An introduction to HEC Masters: Master in Management, orientation Business Analytics

The end of the spring semester approaching, hundreds of HEC Bachelor students are left wondering what their next step will be. In this series, HEConomist aims at assisting students in choosing their master’s program. You can find the first two parts on the Master’s in Political Economy here and the Master’s in Finance here.

In this last volume we will discuss the Master’s in Business Analytics at HEC Lausanne. This is a specific orientation of the MscM or Master’s in Management. This program is divided into 4 semesters for a total of 120 ECTS credits, 30 of which are for the master thesis. This thesis, as with other HEC master programs, can be done in parallel with an internship if the student signs an internship contract with an agreement between the university and the recruiting company. Although the Business Analytics program has some courses in common with the other programs, the courses are more often quantitative in their approach. The general idea is to learn data analysis for decision making.

In order to study this program, it is preferable to already have an affinity for graphical representations, and to have some knowledge of statistics. Moreover, a basic knowledge of programming languages such as R and Python are assets that will allow you to avoid being overwhelmed by the different projects of each semester. Indeed, this master being very practical-oriented, the main part of the evaluation is done through reports and presentations specific to each subject.

Nowadays, every company collects data to be able to make decisions and orient their strategy. With this master’s degree, you should acquire the necessary tools to understand, clean and analyze data. It will also give you the necessary skills to present the results to people who are not familiar with analysis methods. For example, you will learn how to use data to optimize production processes as part of an operations management course, or to minimize costs in logistics by finding the shortest route among different delivery addresses.

The subjects that are the three essential pillars for data analysis are:

  • The Data Science course, which allows for data visualization through statistical approaches. You will learn through various projects how to perform EDA (Exploratory data analysis) on raw data, how to clean data and how to make simple graphical representations and statistics to explain the data.
  • The Machine Learning course, which provides the models needed for data prediction and classification. You will learn to distinguish between models that work with categorical data and those that work with numerical data. In addition to the Machine Learning course and to be able to make predictions with unstructured data such as images for example, the Deep Learning course is highly recommended.
  • The Forecasting course, which allows you to make temporal predictions on data and their likely behavior in the near future. Whether it is a demand forecast or anticipating the number of defective parts in a manufacturing process for the next few weeks, the Forecasting course gives the necessary tools to guide strategic choices regarding the operations of a company.

Another advantage of this orientation is that it can reach almost all departments of a company. Indeed, data analysis is as useful for finance as for human resources, marketing or operations. This is a definite advantage when it comes time to finding a job.

To conclude, if you are looking for a Master’s degree that allows you to learn how to apply what most companies do internally with their data, the Master’s degree in management with a specialization in business analytics is made for you. More than choosing an academic orientation, choose a profession, choose to become a business analyst.

Manoël Pidoux
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