Big Data Analytics MBA Online

Big data is all around us now, but the number of people who can actually understand that is still relatively small. An Online MBA in Data Analytics positions someone to become successful in today’s business world. Unsurprisingly, they are also in high demand.

What We Do

Big data is one of the most innovative ideas around us today. It drives both competition and productivity. Graduates from an MBA in Data Analytics program understand both business and technology. This means that they have all the necessary skills needed to drive a business by understanding and explaining data. As such, they can get to work in areas, such as consumer products, banking, government, energy, insurance, health care, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing. Once graduated, these professionals know how a product or industry should be managed and how consumer behavior influences decisions. Additionally, they have a solid grasp of the importance of social media. The data they are able to extrapolate helps businesses to make tactical and strategic decisions, which are critical to the success of a business.

Why It’s Hot

There has been a huge increase in big data jobs since 2013 and it doesn’t show any signs of stopping. In some areas, such as Python Programming expertise, demand has increased by almost 100%. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released a full report on the wide variety of jobs for big data experts, and how demand for their skills and knowledge is increasing exponentially. The world now seems to revolve around big data, and those who have a degree in this type of field are guaranteed to find a job.

Work Environment

Someone with an Online MBA in Data Analytics degree is able to get to work in any industry. This ranges from social media to schools and from charity organizations to Fortune 500 companies. Graduates can also work across a variety of sectors, ranging from banking and insurance to agriculture and health care. While much of the work these professionals do is done behind a desk using a computer, they also have to get to work in various fields in order to actually find the data itself. As such, it is perhaps one of the most varied MBA concentrations in existence.

How to Do It

In order to obtain an MBA in Data Analytics, you must first complete a four year bachelor’s degree. There is no set requirement in terms of majors. However, acceptance to these programs is highly competitive and universities will often look for those who scored highly on their GMAT exam and who have completed a number of undergraduate courses, such as statistics, social media, entrepreneurship, business, sociology, mathematic, and so on. It is often advisable to apply for a number of different schools in order to increase your chances of being accepted somewhere.

Schools are currently offering both online and on campus options. One very good on campus program is the MBA in Data Analytics offered by Thomas Edison State College, which is a school that is exclusive for adults. The program focuses on the core elements of an Online MBA, while adding four courses specific to data analytics, which are managerial statistics, business forecasting, predictive analysis for business intelligence, and data analytics and visualization with capstone.

MBA in Data Analytics Online

More and more students are becoming interested in studying online. This offers a number of clear benefits, including the ability to continue to work while studying, and not being limited by geographical boundaries. A number of schools are offering online MBA in Data Analytics options.

  1. *Online Master’s in Business AnalyticsSouthern New Hampshire University(Editor’s Pick!) – Take such courses as Enterprise Data Management, Presentation and Visualization of Data, Predictive Analytics, and Optimization and Risk Assessment.
  2. *Online MBA in Business IntelligenceSouthern New Hampshire University – (Editor’s Pick!) – This program will help develop you into a savvy leader with an enterprise wide perspective on data. It will teach you to analyze patterns, put them into context, and draw a direct line between information and results.
  3. *Online MBA with Analytics Concentration – Villanova University – (Editor’s Pick!) – Bloomberg Businessweek ranks the Villanova MBA #12 in the country. Ranked #1 on the list of Best Regional Universities in the North in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report. Villanova is featured in our most affordable online MBA programs rankings.
  4. Online Business Administration MBA, Certificate Options Business AnalyticsUniversity of Nebraska Lincoln – This program is designed either for those with a bachelor’s degree, who can obtain an MBA with a business analytics concentration, or for those who already hold a relevant master’s degree and who want to complete a certificate in business analytics.
  5. Online MBA Business Analytics DegreeUniversity of South Dakota – This program is designed for those who already hold a bachelor’s degree, and for those who don’t. Those without an undergraduate education will have to complete a number of core courses first.
  6. Business Analytics MBA TrackCarnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business – This program has a foundation in operations research and information systems. It is relevant to operations, marketing, consulting and any other type of field where big data is used to drive business strategies.
  7. Online MBA and the Business Analytics Graduate CertificateThe University of Tennessee Chattanooga School of Business – This program allows existing MBA students to complete a specialization in business analytics. Additionally, bachelor students can complete both the MBA and the specialization.
  8. Online MBA Business AnalyticsDrexel University LeBow College of Business – This program can be delivered either fully or partially online. The Business Analytics concentration is one of many concentrations offered by the school.
  9. Online MBA in Marketing Research Insights and AnalyticsRutgers Business School Newark and New Brunswick – While this is an online program, students are encouraged to enroll in the full time program, as this allows them to access the many benefits offered by the school, including the close proximity to businesses in which they could end up working. This program is AACSB accredited.
  10. Online Big Data and Business Analytics MBA ProgramHEC Paris – This program offers students the opportunity to study at one of the top business schools in Paris. While delivered online, students can also visit the campus. All learning is also an opportunity to network with other international students.

