May 14, 2020
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Please allow me to say a socially-distanced “hello” to all of you.  In these uncertain times, I hope everyone is healthy and well, and that you are all weathering the medical and economic upheaval as best as you can. The MSBA program, like every academic program, has been affected in many ways by COVID-19, but we have adapted well, and our program remains strong and vibrant. As you all know, the MSBA program is designed to enable students to become translators—from data to decisions and from decisions to profits. By mastering analytics skills and communicating effectively, students maximize their value to their organizations.

COVID-19 has posed a multitude of challenges to every organization, and those organizations that will adapt best will be those who most effectively use data driven decision making. Getting data-driven decision making right requires first getting the analytics correct, and then communicating the results.  The MSBA degree has been designed to do both. As our professors, such as Josh Tapley, explain, getting insights and communicating them through visualization make a powerful combination. Students and alumni illustrate how insights and effective communication allow them to use those insights to make better decisions.

Right now, the world economy is bleak. The bright spot is that analytics exists in every industry, and analytics is becoming more important across many functional areas within those industries. The MSBA degree is one of the most flexible and in-demand of all degrees, and I believe that Analytics will be a good place to be as the world moves forward. As all of us continue in our career development, we can remember to practice being translators, and to advance both our technical skills and to invest in our communication skills. As people advance in seniority and in their careers, communication skills tend to become increasingly important and it is the ability to tell stories with data and business acumen that gets people promoted into management. But, it is technical skills that gain people first jobs and  maintain credibility with the technical people they manage. The balance is exactly what we strive for in the MSBA.  

As you progress in your career, invest in yourself! Keep in touch with the MSBA community via LinkedIn, and keep in touch with all of us at Fox. Look for more opportunities to get together in the future, both virtually and in person, and I look forward to seeing all of you soon.