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Carroll University is considering renaming its School of Business to reflect the growing influence of data science on business, and has plans to open a new building on its campus in as soon as three years.Hamid Akbari, who joined Carroll in January as dean of its School of Business, said the school plans to rebrand as the School of Business and Technology in the coming years, as it increasingly integrates data analytics and management into its curriculum for business students.The university’s strategic plan also calls for constructing a new dedicated building for the business school in the next three to five years.“(Carroll’s) new strategic plan has the School of Business and our business degree as one of the top priorities,” Akbari said. “We envisioned what is the future, and did a study on the kinds of jobs that are in demand, and it was analytics, ... data management and interpretation, and storytelling,” he said. “They decided they want the School of Business to realize that vision.” Carroll launched its School of Business in 2017, after converting its former Department of Business, Economics and Accounting into a business school. Today, it offers seven majors and six minors, along with a graduate level MBA program. Business school administrative offices and classes are housed across existing university facilities. Akbari said the school is focused on preparing its students for the workforce they will be entering – one in which companies increasingly are turning to data science to learn about their customers, make business decisions, solve problems and create new products. “User experience has become really important,” Akbari said. “ It used to be that you did focus groups, interviews … Now, companies do that through data … So, how do you interpret and reshape the data? And how do you, therefore, do storytelling through that? Those are some of the things Carroll wants to infuse into every course we teach.” For example, business students will be expected to learn not only how to crunch numbers in Microsoft Excel and Salesforce, but also basic programming and other data software, he said. Carroll in recent years has built a new nursing and exercise science facility, along with a new science lab on its campus. Akbari said the university has successfully leveraged industry partnerships to give students professional experience within the health sciences fields. He said that will be a priority for the business school moving forward. “We want to listen to our partners and hear what they need,” he said. “Really our take in this is partnerships are just not about what jobs you have or internships you have, and matching the two. We’re interested in developing long-term relationships to see how we can respond to the needs of corporations. A real cultural exchange.”In late 2018, the business school announced the launch of its Analytics and Business Intelligence Consortium, a membership-based organization aimed at helping organizations across sectors engage with and manage big data.The long-term goal, Akbari said, is for Carroll’s business school to become a “vibrant member” of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Waukesha County. “We’re looking for not just a one-time partnership,” he said. “We want it to be more ongoing and dynamic.”Get more news and insight in the May 25 issue of BizTimes Milwaukee. Subscribe to get updates in your inbox here.