1 Year Graduate Certificate

in Business Analytics

How do you apply the latest methods and technologies to help your company gather, store, report, and analyze important data?

The Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics gives you the skills you need to do just that.  By staying abreast of concepts and market trends related to business analytics, you can be a key part of impacting strategic business decisions.  Your coursework will explore topics such as visualization, storytelling, ethics and risk management.

This certificate program is designed for the individual who may already have a MBA or someone who wants to exclusively focus on business analytics.  The tools and techniques introduced through the graduate certificate can be applied in any industry to increase both individual and organizational value.

FLEXIBLE & CONVENIENT
The certificate is comprised of the first five courses within the full Executive MBA.  Thus, this 15 credit certificate is delivered as a hybrid program in which students take one course at a time and meet virtually one night per week. The first six weeks of each course are delivered online in the evening via a live virtual classroom. The last week of each course, students will come together for a full weekend on the beautiful Loras campus in Dubuque, Iowa.  The certificate can be completed within one academic year, beginning in September and concluding in July.

BENEFITS
The program has been shaped by a distinctive consortium of leaders in analytics. Loras has established a rich network within the field, and offers unique features tailored to meet the needs of working professionals and new graduate students.

Perhaps the most unique aspect of the program is our liberal arts focus. This focus infuses the ethical decision-making values taught through our College’s Catholic tradition, an area too easily overlooked by other programs, with the science of data analytics.

REPUTATION OF EXCELLENCE
In the United States, opportunities to master business analytics tie primarily on both coasts, while Loras College leads the Midwest with the only program offering an Executive MBA and Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics in this rapidly expanding area of business.

Application Requirements

Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics Program Application Checklist

    • Online Graduate Program application: loras.edu/apply
    • All official transcripts from each institution attended, including undergraduate and graduate. For a transcript to be considered official it must be sent from that institution’s Registrar’s Office to Loras College Graduate Admissions. (Transcript “issued to student” will not be considered official. Faxed and copied transcripts will not be considered official.)
      • A minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 is required for admission.
    • Applicant statement: a typewritten statement outlining your interests and professional goals. This statement is an integral part of your application (maximum of 2-3 pages double spaced).
    • Current resume or vitae.
      • Relevant work experience is required for admission.
    • Two (2) letters of recommendation: please be sure that the people who submit a letter of recommendation also include their contact information. The letters need to be from individuals who can speak to the applicant’s character.

    Materials may be sent to:
    Applicant statement, resume, and letters of recommendation can be emailed to megan.henderson@loras.edu.

    All official transcripts can be mailed to:
    Loras College Graduate Admission
    Attn: Megan Henderson
    1450 Alta Vista Street
    Dubuque, IA 52001

    Application deadlines:
    Fall enrollment – all materials due by August 1
    Applications submitted after the deadline will be considered on an individual basis.

    We encourage students to begin the program in the Fall semester because the sequence of courses in our cohort format is specifically set up to enable students to immediately use robust analytical tools before any programming is encountered. However, applicants wishing to start in the Spring term could be accommodated if they have a solid background in programming (because the first course in the Spring term is Programming for Analytics Methods). If you think you may fit this criteria and are interested in a spring start, please contact the Program Director to discuss your options.

    Interview and Admission Decision:
    Immediately following receipt of all application materials, your file will be reviewed by the Program Director to determine whether to move forward with an interview. You will then be contacted with information about your next steps. After completion of your interview (or after review of your file), you will be notified of an admission decision via email.

    International Student Application Requirements

    Course Requirements

    The goal of the Graduate Certificate Program is to develop thought leadership skills so participants can impact the organization they work for in the area of analytics.

    L.MBA 509 Big Data Ecosystem
    L.MBA 515  Ethical & Social Responsibilities of Business
    L.MBA 520 Data Science
    L.MBA 530 Programming for Analytic Methods
    L.MBA 550 Data Visualization

    Course Descriptions

    L.MBA 509 Big Data Ecosystem
    This course examines the data management process from access to data sources through implementation of scalable processes.  Big data requires understanding database design, and increasingly involves parallel processing and cloud-based data storage and analysis.  Data formats and database architectures are examined.  Tools for extracting data from relational, structured, and non-structured databases are explored.  Included are issues related to data security and governance.  Students will also learn how to evaluate technologies used to implement scalable decision analytic systems. 3 cresits

    L.MBA 515 Ethical and Social Responsibilities of Business
    This course consists of two parts.  In the first, relatively brief part, we examine the ethical principles and theories that are relevant to resolving any moral issue.  In the second part, we apply these principles and theories to the key moral issues in business (with emphasis, where appropriate and relevant, on questions dealing with data/information acquisition, analysis, and application) by studying, discussing, and debating them, principally through a case-study approach. The focus of our attention is on the three basic kinds of moral relationships in business: a) between the firm and the employee; b) between the firm and other economic agents (i.e., customers, competitors); and c) between the firm and various non-business groups (i.e., the environment). 3 credits

