The Iowa economy neared $200 billion of total value in 2018, and the state’s gross domestic product has risen every year for the past nine consecutive years. Since the depths of the Great Recession, Iowa’s GDP has added nearly 40% in value.
More than 80,000 employer firms are in operation across the state, and about 1.6 million people are employed in a diverse array of industries. Outside of farming, the trade, transportation and utilities sector is the largest in Iowa, accounting for almost 1 in 5 jobs. That’s followed by government at 16.4% and education and health services at 15%.
A total of six Fortune 1,000 companies have their headquarters in Iowa, and the state drew about $6 million in startup investment during the third quarter of 2019 alone. These conditions combine to make Iowa an ideal place for professionals working in the business analytics space.
What possible jobs can such professionals find here in Iowa, what educational opportunities exist, and what are some examples of possible employers?
Business Analytics Salaries in Iowa
Before we can dig into the data on salaries and employment, we first must explore some of the possible jobs that fall under the business analytics umbrella. The possibilities are broad, and there are jobs available for very different types of workers. For those who are mathematically inclined, jobs like Quantitative Modeler may be ideal, but for people with more of a footing in traditional business operations, Management Consultant roles may be better.
Here’s a look at some of the possible business analytics job titles that exist here in Iowa:
- Data Scientist
- Market Research Analyst
- Management Consultant
- Insights Analyst
- Business Intelligence Specialist
- Financial Analyst
- Budget Analyst
- Research Executive
- Decision Engineer
- Operations Research Analyst
- Marketing Engagement Analyst
- Quantitative Modeler
What can professionals expect to earn in the business analytics space in Iowa? Because the list of possible jobs is so long, we’ll take five specific job titles and analyze data from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics to create a general outline of the state of business analytics employment in Iowa.
Four of the five business analytics jobs we studied have lower wages in Iowa than in the U.S. as a whole. The exception is Operations Research Analyst, and Iowa’s wage is only a few hundred dollars higher than the overall U.S. median. However, all five roles have much higher typical salaries than the median wage in Iowa, which is just over $37,000.
Median annual wage, Iowa vs. U.S.
|Market Research Analyst||$54,090||$63,120|
|Operations Research Analyst||$83,690||$83,390|
In addition to beating the overall U.S. median for Operations Research Analyst salaries, Iowa’s wage for that job is among the highest in the country, putting Iowa at No. 18 nationally.
Median annual wage, Operations Research Analyst, top 20
|District of Columbia||$109,910|
Not only are business analytics jobs better-paying than most other occupations in Iowa, demand for all five of the jobs we studied is growing, and in some cases, Iowa ranks among the national leaders. For instance, Iowa is No. 7 for the long-term growth rate projected in Operations Research Analyst job openings.
Operations Research Analyst long-term job opening growth rate, top 10
With the exception of short-term growth in Budget Analyst jobs, which was not available, all jobs will see demand rise steadily over the next year and several years beyond that, and for four of the five jobs, long-term growth will be quite high.
Iowa job opening growth rate, short- and long-term
|Market Research Analyst||3.8%||25.2%|
|Operations Research Analyst||6.9%||39.7%|
Note: Short-term 2016-2020; long-term 2016-2026
Typical business analytics salaries vary across the state, but in the case of all five jobs we studied, at least one major city or metro area in Iowa offers wages that are higher than the overall state median.
Median annual wage, Iowa vs. select cities
|Job Title||Iowa||Cedar Rapids||Davenport||Des Moines|
|Market Research Analyst||$54,090||$50,580||$48,990||$62,460|
|Operations Research Analyst||$83,690||$71,600||$98,850||$85,700|
Iowa Business Analytics Degree Programs
The state of business education in Iowa is strong, with many different educational opportunities in the cutting-edge and innovative field of business analytics.
Here’s a look at some of the colleges and universities in Iowa that offer degrees in the field:
Business Analytics Degree Jobs in Iowa
To this point, we’ve looked at federal data on salaries and employment for a select few business analytics job titles, and we’ve looked at some educational opportunities for business analytics students here in Iowa. So where are all the jobs? To understand that, we dug through thousands of job postings in Iowa in late 2019.
Here are just a handful of the many examples of real-world employers who were looking to hire business analytics professionals in December 2019:
- Grinnell Mutual
- Guardian Life Insurance Co.
- Global Atlantic Financial Group
- University of Iowa
- Heartland Financial USA
- MidAmerican Energy
- Wells Fargo Bank
- Pella Corp.
- Flexsteel Industries
- State of Iowa
- Casey’s General Stores
- S. Bank
- Fremont Area Medical Center
- Kreg Tool Co.
- Lee Enterprises
- National Hockey League
- City of Dubuque
- Mercy College
Regardless of the specific role, the future looks to remain bright for people with a passion for and education in business analytics, here in Iowa and across the world. That’s due in part to the fact that every single organization that aims to use data to guide decision-making requires the expertise of people who can crunch the numbers.
Note: Information on recent job openings was gathered from Indeed.com and Glassdoor.com in late 2019.
U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economy at a Glance, Iowa. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.ia.htm
PWC/CB Insights, MoneyTree Report, Q3 2019. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.pwc.com/us/en/moneytree-report/assets/moneytree-report-q3-2019.pdf
U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Query System, Custom Tables. (Undated). Accessed from https://data.bls.gov/oes/#/home
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Total Gross Domestic Product for Iowa. (2019). Retrieved from https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/IANGSP
U.S. Census Bureau, Quick Facts, Iowa. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/IA/PST045218