Online MBA Programs in Business Analytics
Many organizations rely on the expertise of business analysts to guide them through the analysis of past performance data and the implementation of new policy and technologies that are meant to improve efficiency. The study of business analytics covers a variety of topics that provide students with a thorough understanding of typical business processes and business planning, as well as the technologies that are commonly used in business.
Students who pursue an accredited MBA online in business analytics typically find that they have a wide variety of career options to choose from1. Graduates who hold accredited online MBAs in business analytics often take on high-level careers in management consulting, market research, and data sciences.
What is an MBA in Business Analytics?
Online MBAs in business analytics help students to prepare for a successful career in business. These programs equip students for high-level careers in business analysis by providing them with the knowledge and skills they need to face everyday challenges head-on and reach their full potential. Individuals who graduate with an accredited online MBA in business analytics usually possess unparalleled insight into business futures and an innate capability to determine areas of weakness in business models and processes. They also graduate with a keen ability to manage technologies that are commonly used in business.
While considering their options, many students wonder what the benefit is of choosing an online MBA program over a master’s degree program. While both programs offer master’s-level classes, an online MBA program includes a broader range of business management courses that prepare students for top management positions throughout their career.
It’s important that students take time to consider whether online study is a good fit for them before enrolling in an online MBA program. There are many benefits to online programs, including the flexibility to study at your own pace and work around busy schedules. However, students who don’t have a high level of discipline and excellent time management skills might be better suited to traditional classroom study.
Online MBA in Business Analytics Curriculum
Students who are enrolled in online MBA programs with a specialization in business analytics will find themselves taking courses with a direct focus on data analysis, business intelligence, and project management. Additionally, online MBA programs include courses on general business management such as business law, ethics, accounting, and marketing. The inclusion of these courses is meant to help students transition easily into management positions during their career.
Of course, each program’s course requirements and the titles of those courses vary depending on the institution. Some of the courses that students who are obtaining an online MBA specializing in business analytics can expect to enroll in include:
- Business Analytics Methods: Students learn the tools required to effectively analyze statistics and other data. They learn the basics of data mining, predictive modeling, and time series analysis, as well as some of the common software that’s used to input and analyze business statistics.
- Measuring Performance: Students learn how to use data analytics to measure a business’s performance in terms of sales, efficiency, employee performance, investments, and customer satisfaction.
- Econometrics: Students learn to use statistical methods and mathematics to describe and analyze economic systems and business success.
- Modeling Business Decisions: Students learn quantitative methods for operational decision-making. Topics in this course include project management, software implementation, business model formulation, and the theory behind business decision-making.
Most online MBA programs require students to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field before they apply. Other prerequisites include one year of relevant work experience and high GMAT scores. However, some schools have recently chosen to waive the GMAT requirement so that they’re able to attract more students to online MBA programs2.
What Unique Career Paths Can I Pursue with an MBA Specializing in Business Analytics?
Thanks to the broad spectrum of topics covered in online MBA programs in business analytics, graduates have plenty of career options available to them. Jobs in finance, government, and business management are all lucrative career paths that graduates can follow. Some graduates may even choose to work for themselves and run their own management consulting business.
While the list that follows isn’t inclusive, these are a few of the career options that graduates may be able to choose from after obtaining an online MBA in business analytics.
Chief Operations Officer/Chief Financial Officer
C-level executives are at the top level of management teams2. They’re responsible for directing all activities within their department and supervising upper- and mid-level managers. C-level executives are required to ensure that the business is operating within the law and that their employees are doing their jobs according to company policy. On a day-to-day basis, a C-level executive takes on a variety of tasks, including:
- Liaising with the board of directors to develop and discuss business strategies
- Implementing new directives and procedures
- Meeting with upper- and mid-level managers to discuss company directives, sales, employees, and performance
- Analyzing statistics and sales performance to predict trends and change
- Preparing reports on a variety of topics
C-level executives’ wages vary depending on a variety of factors, including industry and company size. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for C-level executives as of May 2018 was $195,530 per year. Employment opportunities for this position are expected to rise 0.7% by 2026, which is below average.
Senior Financial Analyst
Financial analysts provide professional investment advice to businesses and individuals3. They’re responsible for analyzing market trends and predicting economic change to best help their clients make sound investments. Those who take on senior roles may be responsible for supervising other employees as well as managing larger accounts. Day-to-day duties might consist of:
- Meeting with clients to present investment opportunities
- Handling large amounts of cash on behalf of clients and managing investment portfolios
- Analyzing market trends and predicting change
- Preparing reports and providing clients with written statements
Although financial analysts in a senior role can expect to earn a higher salary, the median wage for financial analysts was $85,660 per year as of May 2018. Employment opportunities for financial analysts are expected to grow 11% by the year 2026.
