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New OC program lives at the intersection of marketing and big data
Okanagan College Media Release

Your supermarket does it. Amazon thrives on it. The websites you visit are doing it all the time.

They’re blending marketing and data analytics and using the results to tailor their special offers, the websites you see and their recommendations for your next purchase.

Okanagan College will be offering a new program this fall that speaks to the growing role of marketing and big data in our lives, and the increasing demand for people whose skills and education position them at the intersection of the two areas. The Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Marketing and Data Analytics will combine courses from mathematics, statistics, business and data science to provide students (who already have Bachelor degrees in business or science) with the knowledge to carve a career in the growing field.

“It’s difficult to think of an area of our lives that hasn’t been affected by the growth in data being collected and the marketing it drives,” notes Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “While some people are rightfully concerned about the privacy implications of all that data, it’s an undeniable reality that the data begs for analysis and application. Companies, organizations, and governments all recognize the value of the insights that are possible. This program is an example of our institution again responding to employer needs and career opportunities for students.”

The program, which was developed by the Math & Statistics department at Okanagan College, with support from the Business department, was approved by the Board of Governors in late April.

“We know that there’s a growing appetite for the people who can mine all the data that is collected these days, and translate it into applicable marketing tactics and strategies,” explains Yvonne Moritz, the College’s Dean of Science, Technology and Health. “There are employers throughout the Okanagan who are looking for the skill set that this program can provide students.”

“Forestry manufacturing companies, like Tolko Industries, rely on big data and analysts to provide proactive business information and financial and operational analyses in achieving the optimal investment return for Tolko,” confirms Pino Pucci, Tolko Vice President of Sales, Marketing & Logistics. “Our business analysts use data to evaluate product placement, channel strategies, benchmarking (customer and competitor), and logistic and strategic capital investment analyses. The demand for this expertise within the industry is increasing and we’re fortunate to have our local college offer this program.” 

When they graduate from the four-semester program, students will be able to:

  • Apply mathematical, statistical and machine-learning techniques to support organizational decisions, and point to new data-driven opportunities
  • Manage and manipulate data and create data visualizations
  • Understand digital marketing and the business application of marketing analytics
  • Perform primary and secondary marketing research

The development, interpretation and use of data today informs all fields of business and commerce. But as the quantity of data has grown exponentially in recent years, the skill set and knowledge required to take full advantage of that information have changed,” notes Bill Gillett, Dean of the Okanagan College School of Business. “Our program recognizes that.”

For more information on the Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Marketing and Data Analytics, visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/pbmda