Bethel is launching a Data Analytics Concentration in spring 2022 for its adult undergraduate business programs—the B.S. in Accounting, B.S. in Business Management, and B.S. in Finance. The concentration will equip business professionals to understand how data is collected, prepared, stored, and analyzed so they can help businesses and organizations make decisions in a more systematic, organized way. “Something exciting to me is that data analytics is a growing field in business, and employers are looking for people qualified to fulfill analytics roles such as data analyst and business analyst. Bethel will prepare people for these roles,” says Associate Professor Molly Wickam, the program director for the accounting, business management, and finance programs.
In all three programs, this concentration will help working professionals gain important skills they can add to their resumes and use in their careers. Along with gaining critical-thinking skills in their program, the Data Analytics Concentration will help them learn many tools and skills like Python, Java, SQL, advanced Microsoft Excel, and project management. Industry-recognized certifications will be embedded into the data analytics courses so students will be able to earn certifications as they work toward their bachelor’s degree. And Bethel’s adult undergraduate business degrees already feature a strong emphasis on management skills, writing skills, business ethics, time management skills, and decision-making.
Today, data is more available than ever. There are vast quantities of raw data available thanks to automated collection tools, the internet, and large databases such as relational databases and data warehouses. E-commerce and social media continue driving explosive growth in data in business. Bethel’s Data Analytics Concentration will equip business professionals with the tools and techniques to analyze large amounts of data. They’ll gain the skills to detect patterns in data and use data to draw inferences and conclusions that they can then communicate to their teams through visual and written reporting. And with the mass amounts of data being collected online, this field raises many questions, and students in Bethel’s programs will explore ethical issues around the use of data from a Christian or personal worldview.
The concentration will highlight four types of data analytics: descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive. Descriptive analytics examines what happened in the past using methods like data mining. Diagnostic analytics also explores the past but digs deeper into the “why” using tools like regression analysis and time series. Predictive analytics uses forecasting tools to project what is expected to happen in the future. Lastly, in prescriptive analytics, analysts strive to identify actions that will support effective decision-making.