Grad School Hub - Most Affordable Online Programs-01

Measuring the metrics on affordable online master's in business intelligence programs can help professionals pick the right graduate school for visualizing upper-level analytics and data mining careers. CIO Magazine defines business intelligence as a tech-driven field that collects and examines data to derive insights on organizational efficiency for actionable changes. Business intelligence masters' give post-grads the tools to query vital figures and draw conclusions for good management decisions. According to Gartner, the global business intelligence market surpassed $18 billion last year, a 7.3 percent jump from 2016, and could hit nearly $23 billion by 2021. Reuters pinpointed banking, financial services, and insurance as the leading industries for business intelligence revenue. First coined by Hans-Peter Luhn in IBM Journal 60 years ago, business intelligence has become essential to analyze consumer behavior, understand sales trends, and improve enterprise performance. Specializing a master's in the budding business intelligence niche can offer a competitive edge over the other 156,250 MBAs graduating yearly.


The Grad School Hub staff ran the numbers on the National Center for Education Statistics' College Navigator data warehouse to locate cheap business intelligence master's online. Our search sought after public or private graduate schools with advanced degrees related to business intelligence and analytics through distance learning only. Next, we used the Council on Higher Education Accreditation directory to check the 16 online colleges' regional approval status. We nixed any nationally accredited schools, i.e. Grantham University and American Sentinel University, for inadequate quality assurances. Though not required, we also leaned toward affordable B-schools with extra accreditation from the AACSB, ACBSP, or IACBE. Our last step was sequencing the colleges by average in-state graduate cost and removing all above $17,000. Below are crucial facts you should know about the United States' 10 least expensive master's in business intelligence online offerings.

Ranking Low-Cost Online Business Intelligence Master's

10. Creighton University

Business Intelligence and Analytics Master of Science Online

Omaha, NE

Average Graduate Tuition: $16,424 per year

Featured in The Princeton Review's "Colleges That Pay Back," Creighton University is a private, nonprofit Ignatian Catholic institution of the Big East that's endowed for $448 million to enroll 8,393 Bluejays with 72.7 percent admission into courses on the 132-acre campus near Berkshire Hathaway and online via Blackboard. Given a Beta Alpha Psi Outstanding Faculty Award, CU is honored for America's 198th highest salary potential on PayScale, 99th best value tuition by WalletHub, and 40th most service participation in Washington Monthly. The AACSB-accredited Heider College of Business was ranked 20th by the U.S. News & World Report for online programs like the Business Intelligence and Analytics Master of Science. Organized by Dr. Ravi Nath, this 33-credit, sequential curriculum trains data-driven decision makers in courses like Data Visual Analysis and Database Management Systems. With 99 percent job placement, Creighton success stories have led to Ernst & Young, Protiviti, JPMorgan Chase, TD Ameritrade, and more. Students with minimum 500 GMAT scores also consider 48-credit Dual MBA/MSBIA Online.


9. Saint Joseph's University

Online Master of Science in Business Intelligence & Analytics

Philadelphia, PA

Average Graduate Tuition: $16,092 per year

Publishing the International Journal of Business Intelligence Research since 2010, Saint Joseph's University is a private, civic-engaged Jesuit NAICU member of the Atlantic 10 that's endowed for $216 million to educate 8,086 Hawks across 137 academic programs on its 114-acre Lower Merion campus and online via Blackboard. Bestowed a 2018 Victory Media Military Friendly Gold Level Award, SJU is declared America's 255th best-loved colleges in Forbes, 171st best business school on Niche, and 322nd top institution by Times Higher Education. Also placed 36th nationally by the U.S. News & World Report, the Erivan K. Haub School of Business headed by Dr. Joseph DiAngelo confers the Online Master of Science in Business Intelligence & Analytics. The 30-credit, AACSB-accredited curriculum takes two years to complete virtual courses like Predictive Modeling and Critical Performance Management that are SAS endorsed. Saint Joseph's created four elective tracks in General, Cyber Analytics, Data Analytics, and Programming Languages before capstone work. There's an MBA Concentration in Business Intelligence & Analytics Online too.


