Data science has left the back office. Leaders increasingly need to understand how data and analytics are used to help companies create competitive advantage — streamlining operations, identifying trends, safeguarding supply chains — in a business world defined by change and agility.

This is an emerging area for many business schools, but one that will take on greater and greater importance in the future.

Curriculum report

There is a different philosophical approach to how undergraduate courses present analytics and data science, as opposed to the graduate side. For instance, while programs at both levels offer emphasis on concepts like algorithms, machine learning and big data, undergraduate programs have a much heavier focus on the ethics associated with the use of these technologies, in addition to decision support systems.

Even though both levels obviously emphasize technology, graduate curricula are heavier on data mining and business intelligence. The software tools used in graduate programs also tend to be more ambitious — so, for instance, less Excel, more Python. Finally, courses emphasizing data and analytics go from pick and choose at the bachelor’s level to requirements for master’s degrees.

This task force is currently surveying industry leaders for an assessment of future needs in the analytics area. It will then produce recommendations for the MaCuDE steering committee.

Task force leader: Ravi Subramanian

Dr. Subramanian is an associate professor of operations management at the Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech. His research interests lie at the intersections of operations/supply chain decisions and environmental sustainability, with recent interests in healthcare operations and social sustainability.

Dr. Subramanian received the inaugural Paul Kleindorfer Award in Sustainability in 2012. He served as a Department Editor for the Sustainable Operations Department of Production and Operations Management from 2015 to 2018 and received the Best Department Editor Award in 2018. He currently serves as Senior Editor for the department. In addition to his teaching and research, he conducts sessions on demand-driven supply chain planning for Coca-Cola, Clorox and Georgia-Pacific.