MBA in Data Analytics & B.I.

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With nearly unlimited data about customers available at the click of a button, there is an increased demand in business for people who have the skills to make statistics, aggregates, spreadsheets, and other data forms meaningful. Especially in business, there is a need for people who can dig deep into the analytics, make sense of the numbers, and provide business leaders with the information necessary and relevant to growth.

Business intelligence (BI) is the field of study that prepares professionals to access and make sense of data so that is can be strategically useful to a business. As most industries increase their strategic reliance on data, having the capacity to work with data is a useful skill for any modern professional.

An MBA in business intelligence and analytics prepares professionals to thrive in a data-fueled business world. Earning an MBA in BI provides candidates the standard of core of any MBA program, including business fundamentals, advanced theories, and management techniques. The focus in BI provides instruction on best practices to utilize databases, organize and compile information, and curate information for widespread understanding and best use. Students who earn an MBA in business intelligence generally leave with the ability to speak the language of big business and comprehend the technical intricacies of big data. Having these advanced skills can help current professionals branch into management positions and make entry-level job applicants more competitive candidates.

Market research, a field heavily reliant on BI and analytics, is an occupation both lucrative and growing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2016), the market research analyst position pays a median wage of $62,560 annually, and openings are expected to grow 23 percent between 2016 and 2026. This growth is much faster than the average anticipated growth of 7.4 percent for all occupations, and the average wages are 69 percent higher than the median wage for all occupations.

Those hoping to pursue an MBA in business intelligence can choose traditional on-campus programs, hybrid on-campus/online programs, and programs that are delivered fully online. Universities are increasingly embracing MBA programs that cater to busy professionals, students who cannot relocate, or students who prefer to learn in their own space. Business students now can enroll in online programs that are as high-quality, competitive, and connected as their traditional brick-and-mortar counterparts.

Read on to learn about universities that offer online MBAs in data analytics business intelligence, as well as the exceptional faculty leading courses in these programs.

Featured Online MBAs in Data Analysis and Business Intelligence (BI)

1American University, Kogod School of BusinessView Full Profile

The MBA@American with a specialization in business analytics is a 48-credit program that can be completed mostly online with two in-person immersions in as little as 15 months. The program is offered at an accelerated pace through five modules of three classes each or at normal MBA pace through eight modules of two classes each. The latter course sequence takes 24 months.

Students take 12 core courses, three electives, and two immersions which can be completed around the world. Previous immersions have been held in Brussels, San Francisco, and New York. Upcoming immersions will take place in Chicago, Madrid, and Beijing. There are many regular immersions in Washington D.C. Students will take courses in brand strategy, financial statement analysis, forensic accounting, fraud examination, litigation support, and more. While work experience is not required for admission, it is taken into consideration.

Location: Washington, D.C.
Tuition: $1,642/credit
Time to Completion: 15 months or 24 months
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)
2Ohio University, College of BusinessView Full Profile

Ohio University’s online programs were ranked some of the best in the country by the U.S. News & World Report. The online MBA with a specialization in business analytics is a two-year program for business professionals with at least two to five years of work experience.

Most of the program can be completed online; however, students are required to attend a weekend on-campus professional development workshop. Students are not required to attend any additional workshops throughout the program, but they are encouraged to do so. Students take 35 credits of core courses and electives. Students in the business analytics concentration must take two required classes: predictive analytics and data management, business intelligence, and analytics. This online MBA does not require the GMAT for admission.

Location: Athens, OH
Tuition: $1,004/credit (Ohio resident), $1,023/credit (non-Ohio resident)
Time to Completion: Two years
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)

Saint Mary’s offers an accelerated MBA with a specialization in data analytics that can be completed in one year, entirely online. The 30-credit program is one of the most affordable MBA programs in the country. Students can choose between 26 different lecture series offering many customization options to fit each student’s individual needs and career goals.

Students take classes in quantitative decision making, international operations management, corporate finance, and more. They also complete a capstone project course in which they will apply the knowledge learned throughout the program in a domestic or international business setting Previous work experience is not necessary; however, a minimum GPA of 2.5 is required for admission.

