Online MBA Programs in Business Analytics
Many organizations rely on business analysts’ expertise to guide them by analyzing past performance data and implementing new policies and technologies that are meant to improve efficiency. The study of business analytics covers various topics that provide students with a thorough understanding of typical business processes and business planning and the commonly used technologies 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 from. 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 Online 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 about the benefit of choosing an online MBA program over a master’s degree program. While both programs offer masters-level classes, an online MBA program includes a broader range of business management courses that prepare students for top management positions throughout their careers.
Students must 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 studies.
Online MBA Program in Business Analytics Curriculum
Students enrolled in online MBA programs with a business analytics specialization will find themselves taking courses directly focusing on data analysis, business intelligence, and project management. Additionally, online MBA programs include business law, ethics, accounting, and marketing courses on general business management. The inclusion of these courses is meant to help students transition easily into management positions during their careers.
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 business decision-making theory.
Most online MBA programs require students to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field before applying. 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.
Best Online MBA Programs in Business Analytics
The landscape of online MBA programs in business analytics is vast and diverse, with each program offering unique features and benefits to cater to different student needs. Here’s a quick snapshot to get us started:
Best for Industry-Leading Curriculum: Online MBA in Business Analytics from Indiana University–Bloomington (Kelley). Known for its rigorous and comprehensive curriculum, this program is tailored for individuals looking to understand data-driven decision-making and business strategy deeply.
Best for Flexibility: Online MBA in Business Analytics from the University of Florida (Hough). This program offers flexible scheduling and multiple start dates throughout the year, making it perfect for working professionals looking to balance their studies with work commitments.
Best for High Acceptance Rates: Online MBA in Business Analytics from the University of Iowa (Tippie). Its high acceptance rate makes this program accessible to many applicants, ensuring inclusivity and diversity.
Best for Tech-Savvy Leaders: Online MBA in Business Analytics from Syracuse University (Whitman). This program emphasizes technical skills and leadership development, preparing graduates for success in the digital age.
Best for Career Progression: Online MBA in Business Analytics from University of North Carolina–Wilmington Cameron School of Business. With a focus on career advancement, this program boasts a high graduation rate and a strong alumni network, helping its graduates climb the corporate ladder.
No matter your career aspirations or personal situation, you’ll find an online MBA program in business analytics that suits your needs, focusing on predictive analytics.
Best for Industry-Leading Curriculum –
Online MBA in Business Analytics from Indiana University–Bloomington (Kelley)
- Pros: Comprehensive and industry-leading curriculum, Focus on data analytics and business strategy.
- Cons: Requires a significant time commitment, May be challenging for those without a strong background in business or data analytics.
The online MBA in Business Analytics from Indiana University–Bloomington (Kelley) distinguishes itself with its top-tier business analytics curriculum and a strong business analytics concentration. The primary emphasis of this program is the convergence of business and data analytics, focusing on data-driven decision-making and business strategy. This means that as business analytics students, you’ll gain a deep understanding of how to use data to inform strategic business decisions and drive business success. This is further enhanced by specialized core courses that cover topics like product pricing strategy developed with data analysis tools and technologies.
However, while the program’s comprehensive curriculum is a major strength, it also means that you’ll need to make a considerable time commitment to get the most out of your studies. This might be challenging if you’re working full-time or don’t have a strong background in business or data analytics. However, a commitment of time and effort will reward you with a strong foundation in business analytics and improved analytical skills, setting the stage for career advancement by learning data analysis techniques and understanding labor statistics.
- Curriculum: 5/5
- Flexibility: 4/5
- Employment Opportunities: 4.5/5
- Value for Money: 4/5
Best for Flexibility –
Online MBA in Business Analytics from the University of Florida (Hough)
- Pros: Flexible scheduling with multiple start dates throughout the year, Accelerated program option for those with a business degree.
- Cons: Requires an undergraduate degree in business for the accelerated program, Requires a minimum of two years of full-time, professional work experience for admission.
If you’re looking for flexibility, the Online MBA in Business Analytics from the University of Florida (Hough) is a perfect fit. The program offers a 16-month accelerated option designed for individuals with an undergraduate degree in business, allowing you to complete the same degree as the on-campus program at a faster pace. This is particularly beneficial if you’re a working professional looking to upgrade your skills without taking a break from your career.
