The problems faced by decision makers in today’s competitive business environment are often extremely complex and can be addressed by numerous possible courses of action. Evaluating these alternatives and gaining insight from past performance is the essence of business analytics. This course is designed as an introduction to Business Analytics, an area of business administration that considers the extensive use of data, methods and fact-based management to support and improve decision making. While business intelligence focuses on data handling, queries and reports to discover patterns and generate information associated with products, services and customers, business analytics uses data and models to explain the performance of a business and how it can be improved. This course discusses the benefits of employing analytics and a structured approach to problem-solving in management situations.

The primary objective of this course is to help students become proficient in fact-based management. In other words, students will learn how to translate business situations into formal models, identify the relevant data and investigate how those models enhance decision making. To achieve this objective, the course will introduce common analytic methods, discuss their strength and weaknesses, and show how they can be used to help managers make better decisions. Throughout the course, students will be exposed to a variety of applications in which these models can be applied effectively. Moreover, the course will show how to use Excel spreadsheets and other software packages effectively for business modeling analysis.

On the 2012 summer edition of this course at the University of Colorado, the students gave it very good evaluations (FCQs). It has no pre-requisites. We mainly work together in the classroom (computer lab.) to translate business situations into Excel models. It`s easy, and we will help you to do it yourself. Download the course syllabus for a complete description. Enroll now and join us in the CU Summer Session at the Leeds School of Business.

Why Business Analytics?

Main findings of INFORMS study

* The need and desire for fact-based management.
* Decision-making driven by models and analysis instead of gut feel alone.
* Accenture and Gartner have named the use of analytics as one of the top 10 business trends for 2010.
* The INFORMS study shows that 60 percent of decisions in business are now based on analytic output.
* Most managers believe that they will need to increase their analytic resources in the future.
* Analytics facilitates realization of business objectives through reporting of data to analyze trends, creating predictive models for forecasting and optimizing business processes for enhanced performance.

Web resources

INFORMS webpage
Analytics magazine
IBM Analytics

Prescriptive Analytics

Focus on Optimization

Decision modeling
Exact and heuristic optimization
Industry-specific models
Multi-objective optimization
Spreadsheet modeling
Quantitative analysis