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MIT Sloan School of Management to Offer Data Analytics MOOC

300px-MITSloanE62FrontMIT’s Sloan School of Management will offer its first massively open online course (MOOC) free to the general public in the spring semester, a data analytics class called Analytics Edge, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

The online course will feature the same curriculum as the popular on-campus offering, which includes case studies of the Oakland A’s “moneyball” strategy, dating site eHarmony and the 2012 presidential election, according to the Bloomberg BW report. Students in the new MOOC will watch prerecorded lectures and submit assignments online.

Classes from MIT’s Sloan School have thus far been absent from MITx, the online program of courses from the larger university. The Bloomberg BW article speculates that the decision to launch a MOOC now may have been driven by competition from other top business schools, like the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, which made its entire first-year MBA curriculum available for free on Coursera earlier this year, and Harvard Business School, which is also developing its own online initiative.

Sloan lecturer Allison O’Hair thinks the real-world applications of the Analytics Edge course will be a draw. “Anyone with an interest in analytics can learn how to use this powerful tool to make their organization better and more efficient,” she said in a press release.