Business Analytics

Making business out of analytics

A unique combination of disciplines

Business Analytics is the science that deals with improving business processes through the extensive use of data and methods at the intersection of mathematics and computer science. The amount of data at businesses is exploding, whereas business processes and company strategies are becoming more complex. This leads to an enormous demand for data driven and mathematically well founded solutions.
 
Business Analytics is a multidisciplinary program where you learn to understand processes and transform big data into actual decisions. The program offers a unique combination of the scientific disciplines of mathematics,  computer science and business administration. In addition to your academic development, you will also evolve practical skills. Your professional career starts here, in the vibrant city of Amsterdam.

Business Analytics at VU Amsterdam is a unique program by bringing together a combination of disciplines to prepare you for business success. You will learn how to collect and manipulate large data sets, how to analyse these data using statistics and data mining techniques, and how to use your findings to predict the future and make optimal decisions. You will work on a variety of business problems that modern businesses face every day. An example is the prediction of workload, cargo and the number of passengers travelling via Schiphol or specific airlines. Another example is product pricing for big fast food chains, or segmentation and profiling of customers.  You may also work on detecting fraud based on a large dataset of financial transactions, or finding ways to mitigate financial risks for banks or insurance companies. It's all about turning (big) data into smart decisions.

BA diagram

The Business Analytics Professional looking further

The decisions and processes that take place within organizations are extremely complicated. They always depend on various factors and are based on complex strategies. With the expansion of computer systems and networks we foresee a world in which everything is connected to everyone. This future will bring a host of business problems that transcend our single discipline. This is precisely why we are bringing together experts from practically all academic disciplines to examine the theme of the Connected World. This means that you will develop a multidisciplinary insight into Business Analytics. 

Why study Business Analytics?

Thinking about becoming a Business Analytics Professional? Come to a taster day

Do you have a broad range of interests and above-average ability in natural sciences, particularly mathematics? And do you have a good command of the English language? In that case we would be happy to meet you during one of our taster days.

As a graduate in Business Analytics you will enjoy a very strong position on the employment market: demand for BA graduates is high. Ninety percent of students enter full-time employment immediately on graduation (and some do so even before graduation). Many are offered a job by the company in which they completed their work placement. The private sector is constantly seeking ways to increase efficiency and effectiveness. A degree in Business Analytics opens up a variety of careers, including (ICT) consultancy (such as KPMG, Capgemini and Deloitte), as a datamining specialist / risk manager in the financial sector or a research career in the academic world.

BA students after graduation

If you wish to continue your studies after obtaining your Bachelor’s degree, VU Amsterdam also offers an outstanding two-year Master’s program in Business Analytics. Other Master's degree programmes (some of which have no or only a limited number of additional admission requirements).

The problems that Business Analysts are called upon to solve are extremely varied. Our BA graduates have developed strategies for:

  • Public transport — Improving subway routing in Amsterdam and reducing passenger delay.
  • Waiting list reduction — Reducing hospital waiting lists by improving patient planning and doctor availability.
  • Fraud prevention — Detecting patterns in transaction data to Reduce costs due to credit card fraud.
  • Waste reduction — Reducing wastage of expired products for a large supermarket concern.
  • Portfolio management — Compiling the most effective investment portfolio with the best possible spread of risk.
  • Telecommunications — Determining the number of transmission masts needed to ensure good mobile telephone and data connections.
  • Bed capacity — Setting hospital bed capacities such that acute patients can be directly admitted.

The VU Matching Programme enables you to check whether you have chosen the right degree programme. VU Matching is part of the application procedure for all bachelor degree programmes at VU. It consists of two steps, a digital questionnaire on VUnet and a matching activity related to the study programme. The matching activity aims to give you a realistic idea of the content of the study to help you determine if the study matches the ideas and expectations you have.

