ISU College of Business Prepares to Launch Master of Business Analytics Program

For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                               
June 23, 2015
Michele Appelgate, Business 515-294-5800,


ISU College of Business Prepares to Launch Master of Business Analytics Program

A new program to help businesses become leaders in the world of “big data” is about to begin at the Iowa State University College of Business. The Master of Business Analytics program, approved in February by the Iowa Board of Regents, will begin with the first cohort in August 2015.


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.


This is an important program for many reasons, including the fact that 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years (IBM). Additionally, only 18% of companies believe they have the skills necessary to gather and use insights effectively (“Marketing in Three Dimensions,” May 2014).


“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 at the College of Business.


The ISU program is unique in 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.


David J. Kingland, CEO of Kingland Systems Corporation said he is pleased that the College of Business is offering the new Master of Business Analytics degree program.


“The analysis of large, complex sets of data is the new norm for business today,” he said. “It’s extremely important for companies such as Kingland to be able to hire individuals who have studied the best practices for using big data to improve operations. For our business to help global clients analyze and use data for risk management requires the ability to work with terabytes and petabytes of data that are generated on a daily and weekly basis.  To do this effectively requires a blending of engineering, computer science, statistics and business skills. We believe that Iowa State University has designed a program that will really accomplish that objective.”


This interdisciplinary program, designed for working professionals with at least two years of experience in a data-related field, offers businesses the opportunity to develop managers who will master analytics in ways that lead to increased profits for their company.


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 allowing 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 Sree Nilakanta, Associate Professor of MIS and Program Director for Business Analytics at the College of Business.


The 21-month program of study requires 30 credits of graduate level courses. Students will begin the program with a one-week on-campus orientation class. They will revisit campus once mid-way through the program and again at the end to complete and graduate on campus. The remainder of the class will be held online.


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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