Best Online Master’s in Business Analytics & Intelligence Programs

Badge (Online) with 2-Line TitleMaster’sin Business Analytics & Intelligence2017
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Earning an online master’s business intelligence degree prepares you to devise solutions to problems that challenge organizational efficiency. In pursuit of this degree, you’ll gain the expertise necessary to collect and analyze data to inform best practices in operations and strategy, a critical skill in today’s globalized economy. Organizations will be able to rely on your guidance about how best to reduce costs and to increase revenues.

The job outlook for those who hold an online business analytics master’s degree is extremely positive: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the employment of management analysts will increase 14% between 2014 and 2024, double the bureau’s projected growth (7%) for all occupations.

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Location Description
1 Boston University 71.49 5/5 Boston, MA

BU's online master's in business intelligence trains students in the tools that support business decision making. The 40-credit MS in applied business analytics consists of 10 courses including operational data sets, product and technology innovations, marketing, and financial services. These classes equip students with knowledge of operations management and other essential business concepts. The 16-credit specialization also has four courses covering the areas of enterprise risk analytics, marketing analytics, web analytics for business, and data mining.

Students earning the degree benefit from a dynamic curriculum, state-of-the-art technologies, and networking opportunities in the business analytics industry. The master's in business intelligence online program can be completed in 18 to 24 months and allows students to take classes fully online or in a hybrid format. Admission to the master's in business intelligence online program requires a bachelor's degree, college transcripts, and competitive GRE or GMAT scores.

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2 Brandeis University 66.99 4/5 Waltham, MA

The MS in strategic analytics at Brandeis develops a cadre of professionals who are capable of managing and interpreting large volumes of data. The 30-credit program includes seven core courses and three electives in areas such as data science and analytics, statistics and data analysis, data quality and governance, and analytics strategy and management. Additional classes train students to use project management tools, maintain data privacy, and communicate data to key stakeholders.

Courses in the online master's in business intelligence are delivered asynchronously in 10-week sessions. Brandeis allows only 15 to 20 students in its online classrooms to foster personalized learning. Students also have the option to meet instructors and fellow students through virtual hours and activities outside structured classes. Graduates of the program are qualified to become compliance managers, data architects, and data analysts.

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3 Indiana University-Bloomington 58.41 3/5 Bloomington, IN

The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University's Bloomington campus empowers working professionals to meet the challenges of a data-driven business landscape. The 30-credit MS in business analytics enables students to use analytic modeling in business decision making; uncover valuable information from data sets; and create analytical models that drive business solutions. Courses in the program include operations management, business econometrics, business analytics, and predictive analytics for business strategy.

The online master's in business intelligence can be completed in 15 months, but students have up to five years to complete the degree. The program is unique in that it allows students to complete an MBA dual degree program that further boosts their skillsets and marketability. For admission, a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.3 is considered desirable. Applicants must also submit GRE or GMAT scores, and at least two years of relevant work experience is necessary.

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4 University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus 56.65 3/5 Denver, CO

The largest research university in the state, CU provides learners with a wide selection of online degrees through CU Online, its virtual campus. Degree programs include the MS in information systems with a specialization in business intelligence systems. The program, which can be taken fully online or in a hybrid format, helps students use business intelligence to predict directions in markets. It also teaches them about the regulatory and technological environments in which companies compete.

Courses in the program include database management, data warehousing and administration, information systems security and privacy, predictive modelling, and financial modelling. In addition, the school offers the option to earn a dual MBA/MS in information systems. Admission into the online business analytics master's requires a bachelor's degree, GMAT scores, and relevant work history with increasing levels of responsibility.

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5 Syracuse University 54.49 4/5 Syracuse, NY

Professionals who love data can sharpen their technical skills through Syracuse's 36-credit MS in business analytics. The program includes a rigorous, interdisciplinary curriculum and interactive online classes that train students to apply data analytics in the areas of accounting, marketing, finance, and supply chain management. Students also have the option of augmenting their course of study with a rich selection of MBA courses, including strategic brand management, market research, and managerial finance.

Graduates of the online business analytics master's program become experts in data collection, pattern analysis, data visualization, and data mining. For admission, the school requires a bachelor's degree and at least one year of professional work experience. The GMAT can be waived for experienced professionals, and online students pay the same tuition regardless of residency.

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6 Creighton University 51.24 4/5 Omaha, NE

Creighton, located in Nebraska, offers 25 online programs and emphasizes degree flexibility, small class sizes, and a sense of community in the classroom. The school's 33-credit MS in business intelligence and analytics focuses on both management and technology. Students in the program learn how to use information technology to drive business solutions, while also discovering the function of data in decision making. Courses in the online business analytics master's program include business ethics, database management, artificial intelligence, and data visualization.

Students at Creighton have access to online services such as tutoring and an online writing center. They also receive assistance integrating an internship into their plan of study. For admission, the program requires a bachelor's degree, programming proficiency, and at least one course in statistics at the undergraduate level. Online students pay the same tuition regardless of residency.

