When Business Meets Data: Business Analytics track of the MSc in Business Administration at TIAS




TIAS School for Business and Society, Ingree and Wan-Ting
At Business Process and Data Mapping, students learn about data structure and develop a deep understanding of how data is analyzed in a business (KalderaNews/Doc. Ingree and Wan-Ting)

JAKARTA, KalderaNews.comAt TIAS, the Business Analytics track of the Master of Science in Business Administration (MScBA) program aims to provide students with business and data training for the industry. We talked to Wan-Ting and Ingree, two students of the Business Analytics track from 2019 to 2020, getting a glimpse of their experiences of gaining cross-domain skill training at TIAS and applying it to their internships in the Netherlands.

Both coming from Taiwan to the Netherlands for the new chapter of their career, even though studying at the same university back in Taiwan and together at TIAS, Wan-Ting and Ingree actually had a different educational background. Wan-Ting was the business one who majored in Logistic Management and Supply Chain. Ingree, on the other hand, was the tech-savvy one and studied Information Management. At the Business Analytics track, their expertise converged while they learned with and worked in a group of diverse talents.

Courses of the Business Analytics track

The four main courses offered by the Business Analytics track are (1) Business Process and Data Mapping; (2) Business Data Analytics; (3) Decision Analysis and Optimization; and (4) Business Intelligence.

At Business Process and Data Mapping, students learn about data structure and develop a deep understanding of how data is analyzed in a business. For example, Wan-Ting had a project in which they analyzed data structure by engaging in the task of building a website, learning how to store data and how to connect different data sources.

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The second course is Business Data Analytics. The course introduces students to several data mining and machine learning methods and software, such as Tableau and RapidMiner. The course consists of hands-on sessions and students need to use the tools to build their projects of, for example, data visualization. It is a course both Wan-Ting and Ingree found very beneficial as the skills are relevant to the industry. “Most companies need you to have this ability to use software to build data visualization, charts and analytics.” Wan-Ting even called it “the best course” as she was proud that she presented the projects and tools from this course at the interview which gave her the internship opportunity.

The third course, Decision Analysis and Optimization, covers quantitative decision-making, analysis and solution development, with a focus on practical application. Students learn how to use Excel to analyze data and create solutions for specific cases. Real-life businesses are used in the projects.

The last course of Business Intelligence brings together the three previous courses and shows how real-life problems can be solved through a structured approach. For instance, in the academic year of 2019, the course had lecturers from IBM who are data experts and hold different positions and expertise in the company. In the class, students had a chance to grasp how IBM implements artificial intelligence technology in the business and had hands-on sessions to use the tools created by IBM, including building and training a chatbot. This is Ingree’s favorite course because she gained a lot of insight into how IBM applies the tools and techniques in the business.

Internships and Career Prospect

For all students of the MScBA, TIAS offers a Personal Leadership Career Development (PLCD) program. It includes workshops and one-on-one sessions from Career Consultants to guide job search. Students would learn how to optimize their resumes, motivation letters and LinkedIn profiles and bring home interview techniques.

“TIAS had helped us to prepare ourselves well from the very beginning when we were starting to find our internship. The Career Consultant would ask us about the positions we had applied for and what the situations were at that moment. Then she gave us advice on how we can improve ourselves.” Both Ingree and Wan-Ting found their current internships on LinkedIn.

Currently, Ingree is the E-commerce Data Analyst Intern of the e-commerce operations team at Richemont, a luxury goods holding company. At work, she extracts data, evaluates how data can be used to improve the business and develops a dashboard to visualize information in the system.

Meanwhile, Wan-Ting is doing her internship in the Global Supply Chain Planning and Global Project Team in Henkel, a fast-moving consumer goods company. She has been leading various projects using data analytics and visualization to improve supply chain KPIs. Her responsibilities include extracting data, data cleaning and application to Power BI, a tool for data visualization.

TIAS School for Business and Society, Ingree and Wan-Ting
For all students of the MScBA, TIAS offers a Personal Leadership Career Development (PLCD) program. It includes workshops and one-on-one sessions from Career Consultants to guide job search (KalderaNews/Doc. Ingree and Wan-Ting)

To master their work, they have both applied the skills they gained from the Business Analytics track, including using analytical software, visualizing data and building models. Even though the software they now use at work is different from the ones they learned at TIAS, the concept and processes behind them are similar. With the knowledge and hands-on experiences, they quickly became familiar with the new tasks and tools and performed them easily.

At their internships, they also found themselves benefitted from the T-shaped training of TIAS at their internships. Coming from a background in the supply chain, Wan-Ting has discovered more options and opportunities for her career as she is now also able to combat big data. “I get to expand more. I will not be limited to supply chain-related jobs. I can also apply for the position of Data Analyst in a supply chain team. I think this is why it is so important to have cross-domain knowledge.”

Similar to Wan-Ting, Ingree considers that the business knowledge she acquired at TIAS, on top of her information technology background, facilitated her work at Richemont. “Data Analytics is not only using data, but we also have to inform others how we can improve the business according to the analysis.”

To be a good fit for the role of Data Analyst, it is key to have technical and business knowledge, as well as communication skills. “You are the person between the technical part and management. You need to have some background knowledge of what kind of company you are in,” Wan-Ting explained. “Take me as an example, I need to know the technical form about the supply chain and to communicate with my supply chain manager. Also, I need to have a lot of communication with the IT team so they would know how to prepare these data well.”

“Don’t be afraid of data, even if you don’t have any experience!”

Both young women are happy with the impact the MScBA program has given them so far, particularly because now they have had the chance to work in the Netherlands in international companies. “Doing this internship expands my horizon. The company scale in Europe is larger than the ones in Taiwan so that the business scope is more complex. I also now have the opportunity to work with people from different cultures and countries. I think this is quite nice and an advantage for us,” said Ingree.

Wan-Ting also has similar experiences. “After coming to the Netherlands, I became more open-minded and believed that I could do something more. If I only had stayed in Taiwan, maybe I would have just been some logistic specialist. But now I’m working in Henkel’s Global Project Team and need to deal with lots of different regional data. I think the thing I’m doing now is something I couldn’t imagine before I came to the Netherlands.”

TIAS School for Business and Society, Wan-Ting
Wan-Ting: After coming to the Netherlands, I became more open-minded and believed that I could do something more (KalderaNews/Doc. Wan-Ting)

“My advice for the future student is,” said Wan-Ting, “When you’re choosing the track of Business Analytics, don’t be afraid of dealing with data even if you don’t have any experience. The courses that TIAS provides will help everyone to learn data analytic skills. TIAS also delivers courses on DataCamp which you can learn online by yourself. The content is mainly about coding and you can practice online and is really nice.”

Ingree agreed that the courses from TIAS would prepare any beginners well. She also emphasized the importance of programming skills. “Even though we did not use lots of programming skills during the courses, but I would say it’s better to learn some programming such as Python or R. So you would know how to clean the data and analyze it better. And when you are using the analytical tool, you will adapt better and easier.”

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