Business Analytics: Theory and Practice

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Business Analytics: Theory and Practice

This course is about modeling and how computer models can support managerial decision making. A model is a simplified representation of a real situation and modeling is the process of developing, analyzing and interpreting a model in order to help make better decisions. Models can be invaluable tools in managing and understanding the complexity and risk inherent in many business problems. As a result, models have become an increasingly important part of business at all levels from daily operations to strategic decision making.



This course will help learners become intelligent users and consumers of these models. To this end, we will cover the basic elements of modeling – how to formulate a model and how to use and interpret the information a model produces. The course emphasizes “learning by doing” so that students will be expected to formulate, solve, and interpret a number of different optimization and simulation models using Excel spreadsheets. An important theme in the course is to understand the appropriate use of models in business and the potential pitfalls from using models incorrectly or inappropriately.



The course has two distinct parts:




  • The first half of the course we will cover supervised learning techniques for regression and classification. In this framework, we possess an output or response that we wish to predict based on a set of inputs. We will discuss several fundamental methods for performing this task and algorithms for their optimization. Our approach will be more practically motivated, meaning we will fully develop a mathematical understanding of the respective algorithms, but we will only briefly touch on abstract learning theory.

  • In the second half, we shift to unsupervised learning techniques. In these problems the end goal less clear-cut than predicting an output based on a corresponding input. We will cover three fundamental problems of unsupervised learning: data clustering, matrix factorization, and sequential models for order-dependent data. Some applications of these models include object recommendation and topic modeling.


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Starts : 2017-12-11 in 21 days

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