Pros & Cons

Any degree program has clear pros and cons, and the MBA in Data Analytics is no different. It is important to have a clear understanding of these advantages and disadvantages before deciding to enroll.


  • There are opportunities to study online and abroad.
  • Completing an MBA in Data Analytics can take just 9 to 24 months, depending on prior education.
  • The focus of the degree is on big data and this means that you increase your chances of finding employment in this emerging and hugely important field.
  • As the basis of your degree is an MBA, you will be able to get to work in any industry, in any country.
  • You will have the opportunity to start building professional network contacts while studying.


  • Getting accepted into an MBA in Data Analytics is hard and very competitive.
  • While financial aid is often available, these programs are expensive and they do also take time.
  • You will need to have a baseline of knowledge in relation to business administration and data analytics.
  • Competition for top jobs is fierce and you may have to start at the bottom of the ladder.
  • The chance of burnout in this field is very high as the demands and responsibilities are significant.

Financial Aid

Career Paths

There are many possible careers for someone with an MBA in Data Analytics, not in the least because all types of organizations and businesses all over the world are looking for that type of intelligence. However, a number of the more popular jobs across a section of industries include:

  • Business Intelligence Analyst. In larger organizations, these will generally work with a focus on a certain department, such as customer service, logistics or marketing and their goal is to ensure these teams can meet their strategic objectives. This is done through things such as analyzing customer trends and behavior, measuring site performance, optimizing SQL queries, data mining and more. Cutting edge technology is used in order to come up with data sets and analyze these to translate them into an understandable strategy or recommendation. Essentially, they perform various pieces of quantitative analysis and spend a lot of time coding their findings. At the same time, they focus on ensuring a business can operate properly. They are true critical thinkers and deal with highly complex challenges in a very fast paced environment. Opportunities for growth tend to be numerous in this area as well.
  • Director of Business Intelligence and Analytics. This is the ultimate growth position for a business intelligence analyst. Those who are in this position maintain all the different reporting tools, frameworks and data mart. They work across all departments, managing the full team of analysts to ensure their report in a timely and accurate manner. They lead the overall business intelligence team and ensure that the data that is required is available so that new opportunities can be identified in order to encourage overall growth in the company itself.
  • Tax Policy Analyst. These take hierarchical data files of significant size to create a short and long term analysis in areas such as tax policy reform tax bases, tax revenue forecasting and more. Their knowledge is used to plan budgets, public health policies, economy and more. They often also have to be experts in SAS programming in order to be able to accurately manage the available data. Usually, they also have supervisory experience, particularly for staff that drives policy, financial planning and other relevant projects.
  • Business Optimization and Analytics Consultant. These professionals are generally self-employed and offer their data analytics expertise to a variety of different companies who are trying to get to grips with big data. In many cases, they will help to set up an on site engagement team that they will train and lead for a period of time before returning responsibility to the company itself. This aims to add tremendous value to the company they work for.
  • Community Development Analyst. These analysts work on community projects, often through charitable or not for profit organizations. Thanks to a variety of qualitative and quantitative research methods, they help to focus on issues such as neighborhood stabilization, loan modification, foreclosures, deprivation, low educational achievement and other grass roots community problems. They help to gather data on these issues and translate that data into an understandable language, from which efforts can be developed to improve the community as a whole.

Further Reading

Suggested Websites

Six websites with helpful resources for those working in a field relevant to an MBA in Data Analytics