5 questions with Mike Chapple, MSBA academic director

by Christine Cox

Chapple 800 X 450

Chapple 800 X 450

Chapple 800 X 450

You don’t see a LinkedIn page like Mike Chapple’s every day. Take a look for yourself: Air Force computer scientist, C-suite professional, cybersecurity author, university administrator.

Now Chapple leads the Notre Dame Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) program in Chicago, where he shares insight on optimizing the intersection of business and analytics. And he’s a perfect example of someone whose career has evolved by adapting to changes in technology and meeting the corresponding challenges.

Here, Chapple discusses his background and vision for the MSBA.

What appealed to you about the MSBA directorship?
The MSBA is exciting because it focuses on an important, growing area. Organizations are poised to achieve tremendous value through analytics in the next few years because of the confluence of three factors: we now have large amounts of data available to us, the storage capacity to maintain it, and the computing power to process it. Combined, these factors are driving the business analytics revolution, and it’s exciting to be a part of it!

Chapple

How did you become interested in computers and analytics?
I’ve always been interested in math, engineering and technology. I had a Commodore 64 as a kid and that’s how I learned to program in BASIC. From there, I’ve just always adopted new technology at every stage of my life, education, and career. It’s my passion.

What was your career path?How did you become interested in computers and analytics?
I’ve always been interested in math, engineering and technology. I had a Commodore 64 as a kid and that’s how I learned to program in BASIC. From there, I’ve just always adopted new technology at every stage of my life, education, and career. It’s my passion.

I studied computer science with a focus on cybersecurity. After graduating from Notre Dame, I was assigned to the National Security Agency as an Air Force intelligence officer. While I was there, I had the opportunity to get involved in the early days of the data science field by applying statistical modeling techniques in the then-emerging field of cybersecurity.

From there I went to a marketing firm as executive vice president and chief information officer. In that role, I had the pleasure of working with a wide variety of firms in both the pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods industries. Our primary focus was on the development of strong brands and I specialized in marketing research, applying analytic techniques to create value for our clients.

I’ve been back at Notre Dame for the past 12 years, in a variety of roles in both information technology and the administration. Throughout that time, I’ve always carved out time to teach undergraduate courses. I love spending time in the classroom!

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What does the MSBA program offer to potential students?
The Notre Dame MSBA program creates business leaders who are able to bridge the two worlds of data science and business. We help our students develop an analytics mindset, learn the tools and techniques of data science, and understand the ethical considerations facing analytics leaders.

We do this in a format that’s accessible to working professionals. We offer classes on Fridays and Saturdays twice a month at our downtown Chicago campus, combined with several residencies in South Bend. Notre Dame faculty travel to Chicago to teach courses in their areas of expertise and we also provide our students with the opportunity to learn from Chicago-based business leaders.

This format provides a great advantage to our students — they can continue working in their full-time jobs while they’re working on their master’s degree. In 12 months, they complete the program and are ready to put their new skills to work.

Contact Mike Chapple at mchapple@nd.edu

Originally published by Christine Cox at mendoza.nd.edu on September 27, 2017.