PROBLEM SOLVING AND DECISION-MAKING
Decision-making is one of the most important aspects of business, so you’ll start things off by exploring a variety of analytical approaches that you can use for making business decisions. You’ll also look at the basic steps involved in problem solving.
INTRODUCTION TO PROBABILITY
This lesson will help you understand the probability of events. It will talk about basic probability concepts and how you can assign probabilities to experimental outcomes. You’ll also find out how to apply probability concepts to business situations.
INTRODUCTION TO SAMPLING AND SURVEYS
In this lesson, you’ll delve into the concepts of mean and standard deviation and how they’re used in business. You’ll also go over survey analysis, the various steps involved in doing a survey, and the most common errors that people make.
This lesson is all about the use of probability in decision-making. You’ll explore an analytical approach called Decision Analysis. You’ll learn how to structure a problem so that when you decide how to deal with it, you know what result to expect. The lesson will also talk about using an optimistic, conservative, and in-between approach when making decisions. Finally, you’ll examine the concept of Expected Value.
UTILITY AND DECISION-MAKING
What if the decision you want to make isn’t the most sensible one from a financial perspective? There are times when you need to base the worth of a decision on its value to you. An example of this would be deciding to buy a lottery ticket. Sometimes it’s appropriate to make business decisions this way. This lesson will talk about this approach and where the different decisions can lead.
All businesses need to forecast sales and expenses, and the forecasts need to be accurate. This lesson will cover forecasting as it’s done in business analysis. You’ll learn about the two types of forecasting: qualitative and quantitative.
THE MODELING PROCESS
In this lesson, you’ll discover modeling, which is the application of mathematical constructs to decision making. You’ll explore simple, intermediate, and complex types of models and discuss the two approaches to model development: reductionist and holistic.
MODELING IN A CORPORATE ENVIRONMENT
This lesson is about how models are developed within a business organization. It will talk about what needs to be done and who needs to do it in order to make the modeling effort a success. You’ll explore the respective roles of the analyst (modeler) and the client for whom the model is being developed.
The most widely used type of business analysis is financial analysis. This probably doesn’t surprise you too much since the point of any business is to make a profit. In this lesson, you’ll look at financial analysis and how it differs from accounting. The lesson will discuss cost estimates and various types of business costs. You’ll get familiar with the concepts of break-even analysis and cost/benefit analysis, both of which play a vital role in business analysis.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT PERT/CPM
The techniques of PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) and CPM (Critical Path Method) have proven to be extremely valuable to project managers. This lesson will explain the basics of PERT/CPM and how to utilize these techniques in your work. You’ll meet a simple technique called a Gantt chart, which works quite well for planning a simple project with a relatively small number of tasks.
COMPUTER SIMULATION AND RISK ANALYSIS
Risk is a part of any business situation, which makes it something you need to consider when you do business analysis. Simulation is an excellent method of performing risk analysis, so this lesson will cover step-by-step procedures for creating and using a simulation model.
COMPUTER-BASED INFORMATION SYSTEMS
In the final lesson, you’ll look at computer-based information systems. This includes such areas as Decision Support Systems, Optimization Analysis, and Knowledge-Based Systems. You’ll learn what each of these areas constitutes and examine many business applications of each.