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7 Saint Mary's University of Minnesota 50.57 3/5 Winona, MN

Accommodating students' diverse goals and interests is part of SMUMN's mission, and that includes the 36-credit MS in business intelligence and data analytics. The program is delivered fully online and develops professionals' expertise in big data analytics and business intelligence. The overarching goal of the degree is to identify cause and effect in the business world, which requires the study of business statistics, programming for data science, economics, GIS methods, and data mining in decision making.

The degree is designed to be completed in one year, and every student in the online master's in business intelligence program receives an iPad in order to better engage with the curriculum and interactive exercises. The program also fosters learning through real-world scenarios and through connections with peers and faculty. Admission into the program requires a bachelor's degree with a minimum cumulative 2.75 GPA.

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8 Arizona State University-Tempe 49.33 3/5 Tempe, AZ

Professionals seeking a competitive advantage in business will benefit from an accelerated, fully online MS in business analytics from ASU Online. The 33-credit program is designed to to be completed 16 months and consists of 11 five-week classes. The curriculum, which is administered by the W. P. Carey Business School, includes courses in business analytics strategy, data mining, applied analytics, and analytical decision modeling.

Students in the program have access to online tutoring and success coaches who help in areas such as learning strategies and time management. In addition to GMAT or GRE scores, admission into the master's in business analytics online requires a bachelor's degree with a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA. Graduates of the program are qualified for careers in business intelligence, marketing, and business operations.

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9 Saint Joseph's University 47.23 4/5 Philadelphia, PA

One of the first of its kind to be offered entirely online, the MS in business intelligence and analytics at SJU is a comprehensive program designed and delivered by experts in the field. The curriculum includes the study of data mining and warehousing, market intelligence, data's role in decision making, and analytical processing in an online environment. In addition, the master's in business analytics online program offers three tracks: the general track, programming languages, and data analysis.

A noteworthy asset of SJU's program is the International Journal of Business Intelligence Research, a peer-reviewed publication that disseminates the latest research on business intelligence and analytics. SJU also has a repository of information for business intelligence students that includes interactive curriculum experiences, articles, and blogs. Graduates receive a certificate in business intelligence endorsed by the SAS Institute. Admission requires a bachelor's degree, transcripts from all prior colleges, and GRE or GMAT scores.

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10 Bellevue University 45.49 3/5 Bellevue, NE

With the needs of busy working professionals in mind, Bellevue offers an online MS in business analytics that equips students with the data skills businesses increasingly demand. The 36-credit degree consists of foundational courses in business intelligence including financial analysis, marketing and new media strategy, and business analysis. There are also core classes in information systems covering areas such as IT infrastructure, emerging technologies, and business systems programming.

Bellevue offers distance learners small class sizes, online tutoring, 24/7 library resources, and technology support. For admission, the program requires a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 2.5 in the last 60 credits of the degree, or an overall 3.0 GPA for those already holding a master's degree. Online and on-campus students pay the same tuition regardless of residency.

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In your online master’s business intelligence program, you will learn how to mine data, how to gather market intelligence, and how to make data-driven decisions. While the curricula will differ depending on the program in which you enroll, you can expect to learn how to help organizations realistically set and manage expectations.

CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREE IN BUSINESS ANALYTICS & INTELLIGENCE

While each institution offers its own curricula for this degree program, examples of classes include:

Foundations for Business Intelligence

In this course, learners understand the fundamentals of business intelligence on the operational, tactical, and strategic levels. They study topics in business process analysis and design, management information systems, value chain, executive information systems, and customer service management. These skills are fundamental to a career as a management analyst.

Database Management Theory and Practice

Students examine the theory of operational database design and implementation, including normalization, queries, and application development, all of which facilitate data storage and retrieval. Students also learn how to use contemporary tools and software, skills necessary for a career as a computer systems analyst.

Introduction to Data Mining

Students explore a large, live data set and apply concepts of data mining. They identify patterns in the data as well as prepare reports and presentations that discuss their findings, all skills necessary for a career as a financial analyst.

Data Visualization and Creative Reporting

In this course, degree candidates present complex results of data collection and analysis to various audiences within an organization. They develop skills in the practical use of the most up-to-date tools companies need to create impactful visualizations and infographics.

Predictive Analytics

This course allows learners to leverage data mining activities to engage in predictive modeling, model assessment, scoring, and implementation. Collected to inform management decision making, students use data mining software in addition to data sets of various sizes to both analyze and communicate statistical patterns.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE MASTER’S IN BUSINESS ANALYTICS & INTELLIGENCE?

The time it takes to complete your online business analytics master’s degree depends on several variables, including degree requirements at the school you choose. On average, studies for this degree require about two years for a 30-credit program (although some institutions may offer an accelerated program that you can complete in about 12 months). You may also opt to enroll in part-time studies, which can influence how long it takes you to earn your master’s in business analytics online but offers significant flexibility.

