Masters in Business Analytics

What is Business Analytics?

Business Analytics is used to measure the performance of a business organization. It is focused on finding the areas that need improvement and optimizing the business processes for better results. It involves the use of technologies, methods and skills for continuous investigation to gain crucial insights into the performance history of a business that can help in future planning. The use of Data and Statistical Methods are at the heart of business analytics. Quantitative methods are used for business modeling and taking wiser decisions to drive the business towards greater efficiency and productivity. Use of Big Data for business analytics is the norm these days.

What is the main difference between masters in business analytics vs data science?

Business Analytics and Data Science have often been confused with each other. However, there are important differences between the two. Business Analytics (BA) is limited to the problems directly related to the business such as cost, productivity, profit, etc. whereas Data Science covers a wider set of concerns related to a business’s operation like customer behavior, climatic factors, regional factors, etc. Data Science is more concerned with a wider set of data than business analytics is. It is also more technology oriented as opposed to Business Analytics which is more business oriented. These conceptual and definitional differences dictate the scope of master’s degrees in each discipline even though some aspects of them might overlap.
Master’s in business analytics concentrates on fields like finance, marketing and retail, whereas data science master’s trains the students to serve businesses, academics, technology and IT. Programming and computer science are the major components of data science master’s, while statistical methods are the core of business analytics master’s even though it also involves computer programming.
Business Analysts are trained to look into the issues that are beyond the purview of data scientists. They learn to deal with situations where data is inappropriate or difficult to access. If the findings from data science team cannot be used for improving business operations, business analysts are taught to bridge that gap. They are also taught to deal with situations where problem-solving tools are missing. On the other hand, a business analyst does not concern himself/herself with unstructured data as the data scientist does.

What are the main tasks of Business Analytics?

Business Analytics experts may have to carry out descriptive analyses based on key performance indicators, predictive analyses based on data trends, or prescriptive analyses based on the past performance and solutions applicable. Various business analytics tools are used to perform quantitative analysis, data mining, multivariate testing and predictive modeling. These tools include data visualization tools, business intelligence software, self-service analytics tools, big data platforms and statistical analysis tools.
Finding new patterns in data so that new questions can be asked, explaining results continuously and forecasting future results are also some of the major responsibilities related to a business analytics position.

What are the courses one can expect to study in a master’s in Business Analytics program?

Business Analytics is a relatively condensed field unlike data science programs or engineering master’s programs, which bring a greater variety of elective options. Nevertheless, the best courses for masters in business analytics should definitely carry subjects around the following themes and topics: Data-driven Decision Making; Applied Statistical Methods; Statistical Computing and Data Visualization; Handling Databases for Business Analytics; Programming for Business Analytics
Additionally, one may also check if the list of electives is handsome, one may choose to pick courses that allow an (unofficial) specialization in marketing analytics, security analytics, decision science, or HR analytics.

What are the main requirements for getting into a master’s program in Business Analytics?

Students who are willing to take admission into a master’s program in Business Analytics should be aware of the following usual admission requirements. They should nevertheless not avoid checking the exact requirements from the official websites of the universities they are applying to.

Bachelor’s Degree Requirements: Students that have an academic background in science, engineering, computer science, mathematics, economics, or business are preferred for admission to a Business Analytics master’s program. Some abroad universities ask for 16 years of formal education. Hence, this condition should be kept in mind.

Admission Test and Interview: Some universities might also take a university based admission test and/or an interview.

Work Experience: Although it is not a necessary admission requirement, but some universities may only consider admitting candidates who have a minimum of two to five years of professional experience.

Other Requirements:
TOEFL and IELTS: English is the international language of business. Besides, about 80% of the top 20 departments in the world that offer business analytics master’s programs are situated in the English speaking world. The remaining ones too receive a number of international students each year for their programs and offer instruction in English. These make above-average scores in language eligibility tests a necessity for admission.
GRE and GMAT: Students from science and engineering background might have to submit their GRE scores, while students who have studied business at bachelor’s level might require to submit their GMAT scores. 
Undergraduate GPA: Mostly a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4 is required. If the GPA is not on a scale of 4, students would have to contact the international students’ office of the university.
Letters of Recommendation and Statement of Purpose: Three letters of recommendation with a statement of purpose could be required for admission.

Marketing analytics, HR analytics, decision science for businesses, operations analytics and security analytics are some of the main specialization tracks available under a Master of Science in Business Analytics program. Two of them are in demand these days.

Marketing Analytics

Marketing Analytics deals with the measurement, management and analysis of market performance. It is inclined towards maximizing effectiveness by optimization so that the returns on investment (ROI) can be bettered. It is aimed at finding insights into the preferences of customers and relevant market trends. 

 Master’s specialization in marketing analysis is increasingly becoming data-driven. Advanced data analysis techniques are used to assess marketing strategies, advertising campaigns and efforts that go into brand building.

Students opting this specialization can expect to study courses around the topics such as marketing management, SQL for analytics, data management, customer data analysis, relationship marketing, statistical modeling for business, consumer and buyer behaviour analysis, marketing of new products, e-marketing, marketing of services, programming for marketing analytics, marketing models, pricing policies and social media analytics, etc.

