How do tens of thousands of rows of data turn into a sound business strategy? With help from Business Technology Management specialists.
In the new area of business analytics, demand is high for graduates from the UBC’s Sauder School of Business, which offers a Business Technology Management specialization to BCom students. Business Technology Management bridges the gap between technology and business, but unlike the more technical, programming-heavy Business & Computer Science dual degree, it places the emphasis on business - specifically learning to use computer systems to help companies be competitive.
It’s a specialization that attracts analytical minds like that of Justin Lew.
"I’ve always been a data kind of person," Lew says. "I love playing with numbers, and not just adding them up like in accounting, but rather taking information and turning it into insights."
“If I have 30,000 rows of data or 3,000,000 rows of data, what is that really telling me? How can this data make a business more successful?”
Lew is part of the BCom Co-op program, where he’s already completed work terms in Business Technology roles at Deloitte and WorkSafeBC. At each, he worked on projects where he had to translate immense collections of raw, unorganized data into business strategies.
“If you think of data as gold, it’s kind of like gold mining,” Lew says. “The gold’s all there but you don’t know exactly where it is. It’s not organized or easy to access. Plus you have to refine it once you get it.”
The refining process is where the business side of the equation comes in. Not only does Lew need to make sense of the data and compile sound insights, he needs to be able to sell his ideas.
“You’re a change-maker, a champion of doing things differently,” Lew says. “But if you can’t sell your idea then it’s very hard to swim upstream against the way things have always been done, especially in large organizations or old organizations.”
Striking it rich
During his Co-op work term at Deloitte, Lew consulted for a large public sector organization.
“They had a lot of data but didn’t know how to use it,” he says. Lew and his team mined the data to make specific recommendations, which included a five-year technology strategy that would help the agency operate more efficiently.
“Our plan included creating a new data-focused department,” Lew says. “Now everyone who uses these services will benefit from having more data-driven decisions being made.”
Because Business Technology Management focuses so heavily on business, students and graduates are equipped with the tools to drive change within any type of company.
“As the need to leverage technology and data in business increases, we’re encountering more companies that are looking for new grads to fill roles such as Business Analyst, Application Consultant and IT Risk & Assurance Advisor,” says Ron Cenfetelli, Associate Professor and Chair of Management Information Systems at Sauder.
“Employers hiring our graduates run the gamut from large financial institutions to consulting and technology firms and consumer goods companies.”
“It’s exciting being on the leading edge,” Lew says. “Because there’s so much growth in the area, Business Technology Management almost ensures your success before you even start.”
Current Sauder BCom students, learn more about the Business Technology Management specialization and Co-op Program.
Employers looking to hire a Business Technology Co-op student or grad can do so through the Hari B. Varshney Business Career Centre.