How Good is the Executive business analytics program by Jigsaw Academy and MISB Bocconi ?

Kunal Jain 26 Jul, 2016 • 7 min read


The demand of skilled data science / analytics professionals is surging with every bit of data being collected across the globe. Same is true for India as well. In order to address the demand, a lot of Indian universities have come up with Business Analytics programs. It was only a matter of time before which some of global universities start offering these programs as well.

Last year, MISB Bocconi (Indian presence of SDA Bocconi, one of the top ranked European business schools) tied up with Jigsaw Academy to offer Executive Program in Business Analytics. Over this year, we have received several queries about this program from our audience. Like always, we made it a point to do a deep dive about the course, talk to several stakeholders and then publish our review about it.

Let’s look at the details of the program to start with.



Who has launched the course?

The program has been launched jointly by MISB Bocconi and Jigsaw Academy. The classes will be taught by both Bocconi faculty and Jigsaw faculty, depending on the topic. All the contact classes will be hosted in Bocconi’s Indian offshore campus in Powai, Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Students will receive a final Certification by SDA Bocconi School of Management, which is a top ranked European B-School.

My Take: I think the joint tie up of a Business school with international repute and domain excellence of Jigsaw makes a formidable combination to run the course.


Who is the Target Audience?

The ideal candidates for this program are working professionals / executives keen to learn and switch to business analytics. Ideally, the participants have around 5 years of experience. The candidates need to have good quantitative skills, logical mind and a strong drive to learn analytics / data science.

As per the designed curriculum, this course requires participants to take 6 days of leave in a 10 month period. This program renders 60 hours of live online classes held over 24 weekends (on Saturdays). They also have over 100 hours of pre-recorded videos.

Given the mix of management and analytics topics, the course is expected to help participants make transition to managerial roles in business analytics. The case studies and topics are also geared at giving the participants managerial perspectives on how to solve business problems using analytics.

My take: I think the target audience and the format makes sense. 120 hours of classroom interaction over 18 days look sufficient to nourish the learning appetite of candidates, which is also complemented well by online classes and pre-recorded material.


Structure of the Program

This Executive Program in Business Analytics is a mix of in-person and online classes. It provides 120 hours of in person classes spread in 6 contact sessions of 3 days each. These contact classes are held at MISB Bocconi campus in Powai, Mumbai.

The aim of this course is to provide a deep understanding on various disciplines of business analytics, which includes statistics, machine learning, time series, R, SAS, Big Data (Pig, Hive, Sqoop, Flume, HBASE, SPARK and Oozie), visualization, text mining, web analytics and digital marketing. In addition, this course also provides the opportunity to participate in Business Analytics sectoral applications in various sectors including Telecom, Banks, Retail, Healthcare and Insurance as well as areas such as Finance, Marketing, and Operations.

My take: The course structure looks fairly comprehensive to me. They not only cover various disciplines of business analytics, but also big data, data science and machine learning. I think it will be a very intense program for a working professional, but who has benefited in this world without the hard work. The focus on Big Data is also unique to this course as most other courses do not delve in this topic in detail.


Teaching methodology and the approach to program

One thing which came out pretty strongly on talking to the faculty was the focus on structured thinking. The program has been designed to provide students a proportionate blend of analytics and management principles to help the students become smart in dealing with business challenges.

The focus on problem solving with data using the right approach, framework, methodologies, and tools also stood out. The program has been studded with real life data sets with managerial perspectives. This allows candidates to get familiar with the complexities linked with real life datasets.

My Take: This is usually a tricky situation for a lot of programs. Some choose to focus on hands on tools and techniques, while others focus more on structured thinking. MISB & Jigsaw plan to keep a fine balance between the two. I think this is where having partners with different strengths really helps.


” I looked at various other programs, including the one at IIM Bangalore. I found the EPBA to be more relevant to the kind of skills I was looking to develop. I wanted a course which focused less on theoretical concepts and more on practical implementations, a course which does not explain how a model has been derived but what are the pros and cons, how to use them? evaluate them? The EPBA seemed to fit all this criteria and promised to give me enough hands on knowledge,enabling me to judge a model and take decisions using data. Also the certification from Bocconi would really add immense value to my careerprofile.”

                     – Sanjiv Jha, Director of Engineering Data and Analytics, Komli Media, Student at                              Executive Program in Business Analytics (EPBA)


Industry Interaction and Projects

I believe, industry interaction plays a crucial role in preparing candidates for upcoming business challenges. This program offers student interaction with atleast 5-7 leaders in the analytics industry. Their current batch has already interacted with experts including the head of analytics in Tata Motors, a global auto company, lead consultant in Mobelium, a telecom analytics company, senior director at Axtria, a data analytics company, and head of sales in Tableau, a data visualization company.

Students spend around 30-40% of their contact class hours with industry leaders including guest lectures and training by industry experts.

Above all, students are also instructed to work on live projects involving real data and business problems. This live project is expected to provide hands on industry experience by working out data driven solution for a business problem. The project duration is for 8-10 weeks, which is from mid-September to November.

I managed to get few examples of projects that other students have done in the past:

  1. Market Basket analysis for a B2B e-commerce player in India
  2. Profiling customer segments and identifying most profitable segments for a large insurance/retail/telecom company in India
  3. Suggesting where new ATMs should be for a bank

My take: Initially 30-40% of contact classes with industry leaders seemed a bit lower than other programs offered in India which provide up to 50% interaction with industry. However, an important point to understand here is, the quality of interaction matters most and the interaction here seemed top notch.


