Georgetown Launches New MBA Certificate in Consumer Analytics and Insights

Georgetown Consumer Analytics MBA

In response to overwhelming demand by students and recruiters, Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business launched a new MBA Certificate in Consumer Analytics and Insights. The certificate delves deep into marketing data and analytics to provide MBA students with the necessary skills needed to drill down into consumer behavior and marketing practice through data.

“There’s so much consumer data in terms of what we generate through our activities,” professor of marketing David Schweidel said in a recent news release. “In the past, businesses were driven by gut feelings. Now, there’s the ability to use consumer data to make decisions.”

The goal of the new MBA certificate—launched this semester—is to teach students everything they’re going to need to know to navigate an analytics-focused world. More and more organizations from tech companies such as Amazon to hospitality businesses such as Marriott to nonprofit firms and government organizations are using data to better serve their customers, guests, donors, and constituents. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) uses analytics to target their members with offers and to develop relevant policies. And that’s just one small example of the value of this new certificate.

“The certificate is a great fit for any MBA student who has quantitative skills or wants to spend time developing them,” according to professor of marketing Rebecca Hamilton, the Michael G. and Robin Psaros chair in business administration and marketing area coordinator at Georgetown McDonough. “If you’re interested in data and statistics and using that to come up with effective business insights, this is the certificate for you.”

Inside the MBA Certificate in Consumer Analytics and Insights

What makes this MBA Certificate unique compared to similar offerings at other universities? It’s the fact that the certificate focuses on consumers.

“This is not just a generic business analytics certificate; it’s focused on broad consumer data that can include the customers of a for-profit firm, voters, donors, and more,” Hamilton explained. “So, the classes are valuable for a variety of organizations from nonprofits to for-profits and government organizations. Any organization can use the analytic skills we’re teaching.”

In addition, Georgetown McDonough’s location in Washington DC adds a whole different outlook that includes public policy. “Our DC location is perfect for this certificate,” Hamilton said.

The city is home to many different events and organizations that discuss policy in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. MBA students who decide to pursue this certificate will have many opportunities throughout the certificate to attend these events and join discussions about policy, privacy, and respecting consumer data. It’s a unique outlook.

“We think it’s such a good fit for Georgetown as a university,” Hamilton said. ”We really care about the policy angle and doing the right thing for society, so by offering an MBA certificate that combines business, analytics, and policy, we’re able to develop all three. One of the things that we try to emphasize is that with all the power that big data brings also comes responsibility. You can do so much, but you have to be thoughtful about the ethics and implications of what you’re able to do and what you should do.”

MBA Certificate Requirements

The MBA certificate in Consumer Analytics and Insight is a 10.5-credit sequence of MBA coursework. It includes three core credits, 4.5 required credits, and three elective choice credits.

Every student will take the core credit requirement “Analytical Problem Solving” during their first semester in the MBA program. This is the foundation upon which the certificate is built. Students who enjoy this class and desire to learn more will then start the application process for the Georgetown Consumer Analytics MBA certificate.

“During ‘Analytical Problem Solving,’ students can then decide if delving into consumer analytics is a good fit for them,” Hamilton explains. “If the answer is yes, then they go through an application process where they talk about their interests and why they think that the MBA certificate in Consumer Analytics and Insight will be a good fit for their career. They then enter the certificate after the first half of the first year of their MBA program.”

Once accepted, students begin the MBA certificate in the spring of year one with the “Customer Analytics” course, which provides an introduction to customer-centric analytics. The website explains that “the objective is to introduce students to techniques designed for analyzing behavior at the level of the customer and to examine the implications of the resulting insights on marketing strategies.”

Then, during year two, MBA students take the final two required courses: “Data and Society” as well as a “Practicum in Consumer Analytics and Insights.” These courses introduce students to many different analytics and policy events in and around D.C. They also allow students to put their skills into practice with the project-based capstone course.

Lastly, MBA students will choose two of seven available electives, which include:

  • MARK 551 Strategic Marketing Research (1.5)
  • MARK 570 Consumer Behavior (1.5)
  • MARK 561 Customer Data Mining for Segmentation (1.5)
  • MARK 579 Leveraging Social Media (1.5)
  • OPIM 557 Computer-Based Decision Support Systems (1.5)
  • OPIM 654 Database Development and Management (1.5)
  • OPIM 573 Regression Modeling and Analysis (1.5)

Additional Data and Analytics Opportunities

Georgetown offers many additional opportunities for MBA students to dive into consumer analytics and insights outside of the certificate program.

  • The McCourt School of Public Policy is home to a variety of research and centers on pressing policy matters that students can delve into.
  • Also, the school is home to the Massive Data Institute, which offers a speaker series, seminars, and other events focused on public policy and massive data.
  • HoyAlytics is a cutting-edge, student-run club that regularly hosts networking, recruiting, and speaker events. The club also hosts weekend courses on analytics.

“At Georgetown, there’s a huge calendar of events that students can go to in order to learn about topics that are related to analytics and data, consumer privacy, and policy issues,” Hamilton explained. “Students can attend as many as they want during and after they finish the certificate. They can even take a look at those events before they start the certificate—they’re open to everyone.”


To learn more about the Georgetown Consumer Analytics MBA, as well as the admissions process, visit the McDonough website.

“The certificate integrates quite well with the core courses,” Hamilton commented. “By the time an MBA student finishes their first semester of school, they’ll know if the certificate is a good fit for them.”


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