Professionals tackle leadership challenges with big data

Professionals in technical and methodology-oriented data science and business analytics will learn how to conquer leadership challenges with big data during a new executive education programme by Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and Erasmus School of Economics. Participants learn to understand data techniques they can instantly apply in order to achieve business objectives. 

Big data influences customer relationships, redefines how organisations develop new products and services, changes the way operations are organised and managed, improves demand and supply networks, and provides the basis for new business models. Using big data, retailers can predict what products will sell, telecom companies can predict if and when a customer might switch carriers, and car insurance companies understand how well their customers actually drive.

 As an energy grid operator Alliander increasingly needs people that have the skill set to exploit big data to make our networks more efficient and smart and to develop new business models as part of the smart energy grid. This programme supports us in making the required transformation”, says Pieter den Hamer, Lead Big Data, Business Intelligence & Analytics, Alliander.

”Immediately after a company decides to go digital, it will experience that the organisation goes through a data-driven transformation. This programme helps to build the required data-driven capabilities and develops the leaders that are the first movers in participating organisations,” says Ruud Brink, digital transformation expert at PA Consulting, which specialises in management consulting, technology and innovation and is one of the founding partners in the leadership programme on Big Data.

Reinventing business
During the English-taught Leadership Challenges with Big Data programme, participants will engage with world-class academics and senior executives during eight days, spread over three months. The new executive programme has a strong focus on action based-learning and collaboration on business’ best practices. Participating company teams work on concrete company questions and data sets and are challenged to apply the concepts and techniques taught in the programme within their own organisations. They report back initial results in a comeback session at the end of the programme

“Exploiting big data requires fundamental rethinking of how we do business,” says Eric van Heck, professor of information management and markets at RSM. “Organisations increasingly use big data to reinvent their business. Big data brings disruption to industries and organisations and can revolutionise the way we do business. New technologies for data collection, analysis and prediction create huge opportunities, but also ethical, legal, technical and business risks,” said Prof. Van Heck, adding that the course addresses these matters.

Technical and business skills
Data scientists are scarce, according to McKinsey the United States alone faces a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with analytical expertise and 1.5 million managers and analysts with the skills to understand and make decisions based on the analysis of big data. Skilled people are indispensable to accomplish a successful transition to digital. “It is about more than just having the data, extracting real business value from (big) data also requires creativity, statistical skills, and business knowledge” says Dennis Fok, professor of applied econometrics at Erasmus School of Economics. This eight-day programme will empower executives to transform their organisations into a data-driven company with actionable insights in close co-operation with C-level management.

During this programme the participants will:

  • discover academically sound, new ways to apply big data technologies and methods to design and implement innovative and winning business applications
  • boost their business skills by exploring business thinking, case creation and investigating problems from a business point of view
  • improve their technical skill set as a result of acquired new knowledge and understanding of data science methodologies and techniques
  • obtain access to a cross-industry learning platform to share knowledge and learn from experiences in other relevant industries
  • enhance their knowledge about privacy and security to provide solid data-driven business applications.

The Leadership Challenges with Big Data programme starts on Thursday 29 October 2015. It has been developed by the Erasmus Centre for Data Science and Business Analytics, which supports organisations to transform into digital companies with action-based learning and research studies, C-level involvement and collaboration with leading business partners. The program is developed in close collaboration with Sanoma, PA Consulting and Deutsche Telekom and is expecting participating teams and cases from several industries such as finance, energy and media. Besides faculty from RSM and Erasmus School of Economics the programme features guest speakers from TU Delft and Leiden University and several invited international company speakers that present best practices in big data. The programme is part of the recently launched Big Data Alliance, an interdisciplinary platform joining the forces of academia, R&D institutes and industry to advance the field of data science in the Netherlands.

Erasmus School of Economics is a leading centre for ground-breaking research and excellence in education. It is committed to finding solutions for today’s and tomorrow’s economic issues by challenging yesterday’s economic theories as well as building from and valorising existing models and methods. 

More information

For more information on this release, please contact Ronald de Groot, Communication Officer of Erasmus School of Economics,, mobile: +31 6 53 641 846.

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