Meet Darshan Desai, PhD, Professor, Management, Larry L. Luing School of Business

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Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations

Professor, Management, Berkeley College Larry L. Luing School of Business®

Dr. Desai is a STEM enthusiast and subject matter expert on data science, business analytics and information management with extensive knowledge on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, and predictive modeling. She has more than 16 years of experience with a range of technologies to implement data-focused projects. Her career has spanned the private sector, nonprofits and academia.

At Berkeley College, Dr. Desai spearheads and directs the new degree program in Business Data Science. With broad experience with industries and her large network, she has created many analytics consulting and research opportunities for her students. 

Dr. Desai has published in academic journals, international conference proceedings, books and technical reports. She chaired, organized and presented in multiple conference sessions, panels, and collaborative events, worldwide, on topics including analytics, customer engagement, data mining, artificial intelligence and gamification, and has spoken to the media on big data, business intelligence, industrial internet-of-things, innovation, and the Pokemon Go craze. 


Q: The Bachelor’s degree in Business Data Science will launch at Berkeley College in the fall. Why is this field relevant in today’s world?

As the amount of data in the world is growing at an exponential rate. Data science and artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming crucial in enabling the next wave of digital disruption in the business world. In response to recent technology breakthroughs in data science and AI, it is clear that the way we live, work, build products and services, create customer experiences and manage businesses is transforming. As AI algorithms and machines become co-workers to humans, the composition of the workforce and the skills in demand are changing. Businesses, organizations and members of the workforce need to acquire the skills in leveraging rapidly growing volumes of data to effectively collaborate with algorithms and machines in such a way that both humans and machines can bring the best to the workplace. This field is becoming increasingly relevant and we need proactive investments in developing skilled talent to stay ahead of the curve.

Q: What expertise do you bring to the program?

I have years of industry experience implementing data-focused projects along with academic and industry research in enterprise systems, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, analytics and data science. In addition to technological competence, I bring expertise in academic program management, curriculum development, building outreach networks and passion for applied learning. I believe that learning data science is not just about memorizing commands or solving coding exercises. It is about learning to love data, and the motivation and joy you can get from completing a hard project. It is about the wonder you feel when you finally apply a new concept or feel obsessed with solving a real-world problem. It is about the pride you feel when you leverage data to add value in the bottom line of an organization or make a difference in the world around you.

Q: What is something most people do not know about you?

I am a big fan of superhero movies and love the idea of superpowers. I like to think that the data and technology should provide us the superpowers to make lives better.

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