BIA686 Applied Analytics

Course Catalog Description


Business intelligence and analytics is key to enabling successful competition in today’s world of “big data”. This course focuses on helping students to not only understand how best to leverage business intelligence and analytics to become more effective decision makers, making smarter decisions and generating better results for their organizations. Students have an opportunity to apply the concepts, principles, and methods associated with four areas of analytics (text, descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive) to real problems in an application domain associated with their area of interest.


Students should complete at least 5 courses in the BI&A curriculum before taking this course.

Campus Fall Spring Summer
On Campus
Web Campus


Professor Email Office
Christopher Asakiewicz Babbio 430

More Information

Course Objectives

The course is designed to facilitate students’ understanding of how to leverage BI&A in their organization. The course examines four critical areas of analytics, namely: text analytics, descriptive analytics, predictive analytics, and prescriptive analytics. Students learn how these types of analytics are used to address critical business issues, as well as how they can enable/drive organizations to conduct business in radically different and more effective/efficient ways. It covers the current and emerging issues of BI&A strategy and management, as well as the tactical, operational, and strategic responsibilities and roles of business executives in leveraging their BI&A resources.

  • Text analytics seeks to turn unstructured data into information for analysis
  • Descriptive analytics aims to provide insight into what has happened
  • Predictive analytics helps model and forecast what might happen.
  • Prescriptive analytics seeks to determine the best solution or outcome among various choices, given the known parameters, as well as, suggest decision options for how to take advantage of a future opportunity or mitigate a future risk, and illustrate the implications of each decision option.

Additional learning objectives include:
An understanding of and ability to apply a broad range of analytic techniques including optimization, conceptual data modeling, data warehousing and mining. This objective is assessed through a comprehensive exam comprising short questions supplied by instructors of all the courses that have been taken to date by each student. A passing grade must be obtained.

Written and oral communications skills: the individual project proposal will be used to assess written skills and the final presentations will be video-taped and used to assess presentation skills.

Team skills: The final project for the course will involve student teams; an online survey instrument will be used to measure individual contributions to team performance.

Course Outcomes

After taking this course, students will be able to:

  1. Analyze the impact of BI&A on the organization
  2. Understand how best to apply BI&A methods and techniques in addressing strategic business problems
  3. Understand the role of BI&A in helping organizations make better decisions
  4. Conduct an in-depth analysis of a strategic business problem
  5. Communicate the results of an in-depth analysis to both a technical and management audience

Course Resources


Primary References:

Robert Nisbet, et. al. (2009) Handbook of Statistical Analysis & Data Mining Applications. Elsevier/Academic Press. San Diego, California. ISBN: 978-0-12-374765-5.

Thomas Davenport, (2010) Analytics at Work. Harvard Business School Press. Boston, Massachusetts. ISBN: 978-1-4221-7769-3.

Thomas Davenport, et. al. (2007) Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning. Harvard Business School Press. Boston, Massachusetts. ISBN: 978-1-4421-0332-6.

Steve LaValle, et. al. (2011) Big Data, Analytics and the Path From Insights to Value. MIT Sloan Management Review. Winter 2011, Vol. 52, No. 2.

David Boller (2010) The Promise and Peril of Big Data. The Aspen Institute, Washington, DC Available at:


Grading Policies

Grading Percentages:

Class work 55% Quiz 5% Final Project 40%

Students have an opportunity to apply the concepts, principles, and methods they have learned to making data-driven decisions using business intelligence and analytics. The course grade is based on the following assignments, mid-term, and final project deliverables.

Deliverable Percent of Grade
BI&A Review Quiz 5%
Case 1 Review 10%
Case 2 Review 15%
Project Proposal 5%
Case 3 Review 10%
Case 4 Review 15%
Final Project 40%
TOTAL 100%

Assignments and Final Project: At the beginning of the course, students will be tested on their knowledge of business intelligence and analytical concepts covered in previously taken courses in the curriculum. In addition to refreshing a student’s knowledge of key BI&A concepts from previous courses, the test fulfills the BI&A program’s AACSB Assurance of Learning Goal #3.

Students have an opportunity to work on four case study assignments associated with leveraging business intelligence and analytics. The case studies emphasize “best or leading” practice in better decision making in a specific business/industry domain. Case descriptions highlight a strategic application of analytics, namely: text analytics, descriptive analytics (business intelligence), predictive analytics (modeling), and prescriptive analytics (optimization, simulation, decision management). Each strategic application is framed within the context of a specific business problem associated with “big data” and its use in a particular area of the enterprise (e.g., Finance, Manufacturing, R&D, etc.).

Case Number Enterprise Area Problem Area
Case 1 Research Text Analytics and Productivity Enhancement
Case 2 Development Descriptive Analytics and Portfolio Management
Case 3 Sales and Marketing Predictive Analytics and Strategy Effectiveness
Case 4 Operations Prescriptive Analytics and Operations Management

The final project provides students with an opportunity to leverage the concepts, principals, and methods they have learned in solving a business problem associated with: Finance, Manufacturing, R&D, Human Resources, Customers, or Suppliers. Students must provide a brief abstract outlining their project area, and associated analysis plan and methodology. Students will present a poster outlining their project’s objectives, methodology, and results at the end of the course.

Lecture Outline

Topic Reading
Week 1 Course Introduction and Overview Big Data, Analytics and the Path From Insights to Value.
MIT Sloan Management Review.
Chapter 1, Analytics at Work.
Week 2 BI&A Framework Chapters 2-6, Analytics at Work.
Chapters 7-8, “Data Mining Algorithms”, Statistical Analysis and Data Mining.
Week 3 Text Analytics Chapter 9, “Text Mining”, Statistical Analysis and Data Mining.
Week 4 Descriptive Analytics Chapter 11, “Classification”, Statistical Analysis and Data Mining.
Week 5 Predictive Analytics Chapters 12-13, “Prediction and Modeling”, Statistical Analysis and Data Mining.
Week 6 Prescriptive Analytics
Week 7 Quiz
Week 8 Analytics with Internal and External Processes Chapters 4-5, Competing on Analytics.
Chapter 16, “Response Modeling”, Statistical Analysis and Data Mining.
Week 9 Managing Analytical Resources Chapter 7, Competing on Analytics.
Chapters 18-22, “Model Complexity and Use”, Statistical Analysis and Data Mining.
Week 10 Ethics and “Big Data” Bollier (2010) “The Promise and Peril of Big Data” Aspen Institute Report.
Week 11 The Future of Analytical Competition Chapter 9, Competing on Analytics.
Week 12 Final Project Analysis Plan
Week 13 Final Project Results and Conclusions
Week 14 Final Project Poster Session