Deloitte is expanding its relationship with Indiana University's (IU) Kelley School of Business (Kelley) to become the founding member of its Institute for Business Analytics (IBA) program.
"More organizations than ever are embracing the practice of using data to drive business strategy and performance with the goal of becoming more competitive and profitable. As a result, organizations are looking to hire employees with existing analytics skillsets", said Idalene Kesner, interim dean of Kelley and Frank P. Popoff chair of strategic management. "We are pleased to expand our relationship with one of the leaders in this field."
Business analytics is an emerging field that directs companies how to best use data about their practices and consumers – using techniques such as predictive analytics, optimization, and simulation – to make fact-based decisions that improve productivity, increase profits and create competitive advantages.
The IBA, which was founded a year ago, is codirected by Vijay Khatri, associate professor of information systems and an Arthur M. Weimer faculty fellow; and Frank Acito, a professor of marketing, the Max Barney faculty fellow and former associate dean for information technology of the Kelley.
The IBA supports academic programs that prepare students to solve business problems using analytics as well as corporate partnerships that shape the school's understanding of analytics and help companies tap into Kelley's talent. It also supports cross-disciplinary research by faculty and organizes seminars, conferences, and case competitions.
"Applications of analytics to business problems require skill in the use of advanced quantitative methods as well as a deep understanding of practical business issues", Acito said. "That's why teaming with Deloitte represents such an exciting opportunity for the Kelley School."
As an IBA founding member, Deloitte will receive a seat on the institute's advisory council and collaborate on research, analytics classes, and other educational activities. Deloitte also will participate in the annual Kelley Forum on Business Analytics in April and contribute articles to the OnAnalytics semiannual magazine.
"Businesses generate enormous amounts of information that can drive growth, but there's a shortage of well-trained professionals who can apply analytical models and visualization tools to the data in ways that yield the greatest insight", said Forrest Danson, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, who leads the firm's analytics efforts nationally. "We are excited to be joining the board of the Institute for Business Analytics and to help shape the institute's educational activities to offer new development opportunities in the field of analytics."
"We have worked very closely with IU on a number of initiatives over the years, and this is one more example of the innovation that can be delivered when universities and businesses work together", added Mark Zozulia, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP. "This innovation translates into the curriculum and consequently the high talent of the students that we recruit from the Kelley School."
Zozulia is Deloitte's executive sponsor for the IBA, a leader in Deloitte's information management practice, and an alumnus of Kelley.