Data analytics has become a tremendously growing field in just the last few years. In fact, according to the McKinzie Global Institute, the U.S. will face a shortage of nearly 200,000 data scientists by 2018.

Saint Leo University is thrilled to offer a brand new MBA program with a concentration in Data Analytics. We caught up with Dr. Vyas Krishnan, an associate professor of computer science in Saint Leo's School of Business, to discuss the new MBA track.

Q: What is the MBA with a concentration in Data Analytics, and when will it be offered?
A: This innovative program will begin in the Fall 2017 semester. It's a 100% online program that consists of 12 courses for a total of 36 credits. Seven of the 12 courses cover the traditional MBA core curriculum, including economics, marketing, and management. The other five classes have an intense focus on data analytics. This coursework provides students with the best of both worlds – a solid business administration background paired with highly relevant studies in working with big data and its many applications across a number of industries.

Q: How did Saint Leo decide to begin offering this particular program?

A: The idea behind starting this program was based on the current market and the ever-increasing demand for data analytics professionals and leaders.

We have a Dean's Advisory Council with executives from marketing, human resources, manufacturing, telecommunications, and other industries who have all identified data analytics as an extremely relevant and growing field.

From smartphones to websites to electronic sensors, data has been collected for many years in all sectors. Now we're seeing the benefits of actually using this information to make strategic business decisions.

For example, let's say there is a flu epidemic, and we collect data about where it is spreading, the demographics of those being affected, and many other factors. Analyzing this data could aid healthcare professionals in finding a way to stop the spread of the virus.

Consumer data is another huge area with lots of potential for analysis. There is also non-numerical, textual data that can be examined.

There are so many areas to look at, and with the technology and algorithms we have today, the sky is literally the limit on what we can determine from data analysis and how we can help organizations attain their goals.

Q: What separates this program from others?

Data analytics is a fairly new industry. When it comes to MBA programs, they are far more likely to focus on marketing, management, and finance. So, we are proud to be one of the early players in this market.

Students will get a varied array of different perspectives from various academic departments as faculty members from across the university come together to teach in this program.

Bottom line – this degree concentration gives students an effective balance between regular MBA courses and a significant concentration on data analytics that most other M.B.A. programs out there do not offer.

Q: What are some specific topics that will be covered?
A: The MBA in Data Analytics will cover:

  • Fundamentals of data analytics
  • Data mining techniques
  • Theories in data analysis
  • Statistics and mathematical models
  • Web analytics
  • Business intelligence
  • Real-world case studies from various industries

Q: What types of careers can students enjoy after graduating with this particular degree?

Graduates who attain the MBA in Data Analytics can find opportunities as:
Data analytics business consultants

  • Healthcare analytics managers
  • Business intelligence analysts
  • Computer and information analysts
  • Research scientists
  • Software developers
  • Operations and research analysts
  • Statisticians

Q: What makes you most excited about the new MBA in Data Analytics program?

The gap between supply and demand for data analytics professionals is huge, and it only continues to grow.

Data analytics involves a set of tools that can be utilized to analyze data from any industry. Plus, with more organizations going digital, this only opens the door to far more opportunities within this space.

That's why graduates with this MBA concentration will have plenty to look forward to in terms of career opportunities.

Q: How can prospective students learn more about this program?

To learn more about the MBA in Data Analytics program at Saint Leo University, feel free to contact Dr. Vyas Krishnan by phone at 352-588-8512 or by e-mail at 

We look forward to hearing from you and hope you will consider enrolling in this new and exciting MBA program!

What do you think the future of data analytics holds? Share your thoughts in a comment below.