Students and SCM Professionals:

This can be a deal breaker in your professional lives…

The following CIS courses in our program develop Business Analytic skills:

CIS 1020 (Business Computing), CIS 2640 (Business Analysis and Reporting), CIS 2650 (Programming for Data Analytics), CIS 3640 (Business Analytics), and CIS 4640 (Business Data Mining). The trend line is very positive for this skill set.

Business Analytics (BA) addresses an increasing demand in organizations of all types to understand data related to their operations.  Investments in information systems throughout the enterprise for the last 10-25 years are generating tremendous amounts of data, and companies will spend at least the next 10 years developing processes that generate insight from those data.  In addition to data generated internally, many companies are exploring the effects of external data, primarily present in social media or web search. The ability to manage data and conduct business projects are the key to success in many disciplines. BA will provide a comprehensive skill set for students to analyze, visualize and report data.  The BIS and ISM programs have industry advisory boards supporting this skill set.  Attached is information that shows the importance of BA skills to employers.

Here is my thought on the BA minor and how to sell CIS 2650 to employers…

First of all, CIS 2650 is not just a “Python” class, but instead a Python class for analytics (big difference). In a traditional Python class, people teach Python straight for the whole semester with tons of syntax, data structure, software development, etc. That type of class is mostly designed for CIS and CS majors. What we do is different. It is Python in a popular analytics platform (more technically speaking, it is Python in Jupyter, which is an analytics platform that data science and business analytics programs do). Can you imagine what an employer will think if they see Python in Jupyter on your resume?  The reason for this design is the following:

A while back, we made these points about CIS 2650 and the BA minor in general.  Do these points still largely apply?…

  • We studied the top skills in analytics jobs & Python was among the top skills. 
  • The visualization libraries in Python can produce the kind of visualizations not available in Tableau & Power BI. Students will be able to differentiate themselves from other schools.   
  • Tableau & Power BI recently added Python or Python+Jupyter because certain Python analytics & visualization are not available in Tableau and Power BI. Using them together makes it a powerful analytics solution (e.g., the ability to transform visualization into implementable actions).   
  • All data scientists stress the importance of Python in analytics programs. Note, “data scientist” is one of the fastest growing career paths with escalating salaries because not enough people are good at this stuff.  
  • Python are “R” are both number one & two in analytics, but Python is easier to learn compared to R. 
  • Past experience in our SCM program (3+ semesters of experience in CIS 2650) shows that non-technical students (SCM, marketing, accounting, etc.) are able to handle the content that we designed. 
  • Python + Jupyter (or its variant) are used in Big Data (Hadoop, Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, etc.). It can also be used with/on SAP HANA, IoT, AI, Blockchain, and smart contracts to implement supply chain visibility, and other SC related solutions, etc.  

We believe the above points are still valid. Here are some evidences:

To make sure students see Python’s benefits and applications, we added applications of Python in Tableau/Power BI to the course content and offer some examples.

Meeting the needs of today’s employers is important, but offering a program that does that plus something that can differentiate our students from other schools sounds even better. Compared to the analytics programs from the schools that we benchmarked, our students can do so much more.

Contact me for more material. Thank you. Sime

Sample Lectures & Should You Major in Supply Chain Management?

Dr. Sime (Sheema) Curkovic, Ph.D.
, Professor, Operations/Supply Chain
Western Michigan University, Haworth College of Business

“WMU Integrated Supply Management (ISM)…Nation’s best undergraduate SCM program (Gartner 2014); 2nd in SCM technology (SoftwareAdvice 2015);  2nd in top global SCM talent (SCM World 2017)”

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