Business Analytics, Graduate Certificate

Department of Management, Marketing, and Information Systems

The W. A. Franke College of Business

The Business Analytics certificate is designed to prepare individuals 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.

    • Graduate certificate programs require a minimum of 12 credit hours. Many graduate certificate programs require more than 12 credit hours.
    • No more than one 400-level NAU course (3 - 4 units) may be used on a graduate certificate program.
    • No more than twenty-five percent of the units required for the certificate program may be transferred from another university.
    • A 400-level course (undergraduate course) completed at another university is not eligible for transfer credit.
    • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 must be achieved to obtain a graduate certificate. No more than three units of coursework with a Grade of "C" may be used in a certificate program.
    • A graduate student may pursue a graduate certificate concurrently with a graduate degree. Each graduate degree program must decide which, if any, certificate courses can be counted toward the graduate degree.
    • Students who are admitted to a graduate certificate program will be eligible for the official posting of the graduate certificate to their transcripts when all applicable coursework has been successfully completed and approved by the academic unit and the Graduate College.
  • 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.

Students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 12
Some online/blended coursework Required

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. In addition, this certificate provides an opportunity for individuals to explore their interest in pursuing additional graduate work in this area.

Student Learning Outcomes

After taking the courses in this certificate, learners will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of business analytics in the business world. 
  • Describe the value of and the need for business analytics.
  • Describe current examples and competitive advantages that businesses are achieving through business analytics.
  • Describe how data is currently used for business decision making and how business analytics is evolving.
  • Gain experience in supporting data-based decision making. Learners will:
  • Evaluate and describe the usefulness of various data sets
  • 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
  • Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

    • NAU Graduate Online application is required (www.nau.edu/graduateapply) for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale ("A" = 4.0), or the equivalent.
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts.
    For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy.
    • Prerequisites:
      • Undergraduate degree in Business from a regionally accredited institution OR 2-years’ experience working in a business or non-profit organization.
      • Introduction to computer and information systems similar to ISM 360 or ACC 300
      • Business Statistics course similar to ECO 201 or STA 270
Certificate Requirements
  • This certificate may be pursued and completed concurrently with a degree program or as a stand-alone certificate. Federal financial aid cannot be used if the certificate is completed as a stand-alone certificate.

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