Celebrating our inaugural MBusA graduates

1/02/2016
The graduation of the first cohort of our Master of Business Analytics (MBusA) program has marked a new chapter in Melbourne Business School’s history.
 
 
The 32 students from the inaugural class were congratulated on their achievements by Melbourne Business School Dean Zeger Degraeve and chair of the Centre for Business Analytics industry advisory panel, MBS alumnus and A.T. Kearney Partner Enrico Rizzon during the graduation ceremony on 30 January at the Carlton campus.

MBS alumnus and advisory board member Ken Roberts also spoke to the graduating class and presented the Forethought-Roberts Prize for the best overall academic performance, jointly won by David Loong and Rebecca Wilson.

Rebecca and David were also awarded the MBS Foundation Award of Distinction, along with fellow graduates Jenny Liu and Brad Trewhella. The four were recognised for their academic performance, placing them in the top 10 per cent of their graduating class.

More than just a data course, the one-year, intensive program, established with input from business, government and non-profit leaders, combines analytics education with industry experience and personal-effectiveness training, which is critical for employment and career advancement.

Under a five-week, industry-based placement, students put their analytics knowledge to the test to address real business problems at Telstra, NAB, ANZ, A.T. Kearney, Forethought Research and Carlton and United Breweries, to name only a few.

At Carlton and United Breweries, for example, students were tasked to set prices and promotional strategies to maximise revenue for products, based on consumer transaction and survey data. The four deliverables the students created allowed easier visualisation and more rigorous analysis of data. Students also built a model that approximated the cross-elasticity between competing products.

Director of the Centre for Business Analytics at Melbourne Business School, Professor Ujwal Kayande, said the program’s close ties with business and innovative program structure supported students to develop skills that are in strong demand in Australia and internationally.

“Our Masters of Business Analytics program is responding to growing demand for graduates and professionals to be able to not only mine data but to interpret it to support decision making and strategy at the C-suite level,” Professor Kayande said.

“Our course is uniquely collaborative, incorporating the strengths of Melbourne Business School and the University of Melbourne across a range of disciplines, including computer science, statistics, mathematics and business management.

“In addition to developing the multi-faceted skills that businesses demand, the unique Melbourne Business School approach also develops ‘soft-skills’ – such as people management and working in diverse environments – giving our graduates the edge in the global workforce.”

Also helping to set the Melbourne Business School MBusA program apart is the School’s partnership with global analytics leader SAS.

SAS Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand, David Bowie, said the demand for job applicants with business acumen and analytical skills has never been higher.

“The business community is crying out for talent who can interpret and present data in meaningful ways. There is a shortage of qualified analytics professionals entering the job market with both advanced technical skills and a strong business understanding. Our collaboration with Melbourne Business School bridges that gap and aids the growth of a much needed talent pool,” Mr Bowie said.

As part of the SAS/MBS collaboration, graduates also receive a SAS Certificate in Business Analytics. This globally recognised certification identifies professionals who are skilled data analysts and have a fully rounded business focus on analytics for problem solving and decision making.

For Professor Kayande, it’s the relationships with leading organisations like SAS that give students the advantage.

“For our Masters of Business Analytics students, our relationships extend not only to our partner, SAS, but also to our Industry Advisory Board, which brings together influential leaders in business analytics from Suncorp, Forethought Research, Woolworths, Brightstar, ATO, A.T. Kearney, Telstra, and Seek to inform the program,” Professor Kayande said.

More photos from the graduation ceremony are available on the MBS Facebook page.