Become the data-savvy manager everyone wants

As a Masters in General Management student, from next academic year onwards you will be able to opt for a specialisation in Business Analytics (BA). “Supplementing your general management skills with analytical skills will help you to become the data-savvy manager that everyone wants and progress through the ranks quickly.” Sound good? Professor of Business Analytics Philippe Baecke and Senior Career Advisor Wendy Lisarde answer five questions.

1. Do I need specific prior knowledge of business analytics or AI?

“No, an analytical mindset is more important”

Wendy Lisarde: “Our Masters in General Management traditionally has a very broad student profile: you might find an economist sitting next to a historian, who in turn is sitting next to a bioengineer or a law student. An important requirement for choosing the BA specialisation is not whether you already have these skills or have already taken analytical subjects. A more important question is whether you have an analytical mindset. Do figures give you a kick?”

Prof. Philippe Baecke: “I agree. Masters in General Management is open to everyone and the same applies to this BA specialisation. If you are inspired by the huge surge in popularity of BA and AI over the past 3 years, this specialisation is for you. Online courses will give you an introduction to programming languages such as SQL and Python, so that everyone will be more or less at the same level once the specialisation starts.”

2. Why should I take this specialisation in Business Analytics at Vlerick?

“Because you will learn how to apply BA and AI in a variety of business domains”

Philippe: “As a business school, we have one foot in the business world. We know that companies are very keen to find business analysts and data scientists who can adopt a data-driven approach to searching for solutions and detecting opportunities. So, you shouldn’t expect a hard-core IT programme but a hands-on way of working with data, interpreting it, acquiring business insights and therefore becoming a strategic partner for both IT and management.

We also focus on machine learning and optimisation techniques for decisions that are too complex for the human brain. One example of this is how Google operates its data centres: how should we adjust the cooling systems in order to cool the data centres in the most energy-efficient way? Optimisation algorithms help to control the multitude of parameters automatically.

On the other hand, Vlerick has been focusing strongly on digital transformation – and BA and AI in particular – in numerous sectors and domains for many years now. This is clear from the initiatives we are taking within the Vlerick community, including the Centre for Excellence in Financial Leadership & Digital Transformation under the impetus of our colleague Kristof Stouthuysen, or the executive programme Creating Business Value with AI and Big Data that I myself developed. This BA specialisation, completes the circle for our Master’s students.”

3. What opportunities does this specialisation offer on the labour market?

“It opens many, many doors, and not just in consultancy, IT or technology”

Wendy: “McKinsey's research on the Future of Work describes the skill gaps in the labour market. The top 5 all involve analytical thinking and data analysis. Nobody can avoid data these days.

On the one hand, this specialisation will allow economists or engineers to add an extra layer to their profile, making them even more sought after in the fields of consultancy, IT or technology.

On the other hand, business analytics and AI have gained a different dimension in the last two or three years. They have become popular in a wide range of businesses too. For example, AI is used in the construction sector to automate quotations. AI is also increasingly being used in the justice system as a decision support tool for providing advice. Students are aware of these developments. Thanks to this specialisation in the Masters in General Management programme, a structural engineer or law student who wishes to explore this technology further will also discover many opportunities in these sectors.”

4. Does Vlerick organise special recruitment initiatives for BA?

“Job fairs and a BA community”

Wendy: “During the careers fairs throughout the year, we connect students with companies that are specifically looking for data scientists. We are also playing with the idea of creating a Data Science Club, following the example of the Sales Club, where students and companies could interact more as a community.”

5. What is the difference between this Masters in General Management specialisation and the Masters in Marketing & Digital Transformation?

“The Masters in General Management specialisation is more technical”

Philippe: “In the Masters in Marketing & Digital Transformation, the analytical skills and techniques focus primarily on digital marketing tools such as Google Analytics, Google ads, Facebook ads, CRM, etc. In other words, customer-facing data. We also cover AI, but mainly from a marketing perspective.

The Masters in General Management specialisation is broader and more technical. Here, we will really dive deeper into the world of IT and data management, data science and models involving machine learning and advanced deep learning. We will apply all of this to areas such as strategy, finance, the supply chain, HR and so on.”

Masters in General Management Specialisation in Business Analytics

Fundamentals

  • Data Management & Cloud Platforms: collecting and managing data
  • Data Science with Python: analysing data and discovering patterns for making projections
  • AI with Deep Learning and Natural Language Processing: using and analysing different forms of data (text data, image data, etc.) in order to create automated solutions

Business & data integrated case

  • Data-Driven Project Management: combining own expertise and data in a smart way in order to make business decisions

Boot camp (choose 1)

  • Data Science for Finance & Strategy
    or
  • Code Camp: programming for business

All details of the programme.

Curious to find out out more? Discover our Masters in General Management programme.

Related news

  1. Vlerick Business School successfully transitions company projects to online

    Date: 23/03/2020
    Category: Programme news
    With the spread of COVID-19 and encouraged social distancing, business schools globally have faced tough decisions on whether to shift their teaching to a fully online model or cancel classes all together. This becomes an even more difficult decision when it comes to programmes and classes that involve interaction with external companies, such as our Global Supply Chain Strategy Bootcamp together with our Prime Foundation Partner Lineas. Thanks to our extensive experience with online learning and everyone’s flexibility and willingness to make this work, we successfully transitioned the bootcamp to online.
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