    L.MBA 520 Data Science
    Analytics is the process of taking data and turning it into new forms of value.  The beginning of this process is often referred to as Data Science and the second stage of the process encompasses algorithms and visualization.   As an introduction to data science, we proceed to cover practical data analytic skills including accessing and transferring data (ETL – extract, transform, load), applying analytical frameworks or patterns, applying methods from data mining and machine learning, and learning analysis methods for processing text.  The course will also provide students an opportunity to do hands-on exercises with Big Data.  The emphasis will be on practical usefulness and analytics patterns. 3 credits

    L.MBA 530 Programming for Analytic Methods
    Business Analytics is the process of transforming data into business value. The Data Science course explores a variety of analytical methods for building models (predictive or explanatory). This course will focus on programming languages used for accessing, analyzing, and implementing such models. While many software platforms are available to automate various parts of this process, programming languages are commonly used – primarily R and Python at present. This course exposes students to the use of these languages, focusing on their use for accessing an cleaning data sources and implementing models in a production environment. The subsequent course (Big Data Ecosystem) utilizes these languages for an understanding of the entire process of Business Analytics. While some students may develop a proficiency with coding in these programming languages, the purpose of the course is to provide sufficient exposure to the use of these languages for making business decisions regarding choices of software, human resources, and organizational structures necessary for developing Business Analytics efforts.

    L.MBA 550 Data Visualization
    Data/Information visualization is widely used in a number of industries, including business, engineering, and media disciplines to help people analyze and understand what the data is telling us. The industry has grown exponentially over the last few years, and as a result there are more tools available to help us quickly and efficiently create compelling visualizations. 

    This course provides an overview of the data/information visualization discipline. Using a hands-on approach, readings and lectures will cover various visualization principles and tools.  Our labs will focus on practical introductions to tools and frameworks, with plenty of time to explore & utilize additional applications. We will discuss existing visualizations (e.g. what we find in various publications and government data sources) and critique their effectiveness in conveying information.  All students are expected to participate in class discussion, complete lab assignments, and create & critique many data visualization examples throughout the session. 3 credits

     

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Application and Admission FAQ

    What are the academic requirements for admission into the Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics Program?

    • A minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 (or 2.9 in last 60 credits)
    • Relevant work experience is required for admission.

    How do I apply for admission?
    Interested applicants may apply by completing the online application and mailing all official transcripts to:
    Loras College Graduate Admission
    Attn: Megan Henderson
    1450 Alta Vista Street
    Dubuque, IA 52001

    The resume, personal statement, and 2 letters of recommendation can be emailed directly to: megan.henderson@loras.edu.

    What are the application deadlines?
    Fall enrollment – all materials due by August 1

    Applications submitted after these deadlines will be considered on an individual basis.

    Does the Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics program require an undergraduate degree in business?
    Full admission into the program requires that applicants have a familiarity with concepts in the areas of economics, accounting, finance, management and marketing. Applicants with an undergraduate business degree will generally meet these requirements. The academic readiness of an applicant who does not hold an undergraduate degree in a business field will be determined through an interview process, including a review of professional work experience, and in some cases, completion of business competency exams. Students who do not fully meet with academic readiness requirements for the program may be admitted on a provisional basis.

    How long will it take to receive a decision regarding my application?
    Immediately following receipt of all application materials, your file will be reviewed by the Program Director to determine whether to move forward with an interview. You will then be contacted with information about your next steps. After completion of your interview (or after review of your file), you will be notified of an admission decision via email within one week .

    How will I be notified of the admission decision?
    You will be contacted by email once a decision has been made.

    How can I receive more information about the Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics program?
    For more information about the application and admission process, please contact Megan Henderson: Associate Director of Admission for Graduate Programs, at  megan.henderson@loras.edu or 563.588.7140. For more information about the Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics curriculum, please contact Dr. Dale Lehman: Program Director, at dale.lehman@loras.edu.

    Curriculum and Class Format FAQ

    How many credits are required in the Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics degree?
    15 credits are needed to meet the course requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics.

    What is the format of the Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics classes?
    The unique hybrid format offers the flexibility of online learning with face-to-face interaction on the Loras College campus. In this cohort model, students take one course at a time and each class is held just one night per week. The first six weeks of each course are delivered online in the evening via a live virtual classroom. The last week of the course has students come together for a full weekend on the beautiful Loras campus in Dubuque, Iowa.

