New MBA Certificate in Consumer Analytics and Insights Leverages Data, D.C.

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This semester, Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business launched a new certificate in consumer analytics and insights. The MBA certificate is a response to a growing need for analytics in nearly every industry and overwhelming student interest in the area. Through the certificate program, MBA students can situate themselves within Georgetown and in the D.C. environment, showcase their skills in this area, and network with organizations facing data challenges.

“There’s so much consumer data in terms of what we generate through our activities,” said David Schweidel, professor of marketing. “In the past, businesses were driven by gut feelings. Now, there’s the ability to use consumer data to make decisions.”

Course requirements for the certificate include Customer Analytics, Data and Society, and a practicum. Customer Analytics provides students with the methodology and statistics needed for the rest of the certificate. Through Data and Society, students are able to leverage events happening within Georgetown McDonough, on Georgetown’s campus, and in the Washington, D.C, region. Finally, the practicum is an applied project in which students partner with organizations to engage with data to solve real problems.

There has been an increasing demand for analytics courses on Georgetown’s campus. Evening MBA student Kenny Tan (MBA’19) co-founded an analytics club, HoyAlytics, to provide students with an opportunity to learn these technical skills.

“HoyAlytics is actually one of McDonough’s biggest student organizations,” Tan said. “Everybody needs these skills now.”

The popularity of the analytics club contributed to the decision to create the certificate. “We’re working with the students to support what they’re doing, too,” said Rebecca Hamilton, Michael and Robin Psaros Endowed Chair in Business Administration, professor of marketing, and Marketing Area coordinator, of HoyAlytics, who noted that there is a significant overlap between the club and the certificate.

While a number of business schools across the country offer MBA students similar programs, Georgetown McDonough offers a unique approach.

“Other schools’ programs are not focused on the consumer as a voter, a citizen, and a person, rather than just a customer,” said Hamilton. Hamilton explained that the faculty designing the certificate wanted to be sure that it was consistent with Georgetown’s Jesuit values and “unique abilities to prepare students for these positions.” Schweidel agreed, adding that Georgetown can be a leader in that space.