Location: Minneapolis, MN
Tuition: $650/credit
Time to Completion: 12 to 18 months
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
4Syracuse University, Whitman School of ManagementView Full Profile

The online MBA@Syracuse program has been ranked in the top ten programs of its kind by the Financial Times. It is also considered one of the best programs for military veterans by The Military Times. Students pick from six concentrations, one of which is business analytics. All students take core classes in data analysis and decision making, microeconomics, managerial finance, the legal and ethical environment of business, among others. In the business analytics specialization, students learn about how to collect, visualize, analyze, and mine complex data using practical analytic tools.

Most of the coursework is online; however, students must take part in three in-person residencies throughout the 54-credit program. Applicants must have at least one year of professional work experience and a minimum 3.0 GPA in previous schooling. GMAT scores are necessary with application; however, a waiver is available for qualified applicants.

Location: Syracuse, NY
Tuition: $1,500/credit-hour
Time to Completion: Two years
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)
5University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business SchoolView Full Profile

The online MBA@UNC with a specialization in data analytics and decision-making teaches students how to make data-driven decisions and communicate the value of analytics in the business world. Students must complete a three-day immersion in a major international business center where they work with leading companies; previous companies have included Virgin Group, General Mills, and Google.

The 66-credit program is broken down into core, elective, and cross-university courses. The courses in the data analytics and decision-making concentration include analytical tools; data analytics; digital marketing; information management and analytics technology; information for decision-making; incentives; and strategy, modeling, pricing, and negotiations.

Students who can travel to campus can take elective courses from the school’s full-time on-campus program as well as its executive MBA program. While students are not required to have a minimum GPA from previous schooling, they must have at least two years of professional experience before being accepted into the program.

Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Tuition: $1,728/credit-hour
Time to Completion: 18-36 months
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)

The online MBA program at Utica College is customizable across many different concentrations in some of the most in-demand sectors of business, such as cybersecurity, insurance risk management, entrepreneurship, and data analytics. Students can pick from one of the concentrations developed by Utica or further customize their education by selecting any four graduate-level courses that are offered by the school.

In the data analytics concentration, students can take the following classes: an introduction to data science, data mining, machine learning, healthcare management, and data visualization, among others. The goal is to teach students how to become data thinkers and data decision-makers by learning about the power and limits of data.

The 30-credit online curriculum can be completed in two years part-time, allowing students to continue working while studying. They first take core classes, then move onto the concentration elective courses. A minimum 2.75 GPA and at least two years of work experience are required for admission

Location: Utica, NY
Tuition: $650/credit-hour
Time to Completion: Two years
Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) candidate

Villanova’s online MBA has been ranked in the top 50 best online MBA programs for veterans by U.S. News & World Report. The school has also been recognized as one of the best MBA schools in the nation.

The 48-credit program is flexible and convenient for working professionals and can be customized with one of five specializations, including analytics. All students take three credits of fundamentals, including an on-campus leadership residency. They also complete 15 credits of functional courses, six credits of VSB pillars, and nine credits of capstones, including an on-campus global practicum, which is not required but encouraged. The last 15 credits comprise electives, which are offered according to each student’s concentration of choice.

Students must submit an up-to-date resume and GMAT scores, as previous work experience and schooling are factored into the school’s decision for admission.

Location: Villanova, PA
Tuition: $1,350/credit-hour
Time to Completion: Two years
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)

The business intelligence focus offered within the MBA program at SNHU teaches students how to analyze patterns and draw useful information from data. Part of the program includes using technology to gather information more efficiently; make sense of raw, primary and secondary data; present findings; and make informed decisions. The online format allows people to study where they choose. Business-related courses include overviews of law, human behavior, economics, and marketing.

Location: Manchester, New Hampshire
Tuition: $827/credit, $1,881/course
Duration: 12-18 months
Accreditation: the school is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, through the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education; the MBA program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
9 St. Joseph’s University,Haub School of Business

The Haub School of Business MBA program at this private Jesuit-affiliated university offers a variety of on-campus, online, and hybrid options, including a concentration in business intelligence. The program can range between 33 and 53 credits, depending on a student’s prior academic and professional experience. The faculty covers a variety of business and statistical courses, including contemporary information technologies, shareholder value management, social responsibility, and managing work organizations.

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Tuition: $1,023/credit
Length: 12-30 months
Accreditation: SJU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education; the Haub Business School is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

The school’s professional MBA program offers a business intelligence specialization, allowing students to gain a better understanding of technology, regulatory markets, and future trends for various industries. Students are able to use and access various tools to improve understanding of concepts such as data visualization and data mining, customer relationship management, and analytic processing. Core business courses cover business fundamentals such as accounting and marketing. The 48-credit program is offered on campus or online, and four dual degrees can be earned including a MBA/MD or MBA/master of architecture.

