Best Online Master’s in Business Intelligence 2021
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A master's in business intelligence can develop your ability to quantify consumer trends, generate returns on investment, reduce and manage risk, and increase efficiency.
The growing field of business intelligence and analytics relies on professionals with business intelligence master's degrees for leadership roles. After earning master's degrees, professionals can pursue opportunities in high-paying jobs as management analysts, data scientists, and market research analysts. The degree also leads to careers as statisticians, analysts, researchers, and consultants. These career paths offer strong job growth projections and high earning potential.
An online business intelligence degree prioritizes flexibility. The delivery format appeals to working professionals who must balance earning an education with their careers. By choosing an online program, business intelligence graduate students can continue working while pursuing career advancement.
Our list ranks the best online master's programs in business intelligence. Prospective students can use our rankings to identify the program that best aligns with their career goals. This article also explores common business intelligence courses, available careers for those with business intelligence master's degrees, and how to choose the right program for you.
The Best Online Master's in Business Intelligence Programs
Online Master's in Business Intelligence Programs Ranking Guidelines
We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.
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Featured Online Master's in Business Intelligence Programs
What Is an Online Master's in Business Intelligence?
An online master's degree in business intelligence builds strong analytical and data science skills. During the program, graduate students learn how to collect and analyze data using different statistical techniques and make business decisions based on the results. Coursework may also cover topics like machine learning, data optimization, and big data analytics.
Depending on the program, graduate students can apply classroom training during internships and practicums. Many programs incorporate real-world projects and assignments to help build career-ready skills.
Earning a master's degree in business intelligence generally takes two years for full-time students, though some online business intelligence programs offer accelerated, one-year pathways to the degree.
What's the Difference Between a Master's Degree in Business Intelligence and an MBA in Business Intelligence?
A master's in business intelligence and a master of business administration (MBA) in business intelligence both offer focused training in business analytics, data science, and data-driven decision-making. However, an MBA incorporates more general business classes, including training in finance, marketing, and organizational behavior. A business intelligence master's degree provides more focused coursework specific to a career in analytics.
Professionals considering general business careers may prefer the flexibility of MBAs, while those with focused career goals in business analytics can benefit most from a master's in business intelligence.
Choosing an Online Master's in Business Intelligence Program
Prospective business intelligence students should consider several factors when choosing a graduate program, including cost, program length, and learning format. For example, some schools offer scholarships and tuition discounts for fully online students. Similarly, working professionals may prefer a part-time schedule with asynchronous classes, while other students prefer accelerated pathways or synchronous classes.
Applicants should also consider internship opportunities, electives, and specializations. Professionals with specific career goals benefit from choosing programs that offer concentrations in their preferred industries. Researching these factors ahead of time allows applicants to find the programs that best fit their goals and needs.
Accreditation for Master's in Business Intelligence or Business Analytics Degree Programs
Accredited schools and programs meet the highest standards for educating students and granting degrees. Prospective students should only consider regionally accredited universities when applying to graduate programs. Unaccredited schools may not qualify graduates for careers.
In addition to choosing an accredited university, business intelligence students should also research their program's accreditation. In business, three primary organizations grant programmatic accreditation: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, and the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.
What Can I Expect When Pursuing a Master's in Business Intelligence Online?
A master's in business intelligence strengthens analytical and research skills. By studying data science, decision-making, and business analytics, graduate students gain the knowledge and skills required for many in-demand careers. Some programs also offer specializations or electives in areas like big data analytics, marketing, or healthcare analytics.
Common Courses in Master's in Business Analytics and Intelligence Programs
- Data Mining and Visualization: Coursework examines data transformations, exploratory querying, statistical graphics, time series analysis, and exploratory spatial data analysis. By the end of this course, students should know how to use tools like Python and Jupyter Notebook, along with general design principles.
- Business Analytics: Business analytics explores how professionals can use data to make more informed decisions. Students use case studies to practice identifying and evaluating potential opportunities in organizations. Coursework also examines analytic methods and how to use optimization in the presence of multiple alternatives.
- Data-Driven Decision-Making: In this interdisciplinary course, students learn about the role of quantitative data in organizational, entrepreneurial, and managerial decision-making. Students apply quantitative tools from statistics, finance, and economics. This course emphasizes the interpretation and translation of data to initiate change in an organization.
- Data Science and Predictive Analytics: Enrollees develop computational, practical, and inferential thinking skills that can help them solve data challenges. Pertinent concepts include dynamic visualization, data management, statistical computing, and processing. By the end of this course, students have understand computational concepts in big science data, inferential thinking, and raw data.
