Most Affordable Online Master’s in Business Intelligence

Most Affordable Online Master’s in Business Intelligence

Erin Gobler picture
Erin Gobler
Updated May 4, 2023 is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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As businesses continue to embrace data and analytics, organizations need skilled individuals who can parse through data and make informed decisions. An online master’s in business intelligence gives learners the tools to interpret information and adjust business strategies.

Similar to a master’s in business analytics online, a master’s in business intelligence combines business and management courses with information technology. These programs often take 1-2 years to complete, depending on students’ enrollment status. Prospective students need a bachelor’s degree, preferably in business, and might want to consider earning a few years of relevant business experience before applying.

The online master’s in business intelligence leads to excellent career outcomes. One potential career outcome in market research analysis pays a median wage of $63,790, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also projects jobs for market research analysts to grow 18% between 2019 and 2029, much faster growth than the average position. There are plenty of other job opportunities available when you hold a master’s degree in business intelligence. Possible career paths include data scientists, financial analysts, and statisticians.

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Most Affordable Online Master's in Business Intelligence in 2021

  1. Oklahoma State University-Main Campus

    Stillwater, OK



    Founded in 1890, Oklahoma State University offers an online MBA program with a concentration in data science. The degree requires 33-36 credits that full-time students can finish in just one year.

    All MBA enrollees complete a common core that develops competencies in areas such as financial reporting, business finance, and prescriptive analytics. The data science specialization comprises four courses, including advanced data management and business intelligence tools and techniques. Two electives complete the concentration with options such as data visualization and big data technologies.

    The MBA classroom mirrors the corporate world with an emphasis on collaboration and soft skill development. Students who pursue the master's in business analytics online enjoy a 98% job-placement rate, highlighting the degree's return on investment. Admission requires GMAT or GRE scores.

  2. The University of West Florida

    Pensacola, FL



    Located in Pensacola, the University of West Florida enrolls about 12,500 students annually, about 30% of whom study exclusively online. UWF's fully online MBA with an emphasis in business analytics takes 16 months of full-time study to complete.

    The 36-credit program begins with core classes in areas like accounting, financial management, and marketing management. MBA students develop a keen understanding of individual behavior and group dynamics.

    Students complete nine credits on business intelligence applications, business data management, and big data mining. All students earning the master's in business analytics online pay the same per-credit tuition regardless of residency. Active-duty military, veterans, and their dependents enjoy tuition discounts. Admission requires GRE or GMAT scores.

  3. Bellevue University

    Bellevue, NE



    Bellevue University serves students on its main campus in Omaha and through a robust virtual college. BU's online MS in business analytics teaches students how to leverage big data to develop strategic solutions that address organizational goals. The 36-credit curriculum explores key business functions such as financial reporting and marketing and new media strategy.

    Participants also take three information systems courses that cover topics such as information security management and IT strategy and policy. The rest of the program is dedicated to data analytics, covering topics like data mining applications and enterprise data and information management.

    Students supplement coursework with projects such as performing an in-depth analysis of an organization's information systems challenges and proposing solutions. All online students pay the same competitive tuition regardless of residency. Admission requires a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA.

  4. University of Michigan-Dearborn

    Dearborn, MI



    The University of Michigan-Dearborn emphasizes experiential learning and small class sizes. The online MBA with a concentration in business analytics continues this tradition with academic and project-based learning. The 36- to 48-credit degree features a hybrid format.

    Core courses cover topics such as economic analysis, operations management, and applied statistical modeling. Students build on core knowledge with a series of courses devoted to applied integrated management, examining managerial decision-making, global marketing, and corporate actions and reactions.

    The business analytics concentration develops skills in management science, decision analysis, and system simulation. Learners culminate the degree with a capstone project focused on strategic planning and decision-making. Admission to this affordable online master's in business analytics requires GRE or GMAT scores.

  5. Indiana University

    Bloomington, IN



    Indiana University features top-ranked academics delivered on a scenic campus in Bloomington and online. The 30-credit, online MS in business analytics prepares students to work as brand analytics managers, web metrics analysts, and other professionals who use data to make businesses more competitive.

    Students explore topics such as quantitative analysis, operations management, business econometrics, and data warehousing and visualization. Participants develop analytical models that solve complex business problems. Graduates know how to derive valuable statistical information from data and use analytic models to make effective decisions.

    Students pursuing the master's in business analytics online enjoy access to job boards, career coaches, and professional development opportunities. All online students pay the same per-credit tuition regardless of residency. Admission requires GRE or GMAT scores.

