The W. A. Franke College of Business2020-2021

Information Systems

Business Analytics, Undergraduate Certificate

The Business Analytics certificate is designed to prepare students to understand and take part in the data-driven business decision making process. The data-driven decision-making process has been adopted for strategic, tactical, and operational decisions made by business worldwide. Understanding how data is used to enhance business decisions increases the possibility for future student achievement in many business sectors.


What Can I Do with a Certificate in Business Analytics?

Many organizations and business units now use business analytics to enhance their overall decision making process. The ability to analyze data to discover or identify previously unknown or missed opportunities is generating increased competitive advantages, driving efficiency, and promoting success in the world of business. 

During the completion of the undergraduate Business Analytics certificate, students will gain exposure to conceptual and hands-on tools to potentially fill the following organizational roles:

  • Support the data-driven decision maker. 
  • Interact with other employees to support and improve the process of data-driven decisions. 
  • Provide higher-level decision makers with an enhanced understanding of business processes, performance, and outcomes to improve decisions through business data analysis. 
  • Become the business decision maker using business analytics. 

Career opportunities that might be pursued:
  • Business Analyst
  • Financial Analyst
  • Business Operations Analyst
  • Market Research Analyst 

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • Manage divisions or entire organizations using business analytics to support organizational decision making.
  • Technical positions such as Chief Information Officer.


University Requirements

  • To receive an undergraduate certificate (at least 15 units) at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject matter areas with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0.

    Please be aware that federal financial aid is not available for some certificates, if the certificate is pursued and completed as a stand-alone certificate (i.e., not completed concurrently with a degree program). See the "Details" tab for additional information.


In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Please note that you may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 15
Major GPA 2.0
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 119
Additional Admission Requirements Recommended

Purpose Statement

This certificate is designed to enable learners to describe and participate in the process of data-driven decision making. This includes asking good-quality questions, describing what data is needed and where to find it, storing and accessing data in a consolidated format, selecting an appropriate modeling approach, analyzing the problem or opportunity, communicating the results of the analysis, and utilizing the analysis results to inform stakeholders and support data-driven decisions. Learners will have the opportunity to enhance their quantitative and communication skills.

Student Learning Outcomes

After taking the courses in this certificate, learners will:

Demonstrate knowledge of business analytics in the business world. Learners will:

  • Describe the value of and the need for business analytics.
  • Describe current examples and competitive advantages that businesses are achieving through business analytics.
  • Demonstrate an increased understanding of how data is currently used for business decision making, and how it might be used in the future
Gain experience in supporting data-based decision making. Learners will:
  • Demonstrate their ability to determine the usefulness of various data sets
  • Demonstrate their ability to transform raw data into more meaningful forms
  • Describe data storage techniques and business warehousing
  • Configure data storage and business warehousing systems
  • Perform descriptive analytics on data including data visualization to contribute to decision-making.
  • Perform data mining to answer questions and identify previously undiscovered data patterns, problems, or opportunities to inform decision-making.
  • Perform predictive analytics such as classification and Monte Carlo simulation to inform decision making.
  • Tell a correct and effective data story.
Learn fundamental and useful skills for their business analytics toolkit. Learners will:
  • Enhance their critical thinking skills though the process of investigating data to identify previously undiscovered trends or opportunities
  • Effectively communicate which, why, and how specific analytical tools and methods were used to arrive at a conclusion
  • Select the appropriate tools to use for various analytical techniques
  • Identify spreadsheet best practices 
  • Appropriately apply spreadsheet best practices and Excel functions such as VLookup, SumProduct, Data Tables.
  • Use business analytics software such as RapidMiner, Tableau, @Risk.


Additional Admission Requirements
  • The W.A. Franke College of Business (FCB) offers more than a dozen undergraduate certificates, some of which are open to all Northern Arizona University students.

    For a list of certificates open to non-business majors, contact the Office of Academic Services in the FCB. 

    The FCB does not accept upper-division transfer credits from programs not accredited by the AACSB (such as the University of Phoenix or the Bachelor of Business Administration program at NAU).

    You must complete 9 units of certificate coursework that are not used in your major, minor, or other certificates, and you must complete at least 60% of certificate coursework at Northern Arizona University.

Certificate Requirements
  • Take the following 15 units with a minimum 2.0 GPA:

    This certificate is availalbe only for those students with the Business Professional Program Milestone.

    You must have completed all of the coursework used to fulfill these requirements within the last 10 years.

  • This certificate may only be pursued and completed concurrently with a degree program.  This certificate is not available as a stand-alone certificate.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Campus Availability

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