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If you’re curious about getting your masters in business intelligence, you’re likely on the path to a lucrative and in-demand career. Many companies work to get copious data to help them better understand the lives, wants, and needs of their customers. That being said, most people in business are not experts at taking that data and transforming it in a way that allows it to inform business decisions. 

That’s where someone with a masters in business intelligence comes into play. With your masters in business intelligence, you’ll be able to look at raw data gathered by a company and use that information to help guide the future of the business. Many people choose to specialize their MBA in business intelligence, allowing them to both understand the ins and outs of a professional business education while also earning a master in business intelligence and analytics. 

Methodology: Ranking the Best Master’s Degree in Business Intelligence 

With a relatively new field like business analytics, students should seek out accredited, trusted institutions that have a real history of  student success. That’s why Great Business Schools editors have gathered information on the very best master’s programs in business analytics and intelligence, ranking programs based on tuition cost, student satisfaction, and salary potential. Data comes from verified sources like IPEDS, College Scorecard, and Niche. 

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

mit logo

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, in conjunction with the MIT Operations Research Center, offers a Master of Business Analytics degree program that is one of the best masters degree in business intelligence programs available in the country. This one-year graduate degree is a full-time on-campus program in Cambridge, MA. MIT’s business intelligence undergraduate degree is designed for recent grads with less than two years of work experience.

MIT is a private school that was founded in 1861 and is recognized as one of the most prestigious universities in the world. MIT is a sea-grant, space-grant, and land-grant institution of higher education. MIT’s river edge campus runs along the Charles River in Cambridge and is home to more than 11,000 students. 

Highlight: MIT is a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant institution of higher learning.

Degree: Master of Business Analytics

2. Georgetown University

georgetown

Georgetown University offers an MS in Data Science and Analytics that prepares students for an integrative educational experience in math, statistics, computer science, and data science. Georgetown University’s best masters degree in business intelligence program offers a variety of second-year scholarships and a matched-mentor to guide the student through the next few years. Georgetown University sponsors a yearly career fair for graduate data scientists.

Georgetown University was established in 1789. Georgetown University’s main campus includes a National Historic landmark – Nealy Hall. Georgetown University’s campus in the nation’s capital is home to more than 19,000 students. The school boasts the longest-running debate club in the nation and one of the top-producing schools for US Congress members. 

Highlight: Georgetown University holds the distinction of being the oldest Jesuit/Catholic university in the nation.

Degree: Data Science and Analytics, MS

3. North Carolina State University

north carolina state ncsu

North Carolina State University’s Institute for Advanced Analytics offers a graduate-level (MS) degree in Analytics that was the first of its kind in the country. NC State’s best masters degree in business intelligence program allows students to follow the same cohort for a ten-month period. More than 90% of NC State’s business intelligence graduates were offered a job before or at graduation. Harvard Business Review recognized NC State as one of the most prodigious sources of data scientists.

North Carolina State University (NC State) was established in 1887 as a land-grant school. NC State is a member school of the University of North Carolina system. NC State’s urban campus in Raleigh is home to more than 35,300 students studying for the more than 200 undergraduate and graduate programs offered by NC State. 

Highlight: NC State holds the distinction of being the largest institution of higher education in the state of North Carolina.

Degree: Analytics, MS 

4. University of Chicago

u chicago

The University of Chicago offers an MS in Analytics (MScA) that can be completed in a little as 1 ¼ years. UChicago’s best masters degree in business intelligence program is available in the NBC Tower in downtown Chicago. The University of Chicago’s business intelligence degree requires the completion of nine classes, plus two capstone projects. Coursework for this graduate business intelligence program includes Statistics, Algebra, Machine Learning, Data Engineering, Leadership Skills, and Data Visualization, among others.

The University of Chicago operates as a private school that was founded in 1890. UChicago operates campuses internationally in London, Paris, Hong Kong, India, and Beijing. The school’s student enrollment exceeds 16,400 students. UChicago’s business and law school are considered among the country’s top professional schools. 

