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‘Customer Insight’ Class Focuses on Analytics

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be a 24 percent increase in demand for professionals with management analysis skills over the next eight years. Helping to fuel this increase is the rising use of business analytics by companies in their efforts to learn more about their customers, including buying habits and preferences.

With that in mind, the Yale School of Management Center for Customer Insights and IBM are collaborating on an academic initiative that will provide analytics and training resources to MBA students, helping them develop the skills needed as they prepare to become future business leaders.

In the first-of-its-kind “Customer Insight” project-focused class, students will learn about the advances in analytics and the corresponding new job opportunities that use analytics to help tackle complex business and societal challenges ranging from predicting and better understanding customer buying trends to improving retail sales, helping brand managers gather vital feedback on the success of a marketing campaign to building an efficient healthcare system.

The class will give students the opportunity to apply analytics skills to real business scenarios. For example, through social analytics capabilities if a business is not providing the level of customer service required during peak season or peak hours, they can now look at reports from the social data collected that will support the hiring of extra workforce to better serve their customers, and to avoid any negative comments associated with their brand.

“Business analytics is going mainstream, and the explosion of data from the social networks is a sign that the tides are shifting,” said Ravi Dhar, professor and director of the Center for Customer Insights, Yale School of Management. “It’s important for us to energize the classroom and that calls for integrating the latest technology into our curriculum in order to prepare students for high-value job opportunities.”

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