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Posted by Chioma Isiadinso
The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School is one of the top business schools that have embraced the trend toward big data. Now, the school has announced that it is bringing all its data initiatives together under one big program, Analytics at Wharton.
This move is being made with the support of an anonymous $15 million gift. The gift comes as part of Wharton’s More Than Ever fundraising campaign, which is now 77 percent of the way to its lofty goal: $1 billion.
Analytics was identified as one of five core areas of focus in the More Than Ever campaign, along with campus, people, entrepreneurship, and future of finance.
The latest gift solidifies data and analytics as a school-wide area of focus, too. Part of the launch of Analytics at Wharton is the creation of a new position: vice dean of analytics.
That title will go to Eric T. Bradlow, who chairs Wharton’s marketing department and co-founded the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative, one of five main programs being united under the umbrella of Analytics at Wharton.
Other existing initiatives being brought into the program cover topics like public finance, analytics in the workplace, behavioral analytics, and data services for organizations outside Wharton.
In announcing Analytics at Wharton, the school emphasized the extent to which analytics is already an essential part of its programs. It pointed out that 14 percent of MBA students major in business analytics, and that it holds 18 annual analytics-related public events.
Wharton’s dean, Geoffrey Garrett, said the launch of Analytics at Wharton was a sign of the school’s understanding that big data is here to stay. According to Garrett, “the creation of Analytics at Wharton demonstrates our commitment to using big data to transform how business is done.”
He added that the $15 million gift “gives us the opportunity to expand our analytics research, curriculum, and industry engagement to respond to the enormous interest from our students, our faculty, and business at large in championing the responsible use of data to benefit society.”
Besides being used to bring together Wharton’s existing analytics initiatives, that gift is being used to create the Data Science and Business Analytics Fund, which Wharton says will accelerate the growth of its analytics program.
In recent years, Wharton has been keen to stress that it is adapting its MBA program to data-driven changes in business. If you’re an MBA applicant with an interest in analytics, that approach makes Wharton an attractive option.
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