Courses of the « Data science for Business decisions » major (ex Data Science and Business Decision) cover many aspects of business life:
- Market functioning: interactions of a company with its competitors, customers and suppliers, growth and innovation strategies, etc. ;
- Relationships with end consumers: pricing policies, marketing campaigns, advertising strategy, etc. ;
- Governance and financial strategy: investment decisions and financing, valuation methods, LBOs, mergers and acquisitions;
- Internal Management: stewardship, management control, human resources, etc. ;
- Legal environment: company law, competition law, intellectual property law, etc.
Several courses focus on particularly strategic economic sectors, which are expected to develop or advance in their organization: energy, environment, e-commerce, health, transport.
The major thus prepares students to occupy high level of responsibilities in large companies (economic services and finance departments) but also to participate in the development of young innovative companies. Students also find opportunities in financial institutions, consulting and economic studies firms, law firms, national and international administrations and regulatory authorities.
A first category of business relates to the design and evaluation of innovative marketing strategies, including new pricing systems. The emergence of massive databases (“big data”) allows a better understanding of consumer demand behavior. In this regard, there is great methodological proximity between quantitative marketing and empirical industrial economy. Knowledge of demand must enable companies to optimize their supply, including their dynamic pricing offers (revenue management). These developments have historically involved some specific sectors (air or rail transportation, hotel rooms booking platforms, etc.), but they now tend to spread to large parts of the economy. At the same time, companies are increasingly looking to measure ex-post the efficiency of their marketing activities – an area in which the econometric methods developed for the assessment of public policies find a new application.
A second category of business relates to the industrial economy and the functioning of markets. It may be, for example, in connection with the regulators, to analyze the effects of an operation of concentrations or to ensure that the pricing practices of a company comply with competition rules.
Overall, a clear understanding of business organization and a thorough training in industrial economics and market risk management gives access to positions in consulting, whether organizational consulting (e.g. improving the structure of a company following a merger or acquisition) or strategy consulting (e.g. advising companies on their growth strategies).
A final category of business deals with corporate finance, an area that relies increasingly on scientific profiles, like those from engineering schools with financial components. With the reform of accounting standards that have enriched the business of corporate finance by disseminating market logic, there is now a whole range of professions that opens to students who have chosen the “Markets and Firms” major, from short-term transactions management (liquid assets, working capital requirements, currency and interest rate risks) to long-term financial policies (valuation, structure of financing, assessment of bankruptcy risk and performance, strategic development).
In summary, the “Data Science and Business Decision” major gives students a global and strategic vision of the company and its environment. It allows them to acquire operational skills in a wide range of professions and industries. It also provides solid theoretical and empirical bases for students who wish to continue their education with a PhD in economics and then head towards careers in academics.