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Business Analytics & The Benefits of an MSBA

07 Mar

Today’s world involves a mind-boggling amount of digital data. It’s estimated that by 2025, more than 200 zettabytes of data (a billion terabytes) will live in the cloud.1 Within all of that information lies an equally large amount of opportunity, with savvy executives searching for buried treasure in mountains of big data.

From this, a new concentration and higher education focus has emerged in the past few years: business analytics. Whether you work in data, tech, business strategy, operations, or all of the above, you’re bound to work closely with a business analyst or in business analytics yourself. With its rising importance and the staggering amount of tech layoffs in 2022 and 2023, now is the perfect time to pursue a Master of Science in Business Analytics—even better if you take advantage of a guaranteed $3,000 scholarship at Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business.

In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the learning and career opportunities that an Online MSBA can create.

What is Business Analytics?

Business analytics is the process of using data to identify what a business needs to do to improve its bottom line. By gathering, analyzing, and reporting on data, business analytics can identify inefficiencies, errors, insights, and opportunities for improvement to guide decisions and determine the right course of action for a company or organization.2 This includes reflecting on the past, taking stock of the present, and anticipating trends and outcomes for the future.

There are four types of business analytics:

Descriptive Analytics

This is the most basic and common form of business analytics.3 It includes traditional business intelligence and visualization tools, such as tables, graphs, charts, and narratives, to better understand what has happened within the business.4 Metrics, key performance indicators (KPIs), and historical business reports are examined to track patterns and trends in past and current data.

Diagnostic Analytics

This advanced type of analytics is used to examine why things happened and identify causes of trends and events. Data science methods—such as data discovery, data mining, drill-down and correlations— are more central here than in descriptive analytics.5

Predictive Analytics

Using various data science methods, such as predictive modeling, pattern matching, advanced statistics and forecasting, this approach can anticipate what will likely occur in the future and how it might impact the business. Predictive analysis helps an organization analyze how events, emerging trends and challenges will make an impact on business.5

Prescriptive Analytics

Prescriptive analytics provide helpful insights during a decision-making process. The most advanced business analytics model, prescriptive analytics tells a company what it should do to achieve a specific goal or outcome. This may require advanced data science methods such as machine learning.5

The MS in Business Analytics

As a relatively new degree option, the Master of Science in Business Analytics evolved out of a need for business managers to gather strategic insights from the vast amount of data their companies and institutions collected. Unlike an MBA, an MSBA program focuses specifically on optimizing business operations and outcomes by using data. These programs typically offer courses in data analytics, computer programming, economic and business forecasting, artificial intelligence for business, and machine learning.

An MS in Business Analytics is also similar to an MS in Data Science, but a data science master’s degree will teach you to consider higher-level issues and become more technical in data tools, whereas an MSBA usually specializes in data that is already structured and ready for interpretation for a specific business.

The Role of the Business Analyst

Acting as the bridge between the present and future state of an organization, business analysts are incredibly influential. They identify, develop, and oversee improvements to processes, products, and systems to achieve the best outcomes for the business. They often coordinate between multiple teams and departments to make sure errors are addressed and goals are met. For example, an analyst might recognize inefficiencies in production and need to coordinate between product, operations, compliance, and senior leadership teams to devise and enact a solution.

For many people, the job description for a business analyst might sound similar to what they do now, or have done in the past. If that’s true, then you know that an MSBA program is the right degree for your career growth.

Benefits of an Online MSBA

If you’re looking for your next opportunity and trying to decide if an Online MSBA—or a master’s degree in general—is the best next step, consider the professional benefits outlined below.

Top In-Demand Skills

As you scour job descriptions and industry publications, you’ll likely see a lot of the same required skills for your field. Whether you’re proficient in any of them is one thing—being rigorously trained by industry leaders on them is another.

Through the SCU MSBA online program, you’ll become an expert in:

  • Programming languages (SQL, Python, Hadoop, and R)
  • Statistics
  • Business analytics
  • Information technology
  • Database management
  • Machine learning
  • Cloud computing
  • Data visualization

In addition to the technical skills employers expect, you’ll also be able to cultivate and hone your communication and leadership skills. That includes managing stakeholder relationships and expectations; designing and leading presentations; and understanding the effects that managerial decisions have on the company as a whole. By working individually and in groups with your cohort, you’ll gain new perspectives and confidence to advance in leadership.

