Because Data Drives Business, The Collaboratory Heads for Columbia Business School

About 1,300 students graduate each year from Columbia Business School; many arrive with little or no computational, programming, or technical backgrounds. And yet close to half of these students aspire to careers in organizations where these skills are essential.

“I see second-year MBA students returning to class fresh from their summer internships,” says Collaboratory Fellow Costis Maglaras, chair of the Decision, Risk, and Operations Division at CBS.  “During their internships, they looked to the left, and they looked to the right. What they saw were job candidates competing for the best jobs who already have the computational and technical backgrounds that we’re developing with the grant from the Collaboratory Fellows Fund.

Tech workers have moved from the back office to the C-suite. With a series of new courses, Columbia Business School and Columbia Engineering will prepare students to succeed in this data-intensive world with a curriculum focused on computer programming and the latest techniques for gathering, managing and interpreting data.

This cross-disciplinary curriculum, Technology, Coding and Analytics for Columbia Business School, will provide foundational courses in programming, databases and data analytics, as well as industry-specific electives such as digital advertising and sports analytics. Professor Maglaras and Columbia Engineering lecturer Hardeep Johar are developing the curriculum.

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They envision an ongoing exchange of ideas between business and engineering students as they collaborate on a series of class projects. “To be successful, the next generation of executives and entrepreneurs will need to be data-literate and adept at moving fluidly among disciplines,” said Maglaras.

About the Collaboratory Fellows Fund:
Technology and massive data are reshaping society in profound ways. To be effective, the leaders of tomorrow will need to understand how these transformations are impacting their professions, now and in the future. The Collaboratory Fellows Fund is developing the coursework to allow students to master the technical skills and cultivate the creative thinking to confront the unique challenges in their chosen careers.

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