Where Data Meets Decision Making | Distance and Online Education
The University of Iowa

The University of Iowa Tippie College of Business is offering a graduate program on location in Des Moines.  The program offers five key courses on a 10 or 12 week cycle, one night a week, no Fridays or weekends. This accelerated process provides working adults the format they need, and can be completed in a year allowing students to apply their knowledge on the job right away. The timing for this program couldn’t be better. Ranked among the 25 most in-demand skills of 2015 by LinkedIn, the field of business analytics is applicable in any setting including business, education, healthcare and public policy.


“We wanted to engage more with the corporate community across the State of Iowa,” says Nick Street, professor and chair of Management Sciences in the Tippie College of Business. “Students in our program come from all types of industry and are asking important questions that the field of data analytics can answer.”


Answers to what types of questions? In public health the question may be, “How can we keep our population healthier?” For business marketing, “What are the optimal choices for upselling to the customer?” In education, “How can we best improve student performance with budget constraints?”


In the financial industry, developing the capacity to deal with data, predictive analytics and data visualization is a growing need. Teresa Volcheck, an IT audit manager at Principal Financial Group in Des Moines, has already completed the UI Certificate in Business Analytics and is now working on her MS degree in the same field on location in Des Moines. According to Volcheck, “I’ve been in computer programming for 20 years so the Certificate in Business Analytics seemed like a good match. Studying business analytics is both fun and has practical applications for our company.”


Since Volcheck works in internal audit, one on-the-job application might be asking about higher risk areas that need to be audited more frequently and target high risk activities to focus audit test samples. For example, internal audit and the business units’ risk-rate auditable processes for both the risk it poses to the business, and the risk it poses to the company. Each completed audit then has areas where improvements can be made to tighten controls to mitigate risk. Within each audit there is a testing step or sample. Introducing data analytics makes for a smarter sample and can be used to select samples that are interesting given certain data points (amount, date, frequency, etc.), or to identify clustering.


Volcheck works with a growing number of Principal employees with experience in the data analytics field, and is excited to utilize the knowledge she has gained in the program. “Just taking the business analytics classes opens more possibilities than I had before,” says Volcheck.


Given the success of the certificate program, the Master’s in Business Analytics launched on location in Des Moines Fall 2016 and has already made the list of Poets&Quants’ Top 100 business programs.  Find out more about this exciting program at https://tippie.uiowa.edu/future-graduate-students/masters-programs/business-analytics