Learning Objectives Straight From Analytics Experts

How can you be sure that the tools and concepts you’re learning are in demand in the market? Every course and every outcome is influenced by Santa Clara University’s seasoned business educators and some of the most innovative minds in Silicon Valley: the MS Business Analytics Advisory Board. With experience at renowned companies like Intel, Google, and Salesforce, the Board of Advisors is made up of 13 industry leaders who lend their talent, expertise, and vision to construct our curriculum, ensuring it prepares you to thrive in today’s business environments.

Drive & Distinction

An MSBA is not a cookie cutter degree and isn’t offered at every university. The focus on analytics and business objectives can prepare you for a wide variety of career opportunities in almost every industry, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. Rather, it’s ideal for professionals who already work in or close to analytics, data, or STEM and want to gain deeper skills, learn new strategies, and grow as a leader.6

The MS in Business Analytics is also a great bridge for tech employees to move into analytics and operations, or at least expand their horizons into broader business objectives. Backgrounds in math, statistics, computer science, and computer programming are ideal, and many tech professionals will find that their skills are applicable and advantageous.6

Limitless Career Opportunities

The near ubiquity of data has created an equivalent demand for trained professionals who can help make sense of it. According to a report by business intelligence company MicroStrategy, 94% of business leaders say that data and analytics are essential to their organizations’ growth and digital transformation.7 The global big data analytics market will grow with a compound annual growth rate of almost 30 percent in the coming years, with revenue reaching over 68 billion U.S. dollars by 2025.8,9

Here are just a few of the positions you could pursue with an Online MSBA.

PositionMedian SalaryProjected Job Growth
Operations research analyst$82,36023%10
Market research analyst$63,92019%11
Management analyst$93,00011%12
Financial analyst$95,5709%13
Computer systems analyst$99,2709%14
Data scientist$100,91036%16

These roles are essential in energy and utilities, information technology, insurance and finance, pharmaceutical and biotechnology, and other industries.

Convenience, Speed, and Flexibility

Unlike their on-campus counterparts, online programs offer a higher level of convenience and flexibility to take courses when and where you want. This removes some of the barriers of in-person learning, like relocating or commuting to class. With that extra time, you can keep job searching, working, or spending time with family while you learn and improve your hiring odds.

At SCU Leavey, you can complete the Online MSBA in just over one year (about 15 months). That means that within the next calendar year, you’ll have new skills, experience, and credentials to add to your resume, employ at work, or attract recruiters’ attention.

Get the Degree & Get Ahead

Designed for working professionals who want to embrace the power of analytics and evolve in their careers, the SCU Leavey School of Business Online MSBA program empowers you to join a field of high-performing business analytics professionals with the knowledge and skills that are in highest demand.

Right now, SCU Leavey is supporting those affected by recent tech layoffs with a special scholarship for graduate business programs. This includes at least $3,000 toward tuition and fees, waived application fees, and lifting the GMAT/GRE requirement for those with tech backgrounds. Schedule some time to talk with an Admissions Advisor and see how you can claim your scholarship.


  1. Retrieved on March 1, 2023, from http://techjury.net/blog/how-much-data-is-created-every-day/
  2. Retrieved on March 1, 2023, from oracle.com/business-analytics/what-is-business-analytics/
  3. Retrieved on March 1, 2023, from https://www.netsuite.com/portal/resource/articles/data-warehouse/business-analytics.shtml
  4. Retrieved on March 1, 2023, from https://www.gartner.com/en/information-technology/glossary/descriptive-analytics
  5. Retrieved on March 2, 2023, from https://www.netsuite.com/portal/resource/articles/data-warehouse/business-analytics.shtml
  6. Retrieved on March 2, 2023, https://fortune.com/education/articles/who-should-pursue-a-masters-degree-in-business-analytics/
  7. Retrieved on March 2, 2023, from https://www.business2community.com/business-intelligence/12-striking-statistics-from-the-2020-global-state-of-enterprise-analytics-report-02289910
  8. Retrieved on March 2, 2023, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/947745/worldwide-total-data-market-revenue/
  9. Retrieved on March 2, 2023, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2023/01/11/five-data-analytics-trends-on-tap-for-2023/?sh=432fbd726cfd
  10. Retrieved on March 2, 2023, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/math/operations-research-analysts.htm
  11. Retrieved on March 2, 2023, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/market-research-analysts.htm
  12. Retrieved on March 2, 2023, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm
  13. Retrieved on March 2, 2023, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm
  14. Retrieved on March 2, 2023, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm
  15. Retrieved on March 2, 2023, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/math/mathematicians-and-statisticians.htm
  16. Retrieved on March 2, 2023, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/math/data-scientists.htm