Professor Raymond So
Dean, School of Business
Professor of Finance
BBA Program Director
Bridging the gap between IT and business with data-driven business graduates
To remain competitive in a data-driven world, organizations today are required to be increasingly astute when dealing with the ever-growing volume of business data to be analyzed and managed.
At the same time, the growing demand for skilled practitioners who possess both data science and business knowledge is creating a challenge for the commercial world, where there is a distinct lack of these merged skills.
The Hang Seng Management College is a pioneer, and leading provider, of sub-degree programs in business and related programs. It also began offering bachelor’s degree programs in 2010. Committed to developing and offering innovative academic programs that respond to changing community needs, the college launched its first Data Science and Business Intelligence Bachelor Degree Program in Hong Kong in September 2014. Its goal is to equip students with the necessary analytics and business skills to underpin their careers in the business analytics industry.
We chose SAS as our partner for this bachelor degree course because, without doubt, SAS sets the industry standard for data analytics and business intelligence.
Professor Raymond So
To better pave career paths for students, the Bachelor of Science program in Data Science and Business Intelligence has also begun incorporating applications and tools from the SAS Education Analytical Suite into its four-year program as early as the first year. Students are familiarized with tools to analyze data and present results. They can also get first-hand experience with how analytics manage and model data from large amounts of disparate data, and extract insights from that data.
Students who wish to pursue banking and finance or marketing majors, for instance, will have some emphasis on SAS usage to further develop their skill sets in core courses.
Professor So Wai Man Raymond, Dean of the Business School at Hang Seng Management College, affirms that more and more enterprises are beginning to value data-driven business decision making nowadays, as analytics is seen to be a recurring factor leading to success. “According to reports from McKinsey and Harvard Business Review, over half of the job types across the globe are driven by data,” says So. “However, graduates from traditional statistics and engineering programs lack the communications and soft skills required in the business world, while the graduates from the business program lack the background of data analytics and technical know-how. We are working assiduously to bridge business intelligence with data analytics.”
Addressing industry demands
“The aim of introducing the Data Science and Business Intelligence Bachelor Degree Program is to fill the gaps in the business world with data-driven business talent,” says So. “In this four-year degree program, students will be equipped with a collection of analytical skills and techniques derived from mathematics, statistics and computer science for extracting information from data. They will also be taught the skills required for analysis, integration and presentation of information to help with making prudent business decisions.”
He is also delighted with the college’s decision to introduce SAS analytics technology into its courses, taking students on the journey of exploring how data is collected and managed to deal with complex business issues. “We chose SAS as our partner for this bachelor degree course because, without doubt, SAS sets the industry standard for data analytics and business intelligence,” says So. “SAS analytics technology is widely applied in different analytics aspects due to its high standards and success rate, from data mining and customer relationship management (CRM) to risk management."
“Research was conducted on job advertisement requirements when we were designing the program. We noticed that ‘experience with SAS analytics tools’ is specified by many leading financial institutions in Hong Kong,” adds So. “Seeing the industry demand for SAS qualified data analysts ratifies our choice of introducing analytics solutions by SAS as a part of our new program.”
Extending a successful program
Prior to the Data Science and Business Intelligence Bachelor Degree Program, Hang Seng Management College had already deployed SAS technology, providing data analytics training to Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) students. “In the banking and financial sector, analytics is a stringent requirement to generate predictive insights from vast amounts of data, for example, in spot checking the irregularities of a trade deal, in managing risk and in meeting financial compliance,” explains Professor So. “Many of our BBA graduates who are now pursuing careers in the banking and financial sector find the analytics knowledge acquired extremely useful. The variety of functions and departments they serve in financial services institutions spans from back office to frontline and from compliance to risk management, and throughout many other areas of the industry.”
Through the use of SAS technology in different modules of data science and business intelligence courses, students are equipped with hands-on experience in applying computer software for business decision-making to solve various business problems. The widely adopted SAS interface also enables students to transform to a different software platform easily when they set foot in banking and finance or another industry.
Looking forward, to continue nurturing the next generation of analytics talent, Hang Seng Management College plans to extend the data science and business intelligence training to graduate students by offering a related master’s degree. Modular training in specific data science topics will also be introduced to provide solid training to students interested in data science. “We are here to train individuals who are passionate about their education,” says So. “We believe that providing a holistic and stimulating educational experience with SAS analytics tools is the way to build students’ professional skills and theoretical knowledge, to better equip them in this data-driven business world."
Organizations are faced with skills shortages and are looking to universities to help bridge that gap.
Hang Seng Management College provides students with in-demand analytics skills to cultivate students' programming experience to align with industry needs.