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New Data Analytics Major Launches

With the start of the fall semester next week, St. Norbert adds a new and rigorous data analytics major to its offerings.

The curriculum is a collaboration between disciplines in the natural sciences and the Schneider School of Business & Economics, leveraging existing courses and adding new ones.

Data analytics is critical in preparing organizations to solve modern business challenges, says Dan Heiser, dean of the Schneider School of Business & Economics at St. Norbert. Participants of this program will have exposure to innovative methodologies that support data-driven decision-making.

“One of the most important elements of St. Norbert College’s data analytics major is its reliance on our liberal arts core curriculum,” Heiser says. “Our industry advisors have made it clear that they want to hire people who know how to ask the right questions ... . St. Norbert’s general coursework gives our graduates a broader perspective and contextual framework desired by employers.”

With this major, students will learn to work with quantitative and qualitative data, identify puzzles, form probing questions, evaluate claims, make inferences and effectively communicate data-driven answers to real-world problems such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic, data analytics is playing a powerful role in the fight against the virus,” says David Bailey, dean of natural sciences and professor of biology. Individuals with specializations in the field are performing forward simulations to forecast the spread and backward visualizations to determine the virus’s origins, allowing health care administrators and public health officials to plan for surges and predict staffing, equipment and treatment needs. Biomedical researchers are using analytics tools like algorithms and bioinformatics to comb through the viral genome and to determine more precisely viral structure and mutations, as examples, to more quickly and comprehensively develop vaccines, therapies and diagnostics.

“The data analytics field will continue to play a central role in science, medicine and day-to-day living, reducing infection rates and mortality and also aiding in everyday decisions like trips to the grocery store and travel arrangements.”

St. Norbert’s proximity to Green Bay and Milwaukee gives students access to world-class corporations and organizations where they can apply their knowledge in fields as diverse as marketing and communications, product development, public health, community development, and banking and finance. Data analytics majors are well-positioned to shape the future of countless professions, including business, marketing, finance, public health, government, education, social policy, law and medicine, as well as scientific research in genomics, computer science, climate science, neuroscience, particle physics and astronomy.

The college also is developing a data analytics minor that should be approved by the 2021-22 academic year.

Aug. 18, 2020