Mastering Business Analytics: The real MBA for career success, Step-by-Step



Has your MBA met your career expectations?


We can fix the problem, but you should be aware of the situation. Here's a dirty little secret. If your diploma does NOT read, "Sloan School" (or University of Chicago), you've been stuck with a third-rate education and a largely useless degree. Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, however, you might as well face it.

Today, your career success and even longevity prospects are tied to having and being able to demonstrate significant analytical ability. For all intents and purposes, analytical ability equates with mathematical ability. Does that mean that because you're not a physics or math major, you're a dummy with no future?

Decidedly not, but you're likely to have an uphill and defensive fight, until you can take the offensive. That said, what can you do about it? Plenty. You have a useful grounding in the terminology. You need to learn how to most effectively use it*. What you need can be summed up in four items:

1. How do you "connect the dots" horizontally? (You know, how does what you know about finance fit into marketing decision-making? More importantly, from a strategic perspective, what drives what?)

2. What do you have to learn to usefully assemble ALL that you do know to reach intelligent conclusions which you can communicate to inform and persuade?

3. How should I best use information technology to leverage items #1 & 2?

4. Get George Simmons pre-calculus book (here)and virtually memorize it!

So, take heart. You have learned a TON of minutia, some of it is really valuable. Our job: First, is to help you sift the wheat from the chaff. Second, is to help you assemble said wheat into a workable knowledge mosaic (sorry about the mixed metaphor, but you get the point) from which you can make intelligent inferences. Third, is to help you extend your analytical skills. Fourth, is to help you offset your quantitative handicaps by using Excel really effectively.


*Okay, here're some more sad little facts. Years ago, as in the 1960's, you were presumed to have mastered (well, okay, "mastered") calculus. Why? Because you were going to be exposed in finance to nasty little equations, such as, FV = Pe^rt rather than FV = P(1+r)^t ... and you had a rigorous course in statistics (Quick: what's the integral for the Gaussian distribution?) and a semester of operations research ... and these were FOUNDATION courses.

To continue, education is a business, pure and simple. Academics get raises and tenure based (nearly solely) upon their publications. Students object strongly to having to think hard. (Do NOT construe slogging through 100-page cases as hard thinking; it most certainly is not.) Schools, students, and professors will almost always follow the course of least resistance to achieve their ends. Quel suprise! The, so what, is this: They found that dumbing-down the curriculum was so successful (read: popular) in the 1970's that they continued the practice in the 80's, 90's ... to today.

So, if students want to do make-believe work, they'll get a make-believe degree. That simple.