  6. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

    Whitewater, WI



    The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater operates the largest accredited business school in the state. The school's 36-credit online MBA with a concentration in data analytics covers topics such as quantitative analysis, innovation management, and persuasion and negotiation.

    Students use nine credits to hone expertise in data mining, digital marketing, and data analytics and business intelligence. An optional thesis demonstrates students' proficiencies in data-driven research. Learners can choose between hybrid and fully online formats.

    Graduates receive access to a network of more than 30,000 active alumni who can lend support and provide career connections. Students with non-business degrees may apply to this online master's in business analytics. Admission requires GMAT or GRE scores.

  7. West Virginia University

    Morgantown, WV



    West Virginia University enrolls about 30,000 students annually. The 30-credit MS in business data analytics begins with a course that outlines the field's key concepts, such as data mining and data warehousing. The curriculum builds on this knowledge with coursework in data management, decision sciences and analytics, and business simulation modeling.

    A data and information visualization course teaches students how to create graphical representation of datasets. Enrollees supplement online learning with a residency on campus in Morgantown. Participants culminate the degree with a final project that incorporates skills in ethical data collection, data mining, and other areas.

    Distance learners can take advantage of free online tutoring, 24/7 mental health counselling, and technology services. Students pursuing this affordable online master's in business analytics pay the same per-credit tuition no matter where they live. Admission requires GMAT or GRE scores.

  8. University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

    La Crosse, WI



    The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse ranks among the best colleges in the Midwest.

    Designed for working professionals, the 36-credit MS in data science offers an interdisciplinary curriculum. Students acquire well-rounded knowledge in areas such as computer science, business management, and communication.

    Learners study topics like statistical methods, data mining, programming for data science, and visualization and structured data analysis. Students also hone programming and data visualization skills in a virtual lab that gives them access to Python, SQL Serve, and Tableau at no additional cost. During the capstone experience, participants apply degree knowledge to address a real business problem.

    All students earning the master's in business analytics online pay the same tuition regardless of residency. Admission requires a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA and no GMAT or GRE scores.

  9. Baker College

    Flint, MI



    Michigan's largest private school, Baker College offers 50 online degrees, including an online MBA in business intelligence. The 36-credit curriculum develops managerial proficiencies in areas such as accounting, marketing, and human resource management. Students explore topics like business intelligence principles, data warehousing, database design and management, and management information systems.

    On average, students complete the MBA in 1-2 years, but an accelerated option allows learners to finish the degree even faster. About 86% of students pursuing the master's in business analytics online receive some form of financial aid.

    The school is the lowest-priced private college in the state. Students can transfer up to 12 credits toward the degree. Admission requires no GMAT or GRE scores, though applicants may submit them to bolster their application.

  10. University of California-Riverside

    Riverside, CA



    Part of a 10-campus system, the University of California-Riverside ranks among the top 1% of colleges in the world. The school's online MS in engineering with a specialization in data science focuses on technical skills and leadership development. The comprehensive program enrolls learners with engineering experience. The 32-credit program covers core engineering topics, such as engineering management, systems engineering, and technology innovation and strategy for engineers.

    Data science courses cover topics like data mining, advanced pattern recognition, statistical computing, and applied machine learning. One data science course focuses exclusively on the tools used to model and visualize extracted data.

    Throughout the program, students complete four one-credit capstone courses online. Students can finish the online master's in business analytics in just 13 months. Support specialists provide online students with assistance throughout their enrollment. Admission requires GRE/FE scores.

Answering your questions about a master’s in business intelligence

Is business intelligence a good career?

Business intelligence mixes the high-growth field of IT with business, making it an excellent field for future business professionals.

How much does a master’s in business intelligence cost?

How much students invest in a master’s in business intelligence varies based on where they live, whether they receive financial aid, and online tuition rates. Most programs cost $15,000-$30,000.

How long does it take to complete a master’s in business intelligence?

A master’s in business intelligence takes 1-2 years to complete, with full-time learners completing the program in one year or less.

Does business intelligence need coding?

As an IT-heavy program, a master’s in business intelligence requires students to understand coding languages and processes.

Business intelligence programs combine information systems with business. Many graduates of online master’s in business intelligence programs end up in high-growth fields and earn above-average wages. The master’s degree benefits learners by providing a new perspective to both IT and business. Most students in graduate-level business intelligence programs come from an IT or business background, but rarely both. The business intelligence degree combines the two, teaching new skills while reinforcing previous ones. Master’s degree-holders also typically find positions at the management level and earn higher wages than professionals with only a bachelor’s degree. Master’s programs in business intelligence typically take between one and two years to complete and can be completed either full-time or part-time, giving you the option of completing the program while working full-time.