Highlight: The University of Chicago is recognized among the top ten institutions of higher education across the globe.

Degree: Analytics, MS 

5. Michigan State University

michigan state

Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business offers an MS in Business Analytics (MSBA) that is recognized as the sixth-best masters degree in business intelligence program, according to QS World. MSU’s graduate data science degree requires the completion of 30 credit units in about one year. The curriculum for Michigan State University’s business intelligence degree includes Data Management, Large Scale Data, Information Systems, Problem-solving for Data Managers, Web Analytics, plus an internship and capstone project.

Michigan State University (MSU) was established in 1855 as a land grant school under the Morrill Land Grant Act. Michigan State University’s suburban campus in East Lansing serves nearly 50,000 students and covers more than 5,000 acres. MSU’s men’s basketball team has been national champs several times. 

Highlight: US News recognizes many of MSU”s graduate degree programs among the best in the United States.

Degree: Business Analytics, MS

6. Binghamton University

binghamton u

Binghamton University offers a multi-disciplinary MS in Data Analytics from the School of Management, Engineering, and Arts & Sciences. Students enrolled in Binghamton University’s best masters degree in business intelligence program must complete 30 credit units over a ten-month time frame. Coursework includes Inferential Analytics, Database Repositories, Machine Learning, Visualizing Data, plus two master’s level practicums. Electives include Decision Making, Information Retrieval, or Applied Computing.

Binghamton University is a member school of the State University of New York system that was established in 1946. SUNY Binghamton was originally developed to serve the educational needs of returning WWII veterans. Binghamton University’s campus along the New York and Pennsylvania border is home to nearly 18,000 students. 

Highlight: The University at Buffalo and Binghamton University were recognized as tied for the best campus of the SUNY system.

Degree: Data Analytics, MS 

7. Tufts University

tufts u

Tufts University offers an MS in Data Analytics that is available as a full-time or part-time program. Coursework for Tuft’s best masters degree in business intelligence program includes Statistical Analysis,  Data Analytic Foundations, Programming in R, Research Practices, and Advanced GIS, to name a few. Students must complete 33-36 credit units (depends on the exact curriculum) across ten business intelligence-related courses.

Tufts University was established in 1852. Tufts is a private university that emphasizes the concept of public service in their degree programs. Tufts University partners with other universities to offer joint degrees. These schools include the University of Paris, the University of Oxford, and the New England Conservatory, among others. 

Highlight: Tufts University is regularly recognized among the top 25 schools in the nation.

Degree: Data Analytics, MS 

8. Boston University

boston u

Boston University offers an MS in Applied Data Analytics that is recognized by US News among the top ten best masters degree in business intelligence programs in the country. BU’s graduate degree in data analytics is available on campus or online. Students enrolled in Boston University’s data analytics program must complete 32 credit units across eight courses that include Algorithms, Data Science with Python, Web Analytics, Data Mining, and Data Visualization, among others.

Boston University was established in 1839 but has roots that trace to a biblical school in Vermont. The school’s campus along the Charles River in Boston is home to more than 34,000 students. BU is recognized by US News among the top 50 schools in the country. Boston University operates additional campuses in Boston’s South End and Allston neighborhoods. 

Highlight: Boston University’s hockey team generally contributes members to the USA’s Olympic hockey team.

Degree: Applied Data Analytics, MS

9. Kansas State University

kansas state u

Kansas State University’s College of Business Administration offers an MS in Data Analytics that offers an inter-disciplinary curriculum from six departments – Statistics, Math, Geography, Economics, Computer Science, and Manufacturing/Engineering. Students enrolled in KSU’s best masters degree in business intelligence program have the option of competing in the Imperial PFS competition for $10,000 in prize money. Core coursework for KSU’s graduate data analytics includes 30 credit units of classes in Social Media Analytics, Information Technology, Econometrics, and Applied Marketing, to name a few.

