Specialization in Business Analytics


Specialization in Business Analytics

A Master of Data Science with a specialization in business analytics can equip current and prospective Data Scientists with the necessary training and education to thrive and advance in this growing, competitive field. As of 2021, employers prefer applicants with a background in business analytics and are 69% more likely to offer them a position over other applicants with a more general data science background. As a Data Scientist, your ability to design and sell effective experiments, programs, and ultimately, investments requires at least a basic understanding of core business functional areas like finance, marketing, and operations. Students pursuing a Master of Data Science degree with a business analytics specialization will develop the necessary qualifications to help executives make data-driven decisions through qualitative analysis and data visualization.

With specialized business analytics skills, you’ll have the necessary qualifications to:

  • Analyze and present data in understandable and useful ways
  • Turn data into actionable steps for improvements
  • Communicate with business executives to help them make informed decisions
  • Manage data analysis for comprehensive business strategy implementation

The field is ideal for data scientists who love analyzing complex datasets and communicating that data to business owners in a way that’s both usable and approachable. Enrolling in the Online Master of Data Science Degree at Rice University and pursuing a specialization in business analytics will set you up for success in your career. Program graduates are equipped with the foundational knowledge necessary to identify the right tools and data to make smart business decisions.

Stock image showing graph on computer screen

Career Outlook for Business Analytics Specialization

The data science field is growing rapidly and, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for data scientists will increase by 15% from 2019 to 2029. Data science is central to the heart of any modern corporation, especially in the energy industry. With a Master of Data Science degree with a specialization in business analytics, graduates will find it easier to secure jobs in the growing data science field for businesses in nearly every industry.

Stock image showing graph on computer screen

What Will I Learn From the Business Analytics Specialization?

By enrolling in the online Master of Data Science Program at Rice and choosing the business analytics specialization, you’ll gain important skills that make you the go-to professional able to navigate, understand and interpret data, and apply it to help improve business performance. Your business analytics specialization includes immersion into the practices of operations management and its digital transformation, finance, and marketing. With a broad understanding of business fundamentals, students can connect data across professional organizations to implement solutions and manage outcomes.


Specialization in Business Analytics Courses

In addition to the standard courses required for a Master of Data Science degree, you will need to fulfill the following courses to qualify for the specialization.

foundations of operations management

Foundations of Operations Management

Introduction to design and integration of fundamental operations management methods for individual organizations and supply chains.


Quantitative Operations

Introduction to modern data analysis in optimizing business processes, production efforts, inventory management, and supply chain management.


Foundations of Finance

Examination of the basics of corporate finance and analytical tools needed to answer businesses’ questions about financing, investments, and other associated topics.


Quantitative Finance

An application of machine learning and other data analytic tools to improve investment, financing and risk-management decisions.

10 Courses

Data-Driven Marketing I

Exploration of the key concepts of marketing and how marketing works with other aspects of a business’s structure and growth trajectory. This includes market research, new product launches, customer targeting, and pricing strategies.


Data-Driven Marketing II

Students will learn to transform data and customer insights to facilitate decision making, customer acquisition and retention, optimize pricing, and more.

The goal of the course load is to prepare students to enter the field upon completion of the degree.

FAQs: Business Analytics Specialization

How long does it take to complete a specialization in business analytics?

It takes students between 12 months and 3.5 years to complete the Master of Data Science Program at Rice with a specialization in business analytics. Students enrolled full-time will complete the program in as little as one year while those attending part-time will complete the coursework in 2 to 3.5 years.

How does data science business analytics depart from traditional business analytics?

Data science business analytics focuses on collecting and interpreting raw data to aid businesses in the decision-making process. Traditional business analytics looks at past business performance and trends to determine the next steps for improvement and growth. Data science business analysts work with more extensive data to solve a wider variety of problems in different industries.

Does business analytics require coding?

Within every data science specialization, you’ll need at least some coding knowledge and should be comfortable working with programming languages like Python and C++. However, that doesn’t mean that coding will be the main part of your job. Data science business analysts write code for algorithms to sort through data and collect the right types of information to help the analysts do their jobs.

What topics are included in business analytics?

Business analytics covers applied analysis, statistics, data mining, and collection and utilizes the topics to provide insights for businesses across different industries.

Is there a lot of math in business analytics?

Data science business analysts rely heavily on statistics in their work. You’ll need a firm understanding of how to utilize statistics and mathematical modeling to interpret data and identify solutions for businesses.

Is data science related to business analytics?

Data science and business analytics are separate fields, but they work well together. Data scientists use the principles of business analytics to interpret data for business owners and managers. This allows them to make smarter decisions for growth and improvement over time.


Apply Today

If you’re ready to take control of your future and want to make a real difference in businesses’ performance, pursuing a Master of Data Science degree with a specialization in business analytics is a great choice. Request more information about the MDS@Rice program or apply today.



Request Information

Send us your information and a Rice Enrollment Coach will follow up with you.