BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Amid the exciting news about U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of “non-MBA” graduate business programs was this nugget: Kelley Direct’s No. 3 ranking of its business analytics specialty. But just a few days earlier, another new ranking — from Fortune – put Kelley Direct’s Master of Science in Business Analytics program into the spotlight.
In their inaugural rankings of “the nation’s best online business analytics programs,” the magazine ranked the degree program No. 2, noting that Kelley and other schools in their ranking “not only have world class professors and a top-notch curriculum, but they also attract some of the brightest students.”
In an article accompanying Fortune’s rankings, “What to look for in a business analytics curriculum,” writer Peter Olsen-Phillips noted that “a high-quality business analytics curriculum involves a lot more than crunching numbers,” adding that a master’s degree in business analytics prepares students to use the latest technology for gathering and analyzing data and emphasizes “the importance of getting students ‘business-ready,’ or familiar with how value is measured and created in a business context.”
Alex Lopes, associate chair of Kelley Direct Online Programs, clinical professor of operations and decision technologies and Grant Thornton Scholar, told Olsen-Phillips, “To me, it’s about ‘We have a business problem, which techniques should we apply?’ … That, to me, is what business analytics is about, it’s more on the application side versus the technique side that you may see more of in a data science program.”
Kelley’s 30-credit hour program enables young professionals to position themselves as brand analytics managers, e-commerce project managers, web metrics analysts and consultants to senior decision makers. Students learn about basic statistics, predicative analytics, data handling and application. They gain an understanding of the underlying mathematical principles of data models and then how interpret them in a real-world setting.
“This ranking shows that Kelley offers one of the best M.S. in Business Analytics programs in the country,” Lopes said. “We have an extensive amount of faculty involved with business analytics and the strength of Kelley in online education, leading to this high ranking. Our graduates recognize how to find the balance between the technical and business skills they need to advance their careers and this recognition reflects that.
“It also says something about Kelley’s very strong reputation in the area of online education, whether it is an MBA or MS degree. In addition, our Institute for Business Analytics has developed close partnerships with several organizations, who are shaping our understanding of analytics and helping companies tap into Kelley’s talent,” he added.