Skip to main content

Master’s in Business Analytics Highlights “Digital Risk and Insurance Technology”

By Risk and Insurance Department

February 25, 2022

Grainger Hall exterior

“We are excited about this newly-developed educational opportunity that we at the Wisconsin School of Business (WSB) can uniquely bring to students interested in risk management, data analytics and technology, and entrepreneurism and intrapreneurism,” shared Risk and Insurance Professor Daniel Bauer.

Welcoming its first class in fall 2022, this newly-developed educational opportunity is the “Digital Risk and Insurance Technology” track within the 1-year MS Business Analytics (MSBA) program. This track is a collaborative effort building upon the leadership and expertise of the Risk and Insurance Department, and particularly its role in the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) Risk Stream.

WSB’s MSBA program was launched in 2019 in response to student interest and a critical business need for data-literate professionals who can manipulate and integrate large sets of data, as well as analyze these data to drive decisions. The track in Digital Risk and Insurance Technology focuses on these needs in the risk management, loss mitigation, and insurance space. Graduates from the track will be in a great position to support the digital transformation of the insurance industry, where traditional processes such as underwriting, claims filing and handling, etc. are increasingly automated. Furthermore, the graduates will bring much needed expertise in emerging risk in the new digital landscape, such as cyber, crypto, and the potential to launder money.

Playing an important role in creating the MSBA program and the Digital Risk track was the Risk and Insurance Department’s faculty with leadership and expertise in insurance, actuarial, and risk management education. Bauer is one of the architects and is currently the MSBA Faculty Director. He teaches the MSBA’s core class in Machine Learning. Risk and Insurance Professor Justin Sydnor also teaches a core class focused on randomized experiments and causal statistical models.

Within the Digital Risk track, students take a required course called “Risk Management and Technologies in a Digital Age” that discusses the foundational principles of risk management and institutions, the new risk landscape being created by digitization and virtual interactions, and how conventional risk management approaches can adapt. Embracing qualitative as well as quantitative aspects of business data analytics, the second required track course is “Risk Analytics” where students develop an analytics toolbox for modeling, communicating, and managing risk and uncertainty in predictive models for relevant applications. 

In addition to specific coursework, another important component of the Digital Risk track is student engagement with the CDL Risk Stream that was launched in 2020 and supports ventures developing transformational technologies in risk management and insurance. Within this entrepreneurial ecosystem, firms’ founders and mentors come together every two months for a 9-month period to set objectives and discuss progress. Some organizations that are unsuccessful in meeting their objectives are not invited to return for the next session.

“We are thrilled that students are intricately involved in the Creative Destruction Lab working with the entrepreneurs in the risk and insurance area, and learning from them, mentors, and leading investors. I believe this aspect makes our program unique,” shared Bauer.

MSBA Digital Risk students participate as observers in the cohort sessions and discuss the outcomes and the provided advice in a corresponding CDL class, which constitutes the third and final component of this track. For instance, students explore why a company was not a success, why specific goals were set, and what are some other possible ideas for a firm. Furthermore, students have the opportunity to work with the ventures and support them in their paths. Students engaging with the CDL frequently end up as ground-floor employers with these exciting companies, or become founders themselves.

We are grateful to have had this opportunity to play a role in the development of the MSBA and to offer the Digital Risk track. We are thrilled about the possibilities for the students who enter this program because they will be able to fill a tremendous need in the industry. For more information, please review our MSBA website or contact us directly: Director of the Business Analytics program, Cody Baldwin, at or Faculty Director of the Business Analytics program, Professor Dani Bauer, at