However, to gain admission to this accelerated program, you’ll need to have a four-year bachelor’s degree in business administration from an accredited U.S. college or university, or its international equivalent, and a minimum of two years of full-time, professional work experience. While this may limit the program’s accessibility to some applicants, it ensures that you’ll be studying alongside like-minded professionals who bring a wealth of real-world business experience to the virtual classroom.
- Curriculum: 4.5/5
- Flexibility: 5/5
- Employment Opportunities: 4/5
- Value for Money: 4/5
Best for High Acceptance Rates –
Online MBA in Business Analytics from University of Iowa (Tippie)
- Pros: High acceptance rate increases accessibility No need to submit GRE or GMAT scores
- Cons: Curriculum may not be as rigorous as other programs Not as established as other programs
If high acceptance rates are your priority, consider the Online MBA in Business Analytics from the University of Iowa (Tippie). With inclusive admissions policy, which has an acceptance rate of 91%, Tippie’s online MBA program is accessible to a wide range of applicants. Plus, you won’t need to submit GRE or GMAT scores for admission, further simplifying the application process.
However, while the program’s high acceptance rate and simplified admissions process are major advantages, they could also mean that the program is not as rigorous or established as other programs with lower acceptance rates. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a program that’s easy to get into and can provide you with a solid foundation in business analytics, Tippie’s online MBA program may be a good fit.
- Curriculum: 4/5
- Flexibility: 4.5/5
- Employment Opportunities: 4/5
- Value for Money: 4/5
Best for Tech-Savvy Leaders –
Online MBA in Business Analytics from Syracuse University (Whitman)
- Pros: Strong focus on technical skills and leadership development, Live online classes and interactive assignments enhance learning experience.
- Cons: Requires a significant time commitment, May be challenging for those without a strong technical background.
Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management provides an Online MBA program accredited by AACSB, recognized for its emphasis on developing technical skills and leadership qualities. The program features live online classes, interactive assignments, and in-person learning, all designed to equip you for leadership positions across diverse sectors in the field of business administration.
However, this tech-savvy program requires a significant time commitment and could be challenging if you don’t have a strong technical background. But if you’re looking to develop your technical skills and leadership capabilities to succeed in the digital age, this program could be a perfect fit. Plus, with its high ranking and comprehensive career services, you’ll be well-supported in your career development and job search.
- Curriculum: 5/5
- Flexibility: 4/5
- Employment Opportunities: 4.5/5
- Value for Money: 4.5/5
Best for Career Progression –
Online MBA in Business Analytics from University of North Carolina–Wilmington Cameron School of Business
- Pros: Focus on career advancement helps graduates climb the corporate ladder, Strong alumni network provides networking opportunities.
- Cons: Requires a significant time commitment, May not be as flexible as other programs.
For those with an eye on career progression, the online MBA program from the University of North Carolina–Wilmington Cameron School of Business is an ideal choice. Among the best online MBA programs offered by various business schools, this program boasts a high graduation rate and a strong alumni network, which can be instrumental in helping its graduates climb the corporate ladder.
However, while the program’s focus on career advancement is a major strength, it also means that you’ll need to make a significant time commitment to get the most out of your studies. It might not be as flexible as other programs, but if you’re willing to invest the time and effort, you’ll be rewarded with a strong foundation in business analytics and a network of alumni who can help you advance in your career.
- Curriculum: 4.5/5
- Flexibility: 4/5
- Employment Opportunities: 5/5
- Value for Money: 4/5
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 choose 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, C-level executives’ median wage as of May 2018 was $195,530 per year. This position’s employment opportunities are expected to rise by 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 an above-average outlook as opportunities for this job are expected to increase by 14% by 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 by 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 this career’s job opportunities are expected to increase by 27% by the year 2026.
Should I get an online MBA in Business Analytics?
When considering an online MBA in business analytics, it can help 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. At the same time, business analytics is less science-based and more focused on analyzing 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. 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 must learn computer languages, including C++, Java, SQL, and Python, and 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 can 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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