Loras College Announces MBA Business Analytics Program

Loras College has a long tradition of delivering strong undergraduate business programs which draw heavily upon the liberal arts general education required of all students.  Predicated on the success of these programs, Loras College President Jim Collins ('84) has announced the establishment of a Masters of Business Administration degree focused on business analytics.
Individuals will have the opportunity to enroll in a graduate program that has business analytics/intelligence serving as the core of its curriculum--emphasizing the importance of data-driven decision making. The MBA program significantly differentiates itself from others by requiring and offering this core focus.
The growing field of business analytics/intelligence uses data management and analytical tools to evaluate and analyze past performance to improve decision-making, predictive modeling and business outcomes.  Based on widespread survey results, there is anticipated to be a 1.5 million person shortage in the area of analytics nationwide by the year 2015.
“As an undergraduate alumna of Loras College, I was extremely excited to learn that they [Loras College] would begin offering an MBA program. I had researched many local programs but wanted to pursue my masters studies in the same active learning environment and small class size atmosphere that had made my undergrad studies such a positive and rewarding experience,” said Katie Bellendier (’06), engineering project specialist at Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The development of the graduate program was an outgrowth of initial discussions held by Loras’ undergraduate Business Administration faculty based in part on the widespread success of its accounting and finance programs. These conversations coupled with the engagement of Loras National Alumni Board member and Vice President of Marketing for Oracle’s Business Intelligence and Performance Management Products, Rich Clayton (’87), led to the development of this distinctive program. Though the program developed relatively fast, the unprecedented and unanimous support of key entities was achieved: Academic Council, Graduate Council, Loras faculty, Board of Regents and Higher Learning Commission.

As a result of Collins’ national board contacts, a number of colleges and universities have helped to advise Loras on the development of this program including Alverno (WI), Seton Hall (NJ), DePaul (IL), Notre Dame (IN) and Villanova (PA). Thanks to Clayton’s national professional network, a unique consortium of leaders in the business analytics field has been consulted while actually visiting Loras to further assess its ability, along with the Dubuque community, in supporting and advancing the analytics industry.

The start of this MBA degree program will most likely drive offering a business analytics undergraduate program, a certificate program, and the creation of a Center for Business Analytics.

“The primary goal in launching this new graduate program is to increase the business analysis skills of the next generation of leaders.  Partners, as successful, leading businesses, will create project-based internships, bring industry leaders to campus and develop thought leadership programs to attract new students and promote industry partnerships,” explained Clayton.

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