By Lacie Blankenship
The coming of the new year brings new beginnings, new opportunities, and this year, 2 new courses to Vanderbilt Business. Getting Value Out of Data Science (MGT-6476) will be taught by Jesse Blocher, Associate Professor of the Practice of Data Science and Finance, and IT for Business Leaders (MGT-6494) will be taught by Marcy Binkley (MAcc‘12), Adjunct Assistant Professor of the Practice of Business Studies.
Blocher notes that while business leaders often stress the need to leverage data science (be it data analytics, machine learning, or artificial intelligence), many struggle to do so effectively. The goal of his course is to “educate future business leaders on what data science is and isn’t, and what it can and can’t do,” he says.
By the end of the term, students should understand when and why to apply common data science approaches to business problems, grasp the essence of data-driven decision-making, and understand the strategic implications of big data, analytics, statistical testing, and machine learning. Half of the class is preparation and participation, while the other half requires students to demonstrate what they learned, individually and in groups.
In IT for Business Leaders, students will be introduced to the fundamentals of Information Technology (IT), the roles and responsibilities within an IT organization, and how business leaders can leverage IT to achieve their goals. The course will also cover cloud technology and cybersecurity, as well as emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet-of-things, and blockchain.
“IT and related risk impact each role in an organization,” Binkley notes. Her course explores the frameworks and systems that support key business processes and data management. “This course is applicable for any professional in the current digital workplace,” she says.
Blocher has been a faculty member in the area of Finance at Owen since 2012; he recently added a new faculty role at the Data Science Institute (DSI) as well. He serves as the Director of Graduate Studies for the Data Science M.S. program at the DSI.
In addition to teaching IT for Business Leaders at Vanderbilt Business, Binkley serves as an Assistant Professor of Accounting at Lipscomb University.