25 Best Business Intelligence Masters Degree Online Programs

In this technology-driven age, businesses are capable of gathering large amounts of data about consumers, advertising, product sales and more. Data on its own doesn’t do much good, though.

Companies need professionals with the ability to analyze the data and apply their findings toward sound business decisions. With a master’s degree in business intelligence, you can fill that in-demand role.

Business Intelligence Masters Degree Online

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the computer and information technology sector will increase by 546,200 positions between 2018 and 2028. Data collection is expected to play a large role in that increase.

To be on the cutting edge of this field, further your education with an online business intelligence graduate degree. Online classes in business intelligence deliver quality coursework to your laptop computer so you can earn your master’s degree in a format that fits your busy schedule.

What Is an Online Master’s in Business Intelligence Degree?

masters of business intelligence student studying at desk

Students in business intelligence programs spend much of their time studying data. The objective is to become experts at handling business data in order to improve organizations.

Students must learn to:

  1. Collect data in efficient and ethical ways
  2. Store data in organized fashions
  3. Analyze data for trends, patterns and other insights
  4. Create business applications for their findings

Success in this field requires students to be both business-minded and technology-savvy. By pairing those two skill sets, practitioners are able to do the practical work of gathering and organizing data as well as the more theoretical work of drawing reliable analyses and decisions from the data.

Online studies present the same curriculum that students would receive in a campus-based business intelligence master’s program. The digital classroom may use recorded lectures, readings, multimedia presentations, discussion boards and other tools to help students engage with the material.

Assignments are likely to be similar to those given in traditional business intelligence classes. An online approach to master’s studies is beneficial because it allows you to complete coursework when and where it works for your schedule.

After earning your online business intelligence master’s degree, you’ll be prepared for management or analytics positions in the business world. You might choose to work in a field like energy, manufacturing or transportation, and your in-demand expertise should provide plenty of career opportunities.

Business Intelligence Courses

graduate student in business intelligence studying online

When you study for a master’s degree in business intelligence, your classes will prepare you to work with data. Much of your time will be spent learning how to acquire, categorize and apply data. You might also learn about business principles and computer science.

Sample courses include:

  • Data Science and Analytics: In this class, you’ll learn how to think through challenges related to data applications. You’ll discuss topics like visualization and statistics.
  • Data Visualization: This class will cover how you can use tools to transform data into useful models that others can understand.
  • Decisions with Data: All businesses must make decisions on a regular basis. In this class, you’ll explore how to integrate data with financial and economic principles in order to arrive at sound conclusions about the next steps to take.
  • Introduction to Business Analytics and Intelligence: Why is business intelligence important? This foundational class will seek to answer that question and provide an overview of business principles that relate to this field.
  • Introduction to Data Mining: To get started with your master’s studies, you’ll need a foundational class in which you learn to uncover patterns in data.
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Decisions: This class will cover various decision-making approaches, including forecasting future trends and analyzing statistics.
  • Risk Analysis: You’ll learn how to use statistical data to make informed predictions about costs and benefits.

For your master’s program, you may be able to select an area of concentration, such as Cyber Analytics, Data Science or Data Analytics. If so, you’ll take a mix of core courses and classes that focus on your particular area of specialization. You may also have the option to enroll in electives to help tailor your program of study.

Careers and Salary

team of data analysts meeting

Business intelligence is a quickly growing field, so job opportunities abound for people with the right training. You could use your degree to find a position in the business world; many graduates land finance jobs.

Other industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, and education, will also be able to make use of the knowledge that you’ll gain from your business intelligence master’s program.

