Bennett Borden, MSBA '15
“The MSBA program elevated my career to a whole new level.” That’s how Bennett, chair of the Information Governance practice group at legal giant Drinker Biddle & Reath, describes the return on his investment of time, effort, and money in NYU Stern’s Master of Science in Business Analytics program. In fact, the skills and credibility conferred by the degree—which he had literally just received—helped him create an entirely new job description for lawyers to aspire to: Chief Data Scientist.
Bennett’s introduction to data analysis dates from his college years, when he was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency, whose lifeblood is the interpretation of vast amounts of information. “My work there involved gaining insight from large amounts of data,” he says. “This is essentially what I do as a lawyer specializing in electronic evidence and information governance. As a litigator and white collar criminal investigator, my fundamental job is to figure out what happened and why. In the information age, the evidence that answers those questions is largely in electronic data.”
Prior to attending Stern, Bennett had already acquired a reputation as a pioneer of information governance in the legal profession. The IG practice group at Drinker Biddle was the first in the world, he says, and he also cofounded the Washington, DC-based Information Governance Initiative, the first IG think tank. “Organizations are really struggling with the vast amounts of data they have and the problems that causes,” Bennett says. “Getting to that evidence is easier or harder depending on how well a company has control of its information—and most don’t. The idea of information governance is to help companies get control of their information not only to avoid cost and mitigate risk, but also to leverage benefits in efficiency, business, and market intelligence. Companies are desperate for counsel on the legal and ethical implications of data analytics. Being trained in analytics and the law is a truly unique skill set and highly sought after.”
Despite Bennett’s two decades of expertise in the field, he found the skills he learned at Stern were of immediate value, and the program overall was “transformational,” he says. “The MSBA faculty are deeply experienced and highly committed to the students. Our cohort was filled with some of the most talented and intelligent people I‘ve ever known, and working with them so closely throughout the program was a real joy. I’ve met people who have attended other programs and they come out of them with a very different experience. The NYU MSBA program truly changed my life.”