Notes From the Dean

Ray Whittington Dean, Driehaus College of Business  How big is big data? Consider this: before you finish reading this column, Google will process more than 2 million searches, Web shoppers will spend more than $272,000 online, Facebook users will share more than 684,000 posts, brands will attract at least 34,000 Facebook “likes” and Twitter will host 100,000 tweets.

This deluge of digital activity happens every minute of every day. It’s part of the exponential growth of data stored in public and private—data that can now be measured in exabytes, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000- byte increments.

Hidden in this sea of data is a treasure trove of competitive intelligence for businesses. For organizations able to analyze and interpret it effectively, big data can yield deep insights about customers, suppliers, employees and market trends that have the potential to drive innovation, boost productivity and fuel growth.

However, big data also comes with big responsibilities for organizations to ensure the privacy and security of the people behind the numbers. In our cover story and online coverage, we explore these issues through the lenses of alumni, faculty members and experts who are at the forefront of the big data revolution. The rise of big data also is having a big impact on the job market. A recent IBM survey of 900 executives worldwide revealed that a key challenge facing business is finding enough talent skilled in analyzing and interpreting big data.

To help our students take advantage of these opportunities, Kellstadt will soon introduce new, specialized master’s degrees focusing on business data analytics in several disciplines. These degrees will equip our students with the tools and knowledge needed to distill large-scale data into valuable insights that drive business strategy.

Meanwhile, our plans to launch the college’s first doctoral degree also center on creating a distinctive program for executives that emphasizes analytical skills. Our Executive Doctorate in Business Administration degree is designed for business leaders who want to master applied research methods for tackling complex, big-picture business issues.

Finally, the redesign of this publication was guided primarily by data gathered from you, our alumni. In response to your interests, we have expanded Business Exchange (formerly Commerce Exchange) by adding new features that will help you stay engaged with DePaul’s business school and its robust alumni network. The new publication explores major business trends through the thought leadership of alumni, faculty and industry experts. We’ll spotlight advice, resources and connections that promote professional growth among our alumni. We’ll keep you updated on faculty achievements and research that under-score the quality of the business school you attended. And we’ll share the most recent accomplishments of your fellow graduates.

Ray Whittington
Dean, Driehaus College of Business

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