Potential job titles may include:

  • Business intelligence analyst: You can provide leadership to companies by collecting data and looking for patterns or trends. This category of employees can also include business intelligence managers and directors who supervise team members.
  • Cybersecurity analyst: You can put your technology skills to work by helping companies protect their networks. Your work will help guard systems and the sensitive data that they contain.
  • Data engineer: As a data engineer, you’ll use your knowledge about software engineering to build data processing systems.
  • Database administrator: You could become a database administrator who is responsible for storing and organizing a company’s data.
  • Database architect: The architect is the person responsible for designing the systems that are used to store and organize data in useable fashions.
  • Information research scientist: You can improve the technology and systems used for data collection and analysis as a research scientist.
  • Information systems manager: This management role will give you the responsibility of overseeing the computer networks or database systems in an organization.
  • Financial analyst: In this career, you’ll use your advanced data skills to help make financial decisions. You may evaluate trends and goals to help businesses or individuals make smart investment choices.
  • Management analyst: An operations or management analyst, you can rely on data and intelligence to determine whether businesses are running efficiently. Your guidance can help improve spending and productivity.

Salaries

On average, here’s what you can expect to earn annually in these positions:

  • Business intelligence analyst: $90,270
  • Cybersecurity analyst: $98,350
  • Data engineer: $104,807
  • Database administrator: $90,070
  • Database architect: $90,270
  • Information research scientist: $118,370
  • Information systems manager: $142,530
  • Financial analyst: $85,660
  • Management analyst: $83,610

Accreditation

college campus masters in business building

There are three types of accreditation to consider when searching for an online program for a master’s in business intelligence.

Regional accreditation is a must-have because it shows that a university meets basic standards for educational quality. Select organizations, such as the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), are approved by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) to grant regional accreditation.

National accreditation may not be as critical. Even still, when attending online classes, it can be smart to look for a school that’s approved by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).

Programmatic or industry-specific accreditation evaluates whether a school’s particular program meets the highest standards of that field.

Although this isn’t essential, you may want to look for a college whose business analytics program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Financial Aid

business intelligence applicant applying for financial aid

You don’t have to attend a campus-based college to qualify for financial aid. Online business intelligence students can receive many of the same types of aid as traditional students.

The most common source of funding help is the federal government. You may be able to take out low-interest loans or receive grants that you don’t have to pay back. The work-study program can pair you up with a job site where you can earn money for school.

To learn more about your eligibility, start by filling out the FAFSA. This form may help you qualify for state financial aid as well.

To further reduce the cost of your online tuition, look into payment plans or scholarships from your school. You may also be able to secure scholarships or fellowships from private sources. Merit-based scholarships go to people because of their accomplishments, and need-based scholarships are given to those with financial burdens.

Professional Organizations

business intelligence professional organizations meeting

Joining a professional organization is an excellent way to build connections with others in the field. The more networking that you do during school, the more resources you’ll have at your disposal after graduation.

Belonging to professional associations may also grant you access to industry news, trade publications, continuing education opportunities, job listings, product discounts, message boards, and other benefits. Many organizations offer special rates for students.

Organizations to consider include:

  • Association for Information Science and Technology
  • CompTIA Association of Information Technology Professionals
  • Computing Research Association
  • Data Management Association International
  • IEEE Computer Society
  • Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • International Association for Social Science Information Services and Technology
  • Research Data Alliance
  • Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals

Business intelligence professionals have a wide range of industry organizations available to them. You could join the one that best fits your interests or choose several for a well-rounded perspective on the field.

frequently asking questions for masters in business intelligence

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Masters in Business Analytics?

On average, students finish business intelligence master’s programs in about two years. Accelerated formats with fast-track classes and low credit-hour requirements can speed up the pace. Some online programs offer start dates throughout the year so you can begin your program right away and earn your masters fast.

What Is the Difference Between Business Intelligence vs Business Analytics?

There is a good deal of overlap between business intelligence and business analytics, and experts don’t always agree on the distinctions.

In general, business intelligence deals with using data to evaluate past business decisions and learn from them. The focus may be on presenting data in ways that make sense to others in the organization.

A Master’s in Business Analytics uses data to spot trends and make future predictions. This often involves a good deal of modeling to transform raw data into meaningful insights.

