Crunching the numbers

Innovative new Bachelor of Analytics and Data Management (Honours) degree answers huge demand for next-generation data analysts

A new Bachelor of Analytics and Data Management (Honours) is the latest iteration of Mohawk College’s well-established expertise in data analytics.

Offered within the McKeil School of Business, the four-year degree will launch in September 2023. It will be the second standalone degree offered by the college.

The degree complements and builds on the track record Mohawk has established in its graduate certificate in Analytics for Business Decision Making. Mohawk also runs the HEAD Competition (Higher Education Analytics Data) for colleges and universities.

Combining general business fundamentals, programming, analytics, mathematics and statistics with storytelling, the new degree will educate a new generation of data experts.

“You can have all kinds of data scientists who can crunch numbers but what has been missing is the ability to communicate that analysis to key decision-makers, customers and clients,” says Dr. Steven Way, Professor and Coordinator of the Analytics and Data Management Degree.

“This is evidence-based decision-making for business,” says Andrew McTear, Associate Dean of the McKeil School of Business and the School of Creative Industries, Liberal Studies & Communication. “If you have someone who can organize and analyze the data and use it to tell a clear story, you help organizations focus on problem solutions or areas of opportunity and that really is the future of business.”

The new degree program will feature online and face-to-face classes, 420 hours of work-integrated learning experiences, small class sizes compared to typical university programs and faculty who work in the industry, says McTear.

Between September 2021 and August 2022, research prepared by Workforce Planning Hamilton and the City of Hamilton’s Economic Development Office indicates there were more than 3,100 job postings in Hamilton, Halton, Niagara, Haldimand-Norfolk, and Brant in the data analytics field. The majority of postings were found in six major occupation groups: finance and insurance; professional, scientific and technical services; manufacturing; educational services; public administration; and health care and social assistance.

“I get asked all the time: Where will students find work?” says McTear. “The short answer is everywhere. The financial sector was a pioneer of using data analysis for areas like fraud detection. Manufacturing uses data to increase production output and cut costs. Supply chain optimizes shipping routes. Even streaming services like Netflix uses artificial intelligence to show you what you want to watch. The opportunities are literally everywhere.”