If you applied before May 1st in the Studielink portal and next logged into the VUnet portal you will automatically receive an invitation to participate in the matching activity. The invitations will be sent by the end of April. The matching activity for this programme will be in the period of Wednesday May 30 until and including Tuesday June 12, 2018. Keep this time slot free in your agenda. The date(s) as well as details about the activity will be communicated here by the end of October.

Note: Participation in the matching activity is obligatory for this study!

If you have questions about the matching activity, please contact the matching coordinator for the Faculty of Sciences: matching.beta@vu.nl. For general information about matching check out the website VU Matching.

If you have a specific question about applying with a non-Dutch diploma you can contact our International Student Advisor. The ISA will help you with practicalities about your bachelor admission and support you throughout the application process.

Julia Tan                        Alexander Lindemans
M: bachelors.fs@vu.nl   M: bachelors.fs@vu.nl
T: +31 205984212          T: +31 205982788

Juliatan2017                 Alexander Lindemans

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Admission and Application

Admission criteria and application procedure for candidates with a Dutch pre-university school diploma can be found here.

To be admitted, you must hold an equivalent to a Dutch pre-university school diploma (VWO) with a Mathematics B qualification. Depending on your background, you may also need to supply proof of your English language proficiency.

Admission criteria for candidates with a non-Dutch pre-university school diploma

1.    A diploma equivalent to a Dutch VWO diploma
2.    Proof of sufficient proficiency in Mathematics 
3.    Proof of sufficient proficiency in English

See the general guide to accepted diplomas for examples of diplomas with which you are eligible for admission to Business Analytics, provided that you are not deficient in Mathematics or English. Please note: this list is meant to give you an indication of admissibility; no rights can be derived from it.

Examples of diplomas that demonstrate sufficient proficiency in Mathematics are:


•    International Baccalaureate, Mathematics Higher level
•    UK: Mathematics A levels
•    Germany: Zeugnis der allgemeinen Hochschulreife, including Mathematics LK/eA.
•    Romania: Diploma de Bacalaureat, including a Mathematics and Computer Science Profile, or Natural Sciences profile.


After you apply to the programme and upload the required documents in our student portal, the admission officer will have a look at your transcripts to determine whether your mathematics level is sufficient. If this is not the case, an additional certificate will be required for admission. This must be submitted before 31 August. 


The following certificates prove sufficient proficiency in mathematics. Some of the exams listed below can be preceded by a preparatory course.    

International Exams:
•    International Baccalaureate Mathematics Higher Level
This program comprises more than mathematics alone, but some schools allow you to take only the mathematics course and can provide you with a certificate. The complete list of IB schools can be found here: contact a school near you to find out whether it offers separate course certificates.
•    Cambridge International A-levels
Another option for obtaining a separate maths course certificate is to take an A-level maths exam at a registered Cambridge school. Please check here to find the nearest Cambridge school in your country.

Exams and courses in the Netherlands:

•    Boswell-Bèta (English). Bosswell-Bèta in Utrecht (the Netherlands) provides a maths course in English and exams several times a year.
•    CCVX (Dutch and English). CCVX offers maths exams equivalent to the Dutch VWO Mathematics B level for Dutch-speaking and English-speaking applicants.
•    VASVU. You can also take the one-year VASVU preparation programme at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. This programme prepares you for your academic studies (such as Business Analytics) at our university.


VU Amsterdam requires all international applicants to take an English language proficiency test and to submit their scores before 31 August.
Applicants who have completed their education in Canada, the USA, the UK, New Zealand or Australia are exempt from this requirement, as are those who have obtained an International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma (English-taught programs only).
We accept the following tests and minimum scores: 


•    IELTS: 6.5
•    TOEFL paper-based test: 580
•    TOEFL internet-based test: 92
•    Cambridge Advanced English (CAE): A, B or C
•    Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): A, B, C 


If you are already in the Netherlands, you can also register for a TOEFL test at Taalcentrum VU. We only accept scores that are at most two years old on the first day of your study.

