Why I chose to pursue the MS in Business Analytics Program at Goizueta

Imagine this, a few days later it is going to be Christmas. You are working in this ridesharing company and your boss is asking you to figure out how many ride requests there will be on Christmas Eve. Your common sense is telling you there will be more people who need a ride home from the airport while there will be much fewer commuters sending ride requests during rush hours (not sure if Santa is going to use your services or not, though). Then you figure if you should pull up the historical data from the fancy database your company has already spent millions of dollars on and try to find out the certain pattern during last year’s Christmas.

This is the predictive analysis project I ran into when I was an intern at this ridesharing company in China. What would usually happen next was I found several predictors — temperature, humidity, hour of the day, if it’s weekday or weekend, if it is holiday or not, discount, etc., and I built a regression model to explain how and how much these factors would change the number of requests we received every day. With the predicted number of requests on hand, now we can adjust the coupon strategy to balance the demand and supply accordingly.

Problems like this are everywhere in today’s business world — how Facebook recommends to you people you may know, how LinkedIn finds someone who has the similar career path, how FedEx knows when your package will be delivered, how Uber designs the best route for carpool. Business analytics is the key to all these unconventional business questions. Business data scientists use data programming as a tool in addition to their business understanding to better explain the past and predict the future. From the seemingly chaotic data, we disclose hidden business growth opportunities.

The human brain’s bandwidth is limited — we just cannot process too much information at the same time. Human judgment is always biased as well. As technology reshapes every aspect of our life and causes information overload, let’s just ask computers for help. Coming from a business background, I’m glad I found this MSBA program at Emory University that opens up a world of opportunity in the analytics field. This 10-month STEM designated program perfects my technical skills for a future business data scientist. Meanwhile, the business nature of this program ensures me I can seamlessly apply these skills in real-world practices.

Join us on the journey of translating data into insights.

Yan Li

Yan Li

Yan is a Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) Candidate in the class of 2019 at Goizueta Business School. Before coming to Goizueta, Yan had a bachelor’s degree in finance. Yan is an engaging storyteller and number cruncher, who believes in data-driven strategies as the secret sauce in today’s business decision making.

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