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Corporate Project Anchors New UC Davis Master of Business Analytics in San Francisco

A 10-month team project for a major corporation will form the spine of a new master’s program in business analytics that the University of California, Davis, is bringing to downtown San Francisco.

The Master of Science in Business Analytics, offered through the Graduate School of Management, is the newest entry in a young discipline that aims to prepare individuals to create business value from burgeoning data. It is also one of three new UC Davis graduate programs — the others being energy systems and environmental management and policy — that are accepting applications for fall 2017.

“Modern information technologies offer firms massive amounts of data, and companies are hungry for skilled workers and managers who can leverage the data and computing power to extract insight, improve decisions and create business value,” said Hemant Bhargava, who is the Jerome and Elsie Suran Chair in Technology Management at the management school and a co-founder of the new program.

Classes will be held at the UC Hastings College of the Law in downtown San Francisco.

Classes in the 10-month program will be held on Friday afternoons and evenings and Saturdays at the UC Hastings College of the Law in the heart of San Francisco’s Civic Center.

Distinguishing features

One of the program’s distinguishing features is its emphasis on learning by doing. Over the 10 months, teams of five will each work through the entire lifecycle of a corporate project identifying and framing a business analytics opportunity, working on data management and analysis, and presenting their recommendations to management.

“We need employees who possess the technical and business skills for converting data into good decisions and positive business value,” said Chet Kapoor, CEO of Apigee, a software company that specializes in application programming interfaces. “The UC Davis business analytics program promises to be a transformative experience,” he added. “It has a learning-by-doing philosophy, an innovative curricular design that blends technical thinking with organizational effectiveness, and leverages students with specialist skills.”

Among other program features:

  • Tenured faculty and senior corporate experts will teach the courses.
  • Courses in organizational behavior and strategy will prepare graduates to become leaders who influence change in their organizations.
  • The program aims to enroll about 50 percent women and create corporate-sponsored scholarships for them.

Prasad Naik, a professor of marketing and the other co-founder of the business analytics program, said graduates will be ready to take on a range of roles including director of digital marketing, manager of human resources analytics and revenue manager.