8. Capella University

MBA Business Intelligence Specialization Online

Minneapolis, MN

Average Graduate Tuition: $15,003 per year

Crowned champion at the 2016 MinneMUDAC: Dive into Water Analytics Competition, Capella University is a private, for-profit higher learning hub of Minnesota's Twin Cities that's celebrating its 25th year by training 35,889 nontraditional students and employing 1,519 staff in 142 academic programs delivered online through Blackboard. Granted the IMS Global Learning Impact Award, Capella follows Quality Matters standards for America's 174th most popular business courses on College Factual, 94th most affordability on WalletHub, and 203rd highest graduation rate in Washington Monthly. The ACBSP-accredited School of Business and Technology has a traditional GuidedPath or self-paced FlexPath for its MBA Business Intelligence Specialization Online. Chaired by Dr. Laura Sankovich, the 45-unit, competency-based degree takes 33 months on average to customize courses from Managerial Finance to Data Mining with an optional Advanced Analytics Using SAS Certificate. Post-grads with minimum 2.3 bachelor's GPAs submit Capella's $50 application year-round. Other graduate offerings include the Master of Science in Analytics, DBA in Business Intelligence, and Master of Science in Human Services Data Analytics.


7. Lewis University

Online Business Analytics M.S.

Romeoville, IL

Average Graduate Tuition: $14,310 per year

Partnered with 300+ recruiters, including Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and ECS Financial Services, Lewis University is a private, four-year Catholic teaching institute established in 1932 that's endowed for $56.3 million to attract 1,960 post-grad Flyers into 35 programs meeting in Romeoville, Oak Brook, Albuquerque, or online through Blackboard. Labeled a "College of Distinction," Lewis is deemed America's 259th top value in Money magazine, 428th best private university on Niche, and 176th best college by the Social Mobility Index. Funded with Department of Defense grants for its VMware CloudLab, the ACBSP-accredited College of Business allows 24/7 access to the Online Business Analytics M.S. Program. The 33-36 credit curriculum directed by Dr. Ryan Butt brings together Fortune 500 faculty for teaching eight-week courses like Quantitative Methods of Business. Online students select concentrations in Marketing Analytics, Healthcare Analytics, or Operations Analytics before the Big Data capstone. Similar online Lewis degrees are the Data Science M.S. and Business Administration M.B.A. in Information Systems.


6. Maryville University of St. Louis

Master's in Business Data Analytics Online

St. Louis, MO

Average Graduate Tuition: $13,768 per year

Implementing the Digital World Program for free iPads, Maryville University of St. Louis is a private, high-tech research GLVC institution opened by the Religious of the Sacred Heart in 1872 that's gifting $51 million in financial aid to 8,000 Saints from 60 nations who study in "Gateway City," Sunset Hills, Scott Air Force Base, and online. Named an Apple Distinguished School in 2016, Maryville is crowned America's 120th best online business college by the U.S. News & World Report, 329th best private university in Forbes, and 154th top value overall in Kiplinger's Personal Finance. The John E. Simon School of Business launched the ACBSP-accredited Master's in Business Analytics Online via Canvas for Microsoft SQL Server certification. Starting thrice annually, the 30-credit, non-GMAT program managed by Dr. Pam Horwitz blends nine courses like Data Warehousing with an applied capstone. Electives are customized for Descriptive Analytics, Predictive Analytics, and Prescriptive Analytics specializations. Maryville also grants the Master's in Business Administration Online for Accounting or Cyber Security in 12 months.


5. Baker College

Online MBA in Business Intelligence Program

Flint Township, MI

Average Graduate Tuition: $12,150 per year

Founded in 1901 as Muskegon College by Governor Woodbridge Ferris, Baker College is the Wolverine State's largest private, nonprofit career institute belonging to the MACRAO that serves 23,000 students in 150 programs from its 53-acre Genesee County headquarters to Auburn Hills and Cadillac or through eLearning on Blackboard. Awarded the Online Learning Consortium's Exemplary Status, Baker is congratulated for America's 205th best online MBA by the U.S. News & World Report, 94th best campus on Niche, and 77th top virtual courses on Reporting a median alumni salary of $50,936, the IACBE-accredited College of Business overseen by Dr. Cleamon Moorer Jr. initiated the Online MBA in Business Intelligence Program. Each $35 application for the 38-credit, non-thesis degree must include official transcripts showing cumulative GPAs above 2.5. Baker students further their statistical leadership skills with eight-week sessions like Data Warehousing leading to the graduate seminar project. Cohorts of 12-15 enter the 14-course Online MS in Information Systems – Business Intelligence Concentration too.