Management analysts help businesses to increase efficiency4. They typically analyze a business’s workflow, processes, and employees, identify problem areas, and offer solutions. Many companies hire management analysts during times of crisis as a means to improve stability. Management analysts may be required to travel to meet with new clients. On a day-to-day basis, a management analyst may perform the following tasks:
- Meeting with upper management at client offices to discuss problem areas and company goals
- Analyzing a company’s financial trends, staff, and sales to identify problems
- Assessing employee performance
- Offering solutions to businesses that may help to increase revenue, reduce costs, and improve efficiency
As of May 2018, management analysts earned an average wage of $83,610 per year. This career has above-average outlook as opportunities for this job are expected to increase 14% by the year 2026.
Marketing managers are responsible for planning and directing marketing policies and initiatives for their clients or companies that employ them5. They are typically responsible for determining demand for a particular item or services as well as target audiences for advertising. Day-to-day duties might include:
- Analyzing past and current sales trends to determine demand
- Conducting research on competitors’ products/services, prices, and advertising directives
- Developing pricing strategies to maximize profits
- Analyzing customer reviews and satisfaction ratings
Marketing managers earned an average income of $147,249 annually as of May 2018. This job has an above-average outlook, with opportunities expected to grow 10% by the year 2026.
Financial examiners are responsible for ensuring that financial institutions are compliant with national laws.6 Some of their duties include:
- Staying up-to-date on financial law
- Reviewing balance sheets and other reports
- Assessing bank management
- Investigating loss and fraud
- Evaluating loan risk
Financial examiners earned an average income of $80,180 per year as of May 2018. Demand for this job is expected to grow 10% by the year 2026.
Operations Research Analyst
Operations research analysts, sometimes called data analysts, use mathematical and analytical methods to search for problems within an organization and provide solutions to increase efficiency7. Day-to-day duties often include:
- Obtaining and analyzing data
- Preparing reports to present to management
- Making recommendations to improve operations
As of May 2018, operations research analysts earned an average of $83,990 annually. This career is in high demand, and job opportunities for this career are expected to increase 27% by the year 2026.
Should I get an online MBA in Business Analytics?
When considering an online MBA in business analytics, it can be helpful to make some of the considerations listed below to ensure that this online MBA program is right for you.
Online MBA in Business Analytics vs. an online MBA in Data Science
While there are similarities between the two fields of study, data science is focused on the science of collecting data using statistics and algorithms, while business analytics is less science-based and more focused on the analysis of business statistics and how to extract insight from those statistics. While data science requires a lot of coding and technical knowledge, business analytics is more focused on statistics, and although it does require technical knowledge, it doesn’t involve much, if any, coding.
Are you comfortable with learning about computer language and technical applications?
As mentioned earlier, business analytics is a field of study that requires technical knowledge. Students are required to learn computer languages including C++, Java, SQL and Python, as well as how to manage and implement technical directives. Those who aren’t comfortable with technology may find there is another specialization that suits them better.
Are you interested in managing other employees?
Graduates of online MBA programs in any specialization finish their education with a vast knowledge of business management. The skills they learn in their program are designed to prepare them for managing people in a position related to the specialization they obtain their degree in. If management isn’t a part of your career goals, a master’s degree may be something to consider instead.
Are you furthering your education with hopes of obtaining a promotion?
If you’re currently employed in business analytics or a similar field and seeking promotion, obtaining an online MBA in business analytics is a good way to achieve your goals. By furthering your education in business analytics and obtaining an MBA, you may be increasing your chances of consideration for upper management positions within your company.
Do you have enough focus and determination to complete your online MBA program on your own schedule?
Any MBA program is hard work, but many students find that online study requires even more focus and determination than classroom study. Choosing to study at home in your free time while ignoring distractions is difficult, so before enrolling in an online MBA course, it’s important to make sure you’re able to effectively focus and manage your study time.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I’m applying to an accredited online MBA program?
Unfortunately, not all online MBA programs are accredited, so it’s important to verify that the program you’re applying to is. Prospective students can do this by searching for the program on the United States Department of Education’s database of accredited programs online8.
Is it better to obtain an MBA in a classroom environment?
This depends on the student, more than anything. While some students require the structure that comes with classroom learning, those with work or family commitments may find that online learning is a more feasible option.
How long does it take to complete an online MBA program in business analytics?
Online MBA programs vary in length. Some schools offer fast-track MBA programs that take between six and eight weeks to complete, while others offer students up to two years to complete their program.
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