The revolutionary concept of digitization has been around for decades, dating back to the 1940s when Dr. Claude Shannon published an article that set the foundation for the internet. From there, technology exploded, breeding the creation of the microchip, home computers and the world wide web, all of which ushered in the current revolution of digital transformation.

Digital transformation integrates digital technologies into business operations to improve a company’s performance and reach. In other words, technology is no longer just a means to assist business operations — it is a central tool in achieving business goals, be it sales, marketing or customer support. A survey conducted by Deloitte, a brand with a global network of business professionals, reported 65.2% of respondents are “using some form of analytics that is helping their business needs.”

This same survey also revealed that executives are creating more ways to “attract, recruit and retain workers with experience in cognitive, analytics, AI and other next-generation technologies” to increase performance in this rapidly changing digital era.

“You really have to look to the future, ask what you’re doing to develop a pipeline, and start to get students interested in technology that can result in careers,” said Ann Cuiellette Mar, Executive Vice President, Global Human Resources at World Wide Technology.

Adequately preparing future leaders for this inevitable merge of business and technology is a crucial component of business education. Like the Master of Business Administration with a choice of seven concentrations from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, degree programs have evolved to cover a range of business leadership assets, including analytical tools. For example, two required courses in this Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)accredited program are:

  • Creative and Innovative Management: explores the challenges of being an effective and innovative leader in a progressively complex workplace
  • Information Technology for Business Decision-Making: introduces the various technologies involved in business decision-making, from business intelligence systems to enterprise systems, customer relationship management systems and more

As more industries transition to primarily digital methods of operation, graduates with a comprehensive understanding of technological trends such as artificial intelligence will be in high.

“MBA graduates don’t have to be computer engineers, electrical engineers, or data scientists,” said business school dean Dr. Patrick Duparcq in an article for Business Because. “But they do have to understand that a significant part of the value creation in companies revolves around connectivity and platforms (IOT & sensor networks) and interpreting massive amounts of data generated by 24/7 anything/anywhere/anytime connected customers and products.”

This level of understanding has proven to be essential as business leaders navigate the many challenges this digital revolution can present, including data overwhelm. The more analytical tools available to businesses, the greater their expertise to draw insights from data. This can be a good thing when businesses have a clear idea of how to utilize this information to the company’s advantage, but it is much easier said than done. Leaders must intentionally classify how to use data to benefit the company’s overarching goals and those of consumers.

Positive customer experiences impact sales and, when adequately utilized, big data can offer a window into the wants and needs of consumers.

Overall, big data offers a company insight that otherwise would have been too complicated to decipher without technological assistance. It has remodeled how business leaders approach everything from daily operations to customer service. As history has proven, data and technology will continue to work together to improve business operations.

Learn more about the University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s online MBA programs.


Business Because: 9 Trends That Will Shape Business Education in 2020

Deloitte: Technology in the Mid-Market – Seizing Opportunity

Edureka!: 10 Reasons Why Big Data Analytics Is the Best Career Move

McKinsey & Company: How Companies Are Using Big Data & Analytics A Brief History of Digital Transformation

The Guardian: Without Claude Shannon’s Information Theory There Would Have Been No Internet