    Is there a preferred entry point into the Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics program?
    We encourage students to begin the program in the Fall semester because the sequence of courses in our cohort format is specifically set up to enable students to immediately use robust analytical tools before any programming is encountered. However, applicants wishing to start in the Spring term could be accommodated if they have a solid background in programming (because the first course in the Spring term is Programming for Analytics Methods). If you think you may fit this criteria and are interested in a spring start, please contact the Program Director to discuss your options.

    Does the Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics program accept transfer credits?
    We do not accept transfer credits into the certificate program.

    How long does it take to complete the program?
    The 5-course program is completed in 10 months.

    What benefits are available to alumni of the program?
    As a professional development opportunity, all graduates are eligible for 50% discounts to take or re-take any courses in the program (on a space available basis) at any time. Please contact the Program Director for more information.

    What is the time commitment outside of class?
    Time commitments vary depending on the course and individual’s specific skill set.  As a general rule, students will spend 4 – 6 hours per week outside of classroom instruction on class-related work for each class.

    Where are classes held?
    The face-to-face weekend classes are held on the beautiful Loras College campus on the 3rd floor of Keane Hall.

    When do classes meet?
    Each online live class meets one evening per week, typically from 6:30pm – 8:30pm. The face-to-face weekends typically meet on Saturday from 8am-5pm and on Sunday from 9am-5pm. For specific times and dates, see the course schedule prior to each academic semester.

    Will there be an orientation prior to the first class?
    Yes, students are required to attend the Graduate Student Orientation prior to beginning coursework so they can become familiar with the faculty, campus, services and their peers.

    Is Loras College accredited?
    Yes, Loras College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

    Financial FAQ

    What are current tuition rates for the Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics?
    Visit the Graduate section of our Tuition & Fees page for detailed cost information.

    Tuition and Fees are subject to change at any time.

    Is financial aid available?
    Federal aid is not available for the Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics.

    Tuition & Fees

    2018-19 Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics Program Cost

    Employer Reimbursement

    • The Employer Reimbursement Form must be completed.
    • Students are responsible for providing the course information, final grades, and billing information to their employer to obtain the reimbursement.
    • If the employer reimbursement criteria is not met and/or reimbursement is denied, the student must bring their account current before any future registration will be permitted.

    Feel free to contact us if you have Billing Questions

    Tuition and Fees are subject to change at any time.

    Business Analytics Faculty

    Dale Lehman, Ph.D.
    Center for Business Analytics Director
    Professor of Business
    Dale.Lehman@loras.edu
    563.588.7725
    Curriculum Vitae

    Dale Lehman has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Rochester. He has taught at a dozen universities and was Director of the MBA programs at Alaska Pacific University. He has also held industry positions at Bell Communications Research and SBC. He teaches in a number of specialized MBA programs in Europe.

    Dale’s interests are in applied data analysis. This includes visualization of patterns in data, analysis that highlights meaningful stories hidden within data, and replication/validation of data analysis. He is particularly interested in applications of data analysis to problems related to health care, natural resources, telecommunications and information, and finance.

    Dale has co-authored three books and numerous articles. He enjoys hiking, cross-country skiing, golf, travel, and teaching at small private universities.

    Shikhar Acharya, Ph.D., MBA
    Assistant Professor of Business Analytics at Loras College
    shikhar.acharya@loras.edu
    563.588.7784

    Shikhar Acharya is working as Assistant Professor of Business Analytics at Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa since Fall 2017. He teaches various analytics courses both at undergraduate and graduate level. Some of the courses he is teaching are Applied Analytics, Predictive Modeling, Programming for Analytic Methods, etc. He worked as Visiting Instructor at the Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering, University of South Florida from Fall 2015 to Summer 2017. Before joining USF, he taught at Missouri Western State University as Assistant Professor of Business Statistics in Spring 2015.

    His primary research is in the area of detection of malicious devices applying various machine learning algorithms and statistical methods. He has peer reviewed publications in this area and has presented his work in various conferences and forums. He received his Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Missouri. He also holds an MBA degree.

    Roman Ciapalo, Ph.D.
    Professor of Philosophy
    Andrew P. Studdert Chair of Business Ethics and Crisis Leadership
    roman.ciapalo@loras.edu
    563.588.7434