Kansas State University (KSU) was founded in 1863 as a land grant school under the Morrill Land Grant Act. KSU is also a space-grant school. The school’s campus in Manhattan boasts a college-feel and serves more than 21,400 students studying for the more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered by the university. 

Highlight: Kansas State University operates satellite facilities in Olathe and Salina, Kansas.

Degree: Data Analytics, MS 

10. George Mason University

george mason logo

George Mason University’s Volgenau School of Engineering offers an MS in Data Analytics Engineering that requires students to complete 30 credit units to graduate. Core coursework for the best masters degree in business intelligence program from GMU includes Big Data, Applied Statistics, Data Mining, and Operations Research. Elective for the data analytics engineering degree includes Metadata Analytics, Database Management, Natural Language Processing, and a culminating research project.

George Mason University was founded as a research school in 1949 that is now the largest institution of higher education in the state of Virginia. The school’s campuses serve more than 38,00 students. 

Highlight: The school has been named the Virginia politician and planter, George Mason. George Mason is responsible for penning the Virginia Declaration of Rights.

Degree: Data Analytics Engineering, MS

11. Pennsylvania State University – Great Valley

penn state great valley

Pennsylvania State University – Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies (and online at the Penn State World Campus) offers a graduate-level MS degree program in Data Analytics that is considered among the best masters degree in business intelligence programs in the country. PSU’s research-oriented degree requires students to complete 30 credit units to graduate include coursework in Statistics, Predictive Analytics, Data Visualization & Mining, Problem Framing, and a thesis in-depth investigational research project in a data analytics specialty area.

Pennsylvania State University was established in 1855. The school is a sea-grant, sun-grant, land-grant and space-grant institution of higher education. PSU offers more than 150 academic degree programs. PSU’s Nittany Lions compete in the Big 10 conference. 

Highlight: Pennsylvania State University operates several campuses (of which Great Valley is one) and has a total student enrollment of more than 96,000.

Degree: Data Analytics, MS 

12. George Washington University

george washington u

George Washington University offers an MS in Data Analytics that requires degree candidates to complete 33 credit hours to graduate. This graduate degree from GWU is recognized as one of the best masters degree in business intelligence programs in the nation. Students can complete the MS in data analytics in two years as a full-time student or three years as a part-time student. Coursework for GWU’s data analytics graduate degree program includes probability, a capstone project. GWU’s data analytics degree includes two tracks – the computer science track and the engineering management & systems engineering track.

George Washington University was established as a private institution of higher learning in 1821. GWU’s student enrollment exceeds 27,000 students studying for academic degrees offered by the university’s fourteen colleges/schools. GWU has two satellite facilities in Mt Vernon and the Virginia Science & Technology campus. 

Highlight: George Washington University is one of only a few schools that have been charted by an act of US Congress.

Degree: Data Analytics, MS 

13. Southern Methodist University

southern methodist u

Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business/Information & Operations Management Department (ITOM) offers a graduate-level (MS) degree program in Business Analytics that is available as full-time or part-time students. Degree candidates in SMU’s best masters degree in business intelligence program requires the completion of 33 credit units from two specialization tracks – Customer Analytics and Business Process Analytics. The average class size each year for this program at SMU is 129 students.

Southern Methodist University is a private school that was founded in 1911. SMU’s urban campuses cover more than 200 acres and serve nearly 12,000 students. SMU is organized into eight colleges/schools across three campuses in University Park (main campus), Plano, and Taos, New Mexico. 

Highlight: The Princeton  Review recognizes Southern Methodist University among the top western colleges in the United States.

Degree: Business Analytics, MS

14. New York University

new york university

New York University’s Stern School of Business offers an MS in Business Analytics (MSBA) that is designed for experienced professionals seeking a competitive edge. NYU’s best masters degree in business intelligence program includes five courses that are completed in only one year through NYU’s blended learning initiative that includes on-campus sessions plus independent studies. Additionally, degree candidates for NYU’s graduate degree in Business Analytics program includes a team-oriented culminating capstone project.

