Making Data the Storyteller
Analytics is disrupting every industry and every business function. Big data, internet of things, social media are creating a new environment where machine learning, artificial intelligence and related analytical techniques are critical for efficient decision-making. This holds true whether we refer to financial management and risk, marketing and communications, auditing, operations and logistics, or human resources management. Managers at every level and in every industry already need at least some amount of analytical expertise to do their work effectively. That’s going to become more of a requirement in the future as ever-greater amounts of real-time data become available to help decision-makers spot trends, uncover opportunities, and connect to new markets and customers. One thing managers and executives realize is that you can’t use yesterday’s technology to analyze today’s data.
To address these changes, academic programs need to make aspiring leaders comfortable around data, by showing them how models work, teaching them what kinds of questions to ask, and making them capable storytellers who can create visualizations that help sell their recommendations to the C-suite. To achieve this, classroom knowledge has to be supplemented with a real-life environment for students to test the models, address real problems, work with actual data, and offer realistic business solutions that are based on the evidence provided.
Stevens faculty are at the forefront of the analytics revolution, in the sense of both finding creative applications for technologies and sharing those insights with students. Analytics is a thread running through every business program, and the course work is supplemented by experiential learning, talk series, panel discussions, and more, aiming to enhance our students’ analytical skills.
Fatine Zaaj, MBA ’19
Operations Manager, Amazon
The ink was barely dry on Fatine's MBA when she found herself recruited by her dream employer. She started just weeks before a global pandemic created lockdowns in which Amazon was uniquely positioned to succeed. “Operating in a fast-paced, data-driven environment requires a great level of strategic planning, focus, delegation and control,” she says. “The technology emphasis of my business classes at Stevens has helped me add great value to my career.” During Women’s History Month in March 2022, Amazon publicly honored Zaaj for her outstanding leadership skills in guiding the company’s fulfillment center in NYC to operate smoothly during the pandemic.