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Week 7 – Discussion Board (required engagement activity)

21 21 unread replies. 21 21 replies.

Data analytics is a hot topic these days, not just in business but with employers in all fields. Part of the reason that you are required to take statistics, regardless of your field, is that it aids in critical thinking and assists you in analyzing data. Not convinced you will ever need or use Microsoft Excel or data analytics? Not sure why the spreadsheet was even invented or why you’d want to use it beyond this class? First of all, it is important for jobs. The job you may have now, or for jobs you may want in your future.

Read the following articles which explain how many positions, regardless of field, now require Microsoft Excel skills and about the growing gap between the skills job-seekers possess and what is needed in today’s increasingly data-drive world:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/06/you-cant-… (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

http://burning-glass.com/research/digital-skills-g… (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Okay, so you may need to know Excel for jobs. What is the big deal about spreadsheets anyway? Listen to this short, but fun NPR podcast:

http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2015/02/25/38902… (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Still not convinced? Try a google search using keywords such as data analytics in _______ and fill in the blanks with your major (e.g., business, marketing, finance, accounting, nursing, sports management, hospitality management). Stick to good sources such as business or professional magazines, organizations, or quality newspaper articles. I’ve included a few in the initial post of the forum for particular majors, but please look further before you try to answer the questions below.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Please answer the questions below in ESSAY format. Do not just write one-sentence or partial sentence responses. Your responses should clearly show that you read the articles and listened to the podcast, so please write enough to demonstrate this and the fact that you thought about the material presented.

  1. Did you use Excel in this class? If so, how and for what specifically? If not, why? Be specific.
  2. After listening to the articles and podcast, do you understand the importance of analytics and how it is changing the jobs available? Write a paragraph outlining the what new things you learned and how they could be valuable in your present or future career.
  3. Find 2-3 quality articles about data analytics in your major or the field in which you plan to work. After reading them, please write another short paragraph explaining how analytics is used in your field and what new things you learned. Based on the articles you read, do you plan to pursue additional training in these areas? Why or why not? Provide citations to the articles you used.

Don’t forget that you must make your initial post by SATURDAY so that other students have time to read and respond to it. You must also make at least two substantive replies to other students by Sunday. Posts should show that you read and thought about what they have said and should add to the discussion. I hope that you enjoy this week’s discussion board. Give it some time and thought and have fun!

NOTE You must post your essay before you can read anyone else’s posts. You should refresh the page after you have posted it in order to see the other posts and replies. Posts and replies made after the due date will not be graded unless the instructor has granted you an extension in advance. Please review the grading rubric for discussion posted in Modules > Start Here to be sure you earn the maximum points.

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