Profile of the Faculty

This program has one of the finest panel of faculties convened from the top institutions of the country. On an average, their faculties have more than 10 years of teaching experience in analytics or management.

For the first batch, they have faculty available from Bocconi, Italy, IIM Bangalore, IIM Lucknow, IIM Ranchi to undertake classes. In addition, their faculty panel also comprises of Jigsaw Academy faculty and industry experts.

Here are the profiles of some of their teaching faculties:

Veronica Vecchi, SDA Professor of Public Management and Policy

Maurizio Poli, SDA Professor of Quantitative Methods

Other faculty details from Bocconi and Jigsaw can be found here.


Plans for the Upcoming Batch

I tried to drill down further to obtain some significant information. And fortunately, I managed to talk to Sarita Digumarti, co-founder and COO, Jigsaw Academy to vouch on this part. She added, “The first batch of the program has got off to a great start, and we have started finalizing the curriculum for the second batch. We have received excellent feedback on both the content coverage as well as the industry interactions, so we are ensuring that we include additional topics that cover emerging tools and advanced analytics methods. We are also attempting to include well known industry experts for the industry interactions. We’ll also strive to cover a broad spectrum of sectors there including E-commerce, FS, Telecom, Automotive etc.  In addition, we’ll be increasing the total number of business case studies by 50%, so that students get an opportunity to get hands on with a larger variety of problems and solutions.”


Placements of the Current Batch

The first batch will complete in December 2015. The team seems confident that 70% of the participants looking for jobs will be able to make a transition to analytics through this program.

Current numbers: Out of a batch of 23, I was given to understand that 4 people are not looking for a job change and 2 people have already shifted jobs.

Note: The first batch of this program will end in December 2015. So, it is still some time away.

My take: If the team is able to deliver 70% placement in year 1, it would be quite commendable. As per the best of my knowledge, not many institutes have been able to achieve this rate in the first year of operation.

” If you compare the curriculum of the 3-4 main programmes, this is the only one where one actually gets (a) the integration of big data with analytics and (b) the actual hands-on approach to learning big data technologies like hadoop, pig, hive etc.”

                               – Prof. Maitrayee Mukherjee, Faculty at IIM Kashipur, Student at Executive                                           Program in Business Analytics (EPBA)


Overall Verdict

I think that the combination of a top European Business school and a strong domain partner like Jigsaw make a formidable combination. It is already showing early signs of success. There are some finer tweaks the team needs to make in the upcoming batch – higher industry interaction being one of them. The team is well aware of this and has the capabilities to make these changes.

At a price close to 4 Lakhs, I think this is a deal worth considering, if you are looking for an executive program in Business Analytics.

For more details please find below the link to the course brochure.

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Kunal Jain 26 Jul 2016

Kunal is a post graduate from IIT Bombay in Aerospace Engineering. He has spent more than 10 years in field of Data Science. His work experience ranges from mature markets like UK to a developing market like India. During this period he has lead teams of various sizes and has worked on various tools like SAS, SPSS, Qlikview, R, Python and Matlab.

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Responses From Readers


Misha Sharma
Misha Sharma 11 Sep, 2015

Thank you for this timely review of EPBA course by MISB and Jigsaw Academy. I had been doing alot of research for which analytics program to join and I had shortlisted 1. ISB (Great Brand value) 2. IIM -Bangalore (reputed and great faculty) 3. MISB & Jigsaw Academy (course content + Value for Money).However, after reading your indepth review, I am more inclined to join EPBA course because though its still new it brings the experience of Jigsaw + with a small batch size, I am sure to get individual attention which might be missing on other 2 courses.I just need to know, don't you think this course in trying to teach alot in the given time frame (10 months) and how good it would be for a beginner like me?

Raj 16 Sep, 2015

Hi Kunal,Thanks for your great review as always. It is really interesting to note that, I have short-listed exactly the same 3 options as Misha -after doing a lot of research in this topic from last 3 months. Your detailed review on each of the courses in Analytics Vidhya was really helpful to update my spreadsheet and short-list :)Just wanted to pick your brain regarding suitability of the course for someone already in the Analytics job/industry but looking to bring more structure to analytical thought process and also looking to transition to leadership role in Analytics and Big Data consulting. Really appreciate your thoughts. I am based out of Bangalore and need to factor in travel for Hyd/Mumbai if I select ISB or MISB Bocconi Vs IIM-B. I have 12 yrs of experience in Business consulting/BI peppered with 7 yrs customer facing experience in the US in SCM & Customer Experience domain.Thanks and looking forward to your advise!. Please let me know if you need additional info regarding my background.Best Regards Raj

Ved 22 Sep, 2015

Hello Kunal,I am a Mechanical Engineer with 5.5 years work experience in core domain fields such as design and simulations of automotive parts. However, as I am interested in the field of Statistics/ Six Sigma etc, I am considering a career switch to Data Analytics. I have no prior experience in programming or coding.Would you recommend this course for me? Or would you even recommend the analytics field for me. Your views would be really valuable. Thanks.

Sidharth 18 Nov, 2015

Hi Raj - I am on the very boat that you were in. I have narrowed it down to ISB Vs MISB Bocconi. Did you finally take a call on which course to join? Would appreciate if you could share your inputs.Thanks Sidharth.

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