Certificate in Business Analytics

Rapid advancements in technology and storage infrastructures have made it easier and cheaper to process, store, and analyze vast amounts of data.  Although the concept of big data is not new to some in private and government research laboratories, it has moved quickly into the mainstream and is now a major concentration topic in the business technology domain.  The ability to parse more data, handle more complex data types, and process data faster is allowing many companies to capture the world in a way they could previously only dream about and better utilize data analytics in decision making.

Most companies have a basic understanding of business intelligence reporting and historical look back, yet lack the know-how and skills to create a competitive advantage and generate value from business analytics. Having mere access to more data does not necessarily translate into more information and better decisions.  Companies are hard pressed to find qualified talent to discern the signal from the noise and extract value from that data. The challenge now is how to turn information into powerful and actionable business insights – and how to do it quickly. The opportunities and competitive advantages are tremendous. 

This program focuses on developing a comprehensive and practical understanding of the process to harness the power of big data and analytics to gain valuable insights in many areas of business. The program is intended for working professionals who are using or wish to use analytics at a variety of levels and in many different ways. 

Winter 2023 Register by:
BUS_ANLY 202-DL Modeling Concepts December 2, 2022

Register here


About the Certificate in Business Analytics

Program Goals

In this certificate program students gain a practical understanding of how to use the business analytics process to harness the power of big data to gain actionable business insights.

Goals of the Program Include:

  • Synthesize the lifecycle process engineering of data management and predictive analytics including defining a problem, analyzing and solving the problem, and communicating and acting on results
  • Develop skills to apply predictive analytics techniques to gain powerful business insights
  • Interpret insights into the latest market trends using illustrative examples that depict real world cases
  • Explore the art and science of smart visualization techniques of large-scale data objects
  • Explain in a broad sense data governance and management issues affecting privacy, security, compliance, audit, storage and ownership
  • Frame business problems in analytical terms and formulate the deliverables commensurate with an affinity for analytical thinking, data metrics, process engineering and visualization
  • Identify required skills in strategy development, project management, execution, decision making and presentation applicable to business analytics.

Business Analytics Audience

The Certificate in Business Analytics Online Program is designed for professionals and managers who regularly consume analytics in their normal course of business, work with partners that create or utilize analytics, or manage a team of analytics professionals, but may not be an analyst themself. Students will learn the foundations of business analytics at the strategy level, basic statistics and modeling concepts, and how to effectively present results and tell a story with data.  There will be no programming required for the curriculum, but supplementary coding material will be provided for those who are interested in exploring those details as well.

Upon completion of the Certificate in Business Analytics program, students will be able to:

  • Apply analytics tools to real-world business scenarios for improved decision-making
  • Assess the strengths and limitations of various analytics and predictive modeling techniques for different business applications and varying data conditions
  • Acquire hands-on experience working with leading statistical tools and software packages in predictive modeling and the visual analysis of results
  • Effectively communicate the actionable insights stemming from analytical work to multiple stakeholders
  • Strategically navigate technology tools and trends to solve big data and analytics problems
  • Manage data strategies and analytical projects

Program Courses

Explore all the Business Analytics Program Courses for detail on the program's offerings.

Business Analytics Certificate Requirements

To earn a Certificate in Business Analytics students must complete three online core courses.* You must take Intro to Business Analytics (BUS_ANLY 201) and Modeling Concepts (BUS_ANLY 202) in order, but may take Data Visualization, Communication, and Storytelling (BUS_ANLY 204) whenever it is offered.

Core Courses

  • Introduction to Business Analytics (BUS_ANLY 201-DL)
  • Modeling Concepts for Business Analytics (BUS_ANLY 202-DL)
  • Data Visualization, Communication, and Storytelling (BUS_ANLY 204-DL) - can be taken out of sequence)
Elective/Optional Courses:
  • Advanced Modeling Methods (BUS_ANLY 203-DL)

* Students who began the program prior to the fall 2021 term are required to take four courses to complete the certificate.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for each course (Core or Elective) in the Business Analytics program is $1,995. The total tuition for the three core courses is $5,985. Complete details can be found on the Business Analytics Tuition and Financial Aid page.

Business Analytics Career Options

Read more on the Business Analytics Career Options page.

Find out more about Northwestern's Certificate in Business Analytics

Contact an Enrollment Adviser

An Enrollment Adviser at Northwestern University School of Professional Studies can help with any inquiries regarding our certificate programs.

