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Putting Business Analytics to Work

Juhaan Johar ’18 chose St. Thomas so he could stay working full-time in the manufacturing industry while pursuing his Master of Science in Business Analytics degree. But his studies lead him to new experiences and opportunity in other industries.

The program provides a flexible enrollment structure with evening courses to allow working students to remain employed during their studies. And several project-based courses provide opportunities for applied learning – critical for students looking to immediately bring their new skills and knowledge to their current job.

The MS in Business Analytics program was designed by St. Thomas faculty experts in collaboration with leading Minnesota analytics executives. One area of focus was understanding the industry contexts and applications for analytics.

Johar, who was working as an inventory and pricing analyst, recognized and appreciated this aspect of the program. “It wasn’t just us learning data analytics -- it was applying that knowledge to actual business cases.”

Health Care Analytics is an elective course Johar completed during his studies; an example of a project-based elective course. Student teams select real-world data sets and situations to analyze and identify medical sequences for treatment and prevention.

“My group picked a Medicare dataset of 30 million records,” he said. “We were trying to predict which patients would most likely get Alzheimer’s Disease based on previous diagnoses.”

His team put in months of hard work to analyze and report on their findings. “It was probably the most challenging project that I worked on… but also the most rewarding.”

Johar accepted an analytics position in the financial services industry shortly before his graduation. During his interview process, the complex methods and discoveries of his Medicare data project left a big impression on management.

“It’s been a great experience that’s introduced me to different industries,” Johar said. “I only worked three years before St. Thomas, so the exposure to health care and finance was nice.”