About the Center

Leads the education, research and practice of business analytics

The Center for Business Analytics (CBA) leads the development of analytical capabilities of Villanova School of Business undergraduate and graduate students. The CBA is organized around the 3 pillars of Curriculum, Research and Practice, which provide focus on the development, execution and tracking of the CBA’s strategic objectives.

Curriculum Pillar

The curriculum goals and activities of the CBA provide support to increase and improve the analytics-oriented components of VSB undergraduate and graduate courses, and to produce students competent in current analytics practice and application. Curricular initiatives include the required sophomore Business Analytics course, the 3-course undergraduate analytics minor, and a mix of MBA and undergraduate analytics electives. 

Highlights for the 2012-2013 academic year include: 

  • All VSB sophomores took “Business Analytics”, a new required course designed to give students exposure various methods to analyze and use data to drive improved business decision making.
  • There are over 140 VSB students enrolled in the 3-course minor business analytics minor. The minor was launched in April 2012.  

Research Pillar

The research goals and activities of the CBA provide financial and professional support services to Villanova faculty conducting and publishing analytics research. Where possible, CBA research focuses on emerging analytics practitioner issues identified by the CBA Advisory Council, with Villanova faculty collaborating with firms and analytics professionals throughout the projects. 

Highlights for the 2012-2013 academic year include: 

  • The CBA, the IBM Institute for Business Value and IBM Big Data Industry Marketing continued a research project to develop a predictive model of an organization’s decision to invest in analytics, and to determine the benefits and ROI resulting from investing in analytics software and services.
  • The CBA and CBA Advisory Council firms SAP and Vertex continued a research project to analyze the extent to which Business Intelligence tasks can be performed on different computing devices (laptop, tablet, smart phone) throughout the cloud. 

Practice Pillar

The practice goals and activities of the CBA are grounded in collaborative interaction with the business community. Throughout the year, the CBA hosts analytics thought leaders and practitioners who share their insights with students, faculty and professionals. The CBA’s Business Analytics Roundtable series brings Villanova faculty and professionals together to share case studies and emerging trends in analytics. The CBA provides VSB students opportunities to develop hands-on analytics experience through paid consulting projects and internships. The CBA supports the newly formed undergraduate Business Analytics Society through sponsorship of case competition teams and hosting networking events for professionals and students to discuss careers in analytics.

Highlights for the 2012-2013 academic year: 

  • The CBA hosted Tom Davenport, author of Competing on Analytics and Analytics at Work and Alicia Rankin, head of research and customer insights for the NFL, as speakers in the popular “Analytics Thought Leader Lecture” series. Their lectures to students, faculty and business guests were preceded by lunch and in-depth discussions with the CBA Advisory Council and faculty associates. 
  • The Center for Business Analytics started developing a consulting practice that utilizes analytics to drive business improvement. The consulting project teams are staffed by analytics students who are mentored and managed by experienced professionals and faculty. In the initial consulting project, the CBA was engaged by PECO to analyze customer call data to develop recommendations to improve the forecasting process for PECO’s customer care call centers. 
  • The CBA was engaged by the Project Management Institute (PMI) for a data mining consulting project to determine the factors that drive membership renewals after the first and second years of membership. 
  • The CBA sponsored a process improvement workshop facilitated by Valeocon Management Consulting for members of the Business Analytics Society. 
  • The CBA sponsored a team of MBA students who participated in the Sports Analytics Case Competition at the 2013 MIT Sports Analytics Conference. Based on the success of this initiative, the CBA will sponsor undergraduate and graduate case competition teams at future conferences. 

For More Information

Matthew Liberatore, PhD
Director
matthew.liberatore@villanova.edu

Thomas Coghlan
Business Fellow and Associate Director
thomas.coghlan@villanova.edu