Open Thoughts on Analytics
DEC 6, 2011 8:51am ET

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An M.S. in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University


I received an email recently related to my blog of a year and a half ago on the then new M.S. in Predictive Analytics program at DePaul University. The writer wanted to know if I'd heard of the just-introduced distance learning M.S. in Predictive Analytics (MSPA) curricula from Northwestern University. Though I’d called the program office a while back, I hadn't gotten specific information. So I resolved anew to see what I could find. A quick introductory note to the NW School of Continuing Studies Associate Dean of Academics Joel Shapiro put me in business.

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Comments (1)
Thanks for a great article, Steve. I think you made a few very good points and, in particular, I'd like to reinforce the very last one.

Predictive analytics is one of those rare disciplines that requires creativity as well as structure, which is one of many reasons why it has such potential to add value. Unfortunately, it also creates the danger of a well presented but functionally useless scorecard getting more attention than one that may be less flashy, but that has homed right in on the key business drivers.

If you don't have the foundation to appreciate an end user's business needs and even expand on them when designing a solution, then it's hard to see where the innovation and added value is going to come from. If a student already has the business training, while he or she is getting trained in the science, I think they'll be more inclined to see the business case while they're learning the code. If they learn about databases first, by way of example, they're all going to look the same to them and it's hard to see how they can be expected to think in an innovative way about combining them to solve a business challenge, because they won't have the training to think that way.

I hope the academic world pays attention to what you are saying. It needs to be heard.

Posted by Geoffrey K | Thursday, December 15 2011 at 8:36PM ET
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