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.

  • 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.

  • An economic uptick or downturn can have direct implications for a business. What kind of group projects, competitions, or business partnerships can I work on that solve real-world problems?

  • Conveying clear messages about strategy and analytics is key to business success. How can I apply communication in a business context?
  • Communicating analysis that resonates with stakeholders is an important business tool. What are the assignments and challenges I need to work through to succeed?
  • What can I do to strengthen my ability to speak and write confidently and competently in a business setting?

  • 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.

  • Companies have troves of data – from customer spending habits to financial forecasts to investment trends. How is this information stored in databases and what tools are used to create data sets?
  • Vast amounts of data can be complex to store and manage. Is there a way to use Structured Query Language (SQL) to manage and access data in relational databases?
  • What are the best ways to present data retrieved from databases?

  • How can I use the Python programming language to understand the principles and practices of handling, cleaning, processing, and visualizing data?
  • What basic data programming skills do I need to understand and work with data types, control structures, functions and modules, and other useful libraries for data manipulation and machine learning applications?

  • 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.

  • Professional success often comes down to connections. After I graduate, and maybe before, how do I grow a professional network?
  • Who can I turn to and what sources do I need to stay up to date on current trends and activities in business analytics?
  • I’ve decided on a career in business analytics. What are some best practices and who can I turn to for guidance?

Required in two semesters (1 s.h. each semester)

  • We’re surrounded by data. How do we effectively interpret and communicate that information?
  • When presenting data findings to a diverse group, how do I use the theoretical foundations of visual perception to communicate in a way that anyone can understand?
  • What are the best tools to effectively show data findings in charts, graphs, or other visual ways? We’ll explore Tableau, Power BI, and others.


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

  • Prescriptive analytics and mathematical programming are key decision-making tools. How do I use optimization to make tactical and strategic decisions?
  • What are the benefits of learning advanced optimization skills including data collection and prep, logical modeling, and solution interpretation and implementation within a software environment?

  • What if big data gets too big? What should I if my data set is too large for a single computer?
  • Change is good. What new concepts and technologies are available to me?

  • Is a company’s data safe “in the cloud”? What does the future hold for cloud providers like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure?
  • What’s your mother’s maiden name? How about the CVV code on the back of your credit card? Does technology truly provide reliable, secure transmission of data between client and cloud provider?
  • How do we configure compute, storage, database, application, and networking services to cost-effectively solve everyday business problems?

  • From phishing to malware to social engineering, what can be done industry-wide to foster a cybersecurity mindset?
  • Is your company computer more at risk than your home PC? How does cybersecurity differ for CEOs, employees, casual homes users, and hackers?
  • Let’s rethink that notebook full of passwords. What daily action items can I take to keep my and my business’s digital interactions more secure?

  • More than ever, companies require solid data to make better decisions. How can I learn to handle, clean, process, visualize, and draw conclusions from data using R programming language? 
  • From medical diagnosis to voice recognition technology, machine learning is everywhere. What are the latest machine-learning techniques and topics, and how can I apply them in the real world? 

  • 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?

  • How do I get started programming Visual Basic for Excel applications? 
  • Building out a complex marketing budget. Predicting and analyzing pricing trends over time. We explore real-world case histories for finance, marketing, operations, and accounting.

  • Digital interactions become more business-critical by the day. What are the best practices for the collection, management, and analysis of social data?

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

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. 

Year 1


  • Data and Decisions 
  • Data Management
  • Professional Development and Business Acumen
  • Visual Analytics


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


  • Summer Internship or Research Experience


Year 2


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