“The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.” – Carly Fiorina, Former CEO, Hewlett-Packard
The very essence of business lies in a relentless yearning to succeed. While the concept of utilizing data to drive company growth is not necessarily new, the ability to use it efficiently as a tool for corporate competition is crucial for modern businesses to thrive in the age of disruption.
It was W. Edwards Deming and Peter Drucker who once said that “you can’t manage what you don’t measure”, and never has that statement been more relevant than now.
In recent years, the global combustion of computerized statistics has sparked what’s been described as the ‘Big Data Revolution’, bringing key pillars of management – such as the ability to think critically, to productively exploit emerging technologies, and to make informed decisions – to the forefront of effective (and of course, profitable) present-day business practice.
This revolution represents brand-new and improved statistical and computational strategies, rather than the rapidly-evolving growth of storage or even machine capacity. Numerous experts have expressed that the doubling of computer power every 18-months (an insight that’s come to be known as Moore’s Law) is nothing compared to a big algorithm; a cluster of rules that can clear a complex issue a thousand times as fast as pre-existing methods.
In modern business terms, while big data often means exposure to Big Challenge, it is also now synonymous with Big Business Opportunity.
The pioneers of corporate triumph are those who use methods of big data both within and outside of the enterprise, allowing them to use unstructured, machine, online and mobile data patterns to form historical, forward-looking and innovative statistical perspectives.
The widespread integration of big data has undoubtedly changed the face of daily business operations. Companies that possess the knack and know-how to mould that data into valued information have an edge over corporate competitors.
All things considered, the best way to prepare for modern business fortune is to invest in higher education that balances business with big data.
The Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland is one world-class institution that strives to do just this, teaching essential principles of management alongside a firm foundation in big data. The school’s newly redesigned MBA program, for example, teaches students how to leverage big data to make smarter decisions, encouraging them to refine sophisticated analytic expertise, as well as an ‘integrative’ systems understanding of the way key functions like marketing, finance and operations grow and interact.
“Smith’s top-ranked faculty is passionate about creating new knowledge and sharing it with students,” the new curriculum brochure states. “…In the classroom, they’ll share the same techniques they use to help corporate clients implement their own data-driven decision making.”
Known to trail blaze the business-driven big data field, the Smith faculty have developed far beyond the classroom and the boardroom, posing influence in media outlets worldwide – including BBC Radio, Bloomberg Businessweek, US News, CNBC, and Bloomberg Television, just to name a few.
“You’ll get to apply what you learn in the classroom to real-world challenges with Smith’s unique experiential learning opportunities,” the brochure adds. “Developed in collaboration with faculty and corporate partners, Smith offers a portfolio of programs that provides students with hands-on experience aligned with their Career Tracks.
“You’ll take your analytical tools and leadership competencies and use them to assess complex problems, manage teams of clients, set strategy and deliver innovative solutions.”
To give its MBA participants a better understanding of real-world industry issues and offer them rare networking opportunities, the school brings business leaders and executives into the classroom. It’s a school that does everything in its power to mimic the professional business realm, ensuring vibrancy, flexibility and versatility through the provision of a multi-dimensional business education highly-focused on big data.
After many years of juggling his career aspirations and his photographic talent, for example, Mohamed began to understand and appreciate the importance of balance – not just in education, but also in terms of professional ambition. It was the promise of comprehensive and holistic academics that spurred him to pursue the new Smith School MBA.
Now, while thriving in the field as Brand Manager for PepsiCo, Mohamed relishes every chance he gets to employ his creative mind at the same time as the analytic skillset he gained as a result of his experience at Smith’s.
“To be well-rounded in this position is very important,” he says. “You become someone who runs a budget and is responsible for making decisions based on all of the information at your fingertips. You need to have a very solid skillset to be a truly effective manager.”
With courses specifically-redesigned to meet the everchanging needs of business, it’s clear that schools like Smith’s at the University of Maryland want nothing more than for you to succeed.
And in a world that’s increasingly defined by analytics and informed market insights, the only road to corporate progress (and by extension, corporate success) is marked by the ability to master big data concepts.
Information is transforming the world as we’ve come to know it – but how will it transform you?