The Online Master of Science in Business Analytics
The future of business is being directed by data science and analytics. The data scientists and business leaders who understand this language and who can render its fundamental patterns into actionable insights have a unique power to redefine corporate strategies, enhance agility and improve profitability.
William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business is proud to offer an Online Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) designed to help pioneering professionals like you embrace the power of data analytics to evolve your expertise in business. Earn a degree that employers know and trust and expand your career horizons in as few as 15 months.
Visit our application requirements page to see how we evaluate prospective Online MSBA students holistically with no GMAT or GRE scores required.
Online MSBA at a Glance
- Complete in as few as 15 months*
- 100% online
- 32 credits
- 8 core courses
- 2 prerequisite courses
- 3 starts per year: August, January, May
*Students who are required to complete the prerequisite courses can graduate in as few as 18 months.
Redefine Your Career With William & Mary’s MS in Business Analytics Online
Business Analytics Professionals Are in Demand
Position yourself for success in a rapidly growing area of business with roles that rank highly on best jobs lists. In fact, “data scientist” has consistently ranked in Glassdoor’s top three best jobs in the U.S. each year since 2016.4 Additionally, a number of business analytics roles feature prominently on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Business Jobs list.
Overall, the growth rate for occupations related to business analytics are projected to grow much faster than average for all professions through 2031 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Check out our careers page to learn more about the opportunities in this area of business.
Operations Research Analysts
23% growth5 and #9 for Best Business Jobs6
Market Research Analysts
11% growth8 and #5 for Best Business Jobs6
#3 on Best Jobs in America list for 20224
#10 for Best Business Jobs6
Master the Skills Employers Need
William & Mary faculty designed our online master of science in business analytics program with a singular goal in mind: to give you an unmatched competitive advantage in the workplace. Our master’s program blends the technical rigor you expect from a graduate analytics program at a top-ranked university with the strategic business insights you need to communicate productively with stakeholders.
Our expert faculty are terminal degree holders who have worked in cybersecurity, information technology, telecommunications, healthcare, marketing, manufacturing, oil and gas and the Department of Defense. They weave the theme of business intelligence and analytics throughout the online program. You will learn about the value of big data and the ethics of working with algorithms as well as how to manage teams, communicate solutions and steer data-driven decision-making.
The concept of business intelligence and analytics is introduced prominently in our core course BUAD 5112 Competing Through Business Analytics. In this course, you will learn how to:
- Integrate analytics into business processes
- Visually convey insights from complex data sets in a straightforward, digestible way
- Identify the most difficult and time-consuming steps of business processes
- Create graphs with Python programs using the Matplotlib package
- Create an analytics presentation with graphs you have created
- Program two heuristic algorithms in Python
- Web scrape
This course, and the master’s program as a whole, will challenge you to synthesize your technical and strategic learnings so you can champion the importance of business analytics at any company.
The Workplace Value of the Online Master’s in Business Analytics Degree
This program was designed in conjunction with our advisory board, with the mindset of what does the industry need. Other programs may have technical courses, but I feel like our courses are taught by faculty that are very strong technically. That translates into very rigorous experience in the classroom as far as using these techniques and understanding what lies underneath that.
Maximize Your Potential in Just 15 Months
William & Mary Online MSBA alumni can be found in high-ranking positions at top companies.3
Amazon Web Services
JP Morgan Chase
Senior IT Analyst
Federal Reserve Bank
Senior Defense Machine Learning Engineer
Business Operations Analyst
Navy Federal Credit Union
William & Mary’s Online MSBA program is designed to maximize your computing and modeling skills while honing your ability to apply data science to strategic business planning and business decision making.
- The program curriculum was developed through careful evaluation of market trends and in consultation with employers, graduates, students and faculty, as well as our Business Analytics Advisory Board. The resulting courses ensure that you graduate with a tangible advantage in a high-demand field, where opportunities are growing across industries and around the globe.
The Online MSBA features:
- Prerequisites that emphasize coding through practical business applications, especially with R and Python
- Data visualization skills that are learned early in the program and applied and fine-tuned in later courses
- Emphasis on data warehousing, above and beyond database management
- Concentrated emphasis on big data technologies and cloud computing
- Focused instruction in software and languages such as Python, R, SQL, Alteryx, Tableau, Gurobi and AWS
These business analytics skills, which are often learned through real-world case studies, will guide you in asking the right questions, building the right models and using those models to perform the right analyses. The resulting insights, when appropriately interpreted and communicated, give you the means to transform business outcomes by telling the right story, in the right way.
Learn from Real-World Examples
The Online MSBA program incorporates business applications through case studies focused on real companies, problem sets or projects based on modern business challenges. Learn how to apply contemporary business analytics software to improve business outcomes.
Sample case studies include:
Zillow Business Application—How does Zillow make house value predictions using Zestimate? Learn how to build your own Zestimate models using machine learning or AI algorithms.
Tesla Deliveries and Inventory—With four gigafactories producing about 250,000 vehicles annually, Tesla adds approximately 1 million cars to the economy. As demand rapidly increases, you are needed to determine if supply can keep up.
