Rockhurst University Partners With RubinBrown to Teach Future Talent About Big Data

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Students, faculty and RubinBrown representatives at the testing room dedication

Data is changing the workplace, which means that higher educational institutions such as the Helzberg School of Management at Rockhurst University have to prepare leaders able to comprehend and communicate complex streams of information.

A new partnership with accounting and consulting firm RubinBrown is designed to make sure that Helzberg School graduates have that knowledge on day one.

On Wednesday, the Helzberg School of Management unveiled the new RubinBrown Analytics Testing Room in Conway Hall, Room 201-D, the latest effort in a broader strategy of giving all students the skills to thrive in the new data-rich business landscape.

“About five years ago, we decided to step into the analytics space in a big way,” said Cheryl McConnell, Ph.D., dean of the Helzberg School of Management.

Since that time, McConnell said the school has developed faculty, degree programs and academic spaces to match those ambitions. With undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs offered in classrooms boasting high-tech upgrades to foster collaboration and wireless access to data tools, efforts like the RubinBrown Analytics Testing Room and an expanding offering in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) related degrees — such as the new Bachelor of Science in Analytics and Technology — are aimed at giving Helzberg School graduates the range of skills they need to succeed in this environment no matter what path they choose.

The center will serve as the testing hub for the Helzberg School’s ongoing efforts to make basic analytics skills part of its core education. Undergraduate- and graduate-level students are required to complete analytics courses as part of their curriculum. An undergraduate course culminates in a Microsoft Office Specialist Excel certification test for all students, from future financiers to marketers to nonprofit professionals. Other analytics certification exams will be phased in over time.

With the help of RubinBrown, who provided funding for all needed software licenses and hardware for the center, the Helzberg School is now one of only two institutions in a four-state region certified as a Microsoft testing location. And the testing facility itself offers some advantages — students are able to schedule their own sessions online and take the test in a small group environment.

The certification gives students a resume boost as they enter the workforce, but it also gives employers some assurance that those potential new employees have a solid grounding in advanced data-related problem-solving.

“RubinBrown is extremely proud to support this endeavor,” says Todd Pleimann, managing partner of RubinBrown’s Kansas City office. “We’re thrilled that we can help our future leaders learn more about data analytics as we find that our clients desire increasingly more innovative insights into their business operations.”

McConnell thanked partners like RubinBrown who continue to not only offer insights on the way that data is transforming business, but who are also willing to collaborate on efforts like the analytics testing room.

“This is the perfect partnership between the Helzberg School and our business partners,” said Cheryl McConnell, Ph.D., dean of the Helzberg School of Management. “We want to offer a top-ranked business education, and RubinBrown wants to attract team members who can step in on day one and understand the complex data streams they’re using to make decisions every day.”