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Learn the Importance of Data-driven Decision-Making With an MBA in Business Analytics

Enterprises are deploying advanced technologies to harness the value hidden within increasingly large and complex datasets. This goal drives demand for business managers in non-tech roles who can read, interpret and use data to make decisions.

Those abilities, collectively called data-driven decision-making (DDDM), are supported by processes that collect, organize and analyze digital information that business professionals use to develop strategies, solve problems and increase efficiencies.

Leveraging factual insights gleaned from data accelerates decision-making and increases certainty. Within a robust, enterprise-wide data culture, DDDM has the potential to deliver significant competitive advantages, such as improved productivity, financial performance, product research and development, and marketing programs.

Yet, for all the benefits of integrating DDDM throughout the enterprise — from the C-suite to the factory floor — McKinsey & Company warns that businesses often discount the value of a data-first workforce, “leaving value on the table and creating inefficiencies.” It predicts that “by 2025, smart workflows and seamless interactions among humans and machines will likely be as standard as the corporate balance sheet, and most employees will use data to optimize nearly every aspect of their work.”

Through courses like Decision Support Systems and Data Driven Marketing Decisions offered in East Tennessee State University’s online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Concentration in Business Analytics program, students learn the importance of DDDM in business and how to apply these skills to benefit their organizations.

What Are the Benefits of DDDM in a Data-centric Business Culture?

Not long ago, data was managed exclusively by IT. Other departments had to go through the technical staff for access to it. Technology has democratized access to digital information, enabling enterprise-wide, self-service access.

Empowering non-tech managers and their teams and departments to access data directly — with appropriate controls, protocols and governance in place — makes businesses more agile, customer-centric, operationally streamlined and collaborative, according to Atlan.

“A data democratization strategy is a plan to make valuable data easily accessible and understandable to everyone in a company, not just the experts,” the analytics vendor says. When employees emphasize data in their decision-making processes — whether in the C-suite or factory floor — it “changes unused data into useful information, opening up new paths for growth and fresh ideas.”

McKinsey cites a number of examples of business professionals without extensive data backgrounds using data to drive decisions, including the following:

  • Retail managers use analytics to identify customer preferences and personalize the shopping experience.
  • Telecommunications operations managers leverage real-time data to monitor performance and predict system expansions.
  • Procurement managers make data-driven decisions to prioritize purchases and strengthen connections with business partners.

How Do Business Professionals Acquire Data Literacy and Decision-making Skills?

In addition to offering graduates a competitive advantage, East Tennessee State University’s AACSB-accredited online MBA with a Concentration in Business Analytics program does the following:

  • Integrates foundational business leadership studies and innovative data analytics processes
  • Strengthens abilities to use analytics to make better decisions faster
  • Examines strategic decision-making driven by quantitative analysis
  • Develops proficiency in data interpretation
  • Promotes strategic leadership and management processes

Managers in non-technical roles with those skills are in high demand. Their ability to bridge the gap between business units and technology teams is the foundation for collaborative problem-solving and DDDM.

Moreover, aligning diverse teams toward building a healthy DDDM culture is fast becoming the difference between growing and stagnating. That’s why businesses positioning themselves for future success place a premium on data-savvy senior managers and team leaders regardless of their role.

Learn more about East Tennessee State University’s online MBA with a Concentration in Business Analytics program.

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