MS Business Intelligence Gets “Real” with Capstone Course

September 23, 2013

In the fall of 2012, Daniels rolled out a redesigned MS business intelligence (MSBI), that develops professionals capable of analyzing and using big data to their organizations’ advantage. One of the oldest business intelligence master’s programs in the country, the Daniels MSBI offers students the unique opportunity to tackle an analytical problem for a real business. That opportunity takes form in what is known as a capstone project.

“The MSBI capstone project allows students to utilize the skills they learn throughout the program with an organization that is working on an exciting analytical issue,” says Dr. Phil Beaver, professor in residence of the Department of Business Information and Analytics. Beaver coordinates and oversees the program along with Amy Phillips and Dr. Paul Bauer. “We are providing students an educational experience that allows them to see firsthand the type of work they plan to do when they graduate.”

The MSBI capstone is composed of two parts: a capstone planning course in a student’s second of the four-quarter MSBI program and the actual project in the final quarter. During capstone planning the students are introduced to the available projects, then select a company to work with by the end of the quarter.

One of the reasons for the MSBI program’s great success is the insight gained from its Department of Business Intelligence and Analytics Advisory Board. The advisory board is made up of 13 professionals with backgrounds in business analytics. “These people advise us on our program content, relevance to what is happening in the business community and more,” Dr. Beaver says. Many of the advisory board companies also provide capstone projects for students.

Companies with which students have worked in the past year include Amadeus Consulting, SofTec Solutions, Relevance Media and CliIntel.

To learn more about the MS business intelligence, visit To apply for the advisory board or discuss a capstone project within your own organization, contact Phil Beaver at or call 303.871.4989.