Coronavirus Update: Washington College responds to coronavirus outbreak. More Info

Business Management

Data Analytics

Interdisciplinary Minor

Prof. Susan A. Vowels, Director

Data Analytics, a subfield of Data Science, provides knowledge and skills in data collection and analysis for supporting decision-making within organizations. The guiding principles of this inquiry-based minor are consistent with the principles of a liberal education and it will provide students with the tools and concepts needed to function effectively in an increasingly data-driven world. The coursework is multidisciplinary and covers statistics, visualization techniques, data mining techniques, and other types of data modeling techniques. Data analytics orients the student towards the application of such skills and knowledge to organizational issues. Essentially, students learn the discipline of examining an organizational problem specified in human terms, analyzing it, designing a solution, simulating that solution using mathematics and computers, reflecting and reworking the results of the simulation, and finally, communicating the new knowledge in a concise and clear way. A key theme underlying this minor is the ethical use of data.  

Required Courses (key skills noted in parenthesis):

  • BUS 109 Managerial Statistics, or MAT 109, PSY 209, ECN 215 (Statistical foundation and Excel)
  • CSI 100 Introduction to Computer Science (Python and Scripting)
  • CSI 360 Database Systems (Database concepts using Access, MySQL and SQL)
  • BUS 210 Management Information Systems (organizational setting and basis for ethical use of data, connection of skills and knowledge to operations, decision-making, and strategy)
  • BUS 316 Data Analytics (Visualization, Big Data, Text Analytics, Machine Learning, Tableau, SAP Lumira and Predictive Analytics, BigML, introduction to R algorithms) 

Elective Course (one chosen from the following list):

  • ANT 210 Intermediate Geographic Information Systems
  • BUS 315 Enterprise Resource Planning Systems
  • BUS 223 Marketing Research Methods
  • BUS 455 Financial Derivatives
  • ECN 320 Econometrics
  • PHY 252/MAT 252 Scientific Modeling and Data Analysis
  • POL 401 Empirical Political Research
  • PSY 309 Statistics and Research Design II with Lab
  • SOC 306 Research Methods in Sociology
  • Special topic courses (subject to approval by Director)

Advising Notes

The Data Analytics minor is intended to complement major courses of study by providing additional tools for critical thinking and analysis of knowledge comprised in the student’s major and so each elective course in this program requires prerequisites that are not listed here and would be taken in pursuit of the student’s major. For instance, students majoring in Business Management would take ECN 112 Principles of Microeconomics and BUS 111 Principles of Marketing as prerequisites to BUS 223 Marketing Research Methods; students majoring in Economics would take the introductory economics courses necessary to enroll in ECN 320 Econometrics.

Several departments (MAT, PSY, ECN) offer introductory statistics courses which can be used for this minor; however, BUS 109 Managerial Statistics is recommended because students learn to integrate descriptive and inferential statistics with the use of the Statistical ToolPak add-in for Microsoft Excel. Excel is the software of choice in real-world provisioning of analytics software as well as a powerful analytical tool in its own right.

The following rules govern double-counting:

  •  Students pursuing both the Information Systems minor and the Data Analytics minor may count only BUS 210 and CSI 360 towards both minors. The elective chosen for the Information Systems minor will not count towards the Data Analytics minor and vice versa.
  • Students majoring in Computer Science may count only CSI 360 toward the Data Analytics
  • Students majoring in Business Management may count only BUS 109 (or equivalent) and BUS 210 towards the minor. The elective chosen for the Business Management major will not count towards the Data Analytics minor and vice versa. 

BUS 112 Introduction to Financial Accounting is recommended as a prerequisite to BUS 210 Management Information Systems for non-BUS majors but is not required. It is required for Business Management majors.