University of Southern Indiana

Data Analytics: Turning Heaps of Data into Useful Information

The sheer volume of data being collected in today’s digital world is staggering. “The total amount of data created, captured, copied and consumed in the world is forecast to increase rapidly, reaching 59 zettabytes in 2020” (Holst, n.d.). Just how large is a zettabyte? 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes– 21 zeros! Businesses, corporations and industries need analysts to manage the mountains of data and turn it into useful information for competitive and strategic decision making. This is no small feat. Enter the power of data analytics. 

The Romain College of Business has approved adding a data analytics course to its Business Administration curriculum. The proposed course, Business Data Analytics, BAN 305, will provide an overview of methodologies enabling business students to enhance decision making in their chosen discipline by identifying business problems, determining which business analytics tools can solve them and applying them effectively. The College does not currently offer a course focused specifically on the use of data analytics to drive data-driven decision making, and this course will answer that need and give business students the foundation they need.  

The data analytics course will support the College’s strategic priority of preparing learners to make meaningful impacts in the workplace. Some course topics include data visualization, data modeling, regression analysis, using Excel in decision analysis and a brief introduction to Tableau. Learning objectives for students include addressing changes in the business environment, ensuring learners possess employer-desired professional skills, exposing learners to multiple relevant experiential activities and ensuring learners have strong analytic skills. 

Seitz with student

Dr. Jamie Seitz, Assistant Professor of Accounting, will be the first instructor to teach the new course. She has completed courses and earned certifications from the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). 

“Including data analytics in our curriculum will allow our students to enter the workforce prepared to answer business questions using data,” said Seitz. “These questions include: What goods and services should be produced? Which resources should we allocate to them? Who should we offer them to? Should we discount our prices to increase sales? We designed this class offering to be multi-discipline based; the student leaving this course will have a better understanding of how business decisions can be made while considering all aspects of the organization.” 

Dr. Cathy Carey, Dean of the Romain College of Business, believes business data analytics will also improve student performance. “The new Business Data Analytics course introduces business students to the world of data visualization and data driven decision making. The skills learned in this course will enhance the learning experience in other courses in the business curriculum. Students who are interested in learning more can pursue our Data Analytics Certificate. We are excited to make this an integral part of the Business Administration Program.”

Holst, A. (n.d.). Volume of data/information created, captured, copied, and consumed worldwide from 2010 to 2024. Statista. Retrieved November 9, 2020, from

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