Students in Full Sail’s Business Intelligence Master’s Program Learn the Art of Translating Big Data Into Business Solutions

Learn it today, act on it tomorrow. In just 12 months, Full Sail’s Business Intelligence master’s program can help you expand your professional skills.

Over the years, data collection processes have advanced at an astounding rate, resulting in data sets so large and complex that they cannot be processed by traditional software alone. These sets, commonly called ‘big data,’ require human insight to turn raw numbers into consumer narratives. Full Sail’s Business Intelligence master’s program gives students the tools to analyze and interpret big data for a variety of industries.

“Our grads are at the forefront of data visualization,” says program director Heather Torres. “They know how to look at data, analyze patterns, and visualize it in a way that makes sense to executives and employees. They’re creating narrative pieces like infographics that make it easy to understand what data actually means.”

Classes focus on enhancing the skills of industry professionals or those looking to pivot into a new field. Beginning with a leadership course centered around personal development, new students quickly move on to study the foundations of business intelligence. Although many students come into the program with a working knowledge of the industry, newcomers are often surprised at the vast applications of large data sets.

“It’s well known that organizations are using data to help improve the customer experience,” says Torres. “But there are other applications as well. One example is personalized medicine. Hospitals can compare your DNA to the DNA of other people who have a similar illness and use that data to determine the most effective treatment. Nearly every industry is being shaped by data – medicine, sports, education, retail, and many more.”

An essential component of data interpretation is learning to recognize the human element in raw numbers. Courses in pattern recognition and process modeling provide students with tools for analyzing and interpreting information. Then, the Data Visualization and Creative Reporting course provides insight into how to present a data narrative to colleagues. In a lot of ways, says Torres, business intelligence is a form of translation.

“Creative reporting bridges the gap between the people who mine and compile the date and those who simply need it to make an informed decision. There’s so much information out there, and more and more comes through every second, so being able to tell that story quickly and efficiently can make all the difference when it comes to crucial decisions,” she says.

The program culminates with students performing a case study of a real company. They identify a problem within that company and create an extensive, data-informed business solution. The capstone course features a presentation component where students relay their findings to a committee of faculty and staff, similar to how they might present information to a future employer. The capstone also serves as a portfolio piece, which new grads can roll out during interviews to show off their skills.

“Our ideal candidate for this program is someone who is rational and can easily process information,” says Torres. “Most of this information is going to be used in a decision-making process, so we’re looking for linear thinkers who are decisive.”