By Patricia D. Rafferty, Ed. D.
Former Director of the Saint Joseph’s University MS in Business Intelligence & Analytics Programs
Throughout most of its history, the field of business intelligence has followed its own sort of punctuated equilibrium. These extended periods of stability have been substantively disrupted by dramatic innovation and altered perspective in the field. This was evident in 1958, when IBM researcher, Hans Peter Luhn, first referenced the importance of using data to guide action. Then again in 1989, when future Gartner Group colleague, Howard Dresner, introduced a more utilitarian definition of business intelligence (Harris, 2012). Today, we see another wave of dramatic change and perspective in the BI space that will affect virtually every professional and functional area, not just those in the technical field. This upcoming shift will be more dramatic and disruptive because of a shortage of professionals in the United States with the know-how to make data-driven decisions (Tableau, 2013).
This dramatic shift has already been foreshadowed by other business disciplines. For example, the human resource function has moved much of the HR responsibility into the hands of line managers and many organizations have transitioned to “self-service” HR for employees of all levels (SHRM, 2012). This self-reliance is mirrored by virtually every aspect of our lives as Americans, from ATM banking to self-checkout at the grocery store to online investing. Of course, the BI space has not been immune from the momentum toward self-reliance; however, much of the US workforce is not prepared to take the driver’s seat (McKinsey Global Institute, 2012). Many aspiring and current business leaders do not possess the skills to use data for more effective decisions. Now more than ever, it’s time to assess your ability to be more self-reliant and come to a better understanding on how your current skills fit the new paradigm of BI. This will allow you to bring added value to your organization, your business unit, as well as maximize your value as a 21st century professional.
Learn more about the online Master of Science in Business Intelligence & Analytics and how this degree program can help you gain the knowledge needed to become a leader in the evolving field of BI. Call (610) 660-3400 to speak with a Program Manager, or you can request more information below, and we’ll reach out to you.