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Data analytics lab to blend business, computing & technology

Lipscomb is leading the way in preparing students to enter their professions equipped for success

Kim Chaudoin  | 

Lipscomb data analytics lab

Preparing students to be leaders in organizations around the world is a priority of Lipscomb’s College of Business and the College of Computing & Technology. This preparation includes equipping students with skills specific to their chosen field of study in addition to other knowledge that will put them a step ahead of others in the marketplace. 

The field of data analytics is growing rapidly and learning how to integrate it in organizational operations is quickly becoming a vital trait of successful business leaders. The College of Business believes so strongly in the importance of data analytics now and in the future that it has recently taken a bold step to ensure its students are workforce ready. Beginning this fall, all incoming business students will earn a data analytics minor along with completing the course requirements for their major field of study. To accomplish that, the College of Business developed and incorporated a 15-hour business data analytics component that is now part of every undergraduate business program of study, making Lipscomb one of the few universities in the nation to embed such a focus on data into the core undergraduate curriculum.

“In the College of Business we focus on what will help our students distinguish themselves when they are in the job market,” said Allison Duke, senior associate dean in Lipscomb’s College of Business. “Adding an emphasis on data analytics into our curriculum was important in preparing our students for their future careers because we have been hearing from employers, our board members, our colleagues in the College of Computing & Technology and our alumni that that skillset is becoming even more important in the marketplace.”

Through another program developed by the College of Business in the Center for Data Analytics, students can show their mastery of specific analytics tools by becoming certified in popular industry visualization programs such as Power BI or Tableau. These certifications make students more marketable as they seek employment, which is vital in today's turbulent job market. Learn more about opportunities to financially offset data analytics certification fees for students.

“We spent a lot of time talking to employers and what we are seeing with businesses is that more data is being created than ever before. There is an ocean of data coming from numerous sources,” said Jacob Arthur, director of Lipscomb’s Center for Data Analytics. “Businesses are collecting and getting access to more data every day, and our goal is to produce students who can help companies unlock the value in their data.”

We spent a lot of time talking to employers and what we are seeing with businesses is that more data is being created than ever before. There is an ocean of data coming from numerous sources. Businesses are collecting and getting access to more data every day, and our goal is to produce students who can help companies unlock the value in their data. — Jacob Arthur

Arthur said that business students will learn how to use data analytics to locate new opportunities by studying consumer and employee behaviors and habits and learn to help businesses reduce customer complaints, create better products and services, and improve internal processes through this analysis.

“This is a great opportunity to collaborate in a very tangible and practical way with the College of Business to help students be prepared at the highest level,” said John Brocklebank, dean of the College of Computing & Technology. “We believe strongly that analytics and technology combined with innovation can unlock new knowledge and opportunities in business and equipping our students with these skills helps them to be prepared at the highest level for success in the workplace.”

The College of Computing and Technology has developed a very robust Masters of Data Science program. This program includes a faculty of world-renowned practitioners in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning. In addition to traditional academic programs, the college is also creating a new bootcamp, “Analytic Methods using SAS/Python,” to be offered starting in January 2021. 

The College of Business and the College of Computing & Technology have built a data analytics lab, a physical presence in the Swang Center where students can solely focus on honing this skill. An anonymous donor funded the project. This facility allows the Center for Analytics to continue to engage with industry professionals using the newest technologies to solve business problems across all verticals including: healthcare and life sciences, government, retail, manufacturing, travel and transportation, financial services, communications, agriculture, sports, oil and gas, utilities and IOT services.
 
“Analytics is what businesses run on,” said Ray Eldridge, dean of the College of Business. “Eventually every company will be in the data business. By infusing this knowledge and skills into the curriculum, by providing hands on experiences while serving businesses, Lipscomb University is preparing its students to be current and relevant in these volatile times.”

In December 2018, Lipscomb launched the Center for Analytics to integrate the study of data analytics in academic programs spanning a variety of disciplines to better equip the next generation of data-driven professionals in any industry or career field. Lipscomb’s Center for Analytics is a collaboration among the university’s College of Business, where the center is housed, and the College of Computing & Technology.

The College of Business offers an integrated business data analytics minor as part of all business majors, with the goal being to introduce future business professionals to the key concepts, terms, and processes for dealing with data. The College of Computing & Technology offers an undergraduate degree in data analytics with a focus on individuals who want to develop programming skills and integrate those with statistical analysis, data processing, and modeling. Lipscomb Online offers undergraduate and certificate programs in data analytics.