Why Get a Masters in Business Intelligence Degree?

In our global and interconnected economy, business intelligence has the potential to allow organizations to use large amounts of data from all of its processes to find new opportunities, strategies and business advantage.

Earning a master’s degree in business intelligence will prepare you to develop advanced, meaningful business insights from a large number of data sources. This advanced, in demand degree will provide you with the statistical methods, modeling tools, and data collection and reporting methods that you need to be a key playing in your company’s business intelligence operations.

More About Business Intelligence

Business intelligence or BI is extracting insights from raw forms of data to help in making business decisions. BI is most often important in examining and cataloging data from past business actions, and developing consistent metrics to measure prior business performance and to guide business planning in the future.

Business intelligence is thought to be distinct from business analytics. BI generally looks at past events, and bases future business strategies on insights that are made from that historical data. Business analytics is more focused on using advanced modeling to predict future business events.

Being an expert with business intelligence can make you a top candidate for these types of positions:

  • Management analysts: These are business professionals who come up with innovative ways to improve the efficiency of an organization. They provide expert business intelligence advice to managers on how to make companies more profitable by increasing revenues and lowering costs. Some analysts work for a consulting company to gain several years of business intelligence experience, then begin to work for themselves.
  • Financial analysts: These financial experts with business intelligence skills provide advice to individuals and businesses about how to make the most intelligent investing decisions. They also handle assessments of performance of various types of investments over the long term.
  • Financial managers: Responsible for the financial health of a company, these financial professionals often rely on business analytics and intelligence to direct financial and investment activities and develop long term business strategies.

Why Earn a Master’s in Business Intelligence?

Every small, medium and large organization can benefit significantly from business intelligence. Some of the common issues that indicate that business intelligence professionals are needed in a company include:

  • Needing to integrate data from several business applications or sources of data to accomplish daily tasks
  • Poor visibility and transparency in the company’s operations and finances
  • Inability to access relevant business data in an efficient manner
  • Higher number of users need to access information and more end users need analytical capabilities
  • New products needing to be introduced
  • Frequent upgrades in IT equipment

Companies are finding that integrating business intelligence solutions into their operations brings many benefits:

  • Sharing information more effectively and efficiently across the organization: They find that business intelligence makes it much easier for everyone in the company to access information and be entirely updated at any time.
  • Empowerment of staff: Employees having access to real time analytical data that is easy to understand allows them to be more productive.
  • Makes collaborating easier with one source for up to date financial and operational data: Having a single location of data allows the company to easily monitor vital performance indicators, to analyze data easily and to access up to date reports.

As more organizations are understanding the substantial benefits of integrating business intelligence solutions, there is increasing need for BI managers with advanced degrees.

Admission Requirements

Universities that offer a master’s degree in business intelligence or analytics typically have rigorous requirements for admission. For example, the University of Texas at Dallas has the following requirements for its master’s program:

  • GMAT or GRE scores within the last five years; there is a possible exception if your GPA in your undergraduate work was 3.6 or higher.
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Updated resume that reflects at least three years of business work experience
  • Full transcripts from undergraduate work

Curriculum and Courses

Stevens Institute of Technology in New York City is a highly respected technical university that offers a Master’s in Business Intelligence and Analytics. It will provide you with the professional and analytical skills that you need to take full advantage of the huge amount of data that is available in organizations today in your business career.

The curriculum here covers all of the concepts and tools that are at the forefront of the business intelligence and big data revolution:

  • Database management
  • Data warehousing
  • Text and data mining
  • Social network analysis
  • Risk analytics
  • Technologies such as Hadoop and data stream analytics

After you complete this two year degree, students will need to complete a capstone project that has them work on a real business intelligence project with real company data; this is done under the instruction of a mentor in the industry.

Your required courses include:

  • Financial Decision Making
  • Strategic Data Management
  • Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence
  • Process Analytics and Optimization
  • Risk Management: Methods and Applications
  • Multivariate Data Analytics
  • Experimental Design
  • Knowledge Discovery in Databases
  • Statistical Learning and Analytics
  • Social Network Analytics
  • Web Mining
  • Marketing Analytics
  • Supply Chain Analytics
  • Data Streams Analytics: Internet of Things
  • Big Data Seminar
  • Applied Analytics in a World of Big Data

Career Outcomes and Job Titles

You will be well qualified for these types of careers and job titles:

  • Business analyst
  • Business intelligence director
  • Business information director
  • Business information director
  • Data analyst
  • Management analyst
  • Financial analyst
  • Operations research analyst
  • Financial manager

Job and Salary Outlook

  • Management Analyst –Management analysts with business intelligence skills will be in great demand in coming years, with 14% increase in jobs. Demand for consulting services should increase as companies want to analyze their large amounts of data to learn how to improve efficiency and control costs. Median pay in this field is $81,320, and the highest earning management consultants on average are with the federal government, at $88,000 per year.
  • Financial Manager –Financial managers will see 7% increase in jobs by 2024; it is expected that financial manager demand will stay high in the areas of planning, directing and coordinating investments. The US will continue to remain a major financial center of the world, so economic growth around the world leads to growth of employment in the US finance industry. The median salary in this field is $117,000 per year.
  • Operational Research Analyst –This professional uses his skills in business intelligence and mathematical and analytical techniques to help companies to solve their problems and make smart business decisions, all based upon data analysis. Job demand in this field is soaring, with 30% more jobs expected by 2024. The median salary is $78,600 per year.

Scholarships and Grants

  • Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship: Zonta International, a women’s empowerment in business group, offers this scholarship for women around the world who are studying any field of business either at the undergraduate or graduate level. Several hundred scholarships in various amounts are offered each year.
  • Stephen Bufton Memorial Education Fund: This organization offers many business scholarships each year for undergraduate and graduate students.

Additional Resources


  • Business Intelligence Group: This is a crowd sourced business intelligence group that is a great tool for education, networking and other BI resources.
  • National Business Association: This is one of the largest small business associations in the US, and is a good tool for business intelligence business owners or consultants.