New York University was established in 1831. NYU operates campuses throughout the world in London, Italy, Israel, Australia, Argentina, Spain, France, and China, among others. New York University is organized into ten undergraduate colleges/schools, plus several graduate schools. NYU’s iconic campus is located in the heart of Greenwich Village on the island of Manhattan. 

Highlight: NYU’s student enrollment exceeds 51,500 students.

Degree: Business Analytics, MS

15. American University

american u

American University’s Kogod School of Business offers an MS in Analytics (MSAn) best masters degree in business intelligence program requires the completion of 33 credit units that can be completed in one to three years, depending on if the student is a full-time or part-time student. This program offers students several concentrations in biostatistics, accounting forensics, computational statistics, business fundamentals, marketing, or IT Consulting, to name a few. Nearly 95% of American University’s graduates are gainfully employed within six months of graduating. 

American University was established in 1893. The school is affiliated with the Methodist Church. American’s urban campus in the nation’s capital is home to more than 14,000 students studying from American’s eight colleges/schools.

Highlight: American University has been recognized by the Princeton Review as having the most politically active student body. Students enrolled in American University’s

Degree: Analytics, MS 

16. Central Michigan University

central michigan

Central Michigan University’s College of Science and Engineering offers a Master of Science (MS) degree in Applied Statistics and Analytics that offers two tracks – the Analytics Track and the Applied Statistics Track. CMU’s best masters degree in business intelligence program requires the completion of 30 -33 credit units, depending on the selected academic track. CMU incoming students may transfer up to 15 credit units, which is approved on a case by case basis. Coursework for CMU’s graduate data analytics degree includes Categorical Data, Data Mining, Multivariate Analytics, and Statistical Programming, to name a few. 

Central Michigan University (CMU) was founded in 1892 as a public institution of higher education. The school’s campus in Mount Pleasant serves about 21,500 undergraduate and graduate students studying for the more than 190 academic degrees offered by the university. 

Highlight: Central Michigan University owns two college radio and one television stations that are run by students.

Degree: Applied Statistics and Analytics, MS 

17. Brandeis University

brandeis u

Brandeis University’s International Business School offers an MA in Data Analytics that requires the completion of 22 credit units, including a four-credit capstone project. Each student that sought an internship through Brandeis University received the placement of their choice. Brandeis University’s best masters degree in business intelligence program prepares degree candidates for careers in marketing, accounting, finance, management, consulting, data analytics, and supply chain management, to name a few. Recent grads now work for Credit Suisse, JPMorgan, and State Street Bank.

Brandeis University was established in 1948. Brandeis University’s suburban campus is located outside of Boston and home to more than 5,700 students. Brandeis is a member school, along with Boston University, Boston College, and Tufts University, of the Boston Consortium. 

Highlight: Brandeis University is named in honor of the first Supreme Court Justice of Jewish heritage. 

Degree: Data Analytics, MA

18. Northwestern University

northwestern u

Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering offers a Master of Science (MS) degree in Analytics (MSiA) that can be completed in less than 16 months – including the mandatory internship during the summer. NU’s best masters degree in business intelligence program maxes out with a student cohort of 40 students. Northwestern University’s graduate degree in analytics offers students the opportunity to tailor the curriculum to meet their career objectives. Students new to Northwestern University’s analytics degree program will attend a two-week boot camp to orient them to the program and student expectations.

Northwestern University was established in 1851. Northwestern University’s urban campus serves more than 21,100 students with more than 200 acres in Evanston and Chicago. Alumni from Northwestern University include Nobel Prize Laureates, Rhodes Scholars, and Supreme Court Justices. 

Highlight: US News recognizes Northwestern University among the top ten national schools in the United States.

