Friday, September 26, 2014

Humane and Socially Responsible Analytics: A new concentration at National Tsing Hua University

This Fall, I'm introducing two new elective courses at NTHU's Institute of Service Science: Business Analytics using Data Mining and Business Analytics using Forecasting (if you're wondering about the difference, see an earlier post). The two new courses join three other elective courses to form the new concentration in Business Analytics. Courses in this concentration are aimed at getting students into the world of analytics by doing. The courses are designed as hands-on, project-oriented courses, with global contests, that allow students to experience different tools. Most importantly, our program is focused on humane and socially responsible analytics. We discuss and consider analytics applications from a more holistic view, considering not only the business advantage to a company or organization, but also implications to individuals, communities, the environment, society, and beyond. And our courses are sufficiently long (18 weeks of 3-hour weekly sessions) to allow for in-depth experience and learning.

Forget buzzwords. It's about intention.
"Holistic analytics" is a term used by marketing analytics folks. It typically means "understand your customer really well (360 degrees) so that you can optimize your profit" (here's an example). We've seen business school courses being built around buzzwords such as "ethics" and "corporate social responsibility". The honest ones are focused on changing the mindset in terms of what we're optimizing.

To the best of my knowledge, the NTHU Business Analytics (BA) concentration is the only program in Taiwan offering such a combination of business and analytics. And I believe it is the only BA program globally focusing strongly on humane and socially responsible analytics (if you know of other such programs - please let me know so we can explore synergies!).
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