AIM recently sat down with Prof. Maurizio Poli, Program Director of the recently launched Executive Program in Business Analytics (EPBA), at MISB Bocconi, Mumbai. We discussed the new program with him, the reasons behind the partnership with Jigsaw Academy, and his experiences in India thus far.
MAURIZIO POLI, is also the Director of the Global Executive MBA Program at SDA Bocconi, Milan, Italy, Senior Professor of Quantitative Methods at SDA Bocconi, Milan, Italy, Adjunct Professor of Statistics and Business Analytics, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy, and a visiting professor in European, Asian and American Schools. His areas of expertise include business analytics and modeling, risk analysis, data visualization, project management, control systems.
He has conducted numerous consulting and research projects, courses and workshops in Europe with Tetra Pak, Vodafone, Edison, Iveco, Boehringher Ingelheim, ABB, Alstom, Ansaldo, Ferrero, Chiesi, Recordati, ENI, Unicredit Group, SIA-SSB, ENEL, Telecom, Kasanova, Che Banca! and many others.
AIMAnalytics India Magazine: Prof. Poli, firstly tell us what prompted MISB Bocconi to launch this Executive Program in Business Analytics?
MPProf. Maurizio Poli: Ever since 2012 when MISB Bocconi launched its Post Graduate Program in Business (PGPB) in India, we have been very keenly attuned to the recruitment needs of the industry. We always aim to equip our students with the skills they need to make their career a success. It’s been a while now, that analytics has been at the center of recruitment talk and knowing the immense demand for analytics professionals, we at MISB wanted to offer a program that focuses on applying analytics and Big Data skills across functions & industries. And that is really what prompted the birth of the program.
AIM: Tell us more about the program and your partnership with Jigsaw Academy.
MP: We, at Bocconi, have always collaborated with the best-in-the-field to offer quality programs in all areas of management. Jigsaw Academy is a leading analytics training academy in India and their courses are on par with some of the best globally. I think together we make a very good team. We can bring together their analytics expertise and content, and our management and teaching competence, to offer a program that can give the students an edge.
The program itself offers a flexible learning environment and will be a combination of online and oﬄine classes. We have designed the curriculum to include a blend of general management with Big Data and business analytics. By the end of the program students will have an understanding of predictive modeling, data mining, Big Data analytics, marketing, operations and risk analytics, among other analytics areas. Our aim is that at the end of the course, they will be capable of data driven decision making and leadership in industries such as retail, finance, telecommunications, healthcare, and manufacturing.
Students will also have a round the clock access to the Jigsaw Lab, a cloud-based analytics tool platform and the Jigsaw Learning Center, a cloud-based content library, where participants can gain hands- on competence with industry standard data analytics tools and technologies.
AIM: Do you have any funny anecdotes about a cultural experience/miscommunication you had in India with your students?
MP: My anecdote is about the typical Indian “head bobble”. I’ve been teaching to international classes for quite a long time, and of course I’ve been “exposed” to Indian students many times. But the first time I taught to an entire Indian class I was a bit disoriented by 30 students “shaking” their head in that strange (for me) way: it’s a good thing for a professor to be able to feel the class (i.e. if they are following, if they are lost) but in that case I was not able to understand that “non verbal message”, I was confused, I didn’t know how to run the remaining part of the lesson. During the first break I phone called an Indian colleague and I asked him: “What do they mean, are they lost?” He explained it to me and I was reassured, so from that moment I’ve been able “to feel” an Indian class as well.
AIM: What do you love best about teaching in India?
MP: What I love best about teaching in India is first of all…India. I’ve been traveling a lot for my teaching and consulting activity but I still find it interesting to explore different countries and different cultures and India offers a lot of inspiration, because of the fascinating culture and because of the business attitudes. Curiously I find these similar to those of Italy, except …in India everything is really big!
AIM: Is there anything you particularly appreciate about the learning habits of students in India?
MP: Indian students are very committed to the lessons they are following. They are not only committed but eager to hear from the professor, willing to participate and, curious about the subject they are learning. I confess that at MISB sometimes I need to put a tight time limit to my office hours! Last but not the least, being a quantitative professor, technical preparation of Indian students is above the international average.