Graduate-level Corporate Data Science Training

  • Let us assess your training needs. We will work with you to evaluate your needs and tailor a program that meets your schedule and budget.
  • Your team members will learn together in small online classes and build the skills needed to implement consistent, high-level best practices across your organization.
  • You can increase the decision-making and forecasting ability of your organization without adding new positions.
Find out more about corporate training


Business Analytics Course List

Core Courses:Course Detail
Intro to Business Analytics <> BUS_ANLY 201-DL

Data and analytics are fundamental in the solving of business and organizational problems. Mastering these practices requires a well-rounded introduction, regardless of whether you are performing the analysis or implementing the results. Introduction to Business Analytics provides a solid foundation by beginning with basic principles in data modeling and intelligent information. We then continue with how to define business goals, various techniques for collecting and preparing data, different types of analysis and predictive models, and effective ways of communicating results.

The course will discuss many of the latest technology trends applicable to big data and predictive analytics, and includes examples from real use cases to provide a comprehensive, innovative, and practical approach to tackle business analytics problems. Students will also learn strategies to successfully approach stakeholders within an organization with analytic information while navigating the ethical, regulatory, and compliance issues related to the use of data analytics.


Content / Topics

Analytics Terminology, Methodology and Tools (with Statistical Concepts)
Descriptive, Prescriptive, and Predictive Analytics
Business Intelligence vs Business Analytics
Data Collection, Sampling, Preprocessing, Typing, and Governance
Designing a Data Analytics Study
Analytics Project Lifecycle
Implementation / Application of Business Analytics
Latest Analytical Technologies


Registered students can access their online course site here. An activated NetID and password is required for login. *Please note: It may take up to 24-hours for registered students to be added to the online course platform.

View BUS_ANLY 201-DL Sections
Modeling Concepts <> BUS_ANLY 202-DL

Modeling Concepts for Business Analytics is tailored to the needs of non-practitioners who interact with statisticians and data scientists, including managers, technology partners, and business users. We will present the basic statistical and machine learning techniques that are used by data scientists to analyze and model data, but will not spend time on the intricate details of each model or how they are coded. Instead, students will learn the basics of each technique with an emphasis on understanding what the algorithm does, what it is used for, and the pros and cons of each. We will also cover best practices for managers and information technology professionals who are upstream or downstream from the analysts.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe applications of key data mining methods for business decision-making.
  • Articulate data mining terminology.
  • Explain what to look for when evaluating various data mining methods.
  • Interpret results from various data mining methods.
  • Communicate methods and strategies with internal or external business data stakeholders.


Students must complete BUS_ANLY 201-DL before registering for this course.


Registered students can access their online course site here. An activated NetID and password is required for login. *Please note: It may take up to 24-hours for registered students to be added to the online course platform.

View BUS_ANLY 202-DL Sections
Data Visualization, Communication, & Storytelling <> BUS_ANLY 204-DL

This course examines how to make business analytics an integral part of an organization’s decision-making process in order to create a competitive edge and generate value. Topics covered include promoting analytical thinking, building consensus, adopting smart metrics for project development, implementation, evaluation, and monitoring.

Emphasis will be placed on the visual display of data and how to effectively communicate analytical and sometimes complex results to a mixed audience including clients, staff, non-technical leaders, and senior management.

Various dashboarding and graphics technologies will be explored, and students will have the opportunity to work with examples depicting real scenarios from different industries such as finance, healthcare, retail, government, marketing, and sales. Students will also gain firsthand experience with making the case for analytics in front of an audience and presenting their analytical findings, actionable insights, added value for the business, and gained competitive edge.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Formulate data profiles and generate thoughtful actionable insights.
  • Summarize complex analytical results into simple, encompassing, and convincing visual analytics.
  • Create presentations for delivery to a mixed technical and non-technical audience.
  • Create effective visualizations using best practices and synthesize them into illuminating stories.
  • Illustrate the comprehension of data storytelling through the sharing of a video story with the class.



View BUS_ANLY 204-DL Sections
Elective Courses:Course Detail
Advanced Modeling Methods BUS_ANLY 203-DL

Advanced Modeling Methods gives business analysts the foundation and tools to implement various prediction algorithms that will allow them to make better data driven decision for their business. This course places emphasis on modeling techniques to gain insight into hidden data patterns while using the technology stack of R. Topics covered will include various classification algorithms such as Cluster Analysis, Neural Networks, Discriminant Analysis, and Support Vector Machines. Students will also be introduced to various topics in Time Series, and other statistical based methods including Principal Component Analysis and Affinity Analysis. Lastly, students will learn about the structure of Networks and how tools such as Sentiment Analysis can provide valuable insight into their customer base.


PREREQUISITES: Students must complete BUS_ANLY 201 and BUS_ANLY 202 before registering for this course.


Registered students can access their online course site here. An activated NetID and password is required for login. *Please note: It may take up to 24-hours for registered students to be added to the online course platform.


View BUS_ANLY 203-DL Sections