Data Analytics is a broad category of data collection and analysis in any subject, whereas Business Intelligence is more concerned with specific data sets relevant to the business model that’s employing it. Data Analytics is also known as Business Intelligence whenever it is used in business contexts.
We live in the age of big data. A degree in Data Analytics opens up a broad range of cutting-edge career opportunities.
People such as computer programmers, software developers, statisticians, or the new and emerging field of Data Scientists, all use the concepts taught in a Big Data or Data Analytics program.
Tech companies such as Google and Amazon rely heavily on the field of Data Analytics.
10 Best Online Data Analytics Programs: School List
1. Penn State World Campus (University Park, PA)
Penn State offers an online Master of Professional Studies in Data Analytics degree with the option to specialize in Business Analytics. With or without the specialization, students will need to complete a total of 30 course credits including:
- nine credits of core courses
- nine credits of of prescribed courses
- nine credits of electives
- three credit capstone experience
Class material will cover an in depth study of concepts such as:
- data mining
- data modeling
- data architecture
- extraction, transformation, loading (ETL) development
- business intelligence (BI) development
Other related programs offered at Penn State include two graduate certificates in Business Analytics or Marketing Analytics.
2. Boston University (Boston, MA)
At Boston University the Master of Science in Computer Information Systems with concentration in Data Analytics and the Graduate Certificate in Data Analytics degree programs are both offered on campus or online. Students can expect a comprehensive curriculum taught by knowledgeable and field experienced professors from either program and will graduate with a confidence in the knowledge they have received.
The Master’s track necessitates a total of 10 courses, or 40 credits, for graduation, and students are given 18 to 24 months to complete all requirements. Conversely, the Graduate Certificate entails four courses, or 16 credits, and students are given eight to 12 months to complete all expectations.
With a completely customizable and flexible online Master of Science in Data Science, Syracuse University caters to the working professional who wishes to advance his or her career. Provided through the Martin J. Whitman School of Management, students may qualify for GMAT waivers for the degree. Students have 18 months to complete the degree once accepted to the program. The curriculum covers a broad range of topics including the following core classes:
- Data Analysis and Decision Making
- Business Analytics
- Accounting Analytics
- Financial Services Analytics
- Marketing Analytics
- Principles of Management Science
More Information From Syracuse University:
SMU offers the Online Master of Science in Data Science degree, which has two specialization options: Machine Learning and Business Analytics.
The Machine Learning specialization teaches students how to create self-optimized systems that can solve problems and fix processes for businesses. The process of creating self-optimized systems involves inputting advanced algorithms, so that the machine can think and handle the data appropriately. The Machine Learning specialization involves eight core courses, two electives, and a capstone course. Courses include:
- Data Mining
- Visualization of Information
- Machine Learning
- Natural Language Processes
The Business Intelligence specialization involves analyzing data and communicating the results for business purposes (such as optimizing profit, improving processes, informed decision making, etc.). Courses include:
- Statistical Foundations for Data Science
- Quantifying the World
- Applied Statistics: Inference and Modeling
- Business Intelligence
GRE waivers are available to qualifying students.
More Information From SMU:
5. Georgia Tech (Atlanta, GA)
The Master of Science in Analytics offered at Georgia Tech can be completed in one to two years with a total of 36 credit hours required. The credit hours consist of 15 credits of core courses, 15 credits of electives, and six credit hours dedicated to an applied analytics practicum. The practicum allows students to apply the theory of the classroom to real world scenarios and in the process gain valuable hands-on experience. Students will cover in detail the topics of:
- Visual Analytics
- Operations Research Essentials
Online students will have access to the same faculty and academic support as students on campus.
The 36 credit hour Master of Science in Analytics is offered through the Villanova School of Business. The curriculum consists of 11 foundation and core courses and a final capstone course. Core courses include:
- Enterprise Data Management
- Business Intelligence
- Analytical Methods for Data Mining
- Analytical Methods for Text and Web Mining
- Analytical Methods for Optimization and Simulation I and II
- Advanced Business Applications
- Final Capstone/Analytics Practicum
Student can complete this degree in as little as 24 months. The quality and comprehensiveness of the programs in the Villanova School of Business have earned the rank of #4 by the U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Online Graduate Business Programs ranking.
More Information From Villanova:
At Regent University, the curriculum in all classes is presented from an ethical Christian worldview. As such, the M.S. in Business Analytics program ’emphasizes ethical uses of data and specific strategies to protect the integrity of data and privacy of individuals and organizations’. This in-depth 30 credit program includes classes such as:
- Corporate Ethics and Data Privacy
- Enterprise Data Management
- Data Mining and Web Analytics
- Analytics Capstone Project
The similar MBA – Small Business Data Analytics program is also available online and requires 42 credit hours for completion. Students from each program have gone on to achieve successful careers as:
- Database Analyst
- SAS Programmer
- Security Analyst
- Fraud/Risk Manager
- Predictive Analytics Specialist
Before enrolling in the Online Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics at Southern New Hampshire, students may elect to take a free math assessment which may earn them up to six credits towards graduation.
Once accepted to the program students will find a comprehensive curriculum which ‘combines data mining and structure with modeling and communication to build a broad and thorough education’. SAS and SQL modeling techniques are offered as electives.
In total students will complete 120 credits for this degree. The bachelor’s program prepares students for entry level positions, but they may also continue for further education in programs, such as SNHU’s Online Master of Business Administration in Business Intelligence.
More Information From SNHU:
1. Online Bachelor’s in Data Analytics
2. Online Master’s in Data Analytics and Business Intelligence
Though typically a 12 month degree, for students with a minimum of five years of management and/or leadership experience the Online Business Intelligence Master of Science degree may be completed in as few as seven months. Throughout the curriculum students will find an emphasis on creating well-organized visual representations of the Big Data essential to any number of potential business clients. Possible courses include:
- Enterprise Data Management
- Patterns and Recognition
- Data Visualization and Creative Reporting
- Business Intelligence Case Studies
Students will finish the degree with a detailed capstone project applying the theories of the classroom to a practical hands-on scenario.
Capella University offers the Online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology: Data Analytics degree through the School of Business and Technology.
The school year is based on a 10-week quarter system. Students will typically take one to three courses per quarter. Sample courses include:
- Data Governance and Stewardship
- ETL and Data Transformation
- Data Distribution and Virtualization
- Data Interpretation and Statistical Analysis in Information Technology
Data Analytics Degree and Career Information:
Though a bachelor’s degree may suffice for entry level positions, the majority of employers will expect the minimum of a master’s degree in statistics or a similar quantitative field, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and those with a master’s degree earned $81,950.00 in 2016 on average. With new data emerging all the time in accordance with the advent of new technology, this is a rapidly expanding field holding untold potential.
Best Online Data Analytics Programs Ranking Guidelines:
Successful Student ranks schools and programs from the point of view of students, taking into consideration factors that would be most beneficial to students. In this regard, the ranking is a bottom-up approach, designed specifically for students. The ranking factors are: having an online program in data analytics, academic reputation, scope of coursework (is the program specific to data analytics or more oriented for a sub-field like business intelligence).
Students may also be interested in our 15 Best Online Entrepreneurship Colleges ranking article.