The Sellinger School of Business at Loyola University Maryland, which operates a campus in Columbia, recently opened a new data analytics visualization lab, a classroom outfitted with technology to help students interpret, manipulate and present large amounts of data.

“The lab will help turn students into storytellers,” said J.P Krahel, associate professor and chair of accounting. “It’s not enough anymore to compile data. You need to be able to draw meaningful conclusions and to convey that meaning to stakeholders. This investment shows that we’re serious about future-proofing our students’ careers.”

The data analytics visualization lab will offer more powerful computing, projectors with touch capability on a 12-foot smartboard, seven large display monitors for huddle areas, integrated Zoom video conferencing with a high-resolution camera that can track subjects and movable, modular classroom furniture. The technology will help students turn raw data into colorful charts, graphs, maps, dashboards and other graphics to aid in data-driven decision-making.

Data visualization technology skills can help accounting graduates, for example, with interpreting and reporting financial data, a growing need in the accounting industry.

Other industries also need graduates with data visualization skills, which – in another example – can help decision-makers understand real-time supply chains, overcome bottlenecks and streamline operations.