Exploring the Best Online MBA in Business Analytics Programs

Earning an online MBA in business analytics empowers you to make data-driven decisions that can have a huge impact on an organization’s future success. Learn more and compare the top programs in this guide.

The success of a business is becoming more and more dependent on data. This can involve anything from identifying untapped customers to understanding which part of the business can benefit from more funding. Someone with a strong grasp of data analytics can have a major impact on a company’s bottom line, and earning an MBA in business analytics is one of the best ways to learn these in-demand skills.

If you’re considering earning your business analytics MBA online, you probably have various questions, such as which programs are the best, how much it will cost, what it takes to apply, and what you can expect after graduating. This guide will answer these questions and help you get started on your journey toward an online MBA in business analytics.

College Spotlights: Best Online MBA Business Analytics Programs in 2021

For students looking to earn an online business analytics MBA , you are in luck as there are many degree options available. Some programs stand out more than others in terms of flexibility and curriculum quality; however, we’ve identified three quality programs to highlight below. These programs offer a snapshot of our full ranking lust of online MBA business analytics programs, which will be released soon.

Ohio University

Ohio University offers the AACSB-accredited Online MBA with a Concentration in Business Analytics program for business students looking to analyze data to improve business decisions. The Ohio University curriculum consists of 35 credits, most of which cover the conventional MBA-oriented business topics, like management and business strategy. The business analytics coursework will include classes such as Prescriptive Analytics, Business Intelligence, and Predictive Analysis. These classes address topics such as data mining and simulation modeling. The overall programs can be finished in just two years.

The vast majority of the academic requirements can be completed online. However, students must also finish an on-campus residency for a Leadership Development Program (LDP). The LDP is offered several times each year, although students only need to attend one session, which lasts two days. During this time, they will listen to guest speakers talk about business leadership and network with classmates and faculty while learning how their classes apply in the real world.

Clemson University

Business professionals working at data-driven organizations will appreciate the ability to earn their online MBA in Business Analytics at Clemson University. One of the special features of this AACBS-accredited program is its hybrid learning structure. Most coursework can be completed online, but for two weekends each semester, students will visit Clemson University’s Greenville facility to take advantage of in-person learning and networking opportunities with classmates and faculty members.

Students can graduate in two years while taking courses such as Managerial Accounting, Information Systems, and Data Management and Warehousing. Many of these courses will expose students to business and analytical software like SAS, Python, and SPSS. Students may transfer up to 12 credits from an AACSB accredited graduate program to save on learning costs.

One of the standout features of Clemson University’s online MBA in Business Analytics program is that its online classes are offered in both a synchronous or asynchronous format. This allows students to attend live classes and ask questions and contribute in real-time. Alternatively, they can opt to attend class by watching a recorded lecture.

University of South Dakota

At the University of South Dakota, students can select from a wide array of Master of Business Administration academic tracks, including the Business Analytics Specialization. This specialization requires students to complete between 39 and 57 credits. After only completing 39 credits, students can graduate if they already finished prerequisite coursework in topics like economics, accounting, calculus, and finance.

No thesis is necessary to graduate from this AACSB-accredited program. However, students will complete classes such as:

  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Managerial Marketing
  • Data Mining for Managers
  • Operational Analytics,
  • Leadership Development

To apply, applicants must take the GMAT. The GMAT requirement may be waived if one of the following conditions applies:

  • Graduated from an AACSB accredited business school within the previous 12 semesters
  • Have taken the LSAST, GRE, or MCAT
  • Possess a STEM graduate or undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA
  • Possess a doctoral or law degree or are pursuing such degrees while attending the University of South Dakota
  • Possess certain professional licenses or qualifications, such as the Certified Public Accountant or Chartered Financial Analyst designations.

What to Expect from an Online MBA in Business Analytics Program

The majority of online MBA business analytics degree programs will have curricula divided into two parts. In the first part, students take core classes that teach advanced business and managerial principles and theories. In some programs, this will include a capstone course where students can demonstrate what they’ve learned so far during their MBA studies.

In the second part, students take courses relating to the business analytics major. Consisting of three to four classes, topics addressed include analytics tools and techniques, such as special analytics software and taking the results produced by that software to assist in the decision-making process. In some programs that allow incoming students without business backgrounds, the curriculum may include a third type of classes consisting of introductory business classes, like economics, accounting, and finance.

There are two main learning formats for online MBA in business analytics students. The most common is a 100% online experience. Students may attend classes live synchronously and have real-time discussions during class. Or they may watch a recorded class lecture and attend class asynchronously. Class projects and assignments will also be completed through distance learning methods involving some degree of self-paced learning.

Less common is a hybrid learning format where most classes are completed fully online, but students will have to make one or more on-campus visits to engage in face-to-face learning with their classmates. This will usually include workshops, group learning activities, and guest speakers. There will be ample opportunities to create professional connections.

Common Courses

  • Marketing Management and Strategies

    This core class teaches students about higher-level marketing tools and strategies. Class materials will include reviewing real-life case scenarios on how businesses tackled marketing challenges, including solutions involving best practices and management plans to more effectively lead key business personnel.

  • Business Legal Environment

    This class covers the various laws and regulations concerning businesses and their operations in the United States. Students will understand foundational legal concepts as they relate to the civil and criminal legal systems. These will include tort liability, contract enforcement, corporate structure, and agency law.

  • Data Management

    This is where students being to learn the ins and out of data analytics. Course instruction will address the acquisition and storage of data in relational databases and how to manage the data and process it in ways that can lead to drawing usable conclusions and inferences.

  • Information Systems

    The class will explore what information systems are, how they work, their key components, and the considerations an organization should consider when implementing a new or upgraded information system. Students will learn how businesses employ information systems to improve internal efficiency and the delivery of their final product or service to consumers.

