The lines between managing a business and using technology to run operations are blurring as companies become more dependent on data to make decisions on operations like recruiting and retaining top talent, production and marketing.
As a result, companies are placing a premium on professionals who have studied in business programs. An advanced business degree in management can set business professionals up to be competitive candidates in the modern job market and lead teams in any industry.
“Available technology can automate much of what we call management, giving leaders more time to lead. This is vital,” according to the World Economic Forum.
How Do Information Systems Contribute to Success?
Management information systems (MIS) comprise technology that automates the collection, organization and distribution of data to support the analytics that enable companies to make decisions more quickly and with greater certainty.
Business leaders with technological expertise are key players in operations such as the following:
Strategic marketing is the data-driven foundation for an organization’s marketing and advertising campaigns. MIS automates the collection, organization and storage of business units, including marketing strategies that allow it to:
- Define target markets more precisely
- Understand the characteristics, including personas and transactional data, likely prospects and repeat customers
- Assess competitors’ marketing strengths to find opportunities
- Optimize social media marketing by analyzing customer interaction with it
Funding and internal cultural issues are often the leading impediments to data-driven strategic marketing, along with incomplete data and a lack of unified data understanding.
“Data skills are valuable across all industries and job functions as decision making is becoming more and more data-driven, and gaining these skills isn’t as challenging as originally thought,” notes one Forbes article.
Data Mining for Business Applications
The velocity at which businesses generate increasingly large and complex data can overwhelm a company’s ability to use it effectively. Those who can unearth “dark data” hidden in its MIS are able to make smarter decisions. The potential competitive advantage drives investment in data-mining strategies and infrastructure that compile and organize data to uncover patterns and relationships. As a result, organizations have additional information they can use to optimize operations, cut costs, expand market share, boost revenue and achieve other business-critical goals.
The Harvard Business School says business fluency and data skills are complementary: “Developing your business skills can make it easier for you to make connections between data and business objectives.”
Business Analytics and Decision Modeling
Analytics and decision modeling are related processes that transform data into business intelligence. There are several subsets of data analytics; decision modeling comprises algorithms that use descriptive or historical analytics to create statistical models that enable business leaders to make forward-looking decisions.
“Using business intelligence and analytics effectively is the crucial difference between companies that succeed and companies that fail in the modern environment,” says Datapine, an analytics consultant.
One out of three information technology projects aim to optimize operations, increase productivity and reduce costs and risks fails, typically for lacking competent management. Skilled project managers (PM) possess relevant technical expertise as well as an in-depth understanding of leadership and business goals. Yet, as critical as a PM is to a company’s success, 40% of businesses surveyed by a project-management consultant said they could not find PMs with the necessary combination of technical and business expertise.
“The role of the project manager has long been shifting … towards a strategic leadership position for effecting change in an organization,” according to Rebels Guide to Project Management.
Business leaders with MIS competency can boost their companies’ competitive advantage by improving employee performance, ensuring effective collaboration among operations, encouraging employee productivity and making more intelligent decisions.
How Do Business Leaders Acquire Technology Skills?
The ACBSP-accredited Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Management offered online by Northwest Missouri State University (Northwest) equips graduates with essential leadership tools for senior positions in operations, project management, purchasing and management analytics.
The core curriculum of managerial accounting and economics, finance, strategic marketing and other leadership functions — complemented by electives in information-systems intensive operations such as data mining, analytics and modeling — provides the ideal mix of leadership and technology expertise that businesses value.
Learn more about Northwest Missouri State University’s online MBA in Management program.