Macquarie Uni launches business analytics degree

A Bachelor of Business Analytics is being offered by Macquarie University's Faculty of Business and Economics, rather than the Department of Computing.

Macquarie University in Sydney has brought in a new university degree that blends IT and business management skills: A Bachelor of Business Analytics.

The three-year degree is being offered by the university's Faculty of Business and Economics, and is different from data analytics courses traditionally offered through technology-focused departments. The decision was driven by the exponential growth of data; many businesses want to extract value from the data they accumulate to contribute to strategies and operations, according to Macquarie University.

The Faculty of Business and Economics has worked closely with the Faculty of Science, which contains the Department of Information Technology, to develop the Business Analytics program.

The university also sought input from IBM, Google, and graduate recruitment firms to ascertain the kinds of skills that are most valuable in the real world.

Macquarie University associate professor Hume Winzar told ZDNet that half the course will have an IT element to it.

"The orientation of the degree really needs to be to understand business, financial, and economic problems, then employ tools from IT, statistics, and economics in order to solve them," he said. "It contains a fair foundation of business principles, and, on top of that, it will give students a tool kit that will make them immediately useful in terms of ability to use databases, ability to use some of the more advanced features of spreadsheet and database programs.

"There are also some skills in data visualisation, data mining, and handling big data."

The Bachelor of Business Analytics will be offered from the first semester of 2014. Macquarie University expects around 100 students to enrol in the degree.