Career and Salary Outlook for Business Intelligence Majors

Business intelligence provides students with valuable IT and business skills, opening up several career opportunities. Many graduates of an online master's in business intelligence program choose to work in analytics since most programs focus heavily on analytics. As master's degree-holders, graduates also work in management positions. While no amount of education guarantees a career, business intelligence majors often pursue the careers below.

Operation Research Analyst$84,81025%
Financial Analyst$81,5905%
Management Analyst$85,26011%
Source: BLS

Operations Research Analyst

These analysts use various methods of mathematical analysis to solve an organization’s problems. Duties include identifying problems, gathering large amounts of data, and examining the data to determine potential solutions. These professionals mainly work in finance, insurance, and technical fields.

Financial Analyst

As professionals who evaluate portfolios, financial analysts constantly research potential investment opportunities. To find the best opportunities, they collect historical data, research business trends, and pitch investment ideas to company officials. These professionals work on buy-side or sell-side, meaning they either purchase or sell existing investments.

Management Analyst

Also known as management consultants, management analysts use data to determine ways to make organizations more profitable and efficient. Daily tasks include analyzing financial data, interviewing employees, and working with managers to institute changes. Many management analysts work for consulting agencies or enjoy self-employment.

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What Are the Benefits of a Degree in Business Intelligence?

Learners and workers return to school and earn a master’s in business intelligence for various professional and personal reasons. See below for some benefits of earning a master’s in business intelligence.

Advance Your Career
Master’s degrees in business help current workers add education to experience, allowing them to secure promotions or higher positions.
Learn New Skills
Business intelligence blends business and IT, and many degree-seekers only studied one of the two subjects in undergrad. The master’s degree teaches new, valuable skills.
Change Fields
Those in business looking to transition to IT and those in IT looking to transition to business can do so with a master’s in business intelligence.
Increase Potential Pay
Higher levels of education often lead to higher salaries. A master’s in business intelligence can also lead to pay raises from current employers. According to Payscale, the average salary for someone with a master’s in business intelligence is $83,071.
Expand Your Network
From well-connected faculty to alumni networks, graduate schools provide students with plenty of networking opportunities. A strong network could help graduates find their next position.

Accreditation for a Master's in Business Intelligence

When researching the best online master's in business intelligence programs, prospective students should check for accreditation. Accreditation certifies the academic quality of a school or program, ensuring that learners earn a degree from a well-respected program.

Colleges and universities receive either regional or national accreditation. However, learners searching for the best online master's in business intelligence programs should only apply to regionally accredited schools. Employers and doctoral programs prefer candidates who graduated from regionally accredited institutions. Learners who study at a non-regionally accredited school may not qualify for financial aid.

Prospective students should also look for programmatic accreditation. While not as important as regional accreditation, programmatic accreditation verifies that the degree meets standards set by industry experts. For business degrees, look for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

To learn more about accreditation and which accrediting bodies to look for, refer to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, a top organization in certifying accrediting bodies.

Common Courses in a Business Intelligence Master’s Program

Organizational Behavior

A mix of management strategies with workplace culture and human behavior, this course examines the relationships between management and employees. Students learn how to create an effective relationship that benefits all parties. This course focuses on management, teaching students best practices for interacting with others within the organization. A business-minded course, organizational behavior helps prepare graduates for leadership roles.

Data Analytics and Machine Learning

Students use various data mining techniques to collect valuable information and then analyze the data to solve real-world problems. Learners also examine large databases to discover new ways to approach business operations. As an IT-heavy course, students must understand concepts like machine learning, decision trees, artificial neural networks, clustering, and algorithm evaluation. Students can apply many of the skills they learn in this course to business roles.

Supply Chain Analytics

Ideal for students interested in supply chain management, this course introduces the function of supply chains. Learners examine the design of different supply chains and discover how to analyze the effectiveness of the supply chains. During the course, students use real-world scenarios to learn the nuances of supply chain management and how analytics can improve operations. Students gain the skills to improve many facets of the supply chain, including sourcing, operations planning, capacity planning, and network management.

Strategic Planning for Information Systems

Another blend of business and IT, this course introduces students to different methods of using information systems to provide measurable benefits to an organization. Learners create an information systems plan, assess the quality of existing plans, and develop ideas for future systems. Schools offer this course with a focus on applications that improve business and corporate operations.

Marketing Analytics

Taken toward the end of a master’s in business intelligence program, this course covers the collection and analysis of data related to marketing, including positioning, forecasting, and segmentation. Learners collect data from real-world businesses and perform a deep analysis. Next, students determine potential strategies to improve marketing performance.

