Preparing students for the digital economy

DATA analytics is an essential tool of business and commerce, and the unprecedented pandemic underscores the need for efficient tools and skills for online commerce to succeed.

A leader in business education, HELP University is in an eminent position to nurture data analytics talent. It was awarded the Premier Digital Tech Institution status by MDEC for transforming into an analytics-driven entrepreneurial university – one of the few so honoured.

HELP offers four relevant programmes – Bachelor of Business Analytics (BBA) (Hons), Bachelor of IT (BIT) (Data Analytics) (Hons), Master of Applied Business Analytics (MABA), and Master of Data Science (MDS).

The BBA prepares graduates to seize the limitless scope of new jobs and ventures in the IR 4.0 era and to gain an advantage over competitors.

Course leaders for analytics programmes (from left) Dr Tang U-Liang, Dr Melody Tan, Ms Ng Shu Min and Dr Paolo Casadio.Course leaders for analytics programmes (from left) Dr Tang U-Liang, Dr Melody Tan, Ms Ng Shu Min and Dr Paolo Casadio.

“The BBA strengthens our capability as the leading business school to contribute to the digital economy, ” says course leader Dr Melody Tan.

Dr Tan used data science methodology for a social network analysis of the movie series Stargate and Star Trek for her PhD thesis; she is also skilled in the bibliometric and citation analysis of data.

The MABA, on the other hand, synthesises technological capability and rich datasets to enable business leaders to derive strategic information about consumer patterns and market conditions to maximise productivity and profitability.

It aims to nurture talents to assume positions like chief data officer and chief analytics officer.

“Today you need an analytics mindset and a sophisticated set of models and tools to manage large sets of data and produce reliable forecasts, ” said MABA course leader Dr Paolo Casadio, who worked as an econometrician and financial economist in leading European banks and asset management companies.

The BIT (Data Analytics), meanwhile, uniquely provides both a background in the technologies that support information systems and a specialisation in data analytics methods, and tools to derive value from the data.

Course leader Ng Shu Min, a SAS-certified data scientist, says: “I believe in demystifying mathematical and technology concepts. That's why I believe data science skills should be made accessible to many people.”

Rounding out the programmes is the Master of Data Science (MDS), which aims to apply quantitative modelling and data analysis techniques as solutions to business problems.

“The MDS programme not only equips students with highly sought-after programming, scientific and data engineering skills, but also the leadership to effect digital transformation in their organizations”, explains Dr Tang U-Liang, head of the School of Information and Communication Technology. Dr Liang is a data scientist with wide experience of applied research using AI and ML tools.

To nourish these four programmes, HELP has created a robust eco-system in keeping with its mission to nurture the A*Gen – the Analytics Generation – and maintains close ties with the industry and governing bodies.

A RM25mil Business Analytics and Technology Innovation Centre (BATIC) was set up to incubate and innovate techno-entrepreneurship, and research and development in analytics – the latter in tandem with the HELP Centre for Applied Research in Analytics (CARA).

BATIC also houses one of the largest Bloomberg Financial Labs among private higher learning institutions in Malaysia.

In collaboration with analytics software developer SAS, HELP offers BIT students a joint certificate of competency in the application of SAS tools for descriptive and predictive analytics.

HELP’s networks enable students’ learning experience to flourish and be enriched. The Alibaba Business School provides mentorship in data analytics and e-entrepreneurship. This enabled students to emerge National Champions in the Alibaba GET competition in e-Commerce and enter the finals of the Global Alibaba GET competition.

Simultaneously, the Beijing Jiaotong University (BJTU) provides a credit transfer pathway in software engineering, with industrial exposure opportunities in the Haidian technology hub in Beijing.

Currently HELP is making access to its analytics programmes easier through offering microcredentials to a wide community of students from high school to undergraduates and working adults.

For course details, logon to or contact Liew Huey Min 012-675 7593/ (BBA); Steven Yong 012-239 3908/ (BIT Data Analytics and MDS) and Christy Chong 03 2716 2100 ex. 2102/ (MABA).

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