Online Business Intelligence Graduate Programs & Schools

Online business analytics graduate programs are all about making the most of the data at your disposal. They aim to help students learn to collect, store, and use data effectively. This could involve building up hard skills like coding or statistics. It also might entail how to apply what you learn to make informed decisions. Or both! And best of all, online business analytics graduate programs could be the flexible option a busy professional might need. That could enable you to pursue the degree you want without having to compromise your lifestyle or education.

Studying Business Analytics Online: What You Need To Know

Business analytics is a dynamic field. It focuses on learning as much as possible from large data sets. Online business analytics graduate programs might do that in a few different ways. Each online business analytics program could have it's own focus area and approach. So how do you choose what option is right for you?  One strategy is to think about what business analytics and intelligence skills and knoweldge you want to develop, and how different programs relate to those goals.

Here are some examples of common approaches you might find.

  • Some programs might focus on the technical side of analytics. These programs might work to develop hard skills related to managing and processing data. Examples include things like statistical analysis, mathematics, programming, and data mining.  Or they might discuss infrastructure and data security, ensuring that collected data can be stored and accessed efficiently.
  • Still more programs might focus more on business and leadership. They might talk about how to use intelligence within management, organizational, and other decision-making roles. These programs might also dedicate time to developing more generalized business skills. Overall, these programs might aim to prepare students to
  • use data to make strategic business decisions.
  • Some might take a broader approach. Rather than only focusing on one side of business intelligence, these programs might survey the whole process. This could range from collecting data in the first place to turning what you learn from it into actionable business plans.


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What does all this mean for your search? It means you might find and attend an online business intelligence graduate program focused on the kinds of things you want to do and learn. And these might not even be your only options. Some programs might vary from these descriptions.

You might also find some similar programs with different names. This can include online data science degree programs, and big data degree programs online. If you have questions about this, get in touch with your potential schools for more information.

What to Expect in Online Business Analytics Graduate Programs

Online business analytics graduate programs could bring some unique advantages to your education. One big example? Flexibility. Many online business analytics programs are designed for working professionals. As such, the format may help students to balance a career with education. They do that by offering their courses via an online course module that could be accessed on the go.

This flexibility also applies to location. With coursework online, you won't be limited to a local campus. This could make it easier to find a program that addresses your interests - a potential major benefit with a topic so broad.

Finally, online programs may be preferable for those who prefer to study independently rather than in the classroom. However, that doesn't mean you're completely alone. Many online business analytics graduate programs utilize email and discussion boards to facilitate conversations. You could still communicate with your professors and peers. Schools vary, so reach out to the schools you're considering for more information.

Online Business Analytics Graduate Programs Levels

Online business analytics graduate programs could be available for students with a range of experience and educational goals. Programs typically offer degrees at three different levels, each with their own requisites and depth of study. Generally, these could be sorted into three categories.

  • Online Business Analytics Masters Programs: These might be open to students with a bachelors degree and generally require 2 years of full time study. Programs might include a few different degree types, which sometimes reflect the content of that program. Common examples are MS and MBA programs. Specific differences between degree types might vary. However, MS programs tend to be more technical in nature. MBA programs, meanwhile, might look at business intelligence in a managerial or business administration context, and can be a little more generalized.
  • Online Business Analytics Doctoral Programs: As with masters programs, this category might include a few different kinds of degrees. Particularly, this includes PhD and DBA programs.  Business analytics PhD programs tend to be more research-oriented. In other words, they might focus on finding and analyzing information from collected data. DBA programs, meanwhile, are sometimes seen as an extension of the MBA. As such, they might focus more on how business analytics applies to leadership roles within an organization. Typically doctoral programs require a masters degree for admission and could require a dissertation for graduation.
  • Online Business Intelligence Graduate Certificate Programs: These typically require fewer courses than a degree program, and therefore could take less time. That can sometimes allow certificate programs to be more focused, examining a specific topic in detail. Specific topical focuses vary by program. Certificates might be offered at either the masters or doctoral level.

Remember, specific programs might vary from these descriptions. If you have any questions, reach out to the programs you’re considering for more details.

Example Business Analytics Online Courses

One major factor in choosing your preferred online business analytics program: what you’d cover in class. This could be influenced heavily by things like the program level, the approach or focus, and other factors. In general, courses might cover a blend of technical and business-oriented skills. Here are a few examples of the kinds of things you might study in a business analytics online program.

  • Statistics: This type of course focuses on the mathematical principles used to analyze data sets. Statistics classes may also talk about applying those principles to identify patterns and answer questions. These skills could be the foundation to a variety of other responsibilities covered in different courses. 
  • Programming: Courses related to programming aim to develop technical skills to manage and analyze data. It could include building and maintaining databases, writing queries, and more. This could also include leaning and practicing programming languages related to data management.
  • Data Mining: This topic involves finding relevant information among large amounts of data to answer specific questions. It could also discuss writing effective queries, and how to report on findings. These courses may build on skills developed in other classes, such as statistics and programming.
  • Predictive Modeling: These and similar courses focus on using data to make informed projections about what might happen in the future, in certain scenarios. Some courses might discuss how predictive modeling might be applied, such as in risk management roles.
  • Business Analytics: This topic focuses on analytical and management techniques. Specifically, it might look at how those two might work together. For example, classes may discuss how data analytics could drive effective business decisions.

These are only a few things you might encounter in a business analytics curriculum. Specific course offerings may vary by program, and the way those topics are covered may also vary. If you have any questions about the courses offered at a particular school, reach out to them for more information.

Take the Next Step with our List of 17 Online Business Intelligence Graduate Programs

Now you're equipped with the information you need to start your search for a graduate program in business intelligence. The academic path you choose may depend largely on what you plan to do after you complete your degree. To a certain extent, you want to not only prepare yourself with an education but also the ‘right’ education for the type of career you want to lead.

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