The Waterloo Model of Data Analytics & Emerging Technologies

The data analytics and emerging technologies (DA&T) curriculum implemented at the school of Accounting and Finance (SAF) reflects the goal of the school’s strategy committee to “develop tech-savvy financial leaders … fluent in the languages of business, analytics, and technology.

To achieve this goal the committee decided to position DA&T as equally important for the future professional success of SAF students as financial accounting, basic business concepts, and economics. The curriculum is divided into a set of required courses that all SAF students have to complete during their first and second year, and a set of electives for students who want to pursue a specialization in DA&T.

  • 1st & 2nd Year Required Courses in DA&T

The primary objective of these courses is to help students develop - early on - a data analytics mindset. This means that they should be able to frame a business problem as a decision or question, understand and prepare the data for analysis, build a model using the appropriate tool (e.g., spreadsheets, R, Tableau, RPA or a combination of these tools) to solve a business problem, evaluate and communicate analysis results in an interesting, attention-getting way.

  1. AFM 112 - Introduction to Business Analytics I (Intro to spreadsheets and R)
  2. AFM 113 - Introduction to Business Analytics II (Statistics with R)
  3. AFM 207 - Data Visualization and Storytelling (visualizations with Tableau)
  4. AFM 241 - Emerging Technologies in Business. Why companies invest in emerging technologies & role of RPA in business (RPA cases with AutomationAnywhere)
  5. AFM 244 - Foundations of Data Mining. The course leverages relational database theory and SQL to understand and prepare data and regression/auto-ARIMA to model/evaluate forecasting based on time-series (tools used R, spreadsheets, and Tableau)
  • Data Analytics & Technology Specialization

Students who want to pursue a specialization in DA&T will have to select six-electives from the following list:

  • AFM 323 - Quantitative Foundations for Finance
  • AFM 341 - Accounting Information Systems
  • AFM 344 - Business Analytics Project Delivery
  • AFM 345 - Business Applications of Social Media Analytics
  • AFM 346 - Applications of Predictive Analytics in Accounting and Finance
  • AFM 347 - Cybersecurity
  • AFM 423 - Topics in Financial Econometrics
  • AFM 444 - Business Analytics Project Management
  • AFM 445 - Information Technology Assurance and Audit Analytics
  • AFM 446 - Performance Management and Tax Analytics
  • AFM 447 - Governance and Ethical Issues with Data and Emerging Technologies
  • AFM 448 - SAF Data Analytics and Emerging Technologies Consulting Group