The Otago Business School has introduced the Master of Business Data Science degree in recognition of the global demand for qualified Data Scientists.
Key Information about the Master of Business Data Science (MBusDataSc):
- 12 month duration
- Seven taught papers + either an applied or research project
- Applicants normally require a B+ average (at 300 level) in an appropriate undergraduate degree
- In considering an applicant’s undergraduate qualification, regard will be given to the course of study followed to gain that qualification, as well as the applicant’s performance
- Applicants with relevant practical experience may also be considered
- MBusDataSc information sheet (pdf)
There is an enormous and increasing amount of data that is collected. Examples include not just traditional data such as sales transactions, but location data (GPS), interactions between people on social network, measurements of sleep patterns, medication being taken, state of health, and much much more.
A key challenge is then to make use of this wealth of data. How can we manage this data, and analyse it to exploit useful information that can guide decision making?
This emerging area goes under the name “Data Science”. There is growing demand for people, “Data Scientists”, who have the skills to manage and analyse enormous amounts of data using a range of techniques such as data mining, statistical techniques, and machine learning.
Data Scientist has been called the “Sexiest job of the 21st century”, and the unique combination of technical skills (stats, data management) and business understanding has been said to make Data Scientists “highly sought after and highly paid”.
The MBusDataSc primary focus is to equip you to become a practitioner, allowing you to meet the needs of industry, and solve the data problems of the world. However, there will also be an alternative path that will focus on preparing students for research in the area (e.g. going on to do a masters by research or PhD).
The proposed degree is inherently multidisciplinary, featuring Information Science and Marketing, which gives the degree a strong business focus; as well as contributions from Computer Science and from Statistics.
Once you have completed the MBusDataSc you will have developed an advanced knowledge of data science. You will understand how data analysis can be used in business, including being able to identify opportunities to use data, be aware of ethical and privacy issues and possible mitigations, and be able to select appropriate means of presenting the results of analysis. You will be able to select and apply techniques to manage and analyse large collections of data.
The programme of study shall consist of seven 20 point taught papers together with a 40 point applied project or research project. Papers are either taught in semester one, semester two or are full-year papers.
You must complete:
INFO 424 - Adaptive Business Intelligence
COSC 430 - Advanced Database Topics
INFO 411 - Machine Learning and Data Mining
MART 448 - Advanced Business Analytics
INFO 420 - Statistical Techniques for Data Science
INFO 408 - Management of large scale data
BSNS 401 - The Environment of Business & Economics
Plus one of the following project papers
Papers within the MBusDataSc will be taught using a mixture of lectures, lab classes, and tutorials, as specified below. In all papers, teaching and learning is done not just through contact time, but also through non-contact time, including a range of assessments.
• COSC 430 - Lectures and lab-based tutorials
• INFO 408 - Mixture of in-class discussion and lab class work
• INFO 411 - Lectures and lab classes
• INFO 420 - Lectures and tutorials
• INFO 424 - Lectures and tutorials
• MART 448 - Lectures and lab classes
• BSNS 401 - Lectures and tutorials, seminars and group work
• BSNS 501 - Applied project requiring supervision and also group classes
• BSNS 580 - Research project requiring supervision and also group classes
The University of Otago coursework masters programmes provide you with an opportunity to specialise in advanced study with a focus on either applied practical or academic research.
Graduates of the MBusDataSc will gain skills in three areas: those relating to the business and organisational context, those relating to computing technologies for managing data, and those relating to data analysis techniques.
As a graduate of the MBusDataSc you should be able to:
- Understand where data analysis is used in business
- Identify opportunities to use data to improve decision making in a business context
- Be aware of ethical and privacy implications, concerns, and approaches to mitigating these, including the ability to identify potential areas of concern, and recommend appropriate mitigation actions
- Use appropriate means of communicating the results of analysis in graphical form
- Develop and maintain databases, including familiarity with performance management for large databases
- Have knowledge of a range of data storage and manipulation technologies (such as relational databases, NoSQL, XML), and the ability to select an appropriate technology for a given context and need
- Use high performance computing tools (including cloud computing) to manage and analyse data
- Be familiar with a range of data analysis approaches (e.g. statistical techniques, data mining, data warehousing), and be able to to select and apply these techniques to suit the context
- Develop an appreciation of the concept of ethics from multicultural perspectives, including Māori development aspirations and also an international business environment
For further information about the MBusDataSc please contact the programme coordinator: