New data analytics minor introducted to College of Business

Caroline Licata

Kent State’s College of Business will offer a new data analytics minor in the Economics department at the start of the fall 2016 semester.

According to Tech Target, data analytics is the science of examining raw data with the purpose of drawing conclusions about that information. The importance of data analytics within a business setting involves analyzing data in order to identify new opportunities that may lead to better business decisions.

Elizabeth A. Sinclair, the assistant dean of undergraduate programs and assessment at the College of Business Administration, said the new data analytics minor will train students to work and think critically about data, and provide them with skills that are increasingly valued in the work place.

“It’s a minor that works with data and it’s more important today for our graduates to have that kind of background,” Sinclair said.

The incentive behind creating this new minor at Kent State is a response to employers who suggest students have knowledge and experience in data analytics, Sinclair said.

“They’ve done in the (economics) department a lot of research to find out that these kind of skills (that allow people) to work with a lot of data and be able to manipulate it and report what it’s showing is very important to their organization,” Sinclair said.

 In order to succeed within the minor, a student must be good at working quantitatively, Sinclair said.

“It’s a skill that employers are looking for more and more,” Sinclair said. “Someone who looks to do this particular minor will want to like quantitative analysis. (But) not everybody has the ability to do something like this, so it’s not for everyone.”

Some of the courses required within the minor include Applied Econometrics I and II, Data Acquisition and Preparation and Statistics.

Along with these courses, students will have to choose one programming course and several electives. Some of these electives deal with organizational structure, while others deal more on working with data and are computer-related. 

Sinclair said one of the reasons the new minor was created was for those students majoring in economics. Other majors within the College of Business that would benefit from this minor are accounting, finance and computer information systems.

Additional majors that may have interest in a data analytics minor include majors in the College of Arts and Sciences, such as computer science and mathematics. A student looking to become involved in research or is majoring in technology may also be interested in a minor in data analytics, said Sinclair.

The data analytics minor has value for students who are looking to work within a business setting. Students who minor in the subject will walk away with an advantage and skill set that employers are looking for more these days, Sinclair said.

The data analytics minor is available university-wide and any student with a major within the College of Business or at Kent State is able to enroll.

Caroline Licata is a College of Business reporter at The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].