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.

You're More Than a Test Score

Visit our application requirements page to see how we evaluate prospective Online MSBA students holistically with no GMAT or GRE scores required.

Online MSBA by the Numbers

#18

Online MSBA Program1

32

Credits

8

Core Courses

4

Prerequisite Courses

2

Pre-Program Courses

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.

Video Transcript

Speaker 1:
This program was designed in conjunction with our advisory board, with the mindset of what does 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 it.

Speaker 2:
The professional workforce is moving more towards a tech centric and a data centric environment. And so having skills where you can code an R on Python, and also develop on visualizations using Tableau, and managing data using Alteryx, and optimizing models using the Gurobi are very useful in the current state of the art mentality. However, our curriculum goes beyond that. We give you a foundation in those skills, but also in the knowledge so that as those softwares change, you'll be ready and you'll be a lifelong learner, but also lifetime relevant in the field.

The ability to take this program online allows us to draw a diverse set of students that bring different industry and different work experiences in different educational backgrounds to the table. It basically raises the level of the conversation. It's very much more professional. It's very much more, "How can I apply this to my business? And "Oh, that worked in your business. Well now, let's apply it to my business and see how that will work." It just raises the maturity. It raises the skills. It raises the thought for how we can compete through business analytics.

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.
Audrey Low Thumbnail
AUDREY LOW
MSBA ’19 CANDIDATE

The Workplace Value of the Online MSBA

Master Critical Thinking and Data Analytics Online at W&M
Master Critical Thinking and Data Analytics Online at W&M
Master Critical Thinking and Data Analytics Online at W&M

Video Transcript

Joe Wilck:
I consider the MSBA to be the MBA of the 21st century. Many professionals today have the technical aptitude, and then there are other professionals that have the communications aptitude. But it's the combination of those two skills that is really lacking in today's industry. And that is what our degree is trying to provide. Someone who can do the business acumen and communicate that value, but also has the technical skills to develop that value. We call those unicorns. And in the data science and business analytics field, that is what we're trying to produce.

Monica Tremblay:
What's great about the MSBA at William & 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.

Joe Wilck:
So our program is unique in that we have two courses in machine learning, a course in artificial intelligence, a course in optimization, a course in databases, and follow on courses for our capstone. Most programs teach you R and Python as part of the curriculum. We require it before you get to the curriculum. So we're able to take you further technically, but also that allows us to actually show you how to use these skills in a business sense. These skills can help you at any point of the company, whether you're at the analyst role, the manager role, or the executive role.

Monica Tremblay:
So 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. So companies are now having to make their decisions based on data.

Joe Wilck:
Our program is designed to be relevant for a number of different people, whether you're someone who is a seasoned professional, but you're looking to transition into a data science or a business analytics role, so you're just looking to add that technical expertise onto you're already well-established business acumen. For someone who does not have a lot of experience, but realizes they want to be in that technical role, so they're trying to get a master's degree to kind of get a seat at the table if you will. Then there's another group where they're looking to be a manager or a leader, and perhaps they already have an MBA, but they need more technical expertise to help drive and deliver value for their business and to manage their teams.

We are teaching you skills and knowledge and a foundation that will not only help you in the job market, but also help your company on the stock market.

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.
ANDREW LIEBERMAN
MSBA ’18

Redefine the Bottom Line

2.35 Million


Data science and analytics jobs posted in 20152

#1 Best Job in America


Data Scientist3

$110,000


Median base salary for data scientists3

27%


Percent of data science roles requiring a master's degree4

2.7 Million


job openings expected by 2020 for U.S. data professionals5

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? Check our our one-year residential MSBA program..

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

Interested in Our Online Programs?

Oct
21

Priority Application Deadline

October 21st
Spring 2023 Term
Dec
12

Application Deadline

December 12th
Spring 2023 Term
Jan
9

Next Start

January 9th
Spring 2023 Term
Sources
  1. Retrieved on February 7, 2022, from usnews.com/education/online-education/college-of-william-and-mary-OBUS0134/business
  2. Retrieved on August 22, 2018, from burning-glass.com/infographic-data-science-jobs-by-the-numbers/
  3. Retrieved on August 22, 2018, from glassdoor.com/List/Best-Jobs-in-America-LST_KQ0,20.htm
  4. Retrieved on August 22, 2018, from pwc.com/us/en/library/data-science-and-analytics.html
  5. Retrieved on August 22, 2018, from forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2017/05/13/ibm-predicts-demand-for-data-scientists-will-soar-28-by-2020/
Questions? Let’s Connect.