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Worth the Risk: Poole College Launches Master of Management, Risk and Analytics

With global risks on the rise, the use of data analytics has never been more important. Our new concentration––offered fully online and asynchronously––equips students to proactively identify emerging risks and strategically position the organization for success.

A View Of The Talley Student Union. Photo By Marc Hall

By Caroline Barnhill

Given the disruptions and uncertainty of the last few years, risk management leaders know now – more than ever – about the importance of making data-informed decisions. As businesses forged ahead, most were able to quickly determine whether they had the strategies in place to pivot and withstand the unknown. 

Risk management leaders know that it takes more than a traditional mitigation plan to rise to the top, and that an effective enterprise risk management strategy – coupled with exceptional data analysis – will allow business to stay one step ahead, now and in the future.

An effective enterprise risk management strategy – coupled with exceptional data analysis – will allow business to stay one step ahead, now and in the future. 

“The reality is that our world is riddled with complexities, which is only going to compound in coming years,” explains Mark Beasley, Ph.D., KPMG professor and director of the Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Initiative in the Poole College of Management. “Business leaders in every industry must be skilled and informed about potential emerging risks that could affect their business – both good and bad – and make strong decisions from there. And, they can benefit by building competencies in data analytics to manage those risks impacting their areas of responsibility, regardless of their position or title.”

With global risks on the rise, the use of data analytics has never been more important. And to be successful, these cutting-edge technologies must be embedded across the entire risk management process. 

“We have so much more data than we’ve ever had, but we have to know how to take advantage of it,” Beasley continues. “Think about weather forecasting, where data helps us to anticipate what will happen so that we can prepare. Businesses want that same radar system to analyze and better predict where potential risks may be bubbling up. Being data-informed about what is emerging in your industry will help you to manage risk in a proactive way. It’s critical, and that’s what we need to teach our next generation of business leaders.”

To meet industry demand, and to arm future business leaders with the knowledge and tools to gain a competitive-edge, Poole College of Management is launching a new risk and analytics concentration for its Master of Management program in the fall of 2022.

“Since 2004, the Enterprise Risk Management Initiative has been on a journey,” explains Beasley. “Over the last decade we’ve heard from professionals, across industries, who are trying to advance their organization’s outlook on risk. There’s a demand for this program, and our continued engagement with industry experts has shown us there’s a definite need for more robust training in this space. With a growing trend in specialized master’s programs and requests for graduate training, we knew we had a unique opportunity to bring this program to life.”

Ericka Kranitz, who will serve as the program’s director, has heard similar sentiments, and notes that in the current landscape, the need for the specialized program has never been greater. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic showed us that organizations with an enterprise risk management strategy in place have been more resilient. Companies who practiced it well have weathered the storm,” says Kranitz. “Unfortunately, those who didn’t are now realizing the value of why having a process in place is so important.”  

The new concentration will be offered fully online, asynchronously, with flexible options in order to accommodate the needs of full-time industry professionals.

“Knowing that many of our students are working professionals, we’ve approached the curriculum with a very practical lens. The student cohort will have varying work experience from different industries and backgrounds, bringing different perspectives to the table. The capstone project at the end will blend risk and analytics in an applied way, and we plan to incorporate opportunities for teamwork, outside speakers and participation in the ERM industry roundtable sessions,” Kranitz adds. 

“There are not a lot of opportunities out there like this, and NC State’s brand, knowledge and research truly sets us apart,” Kranitz explains. “The new concentration will offer an excellent balance of risk management, strategy, data analytics and electives that expose our students to numerous areas around risk management. Even those who consider themselves experts in the field will have something to gain from this unique program.”

To learn more about this new opportunity, including admissions and timing for upcoming informational sessions, please click here.