March 27, 2014
Grand River Center | Dubuque, IA

Accommodations are available under "Annual Symposium" at
the Grand Harbor Resort (563) 690-4000 or Hotel Julien (563) 556-4200





This year’s symposium, to be held March 27, 2014, will outline a few of the many ways the proper analysis of big data can help companies step up to the next level. Here are some new benefits you have to look forward to:

Executive Session:
The night before the symposium, CEOs and executives will be treated to an invite-only cocktail reception and a top-level keynote speaker who will share insights and applications of big data in today’s marketplace.

Certificate Program:
A fast-paced 10-week certificate program has been designed to provide practical experience in an engaging online environment for the ethical exploration of analytics. The program introduces the field of analytics in a unique cost- and time-effective way. Students will come away with a basic understanding of applicability to a wide range of analytic scenarios, firsthand experience with analytic technologies and an understanding of how to best organize for success and measure results of analytics initiatives.


The application of business analytics has never been as pivotal as in our current information-rich and -driven environment. In today’s world of Internet marketing, data warehousing and data and text mining, knowledge of analytics provides an enormous opportunity.

However, even with all of the data available, leaders often lack the skills required to analyze and make sense of the facts they possess. The analytics focus of the Loras College Business Analytics MBA promotes informed decision-making and appeals to industries and organizations striving to gain a better understanding of performance. Further, it takes advantage of a unique gap in the current graduate school marketplace. Of all colleges and universities in the state of Iowa, only one other private MBA program is accredited, and none offer an emphasis in analytics. In fact, there is only one single course in analytics offered in the state, an undergraduate course taught at Iowa State University. Within the surrounding 12-state region, only the University of Chicago and Indiana University have  programs in analytics, and they, too, are at the undergraduate level. Even nationally, few programs exist, and yet the field of analytics is projected to have a shortage of 1.5 million individuals through 2015.

As a new vehicle for fulfilling the Loras mission, 19 students gather each Monday night on the Loras College campus as part of the first cohort in our MBA program. They learn skills important to analytics in areas such as leadership, communication, technology and quantitative analysis. Dan Conway, Ph.D., director of the MBA program, explains, “I want people to have a certain amount of each, but I really want them to be excellent and thus confident in at least one of them.” The goal of the MBA program is to develop student leadership skills so they can impact the organization they work for in the area of analytics.

Kevin Ehrlich (’96), current MBA program student, works for TRICOR Insurance. He hopes that completing the MBA program will help him develop and strengthen his capacity for data analysis and critical thinking in order to improve the risk-management skills needed for his position. “Business today requires highly educated individuals who have the knowledge, experience and risk-assessment tools to advise business owners and corporate executives,” Ehrlich explains.

Jessica Clifton (’11) currently works at Prudential Retirement. She graduated from Loras College and has returned to complete her MBA.
“I know the education I received at Loras was top-notch. I am lucky to have a chance to continue my educational journey here,” she explains. Clifton hopes to gain knowledge in data analytics to apply it to the workplace.


Loras College recently announced the formation of a new Center for Business Analytics to create a unique learning platform in the rapidly growing field of analytics. Incorporating a traditional liberal arts model with the field of analytics and big data allows Loras to take the cornerstone of the liberal arts learning model and connect it in an innovative way with this emerging field.

Unlike any other program of its kind in the Midwest, the educational offerings at the Center for Business Analytics at Loras are designed to meet the continuing education needs of today’s savvy professional by enhancing the competencies of people working in business environments such as Healthcare, Finance, Manufacturing, Gaming and Insurance that will benefit from greater analytical skills.

Only 17% of those in these fields say they have enough data knowledge to be proficient in their roles today. Providing educational and field experiences for those wishing to enhance their skills in business allows the Center for Business Analytics to develop and offer graduate, certificate and seminar programming to provide the tools and techniques needed to increase employee proficiency and, as a result, the bottom line in today’s world of big data.

Loras has been fortunate to have the dedication of graduate and Vice-President of Marketing at Oracle Corporation Rich Clayton in generously providing contacts, research and curriculum in an effort to ensure the successful and distinctive launch of the College’s Business Analytics program. He is currently working to develop sponsor partners for the annual symposium, and with founding MBA Director Dan Conway, Ph.D., to deliver the Analytics Certificate program.

The Loras College MBA program seeks to provide students an opportunity to develop professional skills based on ethical principles in order to positively impact the world of business.


MARCH 27, 2014