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Certificate Program in Business Analytics

The Certificate Program in Business Analytics (CPBA) is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in the theory, processes, and tools of business analytics in the organizational setting.

Students earning their Certificate in Business Analytics will develop a comprehensive understanding of business analytics.  Students will learn how to diagnose problems and envision solutions from an evidence-based perspective. They will develop the capability to build statistical models, measure the data, interpret the results, and then synthesize the findings in order to improve organizational performance.  The holistic education will teach students both the statistical and managerial sides of business analytics.

The CPBA is designed to provide students with exposure to business analytics in conjunction with either their functional area of concentration or as a unique career tract. Required coursework includes statistical analysis, data mining, commercial software products, process optimization, and database management. The experience-based learning components of the certificate program will allow students to gain hands-on experience in understanding the use of business analytics in a wide variety of organizational settings.

The CPBA is designed as an enhancement to the Pitt Business Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program and not as a detached curriculum. As such, the certificate builds upon the BSBA core curriculum and is predicated on a student earning a major in accounting, business information systems, finance, global management, human resources management, marketing, or supply chain management. Accordingly, enrollment is reserved for students in the Pitt Business BSBA program, or who are earning a double degree from Pitt Business and the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences or Pitt Business and the School of Information Sciences.

Program Description

A total of 15 credits are required to complete the CPBA. This includes both required and elective coursework focused on business analytics.  Students are strongly encouraged to participate in non-credit business analytics immersion experiences such as internal and external case competitions, and other student activities.

To earn the CPBA, students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 (B average) across all five certificate courses at the time of graduation.

Entrepreneurs in Residence

In addition to learning from Pitt Business faculty members, students earning the CPBA will have the opportunity to work with Pitt Business Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) who have significant professional expertise in the field of business analytics.  The EIRs provide mentorship and business development support for students. 

CPBA Requirements - 15 credits

1. Required Courses (12 credits) – The following courses are required:

  • BUSQOM 1080: Data Analysis for Business (3 credits)
    Offered in Fall Term only
    The purpose of this course is to enhance the statistical and analytical skills of Pitt Business students to the level necessary for them to deal with Data Mining and other essential material in the Business Analytics Certificate. The course should also be of interest to students exploring the analytical parts of other areas, such as marketing. The goals of the course are to: (1) cover material not currently treated in STAT 1100, but which is preparatory to Data Mining; (2) provide software skills in statistical packages used in business, such as SPSS, SAS, or R; and (3) provide experiential exposure to business applications of the material. Prerequisite: STAT 1000 or STAT 1100 with a grade of B or greater.
  • BUSSCM 1760: Data Mining (3 credits)
    Offered in Spring Term only
    This course is an introduction to the most popular methods used in managerial data mining, and provides experience in using commercial software to explore real data sets. The prerequisite of this course is BUSQOM (new course): Data Analysis for Business. Models considered include those from statistics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, such as discriminate analysis, logistic regression, clustering, neural nets, tree/rule induction, and association rule modeling. This course is methods oriented, as opposed to being methodology oriented, so students learn about when and how to use techniques and how to interpret their output rather than the details about how those techniques work. Prerequisite: BUSQOM 1080: Data Analysis for Business.
  • BUSQOM 1090: Applied Optimization and Simulation (3 credits)
    Offered in Fall Term Only
    The purpose of this course is to enhance the problem-solving skills of Pitt Business students to the level necessary for them to deal with complex decision problems using optimization and simulation. Building on the foundation provided in the required BUSQOM 0050 Quantitative Methods course, the topics herein will include linear, nonlinear, integer, multiple objective and stochastic optimization. Simulation topics will include both spreadsheet simulation and process simulation. The goals of the course are to: (1) provide advanced modeling skills in optimization and simulation; (2) provide skills in software packages used in business, such as the Analytic Solver Platform and Arena; (3) get practice on asking the right questions, on dealing with problem complexity, on critical thinking and on gleaning insights to complex problems. Prerequisite: BUSQOM 0050 with a grade of B or greater.
  • BUSBIS 1605: Database Management(3 credits)
    Offered regularly in fall and spring terms
    As information systems have become essential to business operations, the data generated by those systems is a critical and valuable corporate asset. This course develops students’ knowledge of the technologies and techniques for collecting, disseminating, and managing data. The objective of the course is to develop immediately useful skills, such as SQL query construction and data modeling, while providing exposure to a range of data management technologies, strategies, and issues. Hands-on exercises with database management systems are provided to develop students’ skills in SQL and database design. Discussions, assignments, and projects focus on the challenges of developing and using database systems in dynamic organizations.

