Loyola University Maryland will establish a space on campus for a new Data Analytics Visualization Lab, which will distinguish the Sellinger School of Business among its peer business programs. The state-of-the-art data visualization (data viz) lab will be utilized by students from a variety of academic majors, including Accounting, Information Systems and Data Science, will help recruit and enroll the nation’s top students into Loyola’s MAcc program, and will attract top faculty candidates to the University.
Benefits for Accounting Students
Educating students to have a data analytics mindset has become a primary focus in accounting education. Discussions about technology now outpace those of accounting and auditing standards among educational programs and employers alike. More now than ever, accounting graduates need to be able to hit the ground running dealing with technology and interpreting big data.
According to an April 2017 survey by Forbes Insight and KPMG, 26% of financial executives said advanced technologies would become essential to financial reporting and auditing within two years, while a further 53% viewed advanced technology skills as becoming a "must have" in three to five years. Those forecasts have proven to be true.
Major accounting firms are collaborating with universities to create big data programs at the schools. With a data viz lab, Loyola will be better positioned to form these types of collaborations.
Benefits for Information Systems Students
Information Systems is the bridge between users and data. Today’s students need to know what visualization techniques best suit their users’ needs to craft a compelling and accurate story.
Data visualization is an onramp to more sophisticated forms of data analytics. It commands attention while also creating value for an organization and opportunity for those who can use it. All graduates need to know how to work with data, and those who build dashboards need to be able to translate users’ needs into tangible results.
A data viz lab will help students develop an understanding of the techniques needed to make this a reality. Information Systems students can learn how to visualize the processes through which data and other activities flow. Students can also visualize how to transform processes, uncover bottlenecks and shortcuts, and devise critical paths through networks. Visualizations of this form are vital to being able to understand real time supply chains.
Data Analytics Visualization Lab Funding Priorities
More powerful computing capabilities are needed to be able to manipulate big data. A lab dedicated to data analytics will provide faculty and students with access to the “must have” technologies for contemporary business education. Philanthropic support will allow Loyola to upgrade technology and renovate existing classroom space to create Loyola's data viz lab space on campus:
- Reconfigure existing lecture classroom in Sellinger Hall
- Install new lab technology, including:
- Dual short throw projectors with touch capability on an 12’ foot smartboards
- Classroom presentation hardware and controls
- Large display video monitors for huddle areas
- Integrated Zoom audio/video conferencing with 4k PTZ camera
- Movable and modular classroom furniture
- Interior showcase window