In our tightly wired world, business executives make decisions under pressure. Almost always, these decisions must be made with less than complete information. This course is about how to effectively use data that is currently available (or can be obtained within a reasonable time frame and cost) to improve business decision-making.
We will use business examples from functional areas such as finance, marketing, human resources, and operations to illustrate the role of data analysis in decision making. This course is not designed to be a dry sleepy-time set of abstract, mathematical lectures. My goal is to make statistics come alive in the context of life and in the context of real business problems demanding solution.
Quantitative methods such as statistical analysis must not be viewed as the be-all and end-all of decision making. The vital role that seasoned business intuition plays in effective decision making can not be overemphasized. Nevertheless, analytical techniques are a central part of many decisions. In fact, we illustrate in this course how statistics and probability can effectively work together with managerial intuition in business problem solving.
The advent of personal computer statistical software that readily generates visual representations of data and performs sophisticated analyses enables a manager to concentrate on the meaning of data. The burden of computation has largely been eliminated, and business people are now free to focus on probing issues and searching for creative solutions. In this course, we illustrate the use of computer-generated output that promotes visualization of data.
"Students tell me that statistics was obscure and inaccessible for them as undergraduates. On the first day of class, they enter my MBA course on Statistics and Data Analysis prepared for the worst. Fortunately, I am often able to help them build intuition for statistics, appreciate how the content can be applied and actually enjoy the experience.
Whatever, previous experience you have had with statistics (if any), our main objective will be to make the content useful to you in business decision-making and relevant to decisions we all make in everyday life."