The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Cox debuts new masters program

Hettie Tabor discusses the new Master’s of Science in Business Analytics. Photo credit: W. Tucker Keene

Big data is the reality of business today. When companies are collecting high volumes of information, someone needs to analyze it. SMU Cox School of Business’ new Master’s of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) works to train students to fill that need.

The concept of big data is real,” Program Director Hettie Tabor said. “Companies now have access to more information than they have ever had before in their entire lives.”

According to IBM, big data describes “data sets whose size or type is beyond the ability of traditional…databases to capture, manage and process.” Analysts have to use specialized techniques to examine the data. Students will learn these techniques in the program.

“[Analytics] is something that not a lot of people have been trained on,” Tabor said. “It’s something that people, like myself, have learned over the years. We’ve trained ourselves, and we’ve created this area that’s important to these businesses.”

Tabor has worked with Accenture for 26 years and has worked in analytics for 20 years. She believes she adds real world experience to the curriculum.

“This is exactly the type of program I’m looking for,” said Paul Guillaume, an applicant from El Paso, Texas. “I really want something that can compliment my background in sales and engineering. Coupled with the software and data analysis techniques, I can go into consulting, and position myself a little better [for career opportunities].”

The MSBA program, starting in fall 2014, is only one year long. In the second semester, students decide to go down a more marketing-oriented path or a more IT-orientated path.

“We’re unique in that we’re marketing and IT, which nobody else is really doing,” Tabor said.

Tina Cai, an applicant from China, has always wanted to study in the United States and is excited about learning practical analytics skills.

China will soon become one of the most important countries in the world,” Cai said. “There are a lot of opportunities in business and I want to be a part of it.” She believes the MSBA program will help get her there.

The program focuses on teaching students practical skills that they can use as soon as they graduate.

I want people to actually touch this and be able to walk into a door at a new company and be able to do it, not just talk about it,” Tabor said.

Guillaume believes analytics is instrumental to business.

“Analytics is the future,” Guillaume said. “From buying something on Amazon to Netflix, all companies are driven by analytics.”

For more information about the MSBA program, visit the Cox School of Business website.

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