can have a
productive impact at the enterprise level.

The proposed MS in Applied Analytics does not produce data scientists, but rather equips
professionals—notably senior manager and directors —with the analytic tools and the
leadership and communication knowledge required to develop analytics as a strategic
capability and leverage it to strengthen business decisions, and create value for their
organizations.

Proctor and Gamble stepped up to this challenge in a way that illustrates the very real
need for the professional talent that would be cultivated in the proposed MS program in
Applied Analytics. Under the leadership of Filippo Passerini, Group President of P&G’s
Global Business Services Organization and CIO, Information Technology at P&G was
renamed “Information and Decision Solutions (IDS)” befitting the group’s support for
decision processes around P&G. Passerini centralized IDS and created a culture of analytics
across P&G to drive business decisions and action.

Passerini centralized data, embedded tools and systems to visualize, access, and drill
down, thus accelerating “decision-making with real-time information and changing the
entire focus of information-based decisions from “what” to “why” and “how.”
However, according to Passerini, successful performance in the role required not only
business and technology acumen, but also a high level of communication and
leadership skills to successfully engage with senior executives.

The demand for people so talented extends beyond P&G GBS unit into organizations
and entities world-wide. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational
Outlook Handbook forecasts significant job growth for data savvy managers in the
professional, scientific, technical, business, and financial operations sectors, creating a
total of 3.3 million new jobs by 2020.

 

Addendum to SCE proposal for MS in Applied Analytics
April 23, 2014
Responses from School of Continuing Education Dean Kristine Billmyer to queries from the Senate Education Committee:

As a whole, the committee would like to see a more detailed specification for the staffing of the advising of the students, especially an explanation of how staffing will scale to accommodate the student numbers when the program has reached its projected size.

Each student is assigned to a faculty advisor of his/her choice. The program shares correspondence with students when onboarding to assign academic advisors.  At steady state, SCE will have 3 full-time faculty, each of whom will advise about 25-30 students.  Full-time faculty have course load release time for advising. In addition the program director will advise about 40 students.  Part-time faculty also take on advising responsibilities and receive additional compensation on an academic year basis for doing so.   All academic/administrative communication distributed to students is also shared with advisors to reinforce follow up and attention to deadlines, etc.   SCE anticipates that in the short term and with the current staffing model (1 program director and 1 lecturer as well as other current lecturers in the school) that it will be able to provide the appropriate level of support for the students.

The committee was impressed by the capstone program, but would like greater clarity about how every student would be individually advised by a faculty member of some kind. 

SCE has different capstone advising models customized for each of the seven MS programs that require capstones.   We plan to emulate the highly successful MS Sustainability Management model for the MSAA capstone.  It is documented in the accompanying Capstone Workshop Handbook.

In practice, we anticipate the following:

The proposal doesn't treat the boot camp except in the figures. Could you specify the nature of what's planned in the detail and your thinking about students who fail or lag badly in that boot camp?

The pre-program boot camp is fashioned after Columbia Business School’s pre-MBA boot camp.  It is designed to bring all students to a baseline of analytics knowledge and skills and prepare them for a successful classroom experience. As such, this tool is a normalizing process for students who have not had recent or sufficient exposure to the analytical framework, including:  

The boot camp will provide exposure to modern statistical packages, SQL, R and Python, review of probability and statistics, linear algebra, linear regression, and review of basic micro and macroeconomics, including pricing and demand, uncertainty and consumer modeling.

Students have a minimum of 60 days to complete the entire program, but can start it up to 3 months before the fall semester begins.  They must complete the program successfully 3 weeks before the start of the program.  Depending on their level of deficit, students who fail or lag will have two options: 1. If the deficit is small, be required to take an on campus supplemental boot camp prior to the semester start. If the deficit is large, students will either be asked to defer their enrollment to the next cohort and take additional coursework prior to attending or be denied admission to the program. However, we do not expect that any of the students will fall in that category given the admission review process and the nature of the online boot camp.