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What is artificial intelligence vs. machine learning?

November 13, 2019

How Can We Use Analytics to Make Better Business Decisions?

Written by Ravi Nath, PhD 

If you have an interest in fields like data science or data analytics, you’ve probably heard of phrases such as big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

A graphic of a graph person's face

“Over the last 20 years, companies across the globe have collected huge repositories of data,” says Ravi Nath, PhD, Chair, Department of Business Intelligence & Analytics at Creighton University Heider College of Business. “This includes not only numerical data, but also data derived from other sources such as emails, voice messaging, social media, sensors, electronic health records and more. This is what is referred to as big data and it's only getting bigger. With the right technology and know-how, companies can transform this data to make better business decisions and improve their competitive advantage.”

Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to the larger concept of machines being able to carry out tasks in a way that mimics human learning and thinking. Machine Learning (ML) is a subset of artificial intelligence that involves applying artificial intelligence through the use of data to develop algorithms to help predict outcomes and/or find patterns and associations. Also referred to as “smart” systems, machines are programmed or automated to process data to accomplish a specific need such as personalizing ads, forecasting the demand for a product or making decisions on mortgage applications. The more data they are presented with, the smarter and more accurate they become over time, improving their knowledge and capabilities so that they are essentially learning for themselves. By adding a feedback loop, the machine can learn by being told whether its decisions are right or wrong, allowing it to adjust its methodology in the future.

Real-World applications for Ai

Artificial intelligence is becoming a greater part of our lives, affecting how we live, work and play. Facial recognition, Siri, Alexis, voice to text, security surveillance, product recommendations, online fraud protection, sales and business forecasting—these are all examples of artificial intelligence that are likely impacting your life as well as the business in which you work.

The market demand for professionals who can use artificial intelligence to improve business performance is increasing in demand among almost every industry including banking, finance, health care, transportation, education and manufacturing.

Is an analytics degree from Creighton right for you?

If your interest in artificial intelligence goes beyond an appreciation of it daily use in your life—if you have an interest in becoming the brains behind artificial intelligence and learning how to effectively mine data and turn it into useful information to make a business  more efficient and competitive, the Master of Science in Analytics online degree program at Creighton University Heider College of Business can help arm you with leading-edge skills in this field.

Creighton’s online masters in analytics program can be completed in about two years and includes seven required data analytics courses and four electives, which allows you to tailor the program to fit your goals and needs. The elective courses change to keep up with changing technology and trends in the field and include courses in artificial intelligence and machine learning.  

Featuring small class sizes of about 15 students, online activities are designed to engage students and often include group or team projects. All data analytics courses are taught by terminally qualified faculty with PhD degrees and with real life experiences in the field. Classes provide a great deal of interaction with faculty who are extremely accessible to students at all times. The online format is ideal for working professionals, allowing you to complete your coursework on your time and at your pace.

The masters in data analytics program will prepare you to:

  • Manage data from a number of sources
  • Use analytical tools to gain insights from data
  • Effectively model and communicate findings to key stakeholders and decision-makers

You’ll gain important expertise in predictive and prescriptive analytics, data visualization and modeling, machine learning, database management, research and more. You’ll also earn how to develop algorithms, solve complex problems, and drive decision-making processes.

“We have cutting edge curriculum that is going to prepare you for the job of tomorrow and five years down the road,” says Dr. Nath. “Companies worldwide are creating new jobs in this field. It is very much in demand and will continue to grow as we are just starting to scrape the surface when it comes to using big data. This degree will give you a great foundation that will enable you to move up and become a leader in this field.”

Job opportunities in this field include:

  • Software developers
  • Data scientists
  • Marketing analysts
  • Marketing managers
  • Management analysts
  • Financial analysts
  • Computer systems analysts
  • Operations research analysts

According to a 2018 report by Economic Modeling Specialists, job growth for these roles is expected to rise by 2028. Annual salary typically ranges between $64,500 and $119,204.

Opportunities at Creighton

Creighton also offers a business data analytics graduate certificate. If a two-year program is not doable for you, the Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics from Creighton University will arm you with the core concepts behind business analytics in less than one year. You will use real-world data sets to hone your skills in managing and analyzing critical data and learn how to communicate your results to key decision makers in an organization.

“You will also find value of the relationships you will develop during your degree studies at Creighton to be invaluable,” say Dr. Nath. Creighton’s alumni network spans across the country and the globe and that can help you in securing your next job and advancements in your career.”

Looking for an accredited, nationally recognized program?

Creighton University’s Master of Science in Analytics program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Creighton University also has maintained continuous accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission since 1928. Accreditation is one of the most important ways that demonstrates Creighton University's commitment to quality.

Creighton is proud to have earned several top 20 rankings for its online graduate programs in the 2019 US News & World Report surveys. These rankings are based on engagement by instructors; aptitude of students enrolled in the program; expert opinion from high-ranking academic officials at MBA programs; faculty credentials and training; and the availability of diverse learning technologies and other student services.

These rankings include:

  • 20th in Best Online Graduate Business Program
  • 16th in Best Online Graduate Education Programs