Master of Business Analytics Program

For immediate release

February 5, 2015



David Spalding, Business, 515-294-2422,

Michele Appelgate, Business 515-294-5800,



ISU College of Business Unveils Master of Business Analytics Program

The College of Business at Iowa State University received approval Thursday from the Board of Regents to offer a Master of Business Analytics program.


The Master of Business Analytics program will be an interdisciplinary program that addresses the challenges of dealing with data analytics and business intelligence in the “Big Data” environment. It was developed to meet the needs of today’s businesses and organizations facing intense global competition and constant technological disruptions.


“We have learned from our partners in the business world that we need to prepare our students and those already in the workplace to effectively collect and analyze data so they can make intelligent business decisions and develop innovative products and services,” said David Spalding, the Raisbeck Endowed Dean of the College of Business at Iowa State University.


What makes the ISU program unique is that it is a blended program offering both online and face-to-face education in a comprehensive approach that draws from many of ISU’s top programs in the science and technology fields, including Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Statistics, and Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering. This interdisciplinary program offers businesses the opportunity to develop managers who will master analytics in ways that lead to increased profits for their company. 


“Iowa State’s historic strengths position us to help Iowa businesses in this critical field,” Spalding said.


The digital revolution empowered by the Internet and computer networking technology during the last several decades has generated unimaginable amounts of data.  The volume, velocity and variety of this data have produced a new set of problems and challenges to businesses and organizations.


“These challenges also created unprecedented opportunities for businesses and organizations to discover, model and serve their customers and partners in ways never imagined and in details never possible before,” said Dr. Qing Hu, Associate Dean for graduate programs and research of the College of Business.  “Businesses that are able to master this data deluge, known as Big Data in the industry, will have tremendous competitive advantage over their competition in the marketplace. For example, Amazon, Google, Facebook and many other traditional and high-tech companies are already reaping benefits from developing and implementing innovative ‘Big Data’ analytic solutions.”


This new program provides a foundation in data analytics project management, statistical and predictive modeling, consumer sentiment analysis, knowledge discovery, analytical reporting, segmentation analysis and data visualization. The program has a customized capstone project that will allow for a focused training in areas such as fraud detection, risk management, text mining and process improvement, depending on specific interests of the student teams.


“The academic objective of this degree program is to educate business professionals and future leaders with a unique ability to analyze business-related data that exhibit high volume, variety, and velocity,” said Dr. Sree Nilakanta, Chair of Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems in the College of Business, which is the home department for the program.  


The program will comprise cohorts of students, primarily working professionals from industry who will progress together. The program requires 30 credits of graduate level courses and is 21 months of study. Students will start the program with a one-week on-campus initiation class and revisit campus once during the middle of the program and at the end to complete and graduate on campus, while taking online classes during the rest of the time.


To learn more about the Master of Business Analytics Program at ISU, visit or contact Dr. Nilakanta at or (515) 294-8113. 

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