Quantitative and Qualitative Decision-Making

In this course, students learn to use a variety of quantitative and qualitative decision-making strategies to make rational and data-driven decisions. Common topics in this course include statistical analysis, probability theories, cost-benefit analysis, forecasting, and more.

Data Mining and Visualization

Data mining is the process of extracting information from data and looking for patterns. In this type of course, students analyze various data sets and translate it into easy-to-digest visual formats such as graphs. Coursework includes data transformation, statistical graphics, time series analysis, and more.

What’s the Difference Between an MBA and a Master’s in Business Intelligence?

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a popular and highly-respected degree that is well-suited to those who work in or aspire to work in business leadership positions. MBA programs offer a variety of concentrations, including finance, marketing, entrepreneurship, project management, business analytics, and more.

There’s plenty of overlap between an MBA and a master’s in business intelligence, especially for those who receive an MBA with a concentration in business analytics. However, the two degrees are better suited to different types of professionals. An MBA provides a more thorough business education and is best for those who aspire to work in business leadership positions. A master’s in business intelligence focuses more specifically on analytics and is better suited to professionals who aspire to work in research and analytics jobs.

How to Become a Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts study markets to recommend or improve marketing initiatives. While the BLS notes that market research analysts need a bachelor's degree, many employers prefer applicants with a master's degree and some relevant professional experience. Market research analysts must demonstrate excellent mathematical and analytical skills, so many professionals earn degrees in computer science, math, or business administration.

After earning an online master's degree in business analytics or business intelligence, individuals sometimes earn the professional researcher certification (PRC). While not required, this certification demonstrates a combination of education and experience.

Certifications and Licensure for Business Intelligence Majors

Although most positions do not require a license or professional certification, many business intelligence majors choose to earn a certification anyway. Certifications prove that an individual meets a minimum level of experience and education, and earning a certification could increase chances of securing a high-paying position.

Professional Researcher Certification
One of the field's oldest certifications, PRC demonstrates an individual's commitment to knowledge and ethics. To qualify, professionals must complete 12 education credits (applicants can earn these during their master's degree). Next, individuals take and pass the PRC exam.

Certified Management Consultant
Awarded by the Institute of Management Consultants, this certification holds professionals to global standards of ethical behavior and technical competency. Applicants need 3-5 years of consulting experience, including management or operations consulting. They must also submit five professional references and pass the CMC exam.

Certified Business Intelligence Professional
This certification offered by Transforming Data With Intelligence requires a degree in information systems, business administration, or a similar field. Applicants must complete two years of full-time relevant work experience to sit for the exam. Professionals earn either practitioner or mastery-level certification.

How Can a Master's Student Pay for College?

Students who need help paying for an online master's in business intelligence can apply for scholarships. Learners can use scholarship funds for tuition, fees, and educational expenses. Some scholarships only accept applicants pursuing a degree in business intelligence.

The Visto Bill Caspare Memorial Fund Diversity Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Created in honor of Bill Caspare, this scholarship honors students who pursue a degree related to new media or data science, preferably within advertising and media. Applicants for this one-time scholarship must come from an ethnic background or be immigrants to the United States.
Amount: $10,000

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
Who Can Apply: This fellowship helps graduate students pursuing a STEM degree pay for their program. Applicants must study full time and submit letters of reference. In addition to the scholarship, winners receive an annual stipend of $34,000 to cover living expenses.
Amount: $12,000

Women in Data Science Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This scholarship works to increase the number of women pursuing an undergraduate or graduate-level data science degree. Applicants must be female, enrolled in an accredited institution, and currently pursuing a degree in data science, business analytics, or a related field.
Amount: $1,000

Women Techmakers Scholars Program
Who Can Apply: Available to women pursuing a degree in computer science or a related field, this scholarship awards $10,000 to multiple winners. Awardees also receive a complimentary visit to Google's campus in California for a multi-day retreat to network with other women techmakers and attend workshops and professional development seminars.
Amount: $10,000

American Indian Science and Engineering Society
Who Can Apply: AISES helps American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and Indigenous peoples of Canada pay for their STEM degree with various scholarships. Applicants must pursue a degree in a STEM field, including data analytics and related topics. AISES only accepts applications from student members.
Amount: Varies

Summary of the Most Affordable Online Master’s in Business Intelligence

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Erin Gobler


Erin Gobler is a freelance writer who covers education topics for Best Value Schools, Graduate School Hub, and Criminal Justice Degree Schools, among others. Her work has been published on sites like Fox Business, Rocket Mortgage, and The Balance.

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