RSM and PA develop big data executive programme

15 September 2015

The Erasmus University has in collaboration with PA Consulting Group, Sanoma and Deutsche Telekom developed a new executive education programme in the area of big data. The programme, titled ‘Leadership Challenges with Big Data’, provides participants with the opportunity to learn and understand data techniques which they can apply instantly in order to achieve business objectives.

Big data is one of the most blatant management themes in modern business. In recent years a large number of studies and research reports have looked into the phenomenon, and across the board the key conclusion is in sync: big data has the potential to transform industries and companies, through the injection of ground breaking abilities that revamp existing business models. Using big data, retailers can for instance 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. 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.

Big Data

Despite the benefits, managers still struggle with effective adoption, as illustrated by a recent EY survey. To help executives and professionals with understanding of big data and to embrace it in their operations, the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and Erasmus School of Economics decided to join forces to develop a new programme*. In developing the curriculum the academic institution, generally recognised as one of the top business schools in Europe, worked together with experts from management consultancy PA Consulting Group, pan-European publisher Sanoma and German telecom firm Deutsche Telekom. 

During the English-taught ‘Leadership Challenges with Big Data’ programme, participants will engage with academics and senior executives during eight days, spread over three months**. The focus lies according to RSM 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.

Exploiting big data requires fundamental rethinking of how we do business

”Immediately after a company decides to go digital, it will experience that the organisation goes through a data-driven transformation,” says Ruud Brink, digital transformation expert at PA Consulting and one of the co-developers of the education track. “This programme helps to build the required data-driven capabilities and develops the leaders that are the first movers in participating organisations,” he adds.

Dennis Fok, professor of applied econometrics at Erasmus School of Economics, comments: “It’s about more than just having the data. Extracting real business value from data also requires creativity, statistical skills, and business knowledge.”

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus-University-(RSM)-_-Erasmus-School-of-Economics-_-PA-Consulting Group, Sanoma and Deutsche Telekom

The first edition of ‘Leadership Challenges with Big Data’ kicks off on 5 November 2015.

* The programme has formally been developed by the Erasmus Centre for Data Science and Business Analytics, a unit which supports organisations to transform into digital companies. The initiative 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.

** Besides faculty from RSM and Erasmus School of Economics the programme features guest speakers from Delft University of Technology and Leiden University, and several international company speakers that will present best practices in big data.