Chinese students who wish to enroll in an English-taught program at a Dutch institute of higher education are required to apply for a Nuffic Certificate. Nuffic will send this certificate directly to the relevant Dutch institute of higher education once it has been issued. More information on the Nuffic Certificate for Chinese students.

All applicants must start the application procedure through the Studielink.nl portal. You will then receive an e-mail inviting you to complete your application in the VU student portal, where you will also be asked to submit all documentation needed for the admission procedure.

International applicants will be asked to submit:
•    Transcript(s) of records (e.g. High School grade list)
•    Copy of diploma (if already obtained)
•    Copy of valid passport
•    Curriculum Vitae (your personal details, previous education and any relevant work experience in approximately one A4 page)

Deadline: International students who require housing facilities, as well as all non-EEA students, must apply before 1 April. EEA students who do not require housing facilities must apply before 1 May. You will be informed about your admission within four weeks after the completion of your application (including all required documents).

Application fee
The (non-refundable) application fee for all candidates is €100. Please read the application fee procedure carefully.

Apply for Business Analytics components as part of a program elsewhere
If you are studying at another university but wish to include one of VU Amsterdam’s Business Analytics subjects in your program, you must register separately. You can do so at the Student Desk in the Main Building. You will need the following documents:
•    A completed application form (which you can obtain from the Student Desk or download from VUnet) 
•    A letter of permission from your own university or faculty
•    Proof that you have paid tuition fees at your own university.
Please confirm your application at least four weeks prior to the start of the program by sending an e-mail to the Program Secretariat. 

Contract education
The Faculty of Exact Sciences offers contract education facilities whereby it is possible to take certain program components without registering as a student. Admissions are dependent on a intake interview with the study advisor must be approved by the Examination board.

Ready to apply?
Great! Please keep the deadline (1 May) in mind, and start applying through the Studielink.nl portal! 


How will you be spending your time?

Various types of tuition are used, such as lectures and tutorial groups. Twice each year you will work on a four-week project as part of a small team. You will even start with a project that will take you into a company in the very first week. Actual business cases form the basis of the entire programme.

Check out this lecture on Statistical Data Analysis by top-researcher Fetsje Bijma, which is part of the actual curriculum.

afbeelding F Bijma

More information about the bachelor Business Analytics can be found in our year schedule.

The first year involves a number of subjects covering mathematics, computer science and business economics, where the primary focus is on mathematics. You will learn the basic principles of calculus and probability theory, programming, accounting, and decision-making based on mathematical modeling. Twice a year you will work on a project as part of a small team of fellow students. This helps to bridge the gap between theory and practice, allowing you to put your new knowledge to good use.


Courses
Periode 1
Introduction to Business Analytics
Introduction to Programming (Java)
Calculus 1
Periode 2
Introduction to Business Analytics
Introduction to Programming (Java)
Calculus 2
Periode 3
Project Business Analytics 1
Sets and Combinatorics
Periode 4
Probability Theory
Linear Algebra
Operations Research
Periode 5
Probability Theory
Linear Algebra
Accounting
Periode 6
Project Business Analytics 2
Risk Management


The second year again involves a number of subjects covering mathematics, computer science and business economics.  You will have more advanced courses allowing a shift towards a more realistic, data-driven setting. Again as in in the first year you will work on two projects as part of a small team of fellow students.


Courses
Periode 1
Statistics
Stochastic Modeling
Advanced Programming
Periode 2
Statistics
Stochastic Modeling
Finance
Periode 3
Project Business Simulation
Periode 4
Statistical Data Analysis
Dynamics and Computation
Machine Learning
Periode 5
Statistical Data Analysis
Dynamics and Computation
Databases
Periode 6
Project Big Data

In the third year, you can opt to take one of the ‘minor’ modules. This enables you to individualise the program according to your own interests and requirements. You might decide to take a minor in an entirely different discipline, thus adding breadth to your studies. Alternatively, you could follow the especially designed minor, deepening the knowledge of Business Analytics.

