There is no shortage of data to be found in today’s business world — but there is a clear shortage of qualified analysts to make sense of it all. In fact, labor statistics show demand for these skills will increase from 30-60% which translates into a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 workers by 2018, according to a study by McKinsey & Co.

CAPTION: Junior Chanviraktola Prak sees a bright future in business intelligence and analytics.

Addressing the needs of our economy for qualified graduates, Saint Mary’s University’s undergraduate School of Business has created the new Business Intelligence and Analytics major. The coursework emphasizes applications of data analysis, business forecasting, modeling, operations management, market analysis and project management. Students in this major will learn information technology skills to provide information for decision support systems and use enhanced decision science techniques.

Junior Chanviraktola Prak believes he’ll be a stronger future job candidate with this relevant experience in his background. “I’ve declared Business Intelligence and Analytics as one of my majors because I find the field of data analytics very intriguing, and it is a growing field in the business world,” he said. “I think this major will help me get hands-on experience with actual data from different companies and will also improve my skill in the IT field.”

Michael Ratajczyk ’03, M’05, assistant professor of business, knows what it means to be a pioneer in this field. In his 10 years at a local Fortune 500 company, he essentially created every position he held. Ratajczyk recalls, “I was working with the executive vice president for product development, purchasing and supply chain, traveling internationally, training sales and purchasing managers, negotiating with suppliers, and influencing major decisions using methods for data analysis that did not exist even a few years ago.”

Then he heard another calling. “As an alum of Saint Mary’s, I was familiar with the bold vision articulated in the strategic plan, and I felt compelled to use my experience to train a new generation of business professionals who are capable of using data to create a competitive advantage in the marketplace.”

For more information on the Business Intelligence and Analytics major, visit the program web page.

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