Texas Tech University

Master of Data Science Program Ranked in Top 25 by Value Colleges

Michelle Greenlee

March 30, 2016

This story was provided by George Watson, senior editor for the Texas Tech University Office of Communications and Marketing.

The website Value Colleges has ranked the Rawls College of Business Data Science master's program among the top 25 in the nation, the website announced recently.

The ranking, in which Texas Tech University's business college was ranked 23rd, was based on several factors. Value Colleges rated only regionally accredited colleges and universities with proven reputations and considered three metrics - Payscale's 2015-16 college salary report, U.S. News & World Report rankings and actual cost reported from the institution's website.

"To receive this ranking as a best value program for data science shows that the graduate education students receive at the Rawls College of Business is not only of the highest quality, but also offers a great return on investment," Rawls College of Business interim dean Paul Goebel said. "This ranking is a testament to the innovative, affordable programs we offer, and it further exemplifies how we are doing more for our graduate students."

Value Colleges praised Texas Tech and the Rawls College as one of the best in the Southwest thanks to a growing reputation among national rankings, particularly at the graduate level. It said the master of science in data science, a one-year science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM)-designated program, was evidence of Texas Tech's commitment to driving business education.

Directed by Eric Walden, a Wetherbe professor in the Area of Information Systems and Quantitative Sciences, the program brings together the principles of statistics, technology and business where students will develop skills to help them understand and interpret big data for use in creating sustainable organizational strategies.

It is estimated that by 2018 there will be a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills and even fewer managers and analysts with the know-how to use big data analysis to make effective decisions.

"The Rawls College of Business has been offering data science courses since 2004. If you take good students, good faculty and a decade of experience then you can really build something great," Walden said. "We combine not only computers and statistics, but also business cases and human decision-making so our students can not only manipulate and analyze data, but also manipulate and analyze the right data to answer the right questions."

The Center for Advanced Analytics and Business Intelligence, founded in 2004 by Horn Professor Peter Westfall, plays a key role in the program, Walden said.

The program offers courses covering subjects such as big data strategy, multivariate analysis, predictive analytics, business intelligence, data and text mining and decision theory and business analytics. Students also learn a variety of technologies used to analyze data, including R, Hadoop, Python and SAS and relational databases.

Texas Tech was one of only two colleges in the state of Texas and one of only two Big 12 Conference schools to be ranked in the top 25.

This supports the efforts outlined in the Rawls College of Business Strategic Plan. Learn more about the LEADER 2020 Strategic Plan and follow our progress on Twitter at #RawlsLeads.