On Business Analytics, Big Data and Data Science


“Data, data everywhere!” the Economist was proclaiming in a special issue few years ago. Since then, terms such as “Business Analytics”, “Big Data” and “Data Science” became mainstream, with extensive coverage in newspapers, magazines, television shows – even global economic forums. The emergence of sophisticated web applications, the proliferation of social networks, the massive deployment of sensor networks and other data-producing applications have led to an exponential growth of data volumes, unforeseen just few years ago. At the same time, the incorporation of a variety of data formats (traditional databases, text, audio, images, video) into mainstream data analysis, along with the velocity aspect of modern applications, radically revise the fundamental aspects of decision making process in private and public organizations. As Wired Magazine has pointed out few years ago: ” The quest for knowledge used to begin with grand theories. Now it begins with massive amounts of data.”

Both Europe and US are actively promoting a shift to data-driven economies. The European Commission is calling on national governments to “wake-up to this big data revolution” and the Office of the President of the United States regularly announces huge research initiatives on “Big Data”. Most experts agree that competencies on Business, Statistics and Computer Science will shape a new profession, the business analytics expert. Someone who will be able to discover the “golden nuggets” hidden under massive amounts of data. All major consulting firms, such as Gartner and McKinsey, predict a great demand for such professionals in the next few years. At the same time, they identify the severe shortage of skilled people on that field. As a result, industry and academia alike are heavily investing on that field.

Athens University of Economics and Business , as one of the most extrovert and excellence-oriented academic institution in Greece, has identified this trend as early as 2011, crafting a state-of the-art curriculum. By offering a short-term seminar and a long-term specialization program on Business Analytics and Big Data during the last two years, AUEB obtained the necessary expertise for a successful Master of Science program. AUEB’s Master of Science on Business Analytics is the first such program in Greece and among the first worldwide.