Chipotle Avocado Price Predictions—Guacamole is one of Chipotle's best sellers. To optimize supply chain costs, the company wants you to develop a model to forecast the cost of avocados.
Compete Through Business Analytics With the Online MSBA
What's great about the MSBA at William and Mary is that it sits at the intersection of critical thinking, problem solving and data analytics. And that's the sweet spot that I think employers are looking for. It's not enough that you have the skills to analyze data, but you also have to know what to do with it and what it leads to.
And we live in a world or a sea of data. You could go many paths, but how do you land on those things that are important? And that's where critical thinking and problem solving comes in. In today's world, almost everything is data driven. It's no surprise that the largest companies in the world right now are data companies. Amazon is a data company.
Google is a data company. Facebook is a data company. The companies are now having to make their decisions based on data.
At the intersection of our four pillars—business acumen, math modeling, computing technologies and communicating with impact—are the talents and advanced tools every data scientist may need for a successful and profitable career in business analytics. Our business analytics curriculum prepares you to master exactly these.
Our 32-credit curriculum can be broken down into the following three types of courses:
- 2 prerequisite courses
- 1 optional pre-program course worth 0 credits
- 8 core courses, worth a total of 32 credits
Prerequisite Courses (8 credits)*
BUAD 512A: Probability and Statistics with R (4 credits)
BUAD 512B: Business Modeling with Python (4 credits)
Pre-Program Course (0 credits)
Excel Boot Camp (0 credits)
Core MSBA Courses (32 credits)
BUAD 5112 Competing Through Business Analytics (4 credits)
BUAD 5772 Database and Data Warehouses for Business Intelligence (4 credits)
BUAD 5052 Decision Modeling (4 credits)
BUAD 5092: Optimization and Prescriptive Analytics (4 credits)
BUAD 5122: Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics (4 credits)
BUAD 5132: Big Data and Cloud Computing Technologies (4 credits)
BUAD 5802: Artificial Intelligence Applications for Business (4 credits)
BUAD 5762 Business Analytics Capstone Project (4 credits)
*Note: BUAD 512A and 512B are prerequisites for the remainder of the program. Students may be able to satisfy these prerequisites with courses from other sources, and they should inquire about their eligibility during the admission and onboarding process if they wish to do so.
What brought me back to school was looking at the changing landscape, professionally. I didn’t want to be pigeonholed into computer science or statistics, strictly one of those two, nor did I feel like the general approach of an MBA was right for me either. I like the intersection of the two, which is what led me to business analytics. There are a lot of possibilities.
Want More Insight?
Take a look at what’s ahead in the Online MSBA program—download our program details guide, your one-stop document for admissions requirements, courses and more.
BUAD 5122: Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics
BUAD 5802: Artificial Intelligence Applications for Business
What skills will you acquire in the online master’s in business analytics program?
- Querying relational databases using SQL
- Performing extract, transform, load (ETL) processes
- Building data warehouses
- Preparing data for analysis using data wrangling techniques
- Managing data using services such as Hadoop, Amazon Web Services and NoSQL
- Creating data visualizations and dashboards with Tableau
- Performing descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analyses
- Utilizing basic methodologies like regression, logistic regression, time-series analysis, Bayesian methods, etc.
- Deploying a broad array of machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques
- Constructing and executing prescriptive optimization models
- Analyzing data with statistical software including R
- Writing computer programs in Python and R
- Designing, programming and implementing heuristic algorithms in Python
- Conducting simulation analyses
- Distilling strategic insight from analyses and communicating it persuasively
Who’s Earning the Online MSBA?
William & Mary’s Online MSBA program welcomed its first cohort in spring 2018, and we quickly discovered that our student demographics mirrored the personal and professional diversity that is common in the fields of technology, data analytics and programming. Take a look at the story told by our cohort demographics, and consider what you could learn not only from our master of science in business analytics program curriculum and faculty, but also from a diverse cohort of peers.
Online Foundations in Business Analytics Certificate
Not quite ready for a full master’s program? The Online Foundations in Business Analytics Certificate is a short-term, targeted professional skills-development program. In just three courses that can be completed in little more than one semester, you will learn key business analytics tools and skills that can help launch you into analytics-driven roles.
This program can also be your point of entry into the Online MSBA program if you decide to continue on for the degree. All credits earned in the certificate program can be applied to the MSBA.
- 12 credits
- 3 courses
- 2 programming languages
- 100% online
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- Retrieved on January 26, 2023, from usnews.com/education/online-education/college-of-william-and-mary-231624/rankings
- Retrieved on May 10, 2023, from princetonreview.com/business-school-rankings?rankings=best-professors
- Based on a limited sample of self-reported data from alumni of William & Mary’s Online MSBA program from graduating cohorts between 2021 and 2022
- Retrieved on May 10, 2023, from glassdoor.com/List/Best-Jobs-in-America-LST_KQ0,20.htm
- Retrieved on May 10, 2023, from bls.gov/ooh/math/operations-research-analysts.htm
- Retrieved on May 10, 2023, from money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/rankings/best-business-jobs
- Retrieved on May 10, 2023, from bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/market-research-analysts.htm
- Retrieved on May 10, 2023, from bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm