Can’t code? There may be hope for you yet! The Wall Street Journal reports that companies from IBM on down to “Northeastern pizza chain Papa Gino’s” all need help sifting through the massive amounts of data we now find ourselves swimming in. Whereas “data analytics was once considered the purview of math, science and information-technology specialists,” says the Journal, now even your technological dilettantes of the B-school variety can get into the game, theoretically becoming experts on both the analytics side and how to build a business strategy based on what they find after a few classes.
Fordham University’s Graduate School of Business, for example, is making a Marketing Analytics class a mandatory requirement for MBA students on the marketing track.
“Historically, students go into marketing because, they ‘don’t do numbers,’”said Dawn Lerman, director of the business school’s Center for Positive Marketing. But these days, with so much data available surrounding consumer behavior, “you can’t hide from math and statistics and be a good marketer.”
Fordham is one of more than 200 schools that IBM has teamed up with to develop analytics curriculum and training and meet the need for data analytics managers they see coming down the road. Steve Mills, IBM senior vice president and group executive of software and systems, told the Journal, “The more students that graduate knowledgeable in areas we care about, the better it is not just for our company but the companies we work with.”
Companies are already crossing their fingers that this new breed of analytics-savvy marketers will work out. XO Cmmunications, a B2B telecom company reports that it’s been having trouble finding potential hires who understand both statistics and how to put together a project and would “strongly consider” hiring an MBA that offered both.
Between forcing magazine designers to figure out the iPad and trying to fit numbers-averse workers in a data analytics hole, it sounds like an evolutionary change is underfoot to get the American workforce to get to up to speed with our technological future.