Location: Denver, Colorado
Tuition: $621/credit (resident), $1,365/credit (non-resident), $725/credit (online-only and out-of-state)
Length: 11-18 months
Accreditation: the school is accredited by Higher Learning Commission; the Business School is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Current or hopeful managers who want to boost their information resource knowledge are encouraged to pursue the business intelligence concentration offered by Baker’s distance-based MBA program. Baker’s MBA program helps students to learn topics in leadership and general and advanced business, amd also includes instruction in using technology to achieve business goals. The 38-credit program is available online, so students can study at their own pace in a virtual classroom setting. Courses include data warehousing, human resources, and accounting.

Location: Allen Park, Michigan
Tuition: $695/credit
Duration: 12-18 months
Accreditation: International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education

Although this school’s MBA program doesn’t specifically include a data or business intelligence component, students can combine the MBA program with a graduate certificate in business analytics. Typically, online or on-campus students take at least 12 courses in the MBA program and then begin the 12-credit certificate program. Taking a total of six to 12 months, courses for the certificate satisfy elective requirements for the MBA program. The certificate program focuses on data concepts, decision-making, and how to collect, extract, and present useful data. The 48-credit MBA program is available online or on campus. Online students can also participate in a weeklong global residency.

Location: Fairfax, Virginia
Tuition: $950/credit
Length: One to two years
Accreditation: the school is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; the MBA program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
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Professors to Know in Online MBA in Data Analytics & BI Programs

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    Michael Harper, PhD, University of Colorado Denver

    Dr. Harper is a senior instructor of business analytics. He has taught a variety of business and business statistics courses over the years, including operations research, probability and statistics, decision theory, and operations management. Along with teaching business courses at the University of Denver, he has teaching experience in math and engineering at the Colorado School of Mines and the Denver Seminary. He’s also been honored for outstanding teaching and instructor of the year in UC’s 11-month MBA program.

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    Amitava Dutta, PhD, George Mason University

    Dr. Dutta specializes in information systems and operations management. The courses he teaches include IT governance and auditing, management of IT services, and systems thinking approaches to business problems. He holds the school’s LeRoy Eakin Endowed Chair in electrical commerce and previously taught at the University of Iowa and the Simon School of the University of Rochester. Prior to coming to the U.S., he studied and taught in Germany and India. Dr. Dutta received his doctorate in management information systems from Purdue University.

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    Eric Patton, PhD, St. Joseph’s University

    Dr. Patton specializes in management with a research and professional background paying thought to organizational systems, organizational behavior, and human resource management. He has taught, studied, and worked in Quebec and the U.S., and has also been a contributor to news programs in several countries. As an associate professor, he teaches graduate-level classes in management and human resource research and survey methods, along with a variety of undergraduate courses in everything from diversity to gender issues. He has also taught various business and organizational courses at other colleges.

Admission Requirements

An undergraduate degree in business or an undergraduate degree combined with real-world business experience is often the baseline to be accepted into many MBA programs. Students interested in pursuing intelligence/analysis fields are also encouraged to have taken prerequisites in statistics or have related professional experience.

Admissions offices also typically ask for:

  • Transcripts showing past classes or degrees in related technical or business-related fields and a competitive GPA (e.g., >3.0)
  • Professional experience in a business or data field
  • Letters of recommendation
  • GMAT/GRE scores, which may be waived depending on past academic courses or professional experience
  • Personal statement or essay
  • Resume
  • TOEFL scores for foreign students

Accreditation

To ensure MBA candidates have competitive workplace skills, there are a variety of professional organizations that certify schools offering MBAs are adhering to certain academic standards. Accreditation entities generally visit campuses and evaluate student and faculty surveys, graduation rates, career placement of graduates, industry involvement levels, alumni support, and the availability of other resources.

One common accrediting organization for MBA programs is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). AACSB looks closely at business administration, real estate, management, and human resources programs, generally at larger, research-based institutions. Another organization is the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). ACBSP focuses primarily on tangible learning outcomes and quality improvement.

Professionals already working in business intelligence professions, such as managing warehouses or information technology, may be able to earn advanced workplace/industry credentials such as the the Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP) certification from Transforming Data With Intelligence.