In addition, some programs allow you to attend courses when it is most convenient for your schedule while others require that you participate at a specific time to ensure a cohort learning experience with your classmates. This may also determine what classes you take and when, but earning your degree online permits this kind of flexibility.

You should select an accredited institution for your online master’s business intelligence degree because this means an educational authority has evaluated and determined the school’s curricula to be high-quality. Choosing an accredited school for your studies means employers will recognize that you graduated from a program that required the kind of intellectual rigor you must be able to demonstrate on the job. Both the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognize six regional accreditation bodies that accredit schools across the country: Middle States, New England, North Central, Northwest, Southern, and Western Associations of College and Schools. CHEA also approves some agencies to award national accreditation, usually for a specific kind of education, such as vocational and distance learning. Given this specificity for national accreditation, most institutions are regionally accredited.

Both the DOE and CHEA are responsible for monitoring the academic quality of educational institutions. The ED reviews accrediting agencies and ensures they enforce accreditation standards. CHEA is comprised of 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities as well as recognizes 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations. The ED and CHEA each maintain a list of accredited institutions on their respective websites.

Graduates of online business analytics master’s programs enter careers in information technology, business, and research, to name only a few of their options. Companies must meet their clients’ demands and the ability to mine and analyze data is a capability that organizations increasingly rely on to ensure a competitive edge. Degree holders demonstrate attention to detail, an aptitude for reasoning, and the ability to explain complex information in a way that multiple audiences can understand.

Management Analyst

Professionals who advise organizations how to be more efficient through cost reduction and increased revenues, management analysts collect and analyze data to inform business decisions. Data includes financial records and employment reports as well as information gathered through interviews and observations. Earning an advanced degree can position you as a management analyst team leader open to consultant contracts, for example.

Median Annual Salary

Entry Level: $58,832
Mid-Level: $69,359
Late Career: $79,038

Computer Systems Analyst

A computer systems analyst reviews an organization’s computer systems to facilitate greater efficiency and effectiveness. They must be up-to-date on emerging technologies, determine when and how best to integrate new technology into an organization, and prepare cost-benefits analyses for the process. Holding an advanced degree positions you to specialize in specific kinds of computer systems, such as finance and engineering.

Median Annual Salary

Entry Level: $57,353
Mid-Level: $69,139
Late Career: $90,350

Financial Analyst

A financial analyst helps businesses and individuals make decisions about investments in addition to assessing how stocks, bonds, and other types of investment instruments perform in the financial market. An ability to recognize and to interpret market trends allows you to counsel clients about how to build their financial portfolio. An advanced degree can better position you to advise on investments for specific kinds of industries.

Median Annual Salary

Entry Level: $56,612
Mid-Level: $65,642
Late Career: $73,787

Market Research Analyst

This profession requires monitoring and forecasting sales trends as well as assessing the effectiveness of marketing strategies. To do so, a market research analyst deploys surveys and opinion polls, and gathers data on both consumers and competitors. This role requires professionals to explain data, a great fit for professionals with excellent communication skills. An advanced degree will prepare you to use the statistical software mandated by this variety of work.

Median Annual Salary

Entry Level: $57,353
Mid-Level: $69,139
Late Career: $90,350

Cost Estimator

A cost estimator identifies the factors that affect cost, such as materials, labor, and production, and recommends strategies to reduce it. This process often requires collaboration with engineers, contractors, and architects. An advanced degree prepares you to estimate cost in a specific industry as well as to read technical documents to prepare estimates.

Median Annual Salary

Entry Level: $49,538
Mid-Level: $58,877
Late Career: $61,627

MASTER’S IN BUSINESS ANALYTICS & INTELLIGENCE SALARY

After earning a master’s in business analytics online, your salary will ultimately vary based on the occupation you choose to enter and how many years of experience you accrue in that occupation. Nevertheless, the demand for graduates with this degree is rapidly growing according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics job outlook information, so even entry-level professionals will earn a lucrative salary. Moreover, your pay will increase as you build your knowledge and skills in the occupation you opt to pursue. Choosing to earn a business intelligence master’s online is not only financially rewarding, but also affords an intellectually stimulating career.

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Joining professional organizations as a student or recent graduate allows you to network with others who are also beginning their career. As a member, you will interact with seasoned professionals who can serve as mentors and help you get a foothold on the industry through conferences and convenings that bring together those in your occupation. In addition, your school’s careers services and job boards can help you learn what kinds of opportunities you can pursue for internships and employment.

You might choose to join professional organizations such as the following:

If you need financial support to pay for your studies, be sure to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Part of the ED, Federal Student Aid provides federal grants, loans, and work-study funds to help students pay for college. Check with your school to learn about scholarships and fellowships, as well as their eligibility criteria. In addition, if you are active duty military or a veteran of the armed services, be sure to inquire with your school to see if you qualify for benefits such as reduced tuition.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family’s financial future. We’ve compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.