  • Business Analytics for Informed and Effective Decision Making

    This is one of the key classes a business analytics student will take while earning their MBA; it teaches about the various tools needed to analyze data and then apply them to the business realm. These tools include data mining, statistical analysis, quantitative analysis, and predictive modeling. Descriptive analytics will also be discussed, useful when analyzing historical data or present market conditions.

What You Can Do with an MBA in Business Analytics

The online MBA in business analytics prepares graduates to apply high-level analytical and quantitative skills to making business decisions. These skills are helpful in many settings, from marketing to finance to supply chain management to sales. These skills are in high demand as they are essential for improving operational efficiency and maximizing shareholder value. Below are five occupations that can make good use of online MBA business analytics coursework.

Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts examine markets to determine the viability and profit expectations of selling a company’s products or services. To accomplish this, they must analyze market data, which can come from any number of sources, including surveys, sales, and data mining. An online MBA business analytics degree can help market research analysts gather, process, and interpret this highly technical and complex data while also gaining additional marketing and other business concepts.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$34,350 $63,790 $122,630

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021

Insurance Underwriter

Insurance underwriters help insurance companies decide whether to take on a particular insurable risk and, if so, what the terms should be, including what premiums to charge and what coverage limits to provide. This involves the analysis of actuarial and other statistical information to quantify risk. An online MBA business analytics degree can help take the next step into insurance management by bridging the business and analytical worlds while also providing management and leadership skills.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$42,360 $70,020 $124,320

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Personal Financial Advisor

A personal financial advisor is a professional who provides advice on what kind of financial products and services to purchase. Much of this assistance focuses on investments, managing money, and long-term goals, like retirement. Data analytics concepts learned from an online MBA business analytics degree can help personal financial advisors understand the financial products they are recommending and explain how they work.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$42,950 $87,850 $208,000+

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Management Analyst

The role of a management analyst is to find ways to improve the performance of an organization. Often working in the private sector, management analysts will help managers and executives identify areas for improvement and suggest recommendations for those improvements. The online MBA business analytics degree can be useful for management analysts who work with large amounts of numerical information, such as financial, sales, marketing, or accounting data sets.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$49,700 $85,260 $154,310

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Operations Research Analyst

Operations research analysts work with almost any kind of organization to improve their operations. Most use statistical software and databases to analyze client data and assist in identifying a process to improve. They may use fast computers to run simulations that help businesses predict future events and better anticipate adjusting current production. These are all skills and concepts that students can learn in an online MBA degree in a business analytics program.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$48,670 $84,810 $140,790

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Costs and Financial Aid for Online MBA Degrees in Business Analytics

If you’re like most students, you may not have the financial resources to pay for your degree with cash and need alternative funding sources. These funds can come from traditional sources, like grants, fellowships, scholarships, and student loans.

One of the less common forms is employer tuition reimbursement. This employment benefit is more popular among employers in the business, marketing, finance, and accounting industries to attract and keep the best talent. Just remember that if you take advantage of employer tuition assistance, you’ll likely have a contractual obligation to continue working for your current employer for a certain number of years after graduating.

To learn more about paying for your MBA education, see our financial aid page.

How Much Your Online MBA in Business Analytics Might Cost

School Name No. of Credits Cost/Credit Est. Total Tuition Cost

Southern Oregon University

45

$430

$19,350

La Salle University

33

$757

$24,981

Montclair State University

39

$867

$33,800

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Business Analytics MBA Degrees

What are the typical admissions requirements for an online MBA in business analytics?

The requirements for admission into an MBA online business analytics program will be largely uniform in major requirements. These requirements typically include the following:

  • Official transcripts, including those that show completion of a bachelor’s degree
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Completion of prerequisite coursework in introductory business courses
  • Completed application
  • Application fee
  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation

Depending on the program, there could be a preference for an undergraduate degree in a business or related field. There could also be minimum GPA requirements concerning that degree. Schools will vary in whether they require GMAT or GRE entrance exam scores.

Are there quality online business analytics MBA programs that don’t require the GMAT?

There are many online MBA business analytics programs that don’t require the GMAT. Some will waive the GMAT requirement, but only if the applicant meets certain standards, such as having at least a 3.0 GPA in an undergraduate degree or holding a master’s degree. This is what the University of North Carolina at Pembroke does. Others will not require the GMAT at all, regardless of the applicant’s other admissions credentials. This is the admissions policy at Ohio University.

How long will it take to finish my MBA in business analytics online?

The time it takes to complete an online MBA business analytics will depend on your business background or data analytics and the pace at which you take courses.

Those with extensive academic training, especially with a prior business, marketing, finance, or related degree, can graduate after completing roughly 30 credits. If attending class full-time, they can earn their degree in about a year. In the University of Southern Indiana, they can graduate in as little as 11 months. However, those with no academic training in business may need to complete 50 or more credits to graduate.

Most MBA students will need to take anywhere from 30 to 39 credits and will choose to work full-time. Therefore, they will complete classes on a part-time schedule and expect to graduate in two to three years.

Can I earn my MBA in business analytics 100% online, or do I need to go to campus?

It depends on the program. Though most MBA programs can be 100% online, some online MBA business analytics programs will require students to make one or more on-campus visits. Students will engage in workshops or seminars during these residencies and can interact with their classmates, professors, and guest speakers.

What’s the difference between an MBA in business analytics and a master’s in business analytics?

The online MBA in business analytics is intended for students with business backgrounds who want to learn more about data analytics. In contrast, the online Master of Science in business analytics is for students who have a more technical background but want to apply data analytic concepts to the business context.

The master of science in business analytics degree’s curriculum places greater focus on data and business analytics. On the other hand, an MBA curriculum will offer more business-related coursework, such as business strategy, finance, and marketing topics.