Top Online MBAs in Business Analytics

Liz Simmons
Updated December 12, 2023
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An online MBA in business analytics can open the door to specialized career opportunities with high salaries. Business analytics is the practice of using data to help organizations make more effective decisions. Many businesses collect a lot of data but lack the professional know-how to effectively use it to improve performance.

A degree in business analytics can help students stand out from graduates with general MBAs and can prepare them for various roles using fundamental business skills and advanced data knowledge. Potential careers for MBA graduates with this degree include business consultant, business intelligence analyst, management analyst, and financial manager. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that management analysts earned a median annual salary of $95,290 as of May 2022, significantly more than the average for all occupations.

Keep reading to learn more about why you should consider earning an online MBA in business analytics. We discuss some of the top schools for this degree, explain typical admission requirements, and explore how to decide if earning a business analytics MBA is worth it.

Why Get an Online MBA in Business Analytics?

An online MBA in business analytics can help students develop specialized skills in addition to learning the business fundamentals that most general MBA programs teach. Students get a broad business background in marketing, finance, and management and also learn data analysis, data management, and business intelligence.

Earning this degree can help graduates set themselves apart from other business graduates. Instead of the same general skills that most MBA grads hold, students specializing in business analytics become experts in using data to help make business decisions.

The demand for professionals with business knowledge who also understand how to make sense of data will likely continue to grow in the coming years as organizations of all kinds need to figure out how to use the increasing amounts of collected data.

The BLS projects 35% growth in demand for data scientists between 2022 and 2032, much faster than the average rate of growth for all occupations.

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Top Online Colleges With MBAs in Business Analytics

We have compiled a list of nonprofit and for-profit four-year institutions that offer this degree program. Use the table below to compare average net price and graduation rate.

MBAs in Business Analytics
SchoolLocationAverage Net PriceGraduation Rate
University of Illinois, Urbana-ChampaignChampaign, Illinois$14,891 (in state); $29,176 (out of state)85%
University of Maryland, College ParkCollege Park, Maryland$16,21086%
Babson CollegeBabson Park, Massachusetts$28,40093%
The University of Texas Rio Grande ValleyEdinburg, Texas$8,10547%

3 Top Schools for an MBA in Business Analytics

Babson College

The FW Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College offers a part-time, fully online MBA in business analytics that takes place synchronously, in real-time. Students can learn to make smart business decisions using data by enrolling in this course of study.

The curriculum explores topics like business intelligence, programming, and data visualization. Available classes include machine learning methods for business and economic and financial forecasting.

The program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Applicants do not need to take the GMAT or GRE to qualify for admission, which opens on a rolling basis three times each year.

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, offers a business data analytics concentration open to MBA students. The 72-credit online MBA features a flexible format for learners who would find it difficult to attend a traditional in-person program.

The business data analytics concentration includes classes in enterprise data management and data storytelling and provides training using data to inform decision-making. Students also can gain leadership, management, teamwork, and problem-solving skills and complete a program capstone.

Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree and at least three years of professional work experience and must submit two letters of recommendation and essays.

University of Maryland, College Park

Students can earn an online MBA in business analytics and information systems from the University of Maryland-College Park Robert H. Smith School of Business. The program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

The curriculum covers information systems, supply chain management, and finance while developing leadership, analytical, and communication skills. The specialization in information systems and business analytics covers data design and analysis. Students complete an opening residency that explores business fundamentals and a capstone residency that includes an integrative business simulation.

Strong applicants have a minimum GPA of 3.0, at least two years of professional experience, and evidence of strong quantitative skills.

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Is an Online MBA in Business Analytics Worth It?

An online MBA in business analytics can prepare students for in-demand careers earning high salaries. Students can differentiate themselves from graduates with a more general MBA and may qualify for specialized roles that require strong data and analytical skills.

However, each program is different, and career opportunities and potential salaries vary depending on factors like prior education, previous professional experience, and industry.

PayScale reports that people with an MBA in business data analysis earned an average annual salary of $84,000 in October 2023. However, graduates from these programs may qualify for roles that earn significantly more than this. For example, financial managers, one potential role for business analytics MBA-holders, earn a median annual salary of $139,790 in May 2022, per the BLS.

Other potential careers include operations research analyst, management consultant, and data analyst. Financial analyst, business intelligence researcher, and data scientist roles also require many of the skills typically acquired during a business analytics MBA program.

Requirements of Applying to a Business Analytics MBA Program

Application requirements for online MBA in business analytics programs vary by school, but applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in almost all cases. Most programs do not require an undergraduate degree in business or another specific field, but most require or prefer some quantitative knowledge and skills. Students without undergraduate business or quantitative coursework may need to complete prerequisites.

Other typical admissions criteria include a minimum GPA, several years of professional work experience, letters of recommendation, and answers to essay questions. Some schools require GMAT or GRE scores, although these are optional in many cases.

Most MBA programs, including MBA in business analytics programs, require a final capstone project that lets students synthesize the knowledge and skills they acquire during the program and put them into practice.

Common Questions About MBAs in Business Analytics

Does business analytics include a lot of math?

Many business analytics-related roles require significant quantitative skills, including math knowledge. However, the amount and type of math skills necessary varies by job, and analytics software does a lot of the number crunching.

Is an MBA helpful for a business analyst?

Yes, an MBA can be very helpful for a business analyst. Business analysts analyze organizations and help them find ways to improve their performance. A business analyst with business analytics skills can help businesses make data-informed decisions.

Is an MBA in Business Analytics tough?

It depends on your individual strengths and weaknesses and how much previous quantitative experience you have. In general, an MBA in business analytics is likely more difficult than a general MBA for most students.

What skills do you need to be a business analyst?

Business analysts typically need data analysis, data management, business intelligence, and data visualization skills. They also need communication, analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making aptitude.

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