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Big Data Changes Strategy & Finance

In a recent post we discussed how MBA-styled financial modelling is already outdated for high-end corporate strategy work. Many readers wrote in saying it could not be true since the schools have not changed their curriculum or are just starting to merge finance, strategy and analytics. First off, cutting edge thinking rarely originates in business schools alone. And business schools tend to be very slow to adapt when/if they eventually do. In these examples from the New York Times all you see are the schools putting MBA's alongside technologists and hoping for something to happen by osmosis. Hope is not a survival strategy. MBA programs are being incredibly shortsighted since they are merely looking to adopt the business models from the tech companies, like lean processes, modularization etc. They should go much further and teach their students some core coding skills because as this video shows, some work can only be done by a very intelligent MBA in corporate finance who can also code. Big Data is allowing corporate strategists to better advise and interact with clients. It more than just flashy apps, but a fundamental re-wiring of the way we do strategy. Learning some basic code will create an entirely more productive, creative and effective group of management consultants. Remember, we have been here before: when MBA schools and consulting firms refused to adopt spreadsheet programing as a core skill. Learning to code is just another way to analyze problems and a better way than relying on creaky spreadsheets. As Theodor Levitt showed in Marketing Myopia, people should avoid being entranced by a product, in this case spreadsheets, and focus on what the client wants, in this case better and more effective analyses with Big Data. Since spreadsheets where the traditional means to the end, of analyzing clients, we should adapt to some form of deeper coding since that is a better means to the very same end. Subscribers to our executive programs will have detailed access to the tools and step-by-step methods to build these sophisticated analyses."

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