4. Arizona State University-Tempe

Master of Science in Business Analytics Online

Tempe, AZ

Average Graduate Tuition: $11,506 per year

Linked to 336,103 LinkedIn alumni, including CEOs Allison Maslan, Joe Shoen, and T. Allen McArtor, Arizona State University-Tempe is a preeminent public, research-intensive doctoral institution that's teaching 51,869 Sun Devils and generating a $1 billion economic impact from its 493-classroom Phoenix Metro campus to online. Employing the 2014 AMA Erin Anderson Award winner, ASU is designated America's 25th best business school by the U.S. News & World Report, 141st best university in Times Higher Education, and 91st most diverse college on Niche. Ranked 19th for recruiter preference by The Wall Street Journal, the AACSB-accredited Carey School of Business boasts 84 percent retention in 14 programs like the Master of Science in Business Analytics Online. The 30-credit, 16-month curriculum coordinated by Dr. Bin Gu involves taking one Blackboard course per five-week session in locked progression. Mastery of topics like Data-Driven Quality Management is tested with ASU's Actionable Analytics Lab. Online graduates also pursue the Business Analytics MBA Concentration and Master of Accountancy Data Analytics Track.


3. Bellevue University

Online Master of Science in Business Analytics MS

Bellevue, NE

Average Graduate Tuition: $10,335 per year

Located on a 46-acre Galvin Road campus in Nebraska's Council Bluffs region with online Cyber-active classrooms on Blackboard, Bellevue University is a private, nonprofit real-world learning institution endowed for $28.07 million that's reaching 10,304 diverse Bruins worldwide at a 14:1 student-faculty ratio. Honored eight times with the CLO Magazine Excellence in Academic Partnerships Award, Bellevue is ranked America's 23rd best distance educator by, 120th top online business school on the U.S. News & World Report, and 291st best buck in Washington Monthly. Directed by Dr. Jane Schaefer, the IACBE-accredited College of Business reports a 53 percent persistence rate for its Online Master of Science in Business Analytics MS. Graduates with minimum 2.5 GPAs utilize the 36-credit, capstone-embedded program to generate Big Data opportunities. Quantitative emphases are available for Advanced Data Mining, Enterprise Data Management, and IT Infrastructure. Bellevue has created an Online Master of Science in Data Science MS and Master of Science in Management Information Systems MS too.


2. University of Colorado Denver

MS in Information Systems: Business Intelligence Specialization Online

Denver, CO

Average Graduate Tuition: $8,452 per year

Housing the Center for Information Technology Innovation, the University of Colorado Denver is a public, doctoral-granting RU/VH institution consolidated with the Anschutz Medical Campus in 2004 that's funded for $386 million annually to teach 4,208 post-grads at its 126-acre Speer Boulevard location and online. Bestowed the 2018 AACTE Best Practices Award, UC Denver is proclaimed America's 91st best business school by the U.S. News & World Report, 121st best university on Plexuss, and 257th top master's college for social mobility in Washington Monthly. Integrating Simio simulation software into Canvas, the AACSB-accredited Business School awards the STEM-designated MS in Information Systems: Business Intelligence Specialization Online in 12-24 months. Chaired by Dr. Jahangir Karimi, the 30-credit, practice-based degree introduces MicroStrategy tools for analyzing operational data. Offering an optional Geographic Information Systems option, the curriculum spans online eight-week courses from IT Governance to Text Analytic Modeling before the capstone project. Denver Lynx should also consider the Online MBA in Enterprise Technology Management and Data Warehousing for Business Intelligence Certificate.


1. Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

Online Master of Science in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics

Winona, MN

Average Graduate Tuition: $8,100 per year

Enrolling 4,729 post-grad Cardinals with 100+ organizations like Data Analytics Club, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota is a private, nonprofit Lasallian ACCU member founded in Winona by the Brothers of the Christian Schools in 1912 that's endowed for $53 million to deliver Engage courses with free iPads. Home to the 2018 MCWAL Breaking Barriers Award recipient, Saint Mary's is distinguished for America's 157th best faculty in Washington Monthly, 376th best Common Application process on Niche, and 362nd most satisfied alumni by Forbes magazine. Headed by Dr. Shelly McCallum-Ferguson, the IACBE-accredited Department of Business charges our list's lowest mean price for an Online Master of Science in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics. The 36-credit, application-based program was formed by a Fortune 500 panel to unlock math-minded leadership roles in two years. Case studies are woven into courses like Data Visualization, Business Statistics, and Python Programming Languages before the capstone. Another cheap SMUMN offering is the Accelerated Online Master of Business Administration in Data Analytics.