The Bachelor’s program culminates in a business case project. As part of a small team, you will attempt to solve a real-life business problem. You will visit the company concerned to gather the necessary information. Having arrived at your solution, you will give a presentation to management. The case study provides an excellent insight into the type of problems you will be asked to work on during your professional career.


Courses
Periode 1
Minor
Periode 2
Minor
Periode 3
Minor
Periode 4
Combinatorial Optimization
History of Science and Philosophy
Business Intelligence and Analytics
Periode 5
Combinatorial Optimization 
History of Science and Philosophy
Scientific Writing, Study and Career
Periode 6
Business Case

More information about the bachelor Business Analytics can be found in our year schedule.

The first year involves a number of subjects covering mathematics, computer science and business economics, where the primary focus is on mathematics. You will learn the basic principles of calculus and probability theory, programming, accounting, and decision-making based on mathematical modeling. Twice a year you will work on a project as part of a small team of fellow students. This helps to bridge the gap between theory and practice, allowing you to put your new knowledge to good use.


Courses
Periode 1
Introduction to Business Analytics
Introduction to Programming (Java)
Calculus 1
Periode 2
Introduction to Business Analytics
Introduction to Programming (Java)
Calculus 2
Periode 3
Project Business Analytics 1
Sets and Combinatorics
Periode 4
Probability Theory
Linear Algebra
Operations Research
Periode 5
Probability Theory
Linear Algebra
Accounting
Periode 6
Project Business Analytics 2
Risk Management


The second year again involves a number of subjects covering mathematics, computer science and business economics.  You will have more advanced courses allowing a shift towards a more realistic, data-driven setting. Again as in in the first year you will work on two projects as part of a small team of fellow students.


Courses
Periode 1
Statistics
Stochastic Modeling
Advanced Programming
Periode 2
Statistics
Stochastic Modeling
Finance
Periode 3
Project Business Simulation
Periode 4
Statistical Data Analysis
Dynamics and Computation
Machine Learning
Periode 5
Statistical Data Analysis
Dynamics and Computation
Databases
Periode 6
Project Big Data

In the third year, you can opt to take one of the ‘minor’ modules. This enables you to individualise the program according to your own interests and requirements. You might decide to take a minor in an entirely different discipline, thus adding breadth to your studies. Alternatively, you could follow the especially designed minor, deepening the knowledge of Business Analytics.

The Bachelor’s program culminates in a business case project. As part of a small team, you will attempt to solve a real-life business problem. You will visit the company concerned to gather the necessary information. Having arrived at your solution, you will give a presentation to management. The case study provides an excellent insight into the type of problems you will be asked to work on during your professional career.


Courses
Periode 1
Minor
Periode 2
Minor
Periode 3
Minor
Periode 4
Combinatorial Optimization
History of Science and Philosophy
Business Intelligence and Analytics
Periode 5
Combinatorial Optimization 
History of Science and Philosophy
Scientific Writing, Study and Career
Periode 6
Business Case

Overview Business Analytics

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

3 years (fulltime)

APPLICATION DEADLINE

1 April 2016 (non-EEA students & all students requiring housing) / 1 May 2016 (EEA students)

START DATE

1 September 2016

STUDY TYPE

Part-time, Full-time

FIELD OF INTEREST

Economics, Business and Law
Computer Science, Mathematics and Business

TEDTalk Sandjai Bhulai

Hinke Visser

alumnus Business Analytics

I wanted to do something which combines mathematics and economics. Business Analytics is perfect. A key strength of the program is the projects, which allow you to put theory into practice. We carried out one project on investments and another on water management. You learn to approach economic problems from the mathematical perspective.

Seada van den Herik

Alumnus Business Analytics

afbeelding Seada

Click here to read the article with alumna Seada van den Herik

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