    Roman T. Ciapalo, Ph.D. currently holds the Andrew P. Studdert Chair of Business Ethics and Crisis Leadership and teaches a variety of undergraduate ethics courses (business ethics, environmental ethics, ethics in sports, media communication ethics), the ethics course in the Executive MBA Program (Ethical and Social Responsibilities of Business), and coordinates the Loras Executive-In-Residence Program, as well as the Andrew P. Studdert Business Ethics and Crisis Leadership Lecture Series.  He also serves as faculty advisor to the Loras Hockey Club. His academic expertise includes, in addition to the above-mentioned areas, Ancient philosophy (especially the thought of the Presocratics, Plato, and Plotinus), Contemporary philosophy (especially the thought of Jean-Paul Sartre and William James).  His research interests include the philosophy of Gregory Skovoroda (18th century Ukrainian philosopher) and the intersection of Catholic Social Teaching with issues in sports and athletics.  He has published one book and several articles, and has served as translator/editor of Ukrainian-language translations of two business ethics textbooks. He is the recipient of two Fulbright Scholar awards, one of which blossomed into the opportunity to teach business ethics in two MBA programs in Ukraine (Lviv Institute of Management and National University Kiev-Mohyla Academy) during most summers since 1994.  He was also the recipient of a Muskie Mentor/Advisor Exchange Program grant in 2014 to travel to National University Kiev-Mohyla Academy in Ukraine in order to give a series of lecture on environmental ethics.

    Earlier in his career, he established, and for over two decades (1990-2012), served as coordinator of the Loras College Classical Philosophy Lecture Series, which, each semester, brought a noted philosopher to campus over a two-day period to give a public lecture and several in-class lecture/discussions, and meet with philosophy majors and faculty. He urges his students to see philosophy as a way of life to be pursued with rigor and passion, rather than merely an academic discipline to be studied, and to employ it in their search for meaning and purpose in their lives.

    Robert Keller, Ph.D., MBA
    Professor of Mathematics at Loras College
    Chair, Division of Mathematics, Engineering, and Computer Science
    robert.keller@loras.edu
    563.588.7015

    Robert Keller, Ph.D., MBA received his doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Mathematics and recently completed the Executive MBA program at Loras College.

    Dr. Keller’s interests have always centered on the application and real-world relevancy of mathematics and statistics within a collaborative work setting. His dissertation involved the application of theoretical mathematics to a general problem in medical image analysis in a joint effort between researchers at UNC Hospitals and the computer science and mathematics graduate programs. Dr. Keller has taught mathematics and education classes at Loras College and, for many years, has led STEM professional development for practicing K-12 teachers. He has served in leadership positions at both Loras and Grand View University. Over the past several years, Dr. Keller has become increasingly captivated by analytics, which derives substantial power as it draws upon mathematics, statistics, and advances in computing to enable deep analysis and predictive insights to inform decision-making in a wide variety of complex and data-rich contexts, including business, industry, sports, and education.

    Kerry Berlet, Ph.D.
    Senior Director of Advanced Analytics at Meredith Corporation

    Kerry has 21 years of analytical experience within the Media Industry. She currently leads a team of market research professionals, statisticians, and data scientists within Meredith Corporation, located both within the U.S., and offshore in Bangalore, India. Her team is focused on providing strategic direction and feedback based on data driven insights for all aspects of the magazine business.  Kerry holds a PhD in Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics from Columbia University, and also moonlights as a graduate school statistics professor there in addition to teaching Marketing Analytics for the Loras College Executive MBA program.

    John Watts, Ph.D.
    Chief Research and Strategy Officer at Unison

    John Watts is a business strategy expert with 20 years’ experience.  His specialty is in taking a “Design for Decision” approach which ensures that economics and business intelligence tools directly connect to executive decisions. John serves as Chief Research and Strategy Officer for Unison, which provides advisory services on marketing strategy and resource allocation, and as an independent consultant.  His past work includes senior roles with Havas Health, FTI Consulting, PRTM and Opinion Research Corporation. Earlier, his “first career” was in academia, with tenure track roles at Chicago Booth and Purdue.  He continues to serve Chicago Booth as coach to Kilts Center Teams in the New Product Development and Marketing Strategy Labs. He has worked across industries, developing strategic recommendations using tools which include segmentation, product development and pricing, scenario planning, customer experience, corporate reputation and brand. His most recent work is in life sciences (healthcare delivery, pharma and medical devices), high tech, and innovation / adoption across industries, and direct CMO advisory in automotive.

    John holds Ph.D. and MS degrees from Carnegie-Mellon University.

    Brent Wilke, MS
    Data Management Director, AVP at Heartland Financial, Inc.

    Brent Wilke has over 25 years of experience in Information Technology with the last 15 years in some form of Analytics/Data Warehousing.   Brent has been in a leadership role in creating three healthcare data warehouses, one financial data warehouse, and a number of advanced analytic environments.   He has had experience across North America in such lines of business as Healthcare; Health, Life, and Auto Insurance; Banking and Finance; and Retail.   He has lead teams supporting such areas as Business Intelligence, Data Transformation, Advanced Analytics, and Predictive Modeling.   Brent currently is the Data Management Director for a Financial Holding company, is a former Naval Officer, and an active member of the US Lacrosse Organization.