Online Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics

Professionals (from any industry) who want to develop their 21st-century toolkit, should consider an online business analytics graduate certificate. These programs train business professionals to make use of new technologies and practice data-driven decision-making. Schools offering Business Intelligence degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How to Earn an Online Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics

An online graduate certificate in business analytics typically consists of 3-4 pre-selected classes that students complete (either part-time or full-time) while maintaining their full-time job. Programs typically take less than a year and require a bachelor's degree. After completing the program, students can continue working in their industry (with an updated skill set) or go on to complete a Master of Science degree in Business Analytics (graduates of most certificate programs can apply some or all of their coursework toward a master's degree). Some of the most common courses in business analytics certificate programs include statistics for analysis, data mining, predictive analytics and data management:

Statistics for Analytics

This course prepares students for the rest of the program by providing them with a foundation in statistics theory and technique. Topics may include descriptive statistics, visualizing data, the normal distribution, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, forecasting, the regression line, regression analysis, and multiple regression analysis. This course may also include an introduction to applying statistics techniques in business decision-making.

Predictive Analytics

In this course, students learn mathematical concepts that form the basis for predictive modeling techniques, like multiple linear regression, decision trees, clustering algorithms, and linear programs. Students may have the opportunity to practice their newfound predictive analytics skills on real-world business data. This course may also include modules on data wrangling, classification models, A/B testing, time series forecasting, machine learning, and neural networks.

Data Mining

Data stored in massive unstructured sets are difficult to use. In data mining courses, students learn how to locate, extract, clean, and visualize data, to make them useful in a variety of business decision-making contexts. Students will likely learn techniques like logistic regression analysis, classical discriminant analysis, decision trees, support vector machines, variable reduction, text analytics and web mining. They may also practice working with the most common data mining programming languages and software (like R, SQL and Python). Students may work on a hands-on project, in which they analyze how data mining techniques could improve performance for a real/mock organization or business project.

Data Management

Without data management or governance, it is nearly impossible for business analysts to make use of vast amounts of raw unstructured data. In this course, students learn how to structure, organize and maintain data with database management systems. They may have the chance to work with new technologies like data warehousing. Topics may include SQL, Hadoop, relational databases, data design, linear optimization, multicriteria decision-making, decision analysis under uncertainty, and simulation.

Marketing Analytics

In a marketing analytics course, students learn methods for selecting, interpreting and applying customer data to optimize marketing efforts. Students will likely learn to work with customer purchase data, customer acquisition data, and current customer retention data. They may have the chance to practice constructing customer segmentation schemas, building predictive models, and analyzing the results of various marketing initiatives. Students will likely practice the most critical statistics methods to marketing analysts, like confidence intervals, regression, optimal design, and sequential experimentation.

Data Visualization

Data visualization courses teach students how to represent collected data through graphics and computer visualization programs. Through hands-on practice and analysis, students think critically about how to present complex data in a clear way (and thus make it accessible to non-experts). They may work with common data visualization software, like Tableau and Excel. Topics may include computer graphics, vision models, numerical representation, and pattern analysis.

Entrance Requirements for an Online Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics

There is no specific undergraduate degree required for students applying to online master's degrees in business analytics. However, some universities expect applicants to have completed prerequisite courses in statistics or database management. Often, graduate certificate programs are specifically designed for working professionals and require a minimum amount of business experience (1-5 years). To apply, students must send in their undergraduate degree transcripts, GRE or GMAT test scores, letters of recommendation from previous professors, an updated resume/CV, and a statement of purpose essay. Students whose first language is not English must also send in TOEFL test scores.

A graduate certificate in business analytics provides working professionals with an opportunity to learn a range of theories, techniques, and technical skills in data analysis, data mining, data visualization, and data management. Admitted students typically take 3-4 courses that help them to increase their competitiveness in the industry.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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