Mendoza School of Business

Student Perspective: James Gruman, MSBA ’20

James Gruman talks about the importance and potential of data science in today's modern world and his experiences in the MSBA program, emphasizing the expertise of the faculty.

In my line of work, I see that Big Data platforms are transforming how people fulfill the most basic human needs, like the ways we get around and how food comes to our family tables. Those who control these platforms are reshaping the business and government landscape. I have been blessed to have had opportunities to work with talented people on several successful agricultural machinery projects. Looking forward to the next big challenges, much more cross-functional collaboration will be required to fully realize the potential of Data Science, including the deployment of decision tools in farming.

Notre Dame Mendoza faculty embrace business as a force for good and are thought leaders in their disciplines. For example, Dr. Don Kleinmuntz has been active with The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). Dr. Mike Chapple is an expert on analytics and cybersecurity. All of the MSBA faculty are accessible and supportive.

“Scientific progress is the discovery of a more and more comprehensive simplicity… The previous successes give us confidence in the future of science: we become more and more conscious of the fact that the universe is cognizable” – Father Georges Lemaître

Among our greatest challenges is to demystify AI technology, including data ownership. Realistically the combination of human and digital insights are required to build trust. In farming, innovators must do more to ease the angst by communicating clearly and bringing proven tools that have a positive impact on people and their lives. When built correctly, algorithms have massive power to do good in the world. Real-world analytics in any business setting must have an ethics component.

“It is easier to exemplify values than teach them“ – Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C.

I chose the Notre Dame MSBA because Mendoza has the strongest program for values-based leadership, fostering the tough conversations that span the range between moral thought and intellectual inquiry. The immersive group case study approach really builds an understanding of the techniques to tell the stories of data in a powerful way. Our cohort consists of seven small teams that draw on one another’s diverse experiences, discovering powerful approaches to solving real business problems together. We opened the year with an intensive week-long immersion on campus in South Bend. Since then the full day Friday-Saturday sessions in downtown Chicago have been excellent, and often the concepts are immediately useful at the office and in the field.