Published on January 14, 2021 by Morgan Black  
Data Lab Cropped
Samford University students are now able to further understand the way business decisions are made through the data analytics program in Samford’s Brock School of Business. The curriculum will equip students with the tools needed to operate within the dynamic data environment and will allow them to compete for some of the top jobs in today’s global marketplace such as data analyst or data scientist.
Because data analytics is such a multidisciplinary field and touches all industries, the program is offered to business majors as a concentration and to nonbusiness majors as a minor. This will allow a health care-related major studying data analytics as a minor to gain skills needed to process big data in the health care industry; and a marketing major with the data analytics concentration will be able to use data to advise his or her company’s leaders on marketing-related decisions.
In Brock School of Business, undergraduate students are required to complete a four-course sequence in data analytics, regardless of their major, including, Introduction to Spreadsheet Applications, Introduction to Data Analytics, Intermediate Data Analytics and Advanced Data Analytics. Students who choose to add the concentration or minor to their major will complete additional courses including Data Management for Business Analytics and Introduction to Data Mining. All business majors pursuing the concentration will complete an academic internship in the data analytics field prior to graduation.
Ashlee Fincher, a 2020 graduate and current Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) student, shared, “Through the data analytics program, I was able to learn the tools to be able to take data, interpret it and use the information to help companies make better decisions. Before getting into the concentration, I would never have had the confidence or the skills to look at big data, let alone use it in everyday decision-making.”
Data analytics is also offered as a concentration in the M.B.A. program. This programming for the M.B.A. includes Data Visualization for Business Analytics, Data Analytics in Accounting and Finance, Big Data Strategy/Topics in Organizational Leadership and Topics in Data Analytics. To complete the concentration in the M.B.A., students are required to successfully finish three of the four courses. The courses are also available to any M.B.A. student as electives.
Samford’s data analytics program is offered in partnership with SAS, the global leader in data analytics software. In addition to the use of the SAS software in Cooney Hall’s M. Chad Trull/Krowten Capital Data and Sports Analytics Lab, students in the program have already had the chance to work on data-centered projects for some of the world’s largest brands including Nike and Coca-Cola. Students also have the opportunity to complete an internship in Samford’s Center for Sports Analytics which promotes the intersection of big data, analytics and sports.
“Having the data analytics knowledge from this program has allowed me to market myself as a better asset to companies,” Fincher added.
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.