Get ready for an inspiring sixteen months

Build a solid foundation in advanced business analytics techniques while exploring your interests through electives, an internship experience, and experiential learning opportunities.

Core courses

Courses you'll take vary slightly based on the track you choose.

  • What's the sales value of a home in Des Moines? Create a price prediction model using market data.
  • What are the costs and benefits of bringing a pharmaceutical drug to market? Analyze the situation using structured decision analysis.
  • How many flu shots should be ordered for a clinic during an epidemic? Maintain high-quality service even in the face of substantial uncertainty.

  • Which zip codes had the highest increase in sales within a product category? Convert data needs into SQL queries and integrate SQL in an interactive visualization.
  • How can a nonprofit track donor engagement to provide more personalized and targeted promotional materials? Answer a business problem using data stored in a database management system.
  • Can I create an online dashboard for team KPIs? Transform live data into metrics using SQL queries and choose appropriate visualizations for query outputs.

  • How did the 2001 terrorist attacks impact travel patterns and behavior in the United States? Determine hypothetical trends if the attacks had not happened using time series analysis.
  • How can I create an index fund to track a particular financial sector? Solve an optimization model to choose a representative sample of companies in which to invest.
  • How do companies use analytics? Present a case study of a large company using analytics successfully.

  • How do I automatically integrate sales data from separate data sources? Design a step-by-step procedure for solving a problem and then code it using the open-source R environment.
  • How can I download quarterly financials for multiple companies? Use advanced R features that extract data from websites.
  • Do customers who buy Product X also tend to buy Product Y? Write simple data-mining procedures that find associations and execute them repeatedly.

Introduction to principles and practices of handling, cleaning, processing, and visualizing data using the Python programming language; basic data programming skills that can be applied to software development in any high-level programming language; data types, control structures, functions and modules, and other useful libraries for data manipulation and machine learning applications in Python.

  • Will this stock price go up or down tomorrow? What about in the next 5 seconds? Identify opportunities for profitable trades.
  • Which of these people is most likely to respond to a direct marketing contact? Segment your customers for better targeting, and identify the most promising new leads.
  • What kind of approach might move a donor to a higher giving level? Conduct a design of experiments to gather the most information from your trial marketing campaign.

The knowledge you've gained in the program, particularly in the core courses, will culminate in a group project and/or competition that solves a real-world business problem. Groups may partner with an area business.

An analytics course is paired with Business Communications to give you an opportunity to apply communication in a business context. Using actual assignments and data from the partnered course, students will work through the challenges of communicating the results of their analysis. You'll strengthen your ability to speak and write confidently and competently about your solutions, present them on your own and as part of a team, and more. Required in two semesters. (1 s.h. each semester)

In preparation for a postgraduate career, students explore how to grow a professional network, examine how to build depth of knowledge and breadth of business acumen, gain knowledge from industry professionals on current trends and activities in business analytics, and receive guidance and best practices on career management fundamentals as well as specific recommendations for business analytics students. Required in two semesters (1 s.h. each semester)

Electives

Elective courses will vary over time; the following is a sampling of possible electives.

How can business measure risk in the face of fluctuating treasury bond rates, equity prices, and foreign exchange rates? Learn the classical financial models and statistical and risk metrics, and scale them up with analytics techniques to find the best investments.

How can I convert unstructured emails, tweets, blogs, customer reviews, etc. into insights? Learn how to identify relevant sources, harvest the data, manage large databases, and use techniques to change words into quantifiable metrics.

What if my data set is too large to be handled by a single computer? Explore new concepts and technologies instead of traditional relational databases.

How do we use optimization (also called prescriptive analytics or mathematical programming) to make tactical and strategic decisions? Learn advanced optimization skills including data collection and prep, logical modeling, and solution interpretation and implementation within a software environment.

  • How do I make my data digestible for others in my organization by presenting it visually?
  • Which type of data graphic should I use in a given situation, and what makes each graphic type unique?
  • How does human perception affect how my data should be presented?
  • Which statistical methods can help me visualize information?

  • How do I maintain an electronic-medical-records system that supports high quality patient care?
  • What statistical methods are appropriate for healthcare applications?

  • How do I manage a team of analytics and IT professionals?
  • What are the best practices for a CIO (chief information officer) or other data manager?

What are the best practices for the collection, management, and analysis of social data?

Communication matters to employers—and to us

At the top of every hiring manager's list: data-savvy professionals who can work the numbers to draw conclusions and clearly communicate their results. Our employer partners tell us that most analysts fall far short in this regard.

We target this skill gap with a unique model: pairing a Business Communication course with a technical course every semester. By the end of semester three, you'll be able to clearly show that you can understand business problems, solve them with data, and communicate to the people who matter.

“The business world needs people with technical skills who can also communicate in a clear and concise way. Tippie does a great job of providing both.”

Sample plan of study

The full-time Master of Business Analytics plan of study spans sixteen months of core courses, internships, and electives. We encourage at least one elective in every semester.

Year 1

Fall

  • Data and Decisions 
  • Data Management and Visual Analytics
  • Data Programming in R or Data Programming in Python
  • Professional Development and Business Acumen
  • Elective
     

Spring

  • Advanced Analytics
  • Data Science
  • Business Communication
  • Professional Development and Business Acumen (repeated)
  • Elective
  • Elective

Summer

  • Summer Internship or Research Experience

 

Year 2

Fall

  • Analytics Experience
  • Business Communication (repeated)
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective