Business Intelligence & Analytics

What Are the Top Online Master’s in Business Intelligence Programs?

What Are the Top Online Master’s in Business Intelligence Programs?
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Tom Meltzer February 19, 2019

Only a small group of schools offer online master’s degrees in business intelligence.

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Knowledge is power, and data is knowledge, so it stands to reason that the more data you have, the more you know. The problem, of course, is that there’s just so darn much data. Domo predicts that by 2020 we will create 1.7MB of data every second for every person on earth. That’s a whole lot of “knowledge” out there waiting for someone to make sense of it.

Capturing, filtering, aggregating, and interpreting this mass of data is the work of data scientists. In the business world, this work falls to experts in business intelligence and business analytics, fields that, maddeningly, do not have universally agreed upon definitions. Business intelligence is generally thought to be more descriptive—its goal is to identify and organize all the relevant data necessary to formulate a range of solutions—while business analytics is typically described as more prescriptive—that is, focused on the use of data to anticipate and mitigate upcoming challenges. When business intelligence offers guidance, it usually involves near-term fixes to existing processes. Analytics, on the other hand, typically focuses on long-term strategies and solutions. That said, many writers and even some universities use the terms interchangeably.

Both fields involve the collection and interpretation of data, and consequently their skill sets partially overlap. Most schools do not offer a graduate degree specifically in business intelligence (some offer a certificate in lieu of a full-blown master’s). Instead, they offer more generalized degrees in data science, data analytics, or computer information systems. Some offer master’s degrees in business analytics; these programs may or may not cover business intelligence. You may want to consider whether earning a master’s in business in business intelligence is the best choice for you.

__(Check this out: Looking For an Online Master’s in Business Intelligence Program? Read This First.)__

For the purposes of this article, we will consider only schools that offer an online master’s in business intelligence or master’s degrees that allow a concentration in business intelligence. These programs are more likely to dig deeper into the database modeling, data warehousing, data mining, and the software and computing skills necessary for a career in business intelligence.

The Top Online Master’s in Business Intelligence Programs

As previously mentioned, only a small group of schools offer online master’s degrees in business intelligence. The best of these are listed below, in alphabetical order. You should consider what to look for in evaluating an online master’s in business intelligence as you review the programs.

Boston University

  • Degree: MS in Computer Information Systems with a concentration in Database Management & Business Intelligence
  • Tuition: $880 per credit
  • Graduation requirements: 30 credit hours/10 courses.
  • Core courses: Business Data Communications and Networks; Database Design and Implementation for Business; Information Systems Analysis and Design; IT Strategy and Management; either Information Structures with Java or Information Structures with Python
  • Concentration courses: Introduction to Probability and Statistics; Data Mining; Advanced Database Management; either Database Security or Designing and Implementing a Data Warehouse
  • Electives: Students take one elective. Choices include Foundations of Analytics with R; Agile Server-Side Web Development; IT Security Policies and Procedures; Web Analytics and Mining; Network Security; Digital Forensics and Investigations; Enterprise Architecture
  • Features: Small course sections ensure access to faculty and peers; hands-on experience with SQL using Oracle and similar tools; hands-on experience in design and implementation of databases; Blackboard platform with Zoom live classrooms.

DePaul University

  • Degree: Master of Science in Information Systems with a concentration in Business Intelligence
  • Tuition: $1,040 per credit hour
  • Graduation requirements: 52 credit hours/13 courses
  • Core courses: Systems Analysis; Database Design for Information Systems; System Design, Implementation, and Maintenance; Fundamentals of IT Project Management.
  • Advanced required courses: Business Intelligence; Data Analysis and Regression; Fundamentals of Data Science; Data Warehousing; Capstone (Information Systems Policies and Strategies)
  • Electives include: Big Data Using Hadoop Program; SQL Server Business Intelligence Program; Enterprise Cloud Computing; Intelligent Information Retrieval
  • Features: 100 percent online; classes taught by campus faculty; online sections tied to on-campus courses

Georgetown University

  • Degree: Master of Professional Studies in Applied Intelligence with a focus area in Business Intelligence
  • Tuition: $1,392 per credit hour
  • Graduation requirements: 33 credit hours/11 courses
  • Core courses: Ethics; Introduction to Applied Intelligence; Psychology of Applied Intelligence; Applied Intelligence Communications; Understanding Intelligence Collection; Capstone
  • Electives include: Ethics: Applied Intelligence; Introduction to Applied Intelligence; Understanding Intelligence Collection; Risk Management; Information Security
  • Features: Program also encompasses homeland security intelligence, cyber intelligence, and law enforcement intelligence, broadening options for student; greater focus on national and international security

