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Message From the Director

Knowledge–fueled by science and technology-based innovations—has become the currency of 21st century economy. In addition to theory and experimentation, big data analytics has now emerged as an alternative way to discover new knowledge. Organizations of all types and sizes have been collecting data on their customers, markets, processes, and even infrastructure to analyze that data to develop significant business insights. Analytics has thus become a broad and dynamic field with significant shortage of individuals with expertise in advanced analytics.

The shortage of qualified analytics talent is magnified by our field’s rapid development. Big data and the rapid expansion in different kinds of data structures demand that data scientists work with larger, more complex data sets to answer more challenging questions. Students of analytics must master not only the traditional analytical theory and practice but also learn emerging technologies. The growth of big data demands that analytics professionals expand their skills to take advantage of a new world of possibilities or be pushed out of the field, so the shortage grows larger.

The Master of Science in Analytics (MScA) program of the University of Chicago Graham School is at the forefront of the exciting developments within the field of analytics by educating students on cutting-edge analytical models and by making sure that students become life-long learners by continuing to advance their knowledge even after they graduate.

Sema Barlas, Director of the Analytics ProgramSema Barlas, PhD
MScA Program Director

Dr. Barlas' expertise is in the areas of applied marketing models, statistics, research methodology, and consumer behavior. Barlas’s research has been published in journals such as Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes and Applied Journal of Econometrics with over 500 citations. Prior to the University of Chicago, Barlas had taught at Argosy University in Chicago, McGill University in Canada, and University of Groningen in Netherlands and worked in industry for several years. At Sears, Roebuck, and Co., she developed credit risk, credit revenue, and line-of-credit models to manage acquisitions and portfolios of existing accounts. At Experian, she led projects in all aspects of database marketing. Barlas earned her PhD from the University of Chicago in Quantitative Psychology and Research Methodology and Master’s degree from University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign in Applied Statistics.