Expectations For ISYS6655.01 From Data Contrarian to Data Appreciation.

As I started my MBA journey at Boston College, I admittedly shied away from technology classes. I wasn’t someone that embraced the Data Analytics curriculum and was the first person to say, “I’m never going to have to use this.” Or, “Why are we forced to learn code.” However, the more and more I have progressed through the program, I have learned to embrace the role that technology and the data revolution has had on business. In my past roles, I had mainly a business development background and I relied on my relationship management skills to create sales opportunities and manage a sales pipeline. I often had the information that I needed at my fingertips or our sales operations team rolled out a new report that allowed us to follow up on an existing campaign. When I started to look past how I interacted with data on a day to day basis, and more into how data itself is being used across different areas of my company only then did I understand the true power of technology and how it was shaping the internal structures of companies.

I had the ability for the first time in a long time to learn and understand how a coding language operated and how it was powering the data engines of today. Through getting more familiar with code, what once looked like a rosetta stone full of hieroglyphics became something that was digestible and relatable to determining how to analyze large customer data sets. No longer did I feel intimidated by code or shy away from intellectual conversations from our developer’s about how they were interacting with various coding languages. I started to understand the modern applications of coding and how it would help power some of the customer’s projects that our team was facing.

For example, I now had the ability to understand that SQL was more efficient at handling smaller more bite-sized queries, whereas Rstudio would be better suited for tackling larger and more complex data sets. If I was put into a future management position, I would have the ability to have a better idea of how to invest the hiring resources appropriately. I would be able to understand how the analysts would need to be constructed and determine the right-sized project plan to tackle how the data was applied. It was a true change in outlook and divestiture from how I had approached coding in the past. Now, when faced with a data task I won’t hesitate to dive headfirst into the problem and work to create an actionable workflow.

I hope to obtain from this class a better understanding of other digital tools that can be useful outside of coding languages and how it applies to sales. A lot has been talked about the digital transformation that AI and machine learning will have on sales and business development. In my own business development experience, I had worked at a data analytics startup that used machine learning to provide predictive forecasting for inside sales teams. The algorithm used historical close rates and push statistics from the Salesforce CRM to help sales managers come up with a more accurate forecast. I would be interested in seeing if there would be more tools that would help individual contributors with calling clients most likely to close. I envision there being a machine learning algorithm that analyzes a prospect’s marketing download activity and combines it with LinkedIn data. The algorithm would allow the client to create a prompt for the salesperson to reach out to this contact with the best marketing piece that is appropriate to the prospect based on the buyer’s journey. Hoping to see what comes of the next three weeks!

-Ben

3 comments

  1. conoreiremba · ·

    I am glad t know that I was not the only one who had the overriding theory of “I’m never going to have to use this” when I was choosing my classes for the MBA program. In the time that I have been in BC, I have learned that great things can happen outside of the comfort zone and I have decided to broaden my own horizons. Much like you, SQL and R were just random letters to me merely 12 months ago, but I was happy I took the opportunity to learn more about coding and I can only imagine the exciting range of knowledge we both will have developed from this class by the time we reach the end of the semester.

  2. Scott Siegler · ·

    I’m definitely interested to learn more about how technology can impact sales. I used to work as a business development rep and there is so much potential to create greater efficiencies, especially around minimizing the drudgery side of the job and focusing more on creative thinking and strategic outreach. I am now on the marketing side of the fence and technology is a way bigger part of the day to day. I feel like sales will catch up though.

  3. Very beautifully written, Ben! While looking at various MBA programs, BC student’s expressing the need for this curriculum in business today and highlighting the DA core curriculum as a program differentiator was kind of lost on me. It actually wasn’t until I started interviewing for internships that I realized how right they were! Every single interview had some sort of question regarding data (past experience, what data to use for certain metrics/benchmarks, etc.). I went from thinking I’d never take any data classes after the core curriculum to taking 3 ISYS electives. I’m excited to hear more about new technologies throughout the term and their impact on data collection and analysis.

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