Business analytics master’s program earns ChaseDream Top 10 ranking

June 25, 2020

The Miami Herbert Business School is recognized for its creative and innovative approach to preparing students for their future careers by merging science and analytics.

By Michael R. Malone

Buoyed by its strong emphasis on experiential learning and real-life work experience, the Master of Science in Business Analytics program at the University of Miami Patti and Allan Herbert Business School moved into the elite group of Top 10 worldwide, according to the most recent rankings by ChaseDream, the leading online platform for Chinese business students and executives.

ChaseDream ranked the specialized master’s program tied for eighth—up three slots from the previous year—and among the 10 best in the world to teach students how to translate abstract data into meaningful information that can help predict consumer behavior and forecast revenue and expenses.

“This international recognition for the MSBA sets a very high standard for where we aspire to be with all of our graduate programs,” said Henrik Cronqvist, vice dean for graduate programs. “The level of excellence serves as a motivator and a source of inspiration and aspiration for our other programs and the staff who are leading and helping the academic directors.”

Cronqvist credited the improved ranking specifically to the dedication of Yongtao Guan, the chair of the Management Science Department who founded the program in 2013, the faculty directors’ team, and to the business and employment partnerships that are fundamental to the program.

Though he had earned a master’s in computer science, Hannes Gustavo Schiller sensed that he needed business experience to apply what he had learned and to launch his analytics career.

“The fact that the University offered the analytics specialization within the school of business was a huge point for me,” explained Schiller, who graduated this past May and landed a full-time job with a local health facility.

Schiller took full advantage of the lectures, workshops, and scholarships offered through the Deloitte Institute for Research and Practice, a collaborative initiative launched in 2018 with the global consulting firm, and other school business partners.

The capstone project that he developed for Deloitte, generating a text analysis of hundreds of thousands of patients’ reviews of their medicines, helped to crystallize his learning.

“I had a good understanding of machine learning from the lectures, but learning to build a sentiment analysis, to categorize words based on their sentiments, and run automated text analysis opened up a huge new world for me,” Schiller said. “Now I do that on my own, but the capstone—and my professors help on it—showed me how.”

Schiller applauded the program, and, in particular, Ginger Baxter, director of career services at the school’s Ziff Graduate Career Center, for its active support in finding internship and employment opportunities for students.

For her part, Baxter suggested that the increase in opportunities for students may have influenced the improved ChaseDream ranking.

“There’s such a diversity in terms of the range of opportunities for projects and internships,” said Baxter, pointing out that the number of student capstone projects leaped from 11 to 60 last year, and the number of companies partnering with the business school increased from eight to 25.

As an example of a successful project, she noted the recent robotic process automation, where a student team developed an automated system to reduce warehousing inefficiencies and helped a large liquor distributor recognize an estimated $6 million in savings.

Doug Lehmann, one of the program’s faculty directors, suggested that the ChaseDream ranking—which he compared in importance to that of the U.S. News & World Report for students in the United States—would further improve the school’s reputation among the important Chinese academic arena.

“The improved ranking reflects our emphasis on experiential learning and our program effort that helps students move from rote learning to translate their conceptional understanding to real-life application, which is essential in the business world,” Lehmann said. 

“Students are always asking what they can do with the learning and how they can translate their learning into a job,” Lehmann said.

“The fact that we work with so many different companies in different areas of the local community is such a benefit for students—the companies present the problems, the students put their learning to work, and we help them articulate their insights,” he said.

“We have achieved the No. 8 ranking thanks to the determination and high standards of professor Yongtao Guan, program directors Doug Lehmann and Dan McGibney, and the rest of the Management Science faculty,” said John A. Quelch, dean of the business school.

The University of Miami Patti and Allan Herbert Business School offers a total of eight specialized master’s programs, including the most recent in Sustainable Business. The Executive MBA in Health Administration is the school’s top-ranked program overall, ranked No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report.

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