Which Careers are Available for Master's in Business Intelligence Online Grads?

Earning an online business intelligence master's would instill the essential analytical skills for using software like Hadoop and Python in advanced Big Data jobs from front- to back-end development. Aside from collegiate teaching, master's graduates have rich opportunities to utilize 21st century tech innovations for better corporate growth, especially with industry-backed credentials. For example, Transforming Data With Intelligence grants the mastery-level Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP) title for scoring at least 70 on its $400 remotely proctored exam. The SAS Academy confers the Certified Advanced Analytics Professional (CAAP) distinction online to individuals who pass the nine-course, three-exam sequence online. Oracle also lets members earn the Business Intelligence Foundation Suite 11 Certified Implementation Specialist designation with a 75-question, $245 exam. Here are five sample careers of many that benefit from online master's in business intelligence study:

Business Intelligence Specialist- Corporations increasingly hire business intelligence specialists because Nucleus Research discovered that BI provides a mean return of $13 for every dollar invested! Online master's in business intelligence training helps set data mining rules, analyze trends, perform quality assurance, generate ad-hoc reports, interpret insights, identify best practices, track performance monitors, and validate compliance.

Data Warehouse Developer- Forbes reported that today's data warehouses are faster and 1,000 times bigger with petabyte sizes than the originals 20 years ago, but cheap business intelligence master's grads can still improve them. Data warehouse developers create star schema models, plan ETL solutions, oversee end-to-end designs, conduct user acceptance testing, validate business queries, monitor data loads, and fix technical glitches.

Business Analytics Manager- Grading their personal satisfaction "B" in CNN Money's 41st best job, business analytics managers have supervisory roles organizing productive teams that churn data for logical solutions. Getting a business intelligence master's online could prepare for defining analysis goals, ascertaining data sources, overseeing analysts, extracting accurate reports, securing information libraries, and presenting trends to executives.

Operations Research Analyst- Finishing an online business intelligence master's could nurture the analytical know-how for America's 47th best job on the U.S. News & World Report. Operations research analysts identify problems like production inefficiency, collect relevant data, survey worker opinions, examine the statistical findings, infer empirical-based solutions, publish official results, and advise management on smart courses of action.

SQL Server Administrator- Becoming proficient in the lingo of Structured Query Language equips master's in business intelligence online graduates for managing the relational databases that query critical data. SQL server administrators design database strategies, oversee all schema, deploy change scripts, install software upgrades, secure data backups, troubleshoot service outages, improve analytics capacity, and plan future server expansions.

What is the Salary ROI for Online Master's in Business Intelligence Degrees?

Getting a cheap business intelligence master's online often returns a higher salary than the master's average of $62,712 on PayScale. According to Business Insider, the CBIP certification gives Big Data experts a six-figure median income of $109,943. Business intelligence specialists with 5+ years of experience earn $75,000 to $143,250 on the 2018 Robert Half Salary Guide. While entry-level business analysts make $40,750 to $78,500, senior data analysis management jobs garner top pay of $185,500 or higher. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that operations research analysts snag a mean annual wage of $84,340. Management analysts bring home median profits of $91,910. On, business intelligence directors report mean compensation of $162,643. Other high averages are $101,765 for data warehouse developers, $114,318 for Oracle database administrators, $140,196 for business process technology consultants, and $263,361 for Chief Information Officers.

How Does the Job Outlook Look After Business Intelligence Master's Online Programs?

Investing in an online business intelligence master's won't be risky because IBM Corporation projects that the number of data-related jobs will soar from 364,000 to 2.72 million by 2020. It's expected that nearly two-thirds of these openings will be in finance, insurance, and information technology for pay averaging $80,265. The U.S. Department of Labor stated that the business sector will grow rapidly by 10 percent through 2026. Operations research analysts can expect much faster-than-average growth of 27 percent for 31,300 jobs. Other 10-year outlooks are 14 percent for management analysts, 10 percent for financial examiners, 11 percent for database administrators, and 39 percent for data architects. According to Network World, cities experiencing the biggest Big Data boom are San Francisco, McLean, Boston, St. Louis, and Toronto. Review the aggregated data on the above online master's in business intelligence degrees that offer 24/7 flexibility to access analytics courses anywhere.


CIO Magazine
IBM Journal
College Navigator
Council on Higher Education Accreditation

GSH Staff
August 2018

This concludes our ranking of the top 10 most affordable master's in business intelligence for 2018.