- Quantitative and Qualitative Decision-Making: Students learn to use quantitative and qualitative decision-making techniques to improve issues organizations experience today. Essential topics include statistical data analysis, forecasting techniques, optimization models, and decision theory. Students must draw upon methods of problem-solving, data collection, data analysis, evaluation, prediction, and profitability distribution.
Business Intelligence Careers
A business intelligence master's degree prepares graduates for in-demand, high-paying careers. For example, a background in business analytics can lead to employment as a management consultant, financial analyst, or market research analyst. Others find work as data scientists or business analysts.
During a business intelligence program, graduate students can prepare for specialized careers by taking courses in information science, healthcare, marketing, or other industries that rely on analytics.
|Median BLS Salary (2020)||$96,940|
|Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029)||6%|
Administrative services managers oversee facilities and administrative activities, including recordkeeping and mail distribution. They manage administrative staff, determine departmental goals, and monitor records. Administrative services managers also make recommendations to improve office operations and ensure staff follow safety standards and regulations.
Records and information managers specifically oversee their organization's records. They may work in legal, nonprofit, or business organizations.
Most administrative services managers hold bachelor's degrees and have previous experience in administration. The position requires managerial experience and training in business operations or project management. Professionals can pursue certification from the International Facility Management Association, the Institute of Certified Records Managers, or ARMA International.
|Median BLS Salary (2020)||$90,920|
|Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029)||7%|
Computer systems analysts evaluate organizations' computer systems to identify ways to increase efficiency. They blend IT and business training to determine technological solutions to problems and recommend new systems and procedures to management. They may also test and train users on computer systems.
A background in computer science or information science is ideal for computer systems analysts. Some roles require a master's degree with training in information systems. A master's degree can also prepare computer systems analysts for employment as computer and information systems managers.
|Median BLS Salary (2020)||$85,260|
|Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029)||11%|
Management analysts, also known as management consultants, evaluate organizations and make recommendations to increase profits, improve efficiency, and reduce costs. Management analysts then recommend those solutions to management.
While most management analysts have several years of professional experience, a master's degree in business intelligence or business analytics can also help professionals become management analysts. Professionals can also pursue certification, such as the certified management consultant credential, to demonstrate their expertise.
|Median BLS Salary (2020)||$81,590|
|Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029)||5%|
Financial analysts evaluate investments to recommend strategies to businesses and individuals. They analyze market performance for stocks and bonds, forecast financial trends, and study historical data to manage a portfolio of investments. Financial analysts can also determine organizations' value by appraising their financial statements.
Financial analysts who sell financial products typically need licenses from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Financial analysts can also pursue professional certifications like the chartered financial analyst credential. Most financial analysts hold a bachelor's degree. A master's degree in business intelligence or business analytics prepares graduates for supervisory roles such as financial manager, fund manager, or portfolio manager.
|Median BLS Salary (2020)||$63,790|
|Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029)||18%|
Market research analysts evaluate data to determine consumer demand for products and services. They then use that analysis to set pricing strategies, forecast sales trends, and identify potential customers. They report their findings to executives, who then set strategies and make decisions based on that information.
A bachelor's degree is the most common entry-level educational requirement. However, some market research analyst roles require a graduate degree in business, statistics, marketing, business intelligence, or business analytics.
A master's degree prepares professionals for leadership roles and more technical research positions. Market research analysts can also pursue voluntary certifications, such as the professional researcher certification from the Marketing Research Association.
Frequently Asked Questions
Earning a business intelligence master's degree generally takes two years for full-time students. Some online programs offer an accelerated route to the degree, which can take as little as one year.
Depends on your career goals. A master's in business intelligence and an MBA both prepare graduates for supervisory roles. However, a business intelligence degree emphasizes analytical training, while the MBA focuses on general business skills.
A business intelligence degree trains students to analyze raw data and apply their findings to business decision-making. The degree prepares graduates for research, analytics, and consulting roles.
A master's in business analytics emphasizes a data-driven approach to business, preparing graduates for decision-making roles in many different industries. Students interested in managerial careers in business can benefit from an MBA.
Professionals with a business analytics master's degree can find work as management consultants, operations research analysts, and data scientists. They can also pursue management-level roles that require strong data analysis skills.
An MBA and a business analytics master's degree emphasize different coursework. The MBA provides advanced training in multiple areas of business, while a master's in business analytics offers more focused business intelligence and data analysis courses. Deciding which is best depends on your career goals.
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