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It Matters to Know Business Analytics
Date Posted : 2017-04-11


It Matters to Know Business Analytics

NEIL H. DATU

Dean, College of Computer Studies

IBM Academic Evangelist for Business Analytics

 

IBM Philippines and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Technical Panel for Information Technology Education (TPITE) introduced Business Analytics in May 2013 as a specialization track designed for Business programs (e.g. BS in Business Administration) and Information Technology Education (ITE) (i.e. BS Computer Science, BS Information Technology and BS Information Systems). This is in anticipation of the huge demand for analytics skills.

 

According to the world’s leading technology research firms McKinsey (May, 2011) and Gartner (n.d., 2012), there will be a global shortage of about 500,000 to 3 million people with analytics skills by 2018.  These skills include among others: Database Development, Report Authoring, Data Analysis, Business Intelligence Development and Data Warehouse Developer. The results of the studies imply that the academe should step in to fill the foreseen huge supply-demand gap.

 

In response, several higher education institutions (HEIs) in the country including our school, Republic Central Colleges(RCC) have started offering courses in Analytics as early as the academic year 2013- 2014.

 

Business Analytics helps industries achieve better outcomes

Business Analytics is used across different industries to turn business data into actionable information that allow them to make smarter business decisions leading to better business outcomes. The following are examples to help us understand and appreciate the application of analytics:

  • Shopping centers / Retail shops may maximize their marketing resources through targeted promotions. This is possible by analyzing transaction data to understand customers’ buying patterns. These data are often captured using loyalty cards (e.g. SM’s Advantage card, Jolibee’s HappyPlus card and Mercury’s Suki Card)
  • Social Networking sites such as FB, help us easily grow our network by connecting us to people that we may know using our profile data.
  • Financial institutions may detect and prevent fraudulent transaction by analyzing customers’ transaction patterns.
  • Health industry may be prescribed with the best possible treatment by analyzing patients’ historical data.
  • Restaurants / Food chains may further improve the quality of food and services they provide. This is done by understanding customer sentiments utilizing data from FB posts, tweets and blogs to find out what people say about them.
  • Crimes may be reduced by analyzing crime data and spotting patterns. This allows police officers to stop crime even before it happens.

 

 Data is a pre-requisite to analytics

The pre-requisite of analytics is the data. This may be structured (e.g. databases stored in our transaction systems) and unstructured (e.g. FB posts, tweets).  When structured and/or unstructured data is voluminous, increases rapidly and possibly in different forms (e.g. text, audio, image and video) then this is referred to as Big Data. Analytics has been used by industries years to support decision making but it became more popular recently because of the rise of Big Data. As such, the term Big Data Analytics is also often used interchangeably with Business Analytics.

 

RCC is preparing for analytics

The courses for Business Analytics namely: Fundamentals of Business Analytics, Fundamentals of Enterprise Data Management, Fundamentals of Analytics Modeling, Analytics Techniques and Tools and Analytics Applications are already offered in our school under the BS in Information Technology program. The College of Computer Studies is currently preparing the requirements for CHED so we can officially offer analytics not just as electives but specialization track by the academic year 2018-2019. The College of Business Administration under the direction of Dean Pacencia H. Gamino has also expressed intent to include analytics courses in its due for revision business program curriculum.

 

As former IBM Philippines Country General Manager Mariels Almeda Winhoffer said, “Data is quickly becoming the most important natural resource in the world, and companies who have talent with the best skills to help them take advantage of Big Data will have a more promising future”.

With our school’s direction to provide training analytics skills, our IT and business graduates may enable industries such as BPOs to achieve better business outcomes as they know how to employ analytics to drive up productivity and profitability and have a more promising future as demand for analytics competence is significantly high yet the talents to meet such demand and schools capable of delivering analytics training are considerably scarce to this day.

RCC is capable of delivering analytics training as our school has been steadfast in its commitment to support faculty development activities that prepare teachers to produce prepared students and is in full support of IBM’s and CHED’s vision to make the Philippines a global center for Business Analytics.