ROCHESTER (WWJ) — Oakland University this week announced a one-year, half-online master’s degree program in Information Technology Management and Business Analytics.

“The demand for people with business analytics expertise in this country will be on the order of 100,000 to 150,000 through 2020,” said Mohammad Dadashzadeh, Oakland U professor of Management Information Systems and chair of the Department of Decision and Information Sciences. “Companies have been collecting immense amounts of data they might need to inform their business strategies and move forward, and now the time has come to get the return on the investment they’ve made.”

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Dadashzadeh noted that the most successful American companies in recent decades — businesses like Amazon, Netflix and Walmart — built empires by understanding the broad scope of data they collect, using it to accurately anticipate consumer behavior and developing business plans to effectively meet evolving consumer demand.

In addition to offering a rigorous curriculum focusing on data warehousing, business intelligence, Big Data management, predictive and prescriptive analytics, and application systems analysis and design, the MSITM/BA program offers students a hands-on educational approach that engages real-world business partners that seek analysis of their own collected data or that of clients, as well as sound direction on what it means to develop and implement agile business plans.

MSX International, a Warren-based, global automotive retail network consulting services and business process outsourcing provider, has worked with MSITM/BA students anxious to use real-world data and cutting-edge data analysis strategies to best serve the company’s OEM client base.

“Our clients turn to us to refine data into actionable information. We welcomed the opportunity to partner with Oakland University’s MSITM/BA program,” said Brendan Walsh, vice president and CIO of MSX International. “By providing internship opportunities for the program’s students and helping our clients innovate, we’re proud to contribute to the success of the program and, by extension, the regional economy.”

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Dadashzadeh said the MSITM/BA program is now expanding partnerships with area businesses and corporations to include student work projects not just during their capstone project in the fourth quarter of study, but throughout the educational process.

Students new to the MSITM/BA will begin work on a corporate project as soon as they start the program, and the data analysis deliverables they are expected to produce for partner businesses will grow in scope with the completion of each academic term.

“With this kind of exposure to the work they’ll eventually be doing, students know this is a tough program that is going to prepare them well,” Dadashzadeh said. “They also know that when they complete the program, they’re going to be able to take the skills they’ve gained just about anywhere they want to, and they know they’re going to have opportunities to build great careers with them.”

Businesses partnering with the MSITM/BA program stand to gain a great deal of insight related to questions that may have been thwarting potential growth. Individualized, thorough and expertly guided MSITM/BA-led project is made available on a quarterly basis in return for nothing more than a modest commitment of time necessary to provide students with collected data and a list of strategic planning questions the partner business would like to see answered.

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To learn more about business analytics research available through the MSITM/BA program at OU, prospective business partners should contact Dadashzadeh at or (248) 370-4649. Prospective students can learn more about the program at