Because the lines between these two business degree disciplines are rather blurred, many schools offer degree programs that combine both intelligence and analytics.

What Does a Business Intelligence Architect Do?

Business intelligence architecture is a subset of business intelligence analytics. Architects design the structures that are used for data collection and storage in an organization. This may include databases and data warehouses. Software engineering skills can help a business intelligence architect create structures that operate efficiently and link with past systems.

What Can You Do with a Master in Business Analytics?

The skills taught in master’s in business analytics programs are in demand. When you hold this degree, there’s a good chance that you’ll work as an analyst; common job titles are financial analyst, management analyst and business intelligence analyst. You could also be an information research scientist or a database architect.

Why Would You Choose a Degree in Business Analytics?

If you have an aptitude for both business and technology, a business analytics career can be an ideal way to merge those two areas of interest. Job availability is high in this sector because companies are looking for experts to oversee their processes for collecting and applying data.

List of Universities Offering Masters in Business Intelligence Degree Online

Rankings Methodology

These colleges and universities maintain proper accreditation and provide online Master in Business Intelligence degrees.

#1 Arizona State University

ASU has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1931.

  • Master’s In Business Analytics
#2 Bellevue University

Bellevue is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  • Master’s in Business Analytics
#3 Boston University

BU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (formerly the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.[NEASC]).

  • Master’s in Applied Business Analytics
#4 DeVry University

DeVry is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  • MBA – Business Intelligence and Analytics Management
#5 Drexel University

Drexel is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

  • Master’s in Business Analytics
#6 Franklin University

Franklin is fully-accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  • Master’s in Business Analytics
#7 Georgetown University

Georgetown is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  • Master’s in Applied Intelligence
#8 Golden Gate University

GGU has been accredited on an institution-wide basis by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) since 1959.

  • Master’s in Business Analytics
#9 Grand Canyon University

GCU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  • Master’s in Business Analytics
#10 Indiana University

IU is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

  • Master’s in Business Analytics
#11 National University

NU has been accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

  • Master’s in Business Analytics
#12 Ohio University

Ohio University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional accreditors in the United States.

  • Master’s in Business Analytics
#13 Penn State World Campus

Penn State Online is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

  • Master’s in Data Analytics – Business Analytics
#14 Regent University

Regent is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  • Master’s in Business Analytics
#15 Seattle University

SeattleU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

  • Master’s in Business Analytics
#16 Southern New Hampshire University

SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

  • MBA – Business Intelligence
#17 Syracuse University

SU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and many of its schools/colleges and programs are accredited by professional organizations.

  • Master’s in Business Analytics
#18 University of Colorado – Boulder

CU-Boulder is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  • Master’s in Business Analytics
#19 University of Colorado – Denver

CU-Denver is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  • Master’s in Information Systems – Business Intelligence Systems
#20 University of Maryland

UMD is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), under the authority of the U.S. Department of Education.

  • Master’s in Business Analytics
#21 University of Massachusetts – Amherst

UMass-Amherst is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

  • MBA – Business Analytics
#22 University of West Florida

UWF is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  • MBA – Business Analytics
#23 University of Wisconsin – Whitewater

UWW is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  • MBA – Data Analytics
#24 Villanova University

Villanova is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  • Master’s in Analytics
#25 Wake Forest University

WFU is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

  • Master’s in Business Analytics

Conclusion

data analyst sitting in office at laptop

Industry leaders predict that, by 2020, there will be over 2,700,000 available job listings for data experts. You can develop the skills that companies are looking for when you enroll in a graduate program for business intelligence. Once you graduate, organizations will turn to you to lead their data and analytics departments, and they’ll pay well for your expertise.

An online degree program provides a flexible way to further your education without putting the rest of your life on hold. The sooner you submit college applications, the sooner you can be on your way to a successful career in business intelligence and analytics.

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Hannah Davis
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Isaac Collins
Isaac Collins
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