HEC Paris and IBM Create a New Curriculum on Business Analytics

HEC Paris and IBM are collaborating on an academic initiative that will provide Business Analytics training to MBA students, helping them develop the skills needed to become future business leaders. This initiative will feature a number of new courses for MBA. students in the Strategy Specialization which will be co-developed by HEC Paris and IBM. Students will also be exposed to IBM proprietary technologies, engineers, and data scientists. This world-class curriculum on Business Analytics will educate the next generations of MBA students, starting in 2013-2014. The ultimate goal of the HEC Paris-IBM initiative is to become the leading Business Analytics graduate program in Europe and to instill a data-oriented mindset in top companies worldwide.

By building stronger analytical skills, MBA students will be able to tackle complex business and societal problems such as predicting and better understanding customer buying trends, optimizing organizational design, collecting and processing competitive intelligence, building an efficient healthcare system, improving retail sales, or helping brand managers gather critical feedback on the success of a marketing campaign. To meet these challenges, Professor Pacheco de Almeida, coordinator of the MBA. Strategy Specialization, plans to develop the curriculum over the next few years through a series of new courses including Big Data, Strategy Simulation Modeling and Decision Models, Data Mining, Strategy Analytics, Prediction, Social Media Analytical Tools, and Data Visualization.

In terms of expected job opportunities, the HEC Paris-IBM initiative will help reduce the substantial shortage of human capital with analytical managerial expertise which currently exists in most modern industrial societies. In the US alone, the demand for deep analytical talent may exceed supply by more than 50% in 2018 (Sources: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Census, Dun & Bradstreet, company interviews, McKinsey Global Institute analysis). In Europe, the order of magnitude of this problem is likely to be even greater. Analytical skills are no longer just a requirement for IT professionals; the business world is becoming increasingly complex and information is, now more than ever, at the center of most business challenges. Business Analytics is a revolution that will likely be comparable in its scale, reach, and productivity impact to the widespread adoption of other General Purpose Technologies (GPT) such as personal computers in the 1980s, electricity in the early 20th century, and steam power during the industrial revolution. The full productivity multiplier of Business Analytics for the economy will only materialize when business schools start educating managers in this area. HEC Paris is pioneering the way in this new frontier.

As a member of the IBM Academic Initiative, HEC Paris will receive access to IBM technology, course materials, training and curriculum development. HEC Paris will also have the opportunity to collaborate with IBM and gain hands-on expertise from IBM researchers and developers on innovative projects. This collaboration is part of IBM's work with thousands of universities around the world to develop and encourage future generations of business leaders and entrepreneurs, bringing innovative technology, access to experts and Watson technology to students around the world.

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