Degree: Analytics, MS 

19. Saint Joseph’s University

saint joseph

Saint Joseph’s University’s Haub School of Business offers an MS in Business Intelligence & Analytics that has received accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. SJU’s best masters degree in business intelligence program is recognized by US News among the top business intelligence programs in the nation. Additionally, the SAS Institute endorses Saint Joseph’s University analytics graduate degree program. SJU’s graduate analytics degree offers four academic tracks, data science, managerial, data analytics, and cyber analytics.

Saint Joseph’s University was established in 1851. Saint joseph’s University operates several campuses in the eastern Pennsylvania area and has a religious affiliation with the Roman Catholic (Jesuit) Church. SJU’s student enrollment exceeds 8,000 students. 

Highlight: Saint Joseph’s University is recognized as one of the oldest Jesuit institutions of higher education in the country.

Degree: Business Intelligence & Analytics, MS

20. Bowling Green State University

bowling green state

Bowling Green State University offers an MS in Analytics that can be completed in twelve months as a full-time student. The best masters degree in business intelligence program from BGSU focuses on real-world applications through the university’s interdisciplinary curriculum. Coursework for Bowling Green State University’s graduate analytics degree includes Regression Analysis, Data Mining, Time Series Analysis, Project Management, and Business Intelligence, to name a few.

Bowling Green State University is a public institution of higher education that was established in 1910. Bowling Green State University’s campus is situated about 15 miles from downtown Toledo and home to more than 19,100 students studying from the 200+ academic degree programs. Bowling Green State University consists of eight colleges/schools. 

Highlight: BGSU was recognized by US News among the top 100 public schools in the country.

Degree: Analytics, MS 

21. University of St. Thomas

u st thomas minnesota

The University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business offers an MS in Business Analytics that requires degree candidates to complete 30 credit units to graduate. Students enrolled in St. Thomas University’s best masters degree in business intelligence program can be completed in less than 1.5 years, but must be finished in five years or less. The pace of learning is dictated by the student’s needs. Classes include Big Data Management, Statistical Methods, Applied Statistics, and Data Visualization, among others.

St. Thomas University was established in 1885 as the college of St Thomas. The school’s urban campus in Minnesota’s twin cities is home to nearly 10,000 students. This school maintains a religious affiliation with the Roman Catholic church. 

Highlight: St Thomas University is organized into nine divisions, including the Opus College of Business.

Degree: Business Analytics, MS

22. Fordham University

fordham u

Fordham University offers an MS in Data Analytics that requires the completion of 30 credits to graduate. Coursework includes five core courses, four elective courses, and a culminating capstone project in analytics/thesis/internship. Coursework in Fordham University’s best masters degree in business intelligence program includes Algorithms, Data Analytic Scripting, Data Mining, Data Programming, and Information Infusion, to name a few. Elective classes include thematic clusters of Data Science, Health Informatics, Cybersecurity, City Informatics, Financial Informatics, Government Informatics, Media Informatics, and Behavior Informatics.

Established in 1841 as St. John’s College, Fordham University’s NYC campuses include the Bronx and NYC, plus locations in London Centre and Westchester County. Fordham University maintains a religious affiliation with the Roman Catholic (Jesuit) Church.  

Highlight: Fordham University holds the distinction of being the oldest Catholic school in the northeast US.

Degree: Data Analytics, MS 

23. Fairfield University

fairfield u

Fairfield University’s Dolan School of Business offers an MS in Business Analytics (MSBA) that is considered among the best masters degree in business intelligence programs in the northeast and the country. Fairfield University’s graduate degree in business analytics requires the completion of 30 credit units – seven classes are required, and three classes are electives. Coursework includes Database, Python for Business Analytics, Data Mining, Project Management, plus a culminating capstone project. This degree program offers several academic tracks – Health care, Marketing, plus an MS/MBA overlap curriculum.

Fairfield University was established in 1942 by members of the Society of Jesus. Fairfield University’s suburban campus covers more than 175 acres and serves more than 5,100 students studying for degrees offered by the university’s five colleges/schools. 

Highlight: Fairfield University is a member school of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.

