The Online Master of Science in Business Analytics
Data science and analytics comprise the modern language that is helping to direct the future of business. The data science professionals 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.
At William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business, we offer an Online Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) that is designed to help pioneering professionals embrace the power of data science and evolve their expertise in business.
Gain a Competitive Advantage
William & Mary faculty designed the Online MSBA program with a singular goal in mind: to give you an unmatched competitive advantage in the workplace. Our 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.
As Faculty Director Joe Wilck says, “It is not enough to just know business analytics methodologies. You and your organization need problem solvers who can take data from chaos to clarity.”
Our expert faculty—terminal degree holders who have worked in cybersecurity, information technology, telecommunications, healthcare, marketing, manufacturing, oil and gas, and the Department of Defense—weave the theme of business intelligence and analytics throughout the 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 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.
What Our Students Say
In Competing Through Business Analytics, we developed essential skills—the ability to visualize data and to use it to persuade clients—that would serve us in class, our eventual jobs and, more pertinently, our job interviews.
From Data to Insight: Behind Our Curriculum
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. The program curriculum revolves around four dynamic pillars, and mastery of these pillars helps ensure that you graduate with a tangible advantage in a high-demand field, where opportunities are growing across industries and around the globe.
Explore the learning outcomes of these four pillars:
- Business Acumen: Solve business problems while considering the critical needs of the business and its existing processes, strategy, and organization; share results ethically with respect to customer and client confidentiality
- Math Modeling: Develop algorithms that solve problems with speed and accuracy, select appropriate methodologies to solve a problem, and construct error-free models and analyses
- Computing Technologies: Program effectively in R and Python, use data wrangling to cleanse data and render it more effective in solving business problems, and effectively manage databases
- Communicating With Impact: Create and deliver digestible presentations and data visualizations to audiences less familiar with the intricacies of analytical processes
These skills 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, will give you the means to transform business outcomes by telling the right story, in the right way.
It is not enough to just know business analytics methodologies. Organizations need problem solvers who can take data from chaos to clarity. The William & Mary Online MSBA program prepares individuals to do just that.
Online MSBA Courses Overview
At the intersection of our four pillars—business acumen, math modeling, computing technologies and communicating with impact—are the talents and tools every data science professional may need for a successful and profitable career in business analytics. The Online MSBA curriculum prepares you to master exactly these.
Our 32-credit curriculum can be broken down into the following three types of courses:
- 4 prerequisite courses
- 1 pre-program course worth 0 credits
- 8 core courses, worth a total of 32 credits
Prerequisite Courses (8 credits)*
BUAD 502A Probability and Statistics I (3 credits)
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BUAD 502B R Programming (1 credit)
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BUAD 502C Python Programming (1 credit)
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BUAD 502D Linear Algebra for Business Analytics (3 credits)
Pre-Program Courses (0 credits)
Excel Boot Camp (0 credits)
Core MSBA Courses (32 credits)
BUAD 5112 Competing Through Business Analytics (4 credits)
BUAD 5052 Decision Modeling (4 credits)
BUAD 5772 Database Management and Visualization (4 credits)
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BUAD 5122 Machine Learning I (4 credits)
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BUAD 5132 Machine Learning II (4 credits)
BUAD 5092 Optimization and Heuristics (4 credits)
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BUAD 5802 Artificial Intelligence (4 credits)
BUAD 5762 Business Analytics Capstone Project (4 credits)
*Note: BUAD 502A, 502B, 502C and 502D 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.
The Online MSBA at a Glance
- Complete in as few as 15 months**
- 100% online
- No residency or on-campus requirement
- GMAT/GRE waiver available to qualified applicants
- 3 starts per year: August, January and May
- Earn your degree from a prestigious business school
- Study with our faculty of industry experts
**Students who are required to complete the prerequisite courses can graduate in as few as 18 months.
The Workplace Value of the Online MSBA
Today’s corporate leaders are increasingly challenged to find qualified employees who understand data science and have proven experience applying its key business functions. Those who could fill this need must be familiar with unstructured data dumps, machine learning, data visualization and current analytics tools, but they must also be able to interpret the information acquired through these means and effectively communicate its implication(s) for the organization's bottom line.
By weaving our curriculum's four key pillars of business acumen, math modeling, computing technologies and communicating with impact into each of our Online MSBA courses, we blend the essential elements of business expertise with a robust portfolio of data science offerings. The result is a dynamic program with real-world applicability that ensures our students graduate with a thorough understanding of how to effectively apply their findings and communicate their insights in a succinct, coherent manner.
WHAT OUR STUDENTS SAY
What brought me back to school was kind of 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.
Meet Our First Online MSBA Cohort
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. While some of our current students have highly technical backgrounds, others come from financial, educational and even military ones. They represent varied sociocultural contexts and reside in geographic locations across the country. It is telling, then, that our program has managed to meet each of these driven individuals where they are, and that they’ve found it able to help them advance their technical and managerial development.
Take a look at the story told by our cohort demographics, and consider what you could learn not only from our Online MSBA curriculum and faculty but also from such a diverse cohort of peers.
Not interested in our Online MSBA? View all of our program options.
A Closer Look at Cohort No.1
- 30% U.S. minorities
- 15% W&M alumni
- 5 average years of work experience
- 3.3 average undergraduate GPA (on a 4.0 scale)
- 62% ages 26-45
- 15% work in educational services
- 15% work in financial services
- 15% work in technology
NOTE: Statistics are based on cumulative self-reported W&M Online MSBA student profile data collected from the spring 2018 cohort.
What skills will you acquire in the Online MSBA?
- 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
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1. Retrieved on August 22, 2018, from burning-glass.com/infographic-data-science-jobs-by-the-numbers/
2. Retrieved on August 22, 2018, from glassdoor.com/List/Best-Jobs-in-America-LST_KQ0,20.htm
3. Retrieved on August 22, 2018, from pwc.com/us/en/library/data-science-and-analytics.html
4. Retrieved on August 22, 2018, from forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2017/05/13/ibm-predicts-demand-for-data-scientists-will-soar-28-by-2020/