4 MBA Trends You Should Be Aware Of

Technology always had a profound impact on business, be it the steam engines or the computers. But in recent few years, it has been way more disruptive. If you follow any business newspaper or website, you would find mention of words like ‘Disruption’, ‘Data is the new oil’, ‘Algorithmic Trading’, ‘Programmatic Buying’, ‘Personalised Advertisements’. These words aren’t jargon but live examples of the impact of technology on business. The expectation of industries from future MBAs has also undergone tremendous changes. Good MBA institutes have also changed their curriculum accordingly.

With this article, I would like to point out such latest trends. Some of them are already very mainstream careers, some of them are picking up really good.

1. Analytics using R, SAS: 

Analytics has worked wonders in terms of management decision making. Earlier the decisions which were made on soft factors, which can’t be completely defined, like understanding of the market and qualitative analysis. Now those decisions are made with the help of insights derived from analytics.

For example – Availability of Cab in a particular area on a particular time of the day. Powai in Mumbai has many offices. Many employees in these office use share cabs for the commute. On the basis of data collected in the area for over a month, Cab company can derive insights like: What are the spots where share cabs are positioned? For a particular locality or society, how many people take cabs every day? So that these people can be clubbed into 1 cab. It is just one of the usecases, there will be plenty more.

Social media is very important for marketing of any B2C product or services these days. Social media offers direct targeting of users which isn’t available on traditional channels. There are various tools for using analytics on social media.

B-schools have introduced courses on Programming with R and SAS. Analytics jobs are coming in significant numbers on campuses offering decent packages. To make sense out of the data and derive insights, a person must understand the business, consumer behaviour and latest trends.

2. Python and Algorithmic Trading in Finance: Making financial decisions on analyzing the huge pile of data about companies with near-perfect accuracy and time period that is ahead of competitors. This is what makes algorithmic trading next hot thing in finance. Python is widely used in Finance world these days. There are a wide variety of courses on Python on open source platforms. Beginner knowledge of programming along with knowledge of finance is required in this domain.

3. Understanding of Latest Technologies: A decent number of job offers on campuses are for profiles like Product Manager, IT Consultants etc. These profiles require the person to work with technical stakeholders like Programmers, Technical Architects etc. These roles now require a sound understanding of Big Data, Cloud, Blockchain, RPA, NLP etc.

4. Programmatic Buying: Have you observed that you would see ads of fitness and sports products on all your social media platforms or websites that you visit if you have ever searched for sport shoes or related products?

This one such example of programmatic buying in the advertisement industry. You don’t buy ad slots anymore; you buy user instead. This enables companies to display their ads to a very relevant set of users.

If a luxury brand has to reach out to their target group of HNI individuals with age group of 35-55, LinkedIn would be the most appropriate platform for them instead of others. The beauty of the whole process is that it is completely automated without any manual intervention.

Now that you have started; search for HR analytics, Operations Analytics, Supply Chain Optimization etc. on your own. In today’s time, it is important to be updated about these latest happenings. You can also do some certification on analytics or some latest technologies; it would be a distinction on your CV. Being a prospective/current management student, you should also think of use-cases to apply your knowledge of these trends. For example: In case study competitions where the novelty of the idea has a considerable weightage, application of concepts like Blockchain can create that winning advantage for you.

I hope you liked the article, please drop your feedback or any suggestion that you have.

Sachin Mandot

Sachin Mandot is an IMT-G Alum (Batch of 2018). With an aim to help MBA aspirants, he has been writing on InsideIIM platform since March 2017.

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