Degree: Business Analytics, MS

24. Drew University

drew u

Drew University’s School of Graduate Studies offers an MS in Data Analytics (MSDA) that requires the completion of 30 to 36 credit units depending on the track selected. This best masters degree in business intelligence program from Drew University can be completed in one year through the accelerated path in two years as a full-time student. Degree candidates graduate to find rewarding careers as an analyst manager, a data systems developer, a data scientist, or functional analysts, among others. Students can begin the Drew graduate analytics degree in the fall or the spring.

Drew University is a private school that was established in 1867. The school maintains a religious affiliation with the United Methodist Church. Drew University’s beautiful wooded campus in western NJ is less than one hour from NYC and home to more than 2,000 students. 

Highlight: Railroad tycoon Daniel Drew founded Drew University as Methodist Ministry.

Degree: Data Analytics, MS 

25. Canisius College

canisius college

Canisius College offers an MS in Data Analytics that can be finished in just twelve months; part-time students can complete the graduate analytics degree in about two years. Coursework for the best masters degree in business intelligence program offered by Canisius College includes Data Stewardship, Machine Learning, Advanced Analytics, Visualization, Statistics, Graphical Case Studies, and Data Mining, to name a few. In addition,  students must complete an integrative data analytics project. Students graduate from Canisius College’s analytics degree program as ethical stewards of big data and business communication.

Canisius College was established in 1870. Canisius College maintains a religious affiliation with the Roman Catholic – Jesuit Church. The school’s urban campus in Western NY state is home to nearly 2,500 students and Christ the King Chapel. 

Highlight: Canisius College is recognized by US News among the top 25 regional universities in the northern part of the United States.

Degree: Data Analytics, MS

What is Business Intelligence?

If you’re wondering, “what is business intelligence?” it’s likely that you already have some idea of how data and business go hand in hand. Someone who is wondering, “what is analytics and business intelligence?” may be a great fit to help companies take data they’ve mined to the next level, using that information to inform the future decisions of the company. 

Companies are constantly collecting data on many different facets of their business. Often, people think that businesses just collect data on their customers, but a good organization collects data on every aspect of their organization. This can mean recording employee satisfaction and productivity, making projections for the future, finding out how small changes affect consumer decisions, and more. 

Usually, this data is collected in raw form. Leaders in business need experts to analyze this data and translate it into real world information that can help them make business decisions. This is exactly what a person with a business intelligence master’s does. People in business intelligence use raw data to make recommendations that allow leaders to move their company forward. Business intelligence leaders may also use this information to design future studies and talk with their company about what other information they need in order to make informed business decisions.

Is Business Intelligence a Good Career?

If you’re thinking about business intelligence careers, you may be wondering, “Is business intelligence a good career?” 

Many people who choose business intelligence career paths choose to work for consulting firms, meaning the companies that they work with can change from month to month. This is perfect for a career path for business intelligence professionals who want to travel, be challenged, and get the opportunity to work in business across a variety of sectors. Other people who want a career in business intelligence prefer to work for one company, staying put and working on projects long term. Either option can be a good fit for someone who wants to choose a business intelligence career path.

A business intelligence developer salary is around $79,573 per year. The average business intelligence developer salary varies based on a person’s location. Business intelligence developer salaries are higher for those with experience. Additionally, the size of the company also impacts business intelligence developer salaries.

How Do I Start a Career in Business Intelligence?

If you are wondering how to get a job in business intelligence, several steps must be taken. No matter if you are seeking junior business intelligence jobs/ entry-level business intelligence jobs or advanced-level positions, you must take some of the following steps:

  • Acquire a Bachelor’s Degree: To start a career in business intelligence, you must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.
  • Complete an Internship: To become prepared to work in the industry, you will need to complete an internship.
  • Apply for Positions: Once you have completed your internship, you can begin applying for positions.
  • Pursue Advanced Degree: To become better qualified, you may want to pursue an advanced degree.
  • Get Certified: Getting certified is another way to widen your prospects and secure better-paying positions.

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