Business analytics is the study of the skills, tools, and practices involved in the improvement of business performance. There are multiple graduate-level programs that you can find in this field, including Master of Science and Master of Business Analytics programs, as well as Ph.D. options.
Graduate Programs in Business Analytics
In some cases, it can be difficult to find a graduate program in a field you're interested in, but business analytics is not one of these fields. This program is widely available, and master's degrees generally take from 1.5 to 2 years, though some shorter 10-month programs are also available. Ph.D. programs may be found directly in business analytics or as a concentration area in a broader business or management science program, and they generally require 4 to 5 years of study. Ph.D. students must also research, write and defend a dissertation. While the title of the courses you might take will often be different, you will find that the same material is often covered from one school to another.
Analytics courses introduce students to different analytics methods. Part of your work in analytics will including learning about techniques such as linear regression, logistic regression, and data visualization. Students with even a basic understanding of math can learn to grasp some of the more advanced analytics coursework. This course also examines how analytics are applied in various business fields. Students also get a chance to learn about how major corporations integrate analytics into their programs.
Data management is the study of how modern data management is implemented. In practice, organizations use a variety of data management techniques and a number of storage solutions to securely store data. This program helps students understand both the mediums for storage and the process of storing that data. This course typically asks students to have an understanding of engineering principles and programming skills as a prerequisite for attendance.
Capstone projects are the culminating projects in some programs, typically at the master's-level. Students work with over the course of several months to complete the projects, which are expected to be applications of all they have learned toward the solution of a real-world analytics issue. Students are sometimes given the chance to partner with large organizations that are well-established in their industry during the course of the capstone project.
Multivariate Analysis and Techniques
Courses in this area are common at the Ph.D. level, and they enhance students' understanding of business analytics research methods. Students will explore multivariate methods, especially modern methods, and gain practice experience in using them for statistical analysis. Some of the topics covered may include factor analysis, cluster analysis, canonical correlation, discriminant analysis and multivariate regression models.
Supply Chain Management
Both master's-level and Ph.D. programs frequently include at least one course related to supply chains, whether it's in supply chain management, analysis, planning or another aspect of this topic. Sourcing, forecasting and inventory control systems for supply chains may be covered, as well as methods for improving the supply chain process. Concepts such as lean thinking may be introduced as well. Some courses will use simulations to help students develop their critical thinking skills related to supply chain management.
Students applying to a program in business analytics can expect to have to complete the following as part of the admissions process. Schools will typically ask for scores in either the GRE or GMAT to be submitted. Although schools don't typically publish their minimum standards for scores, they will sometimes publish the average scores of applicants applying to their programs for candidates to check. It's also common for schools to ask a student to submit up to three letters of recommendation as a part of the process. In almost all cases, academic records are also requested. In some cases, you may need to complete additional essays for the program. Finally, because of the nature of the business analytics program, it is sometimes recommended that students have previous work experience.
Business analytics is a popular program that trains students to harness Big Data via coursework in analysis, data management, supply chains and more. At the graduate level, you can pursue either a master's degree or Ph.D. in business analytics at many U.S. schools.