Mastering Business Analytics: The real MBA for career success, Step-by-Step
Site focus: This site focuses upon helping individuals — be they quant-jocks, IT/CS-types, or MBA-holders — to leverage their respective skills for career success. More specifically, the isa objective is to significantly improve career path trajectories as well as alternatives for quantitatively capable (currently or potentially) students. The likely career paths include technical management, new product development, financial management, internal consulting, or external consulting. A given, is becoming uniquely well qualified at whatever it is that the student's now doing and wishes to continue. Continue, however, with vastly enhanced quantitative analytic skills and capability for lucid communication with non-quants. Our students will get shots at C-Level jobs; that is what we're preparing them to undertake and at which to flourish.
For the numerically literate, the most effective path lies in acquiring and learning to exploit their non-math foundation skills. Obviously, the game is to do all this with minimal time, cost, and fuss. Any who wish, may reach us here.
Brief backgrounder: Several decades of boardroom and classroom (MBA/EMBA) experience (both sides of the tables), has underscored the imperative for executives capable of quantitative business analysis. Certainly, not every executive need be quantitatively accomplished, but all should possess a modicum of quantitative literacy. Simply put, innumerate executives are, at best, at the mercy of the quantitatively literate; at worst, defies description.
Executives must think strategically; executives must be able to think analytically. Their "foreign" competitors can ... and do. Executives must be able to formulate and to communicate workable, coherent, strategic analytical business solutions. Quantitative literacy has steadily and demonstrably worsened over the past three decades.
Absent effective and analytically literate executives, strategic management devolves into blindly wrestling with obscure and largely misunderstood concepts and irrelevant concerns.* "Get it over with," becomes the plat du jour, yielding beggarly guesswork and constituting the managerial equivalent of, "reading the guts of sheep."
CEO caveat: Should you expect your incoming MBA's to have the requisite abilities, you'll likely be sadly disappointed unless they hail from one of three — that we're aware of — schools. (No, neither HBS nor Wharton's among them.) Such, btw, has been the case for the better part of 30 years. Traditional, formal MBA/EMBA programs have been so dumb-downed — thanks, largely, to the student "evalution" of faculty process — as to approach farce. So, from our experience, firms can considerably improve their near-term profitability and long-term durability by encouraging and "creating" executive business analysts. This far better approach finds a firm's senior executives establishing a pipeline for leveraging internal analytical talent. Premise: It's far easier to teach accounting to a quant than quant to an accountant. And, yes, you definitely need both skillsets in any given individual; stirring black marbles and white marbles cannot produce gray marbles. We'd hope the content here will provoke thought, corporate dialog, and constructive action.
Corporations: On-site, tailored, dedicated programs constitute the most effective approach. Using your firm-specific data, your executives-in-training learn by analyzing your firm's unique situation using your firm's financial- and operations-specific information. In addition to being the best learning tactic, it's tantamount to free consulting. Moreover, it's not uncommon for important solutions to emerge from this approach. (The rapid emergence record is currently held by a UTC divisional CFO, who in late 1999, hit-the-jackpot in just under 45 minutes.) Senior executives may contact us here.
An aside: For continuity, this site is being written with one-pen a former CEO (NYC-based, private equity, multi-national conglomerate) via CFO (global leader) via MBA-retread scientist. Who, in a parallel universe, has been a grad-school professor of applied mathematics (commencing in 1968 with applied multivariate) and member of eight different academic departments, at four major northeastern universities. By actual count, 76.7% of his students have held at least one hard-science (most commonly, engineering) degree. N.B. Quants do learn differently. Oh, btw, your scribe enjoyed a 4.87/5.0 "eval" average over the latest 8 semesters ... despite a "damn the torpedoes" attitude about the eval process. Inexplicably, class sizes over the same 8 semesters grew to many times the norm — typically 50 to 75 students with an utterly ludicrous all-time high of 98 in a capstone finance course.
* To finish the thought, all plans are wrong; some are useful. (Mea culpa, Milton, RIP.) To reprise Eisenhower's oft borrowed and well-worn line, " Plans are worthless but planning is priceless."
The ultimate consequence of weak analysis finds strategic planning (and budgeting) tending toward the superficial and sporadic. The planning result is presumed flawed from the outset and roundly mistrusted by all; the planning process suffers the same presumption. Worse, once "completed," "The Plan" (or Budget) is relegated to a dusty-shelf ... to await its perfunctory bi-/ tri-/ quini-annual irrelevant refurbishment. Planning, in all its "flavors," must be a continual, ongoing process.
Good planning demands good analysis ... and even better analysts. Really good analysts produce "live" planning models, to be consulted constantly and "tweaked" over time. As a result, these dynamic planning models become extremely valuable, timely sources of actionable business intelligence. When's the last time you didn't care about a, "worst case" scenario? (return)