Graduates of this master’s specialization track find employment with marketing teams in various industries, consulting firms and market research organizations. They may work as marketing operations analyst, marketing insights analyst, marketing demand generation analyst, digital marketing analyst, market research analyst, consumer behaviour analyst, etc.

Operations Analytics

The specialization involves data mining and data collection that can be used for gaining insight into the obstacles that hinder the growth of a business. One of the chief aims of operations analytics is to obtain a transparent picture of the business processes and customer responses.
Students opting this specialization will be offered courses around themes like operations design, risk management, decision analysis, supply chain  analysis and design, modeling and optimization of business processes, global operations strategies, role of information systems in operations, process designing and six-sigma processes. They may also get an opportunity to study particular business operations in greater depth like health systems and energy systems. Some of the in-vogue courses from allied disciplines include business intelligence, user experience analytics, information technology security and management and management of technological innovation.

Operations Analytics master’s students find jobs as operations analysts, data operations analysts, business management analysts, operations support analysts, performance analysts and finance and investment operations analysts.

Global Rank

College Name Popularity Rank Global Rank Total Tuition Fees Deadline Annual RA+TA Unsecured Loan Offer Secured Loan Offer
The University of Texas at Dallas 2 421-430 53704 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
The University of Texas at Austin 6 67 37884 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
NYU Tandon School of Engineering 7 NA 53850 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
University of Illinois at Chicago 8 207 56336 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
Purdue University 9 105 58264 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
Syracuse University 13 501-550 48600 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
Rochester Institute of Technology 15 NA 91040 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
New Jersey Institute of Technology 16 801-1000 59920 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
University of Colorado Boulder 17 182 66276 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
Iowa State University 19 471-480 51428 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
University of Washington 25 61 63360 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 33 364 105100 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
Massachusetts Institute of Technology NA 1 103040 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
University of Southern California NA 132 61805 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
University of California, San Diego NA 38 53088 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
University of Maryland, College Park NA 129 46440 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
University of Minnesota -Twin Cities NA 163 42000 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
University of California, Davis NA 118 57346 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
Boston University NA 81 105632 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
University of California, Irvine NA 164 22884 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
University of Rochester NA 186 49620 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
University of Notre Dame NA 216 105492 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
University of Cincinnati NA 501-550 49064 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
University of North Carolina at Charlotte NA NA 49064 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
Columbia University NA 18 96864 Log in Log in Log in 1.5 Cr, Interest Rate starts @8.85%
Source: GyanDhan's analysis, partner data & university's website. While deadlines are latest, other figures are as of 2018. Double-check deadlines from the university's website

The most popular job profiles for master’s in business analytics are:

Business Analyst

Business Analysts are involved in implementing and assisting business information systems of various departments of an organization. They work towards developing strategies and initiatives that help an organization to optimize costs and maximize outputs of its various processes. Some of the key responsibilities of business analysts are diagnosis of problems and suggesting solutions for the workings of a business, budgeting, financial modeling, variance analysis, pricing and forecasting. They may work in specialist roles such as computer systems analyst, information security analyst, and management analyst, etc. with firms of all sizes in almost every sector of the economy.

Data Analyst

Data Analysts are concerned with the interpretation of data directed towards improving businesses. Some of the key responsibilities of data analysts are collection and interpretation of data, analyzing results based on the demands of business optimization, reporting results to the concerned personnel in various departments of an organization, finding patterns and trends in various data sets and reporting their relevance, designing statistical techniques, optimizing statistical analysis, defining new data, etc. This job profile is seeing a sharp rise, since there is a data deluge and working with increasing volumes of data is becoming a challenge for all types of companies.

Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts study the prevailing and potential markets of products and services. They help organizations to understand where, what, who and how will people buy their products and services. They look into consumer behaviour and buying habits, research the competitors and single out the factors that impact the market for further analysis. Their job involves monitoring and forecasting market trends, measuring the effects of various marketing strategies, advertising campaigns, devising and evaluating data collection methods such as interviews, polls, surveys, questionnaires, etc. using data analysis software, analyzing complex data and producing graphs and reports that can be understood by a wider set of people in the organization.  

Quantitative Analyst

Quantitative analysts (or quants) work as specialists in mathematics and statistics for dealing with problems in the financial sector. This job profile has its history rooted in stock selling. These days, quantitative analysts are required for risk management, derivatives pricing, statistical arbitrage, quantitative investment management, and algorithmic trading. The main responsibilities of a “quant” include modifying quantitative analytic models; identifying, tracking and maintaining metrics for trading systems; providing support regarding valuation; testing and working on financial quantitative analytics software, using signal processing, game theory, econometrics and time series analysis to optimize response speed in trading; carrying out financial stress tests and value-at-risk tests and developing quantitative models.

Global Rank Employability Range Salary Range
1-10 Log in Log in
11-25 Log in Log in
26-50 Log in Log in
50-100 Log in Log in
101-200 Log in Log in
201-500 Log in Log in
500+ Log in Log in
Source: GyanDhan's proprietary analysis
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