Rockhurst University

  • Degree: Master of Science in Business Intelligence and Analytics
  • Tuition: $720 per credit hour
  • Graduation requirements: 30 credit hours/15 courses
  • Core courses: Business Intelligence; Applied Data Mining; Data Visualization; Predictive Models; Text Mining; Big Data and Prep; Web and Social Media Analytics; Dashboard Creation and Implementation; Strategy and Analytics; Managerial Communications; Financial Decision Making for Managers; Project Management; Marketing Strategy or Marketing Research and Analysis
  • Electives include: Choose two. Electives include: Spatial and GIS Analytics; Time Series and Sequential Analytics; Health Information Technology; Innovation
  • Features: Classroom video capture and live streaming technology; small online classes ensure peer-to-peer interaction; communication with online instructors via Google Hangouts and FaceTime

St. Joseph’s University

  • Degree: Master of Science in Business Intelligence and Analytics
  • Tuition: $1,043 per credit hour
  • Graduation requirements: 30 credit hours/10 courses
  • Curriculum: Ten of the following courses (all required, varying by specialization): Foundations for Business Intelligence and Analytics; Python Programming; Business Analytics for MSBIA; Concepts and Practices of DSS Modeling; Database Management Theory and Practice; Enterprise (Distributed) Data; Process Simulation and Analysis; Introduction to Data Mining; R Statistical Language; Critical Performance Management; Predictive Analytics; Special Topics Course; Six Sigma Applications and Foundations; Business Analytics: Supply Chain Management; Web Analytics
  • Specializations: Cyber Analytics, Data Analytics, General Business Intelligence, Programming Languages
  • Features: Program endorsed by the SAS Institute; no thesis requirement; telephone support for curriculum advisement

St. Mary’s University

  • Degree: Master of Science in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics
  • Tuition: $650 per credit hour
  • Graduation requirements: 36 credit hours/12 courses
  • Curriculum: Managerial Economics; Business Statistics; Data Analysis and Business Modeling; Decision Support Systems; Business Analytics; Data Visualization and Storytelling; Data Mining for Decision Making; Ethics in Data Analytics; Methods; Communications and Content Strategies; Programming for Data Science: R or Programming for Data Science: Python; Capstone Project
  • Features: 100 percent online; Engage learning management system; iPad-based interactive curriculum, with Voice Thread, Visual Poetry, Doodle Cast Pro, D-Go Pinterest integrated; real-time data sets; experiential learning; full-time only

Stevens Institute of Technology

  • Degree: Master of Science in Business Intelligence and Analytics
  • Tuition: $1,620 per credit hour
  • Graduation requirements: 36 credit hours/12 courses
  • Core courses: Financial Decision Making; Data Management; Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence; Process Optimization and Analytics; Multivariate Data Analytics; Experimental Design; Data Analytics and Machine Learning; Social Network Analysis; Big Data Technologies; Practicum in Analytics
  • Electives include: take two of the following: Risk Management and Simulation; Advanced Data Analytics and Machine Learning; Web Mining; Cognitive Computing; Data and Information Quality; Risk Management: Methods and Applications; Marketing Analytics; Supply Chain Analytics; Data Stream Analytics: Internet of Things
  • Specializations: Data science
  • Features: 100 percent online; capstone project using real data, with guidance provided by an industry mentor; programming language boot camps; Hanlon Financial Systems Center, featuring state-of-the-art data management software and Bloomberg terminals

University of Colorado-Denver

  • Degree: Master of Science in Information Systems with a concentration in Business Intelligence Systems
  • Tuition: $626 per credit hour for Colorado residents; $731 per credit hour for online-only out-of-state students
  • Graduation requirements: 30 credit hours
  • Core courses: Database Management Systems; Business Intelligence Systems and Analytics
  • Electives include: Information Systems Management and Strategy; Cloud Computing Concepts, Tools, and Applications; Information Systems Security and Privacy; Text Data Analytics and Predictive Modeling; Data Warehouse and Administration; Business Intelligence in Healthcare; Business Intelligence and Financial Modeling
  • Features: Fully online, hybrid online-evening, or evening class options available

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About the Author

Tom Meltzer began his career in education publishing at The Princeton Review, where he authored more than a dozen titles (including the company's annual best colleges guide and two AP test prep manuals) and produced the musical podcast The Princeton Review Vocab Minute. A graduate of Columbia University (English major), Tom lives in Chapel Hill, NC.

About the Editor

Tom Meltzer spent over 20 years writing and teaching for The Princeton Review, where he was lead author of the company's popular guide to colleges, before joining Noodle.

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