Going Big on Big Data

The Rutgers School of Business–Camden offers robust graduate and undergraduate programs in business analytics, including a master’s degree focused on big data

Mimi Morrin, director of the M.S. in business analytics, at left, and Monica Adya, dean of the School of Business–Camden.

By Sam Starnes

When Jeffrey Cuartero wanted to grow in his job at Intuit, a global technology company providing financial services such as TurboTax, he turned to a name he knew. “The M.S. in business analytics program at Rutgers–Camden seemed like the perfect fit for my interests and work schedule,” said Cuartero, a senior program manager for Intuit who at the time held a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers–New Brunswick and Rutgers master’s degrees in supply chain management, public administration, and government accounting.

Cuartero

A native of Somerdale, New Jersey, who graduated from Paul VI High School in Haddonfield, he enrolled in the new all-online program that launched in fall 2020. He had moved from a job in New York to the San Francisco area in 2019 when he started with Intuit, but the online access to the master’s program in business analytics allowed him to earn his fourth master’s degree from Rutgers in spring 2021. The program paid off in a project he directed for the TurboTax Live service, which matches tax experts with clients who need assistance. “I was able to leverage my analytical skills on this project to build a predictive model that identified which tax experts were the most and least efficient within their first month of processing tax returns,” Cuartero said.

The kind of big data Cuartero relied upon in his project is everywhere, from analyzing baseball statistics to scanning resumes for hiring decisions to marketing, fundraising, sales, and beyond. In addition to the graduate program, undergraduates can focus on learning about big data in the business analytics concentration and through a variety of classes. The term is thrown around often, but what exactly is big data? “Big data is data that grows at a scale that requires special database handling and algorithms tailored to specific big data use cases,” said Ram Gopalan, a clinical associate professor at Rutgers–Camden who teaches business analytics courses.

School of Business–Camden Dean Monica Adya said the integration of business analytics into the undergraduate curriculum and the introduction of the master’s program serves to fulfill one of the school’s key goals. “A big mission of ours is to have students ready for the careers that lie in front of them,” Adya said. “If you look at our curricula in the business analytic space, we cover the range of topics from fundamentals of statistics all the way to advanced machine learning and big data analysis.”

Mimi Morrin, the Henry Rutgers professor of marketing and director of the master’s and certificate program in business analytics, said big data skills combined with business savvy are important in today’s business world. “A lot of firms and government organizations and nonprofits are collecting lots and lots of data, but these organizations are not always sure of how to exploit the data, how to analyze it, and how to use it,” she said. “There is a lot of demand in the marketplace for individuals who can help organizations figure out what to do with their data.”

David Howarth, a Cinnaminson, New Jersey, resident who is an administrative analyst at the Internal Audit unit of the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General, is one of more than 70 students from 11 states currently enrolled. He said he values the Rutgers–Camden training in using software programs that are commonly employed on big data projects. “One of the greatest strengths of the program that I’ve enjoyed so far is having the ability to gain hands-on experience with these programs using real-world data and scenarios,” Howarth said.

Unlike statistics or computer science-based programs, often called data science, the Rutgers–Camden master’s in business analytics program focuses on how to implement the information in practical ways. “Students learn that analytics projects must ultimately serve business goals,” Gopalan said.

A Full Menu of Graduate Degrees and Certificates

The Rutgers School of Business–Camden has enhanced its graduate programs to offer a wide range of in-person and online graduate degrees, as well as certificate programs that can be completed and applied toward a master’s degree.

Graduate degree programs include a traditional on-campus M.B.A., an online M.B.A., and a professional M.B.A.; an online master in accounting; and an online master of science in business analytics.

Certificate programs, one of the fastest-growing professional credentials, are offered in seven areas: accounting analytics, business analytics, digital marketing, forensic accounting, investment and private wealth management, modern financial technologies (fintech), and strategic leadership. These require 12 credits and can be completed in nine to 12 months, and can be earned within a graduate degree program or as stand-alone academic credential.

For more information on these programs, visit business.camden. rutgers.edu/graduate.

Posted in: 2021 Fall

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