In the Know: News from the Department of Information Systems

February 07, 2013

In the news this month, the information systems department is gearing up for its new master’s degree program, the Master of Science in Business Analytics. First order of business is spreading the word! At the same time, our scholars are sharing their expertise on various fronts, in conferences, at professional organizations and in the media.

How to be among the first – and best-prepared!

The word is out about the burgeoning career possibilities in business analytics, which is driving interest in the new Master of Science in Business Analytics. Industry projections estimate that companies will be looking for 1.5 million analysts by 2018. The new MS-BA, a nine-month, interdisciplinary program delivered by the information systems and supply chain management departments, will prepare students to use analytics to drive innovation and solutions across the value chain. Classes begin in the fall.

On campus, eye-catching banners are grabbing the attention of students. For good reason: The MS-BA is a good fit for college seniors and new graduates who are looking for differentiation in a tough job market. You may see the MS-BA online, too. Strategically-placed ads are designed to create awareness of this opportunity to be among the first, and best-prepared, professionals in an exciting new field.

On March 23, we’re hosting Discovery Day at the W. P. Carey School from 8 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. The event is designed to educate prospective students about the W. P. Carey School’s graduate business programs, including the specialized master’s degrees. The information systems department offers two: the new MS-BA and the successful Master of Science in Information Management. Department representatives will host a break-out session during Discovery Day, when visitors can network regarding the value of a graduate degree in analytics – and the great industry need for analysts. All that and a full breakfast! See you there?

Research and practice at IS and accounting conference

The information systems section of the American Accounting Association holds a research conference annually attended by the 125 most active researchers in this specialized sub-discipline. At the conference, Professor Paul Steinbart presented a paper about information security professionals’ perceptions of internal audit. In addition, he was on a panel with three CIOs that discussed the current topics and issues in cyber security -- a fertile area for academic inquiry, according to Steinbart. On a separate panel about teaching innovations, Steinbart shared a tip on turning the free-form problem often given on exams in the accounting information systems class (ACC 444 at the W. P. Carey School) into a well-designed multiple choice format that truly tests knowledge and not test-taking skills. Steinbart's idea was well-received: his tip was tied for number 3 in terms of usefulness, intent to adopt, etc.

And the winner is …

Assistant Professor Gregory Dawson is one of seven judges for the Global Outsourcing 100 contest, staged by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP). Companies under consideration for the award are judged on four critical characteristics: size and growth; customer references; organizational competencies; and management capabilities. The preliminary results are announced at the IAOP World Summit, February 18-20 in Phoenix, and the final list is shared in Fortune in April. Dawson is one of a handful of people who hold both a Ph.D. and the top professional certification in outsourcing (Certified Outsourcing Professional), which must be renewed annually after taking classes and an exam.

Ka-ching! Virtual money

Irfan Kanat, an information systems doctoral student, studies virtual currencies, so when Wired was looking for an expert to comment on Bitcoin-based casinos, he was the go-to person. His comments on virtual currency wound up in Wired, Ars Technica and other places.