What Exactly is Business Analytics?
Today’s organizations — businesses, corporations, nonprofits and others — want to better use information in operational, tactical and strategic decision making. The information value of both in-house and third-party data sets is leveraged using powerful, emerging technologies. Increasingly, organizations leverage advances in software interoperability, data exchange mechanisms and visualization techniques to better understand their operations, customers and markets. This trend has become known as data mining, business analytics, business intelligence and big data.

Given the significant demand for business analytics knowledge and skills, Oregon State University offers a Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics. This program offers high-quality relevant coursework to students from a wide variety of professional backgrounds, including:

  • Those with an MBA seeking to refresh their skill set
  • Early career professionals looking to advance in the analytics field
  • Those from outside the analytics field seeking career opportunities in this rapidly growing space

The Job Market
According to a recent McKinsey Global Institute report, the United States faces a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 individuals who possess deep business analytic skills and an additional 1.5 million managers with the skill set to implement the results. The certificate in Business Analytics at Oregon State will help students develop the analytical skills required to add value to organizations across several industries.

Format and Length of Program
The Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics is offered in a hybrid format, combining online study with in-person classes in Portland. It is a seven-course, 21 quarter-credit hour program which requires the completion of each of the following courses:

BA 573, Data Analytics for Competitive Advantage. Case studies, hands-on data analysis experience and a class project will introduce basic concepts of data analytics, sketch the lifecycle of a data analytics project, and connect analytics to business consequences. Students will use representative analytic tools to support decision making.

BA 574, Data Management. Familiarizes students with the major activities involved in collecting and managing data for a data analytics project. Students begin by extracting information from relational databases as such databases are widely used and form the conceptual context for most other data organization technologies. Students will experience the mapping of organizational requirements into a data design. Theoretical underpinnings of the relational model are presented to help students learn to transform data into information. Next, students will explore data warehouse concepts including data abstraction, data synchronization and extract/transformation/load (ETL) logic and report definition. Finally, the course will explore basic concepts underlying Hadoop and other noSQL data management and analysis methods that are gaining popularity. (Prereq: BA 573)

BA 575, Data Exploration and Visualization. In this course, the concentration will be on the initial, exploratory phases of Business Analytics data analysis. We explore different types of data and the types of analyses they allow, aggregating and disaggregating data and issues of validity with both selecting and collecting data. We also start exploring one or more data sets relating to our Integrated Business Analytics Project (BA 577). (Prereq: BA 573)

BA 576, Data and Text Mining. Examine how data/text analysis technologies can be used to improve decision making. The class covers the fundamental principles and techniques of data mining and text analysis using real-world examples and cases to place data mining techniques in context. Students will have hands-on experience with data/text mining software. (Prereqs: BA 574 and BA 575)

BA 577, Integrated Business Analytics Project. Students will integrate what they have learned to solve industry-sponsored problems. The goal of the class is to provide students with opportunities to design, implement and evaluate analytic solutions for a real-world enterprise. Student teams will examine the data, technical, and organizational requirements necessary for the success of analytical solutions. The project will give students the experience of leading and managing an analytical team, much as a chief analytics officer (CAO) would be expected to do. (Prereqs: BA 555 and BA 574 and BA 575)

BA 555, Practical Business Analytics. Advanced survey of quantitative business methods useful for aiding management decisions. Topics include a review of basic statistics, mathematical programming, business simulation, statistical process control, advanced regression analysis and forecasting.

BA 572, Advanced Information Systems. The development, implementation and management of information technology applications will be addressed. Topics include the development and application of technology to support linkages within and outside of organizations. Projects will be assigned to illustrate the topics.

Students starting in fall term can complete the Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics in one year. Below is a sample course schedule:





BA 573

BA 574

BA 575

BA 555

BA 576

BA 577

BA 572

Admission Requirements
An application to the Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics requires the following documentation, along with a $75 application fee, payable by credit card.

1.  Application Form
The Graduate Certificate program uses the Oregon State University Graduate School’s online application form. The application form requires completion of several short answer questions detailing your motivation for admission and goals upon completion of the program. 

2.  Transcript(s)
A transcript from the institution conferring your undergraduate degree is required. Transcripts from any subsequent degrees or coursework completed beyond your undergraduate studies are required as well.  Unofficial transcripts (a copy of an official transcript) may be scanned and uploaded to your online application. Applications will be reviewed with unofficial transcripts; however, admitted students will be required to submit official documents at the time of admission. 

Admission adheres to the University’s minimum academic requirements for admission to graduate study OSU. These requirements pertain to previous degrees earned and prior academic performance.  Generally, the Admissions Committee is looking at least for completion of an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited (US) or recognized (International) college or university with a cumulative GPA at or above 3.0/4.0. Please review the Graduate Admissions Minimum Academic Requirements page for more detailed information and contact us if you have any questions about your background in relation to these requirements.

Students are required to have successfully completed at least 3 quarter-credit hours of college-level Statistics before they can commence their studies in the Graduate Certificate. 

3.  English Language Proficiency
If you are required to demonstrate English Proficiency by submitting scores from the TOEFL or IELTS, then please review the following minimum score requirements:

  •    TOEFL iBT: 91 total score with a sub score of at least 22 on each section.  
  •    TOEFL PBT: 575 A separate interview to assess speaking will be required. 
  •    IELTS: 7  with a sub score of at least 6 in each section

The OSU MBA program does not offer conditional admission.  If you are required to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores, then you must meet the minimum requirements to be admitted. For more information on who is required to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores, please read more details on the Application Process. 

Earning an MBA in Business Analytics
Current students and graduates of the Certificate in Business Analytics program have the option of transferring some of the credits earned to the MBA in Business Analytics. The MBA in Business Analytics requires completion of all the courses included in the Graduate Certificate as well as seven core business classes and an elective. Students interested in this option should note:

  • Admission to the MBA in Business Analytics requires taking either the GMAT or the GRE and earning a score at or above our established minimums, as well as submission of two references and a current resume. 
  • Candidates for the MBA in Business Analytics who do not hold an undergraduate major or minor in Business will be required to complete Core- 1 requirements.
  • All coursework required for the MBA, including courses completed in the Graduate Certificate program, must be completed within seven years. 

Business Analytics Learning Goals and Objectives
Graduates of the Certificate in Business Analytics will be able to:

  • Integrate information technologies with data science methods to extract value from data sets
  • Think critically about the business implications, meaningfulness and applicability of observed data patterns and analytical inferences
  • Identify opportunities, needs and constraints for data analytics within organizational contexts
  • Select appropriate analytic tools for specific managerial issues
  • Compose data-analytic tools and concepts to create innovative data-analytic solutions
  • Demonstrate proficiency with several data-analytic tools
  • Communicate clearly and persuasively to audiences with various backgrounds
  • Provide leadership in analytics teams and projects