Business Analytics: Turning Data Into Insights for Competitive Advantage by Creating a Data-Driven Culture

Wake Forest University School of Business

Wake Forest University School of Business


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Who should attend

This course is designed for managers who want to learn more about what business analytics is, how it provides value, and how it is applicable to their business. Marketing directors, business analysts, and finance and operations leaders across a range of industries can benefit from the new skills and approaches gained through this program. The program also is highly relevant for senior managers who seek a more strategic viewpoint on analytics.

This course assumes no prior knowledge or understanding of business analytics, only a desire to learn what it really is, and how and when it can be useful.

About the course

We now live in the age of data. Through the use of computers, cell phones and other smart devices, we generate enormous amounts of data that companies can use to better understand their customers, track their products, more effectively utilize resources and increase productivity and the bottom line. In this course, you will learn how some of the world’s leading companies have leveraged business analytics to turn data into insights for better decision making and create a data-driven culture that leads to superior strategic, tactical and operational decisions.

Topics include:

  • How business analytics can be applied to your business
  • The different types of analytics and how/when they are useful
  • How to create a data-driven culture and turn data into insights
  • The factors that lead to success or failure with business analytics
  • Current and future trends in business analytics
  • Techniques for using data to generate new ideas, experimenting with solutions, and evaluating alternatives
  • Practical examples of companies using business analytics in real world decision making to drive value.

What You’ll Learn

This program will assist you in exploring the data analytics life-cycle and introduce analytics techniques in the context of real-world applications from a variety of business areas such as marketing, financial forecasting, and operations.

Key program takeaways include:

  • Know what it takes to create a data-driven culture
  • Understand the different types of business analytics and how they can add-value to your business and the overall quality of decision making
  • Improve your ability to view business processes and relationships systematically and analytically.
  • Understand the latest trends in business analytics and how they might impact your business
  • Gain knowledge, confidence, and ability to use a more data oriented approach in your daily decision making

Course Outline

Day 1

The Data-Driven Organization

  • What are some examples of successful data-driven corporations that have used analytics for competitive advantage? Procter & Gamble, UPS, Amazon, GE and Linked In are all early adopters of analytics and have created a data-driven culture throughout the organization.

Establishing a Data-Driven Culture

  • How did these companies transform their cultures to be more data-centric? What are the different paths taken to this end? What works, what doesn’t?

Big Data – – finding value in the hype

  • What is big data? How is it different from just plain data? Which companies have used it for competitive advantage? Can you use analytics with non-big-data?

What makes decision making difficult?

  • What factors make decision making difficult: uncertainty, too many alternatives, difficult trade-offs?
  • Case – illustrating a decision-making challenge – How might analytics drive innovation in an organization?

What is Business Analytics and How Does It Add Value?

  • What is business analytics and how does it improve decision making? The process involves moving from mess to model, from model to insight and insight to impact. Each of these stages is important for success.
  • Case – brainstorming how analytics can address the challenge

Day 2

  • Types of Analytics

There are three types of analytics: Descriptive Analytics, Predictive Analytics, and Prescriptive Analytics. We will provide real examples of each and discuss the types of challenges each address.

  • Success Stories – – home run analytics

We discuss examples from Moneyball to manufacturing, the service sector, health care and the positive impact analytics has had on these industries in operations, marketing, finance and human resource management. Case- Restructuring P&G’s Supply Chain

  • Pitfalls – How and why analytics projects fail

Many analytics projects fail. Understanding the reasons for failure will greatly enhance your chances of success. Everything from managerial support to the right information technology influence project outcomes.

  • Analytics in the Board Room

Story telling is a major determinant as to whether or not data and analytical models have an impact on the firm. Without the ability to influence leaders and decision makers by telling the story, analytics is far less impactful.

  • Advanced Analytics – where is it all going?

The Internet of Things and Cognitive Computing are two of the latest developments that will have an impact on the future of analytics and its impact on business.


Jeffrey Camm

Jeffrey Camm is Associate Dean of Business Analytics and the Inmar Presidential Chair in Business Analytics at the Wake Forest University School of Business. His scholarship is on the application of optimization modeling to difficult decision problems in a diverse set of application areas includi...

Business Analytics: Turning Data Into Insights for Competitive Advantage by Creating a Data-Driven Culture at Wake Forest University School of Business

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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