2.  Elective Course (3 credits) – Select one from the following:

Note: This course should correspond to elective choices within the student’s business major and may also be counted towards the completion of the business major.

  • BUSQOM 1085: Applied Business Analytics Project (3 credits)
    The objective of this course is to provide the student a meaningful experience with a real-world client and problem. Each project is different and in general will provide the opportunity for a team of students to apply various conceptual and analytic skills taught in the major and in Pitt Business and to report to the client the results of these analyses and recommendations. Using experiential learning approaches, this project course will provide students with an opportunity to apply analytics concepts, techniques and strategies to real-world problems faced by an actual client and/or organization.
  • BUSSCM 1765: Forecasting (3 credits)
    This course focuses on forecasting methodologies and their applications in business. It will cover traditional forecasting methodologies along with an overview of the state-of-the-art of forecasting with methodologies ranging from judgmental to statistical knowledge sources. Forecasting should not be confused with planning. This course will focus on forecasting methodologies using statistical knowledge. By the end of the course students should know how to collect data and analyze them with a suitable computer program, and ultimately generate forecasts by selecting and fitting an appropriate model.
  • BUSACC 1236: Accounting Information Systems (3 credits)
    Deals with both the design and implementation of accounting-information systems and their ability to collect data on the activities of the organization, to accumulate and summarize it, and to make the information available to managers for analysis, decision making, and control. Special emphasis is placed on the problems inherent to this effort.
  • BUSFIN 1351: Financial Modeling (3 credits)
    This course applies economic theories to solve various problems in financial management and investments. Using a hands-on approach in building financial spreadsheet models. Students will gain knowledge of numerical and graphical practices. These include but are not limited to asset return calculations, portfolio theory, index models, capital asset pricing model, option pricing models, bond pricing and investment performance analysis. Microsoft Excel is the primary tool to implement these financial models, however the course will also make use of statistics and probability.
  • BUSFIN 1329: Fixed-Income Securities (3 credits)
    This course examines the concepts that are most frequently encountered in the market for fixed income securities. Specifically, the course describes the most important fixed-income securities and markets and develops tools for valuing these securities and managing their interest rate and credit risk. Historically, “fixed-income” refers to securities which promise fixed cash flows over their lives such as a fixed-rate coupon bond. Now, it is generally accepted that a fixed income instrument is one whose value is driven by the level of interest rates and/or the value of a related underlying asset. This classification would include floating rate bonds, callable bonds, bond futures, bond options, caps, floors and collars, interest rate swaps, credit derivatives and asset-backed securities. The purpose of the course is to provide participant with the ability to qualitatively and quantitatively analyze the impact of these factors on global markets.
  • BUSMKT 1428: Digital and Social Media Marketing (3 credits)
    This course covers advertising, marketing and communication strategies in the new media landscape where traditional and social media co-exist. The course will focus on 1) how social media strategies can be used effectively in marketing programs; 2) when they should/should not be used; 3) how to build them; and, 4) how to measure, track and evaluate their performance and effectiveness. This marketing strategy course will focus on analyzing, developing, implementing and evaluating media strategies as an integral part of overall marketing strategy.
  • BUSMKT 1465: Pricing Strategies and Tactics (3 credits)
    The purpose of pricing is to create value to the firm in the form of profits. Pricing practices are changing dramatically in an era of e-commerce and globalization. The objectives of this course are to: 1) expose students to seminal concepts and theories on pricing from a marketing manager’s viewpoint; 2) develop independent assessment skills of the pricing strategies/tactics used in a variety of industries; 3) provide opportunities for applying pricing knowledge to real-world problems. The course will be taught using interactive lectures, cases, problem sets and independent reports.