Decision Modeling in Business Analytics

Leonard N. Stern School of Business

How long?

  • 4 days
  • in person

Leonard N. Stern School of Business


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Who should attend

Although there are no formal education or background requirements, this course is designed for executives who meet the criteria below. While we strongly encourage global participation, please note that all courses are taught in English. Proficiency in written and spoken English is required.

  • Years of Experience – Designed for professionals with 5+ years of work experience
  • Job Functions – Ideal for executives who head analytically oriented functions within their organization
  • Prerequisites – Intended for individuals who are interested in analytics and data-driven decision making, and who already have working knowledge of analytics

About the course

Most firms invest time and dollars into data analytics that identify what has already happened and what might happen in the future, but this is not enough to drive success. In order to take full advantage of their data analytics, executives must know how to transform data insights into optimal, executable actions that are evaluated by their impact on key performance metrics, leading to better decision making.

This course teaches participants to harness the full potential of large quantities of data to make more informed decisions at all levels of their organizations. Participants will learn about modern decision models and machine learning tools. Through application of these tools, executives will examine data, recommend a range of actions and evaluate each action’s impact on targeted performance metrics. This course provides hands-on experience working with different models--including optimization modeling, uncertainty modeling and risk prediction--and emphasizes their application in finance, marketing and operations functions across industries.

Program Takeaways

  • Decision Models – Learn about key decision models in analytics and their applications across a wide range of industries including healthcare, financial services, logistics and more
  • Direct Experience – Gain hands-on experience working with data and transforming it into actionable decisions through simulation exercises
  • Value of Data – Identify opportunities where decision models can be applied to derive value for your organization


Day 1

Session 1: Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics

  • What is prescriptive analytics and why is it important?
  • Differences between prescriptive and predictive analytics and their roles in data-driven decision making
  • Best practices and success stories

Session 2: Machine Learning and Predictive Modeling

  • Basic classification and prediction methods
  • What is artificial neutral network and what is deep learning
  • Hands-on exercise: credit risk prediction

Session 3: Framework of Optimization Modeling

  • Formulating a business decision problem: decision choices, performance measure, and constraints
  • Hands-on exercise: online dating platforms

Session 4: Business Applications of Optimization Models

  • Applications in revenue management and online advertising
  • Value of optimization
  • Challenge and address model assumptions

Day 1 Conclusion and Evaluations

Day 2

Session 5: Markdown Optimization Game

  • Combining predictive modeling and optimization modeling
  • Challenges in decision making under risk

Session 6: Modeling Risk

  • Meaningful definition of risk
  • How to model uncertainty
  • Value of data in risk modeling

Session 7: Risk Prediction: Monte Carlo Simulation

  • Build simulation models for performance evaluation and risk prediction
  • Interpretation of results and obtaining insights
  • Hands-on exercise: retirement planning

Session 8: Optimization under Uncertainty

  • Simulation meets optimization modeling
  • Value of strategic flexibility

Program Conclusion and Evaluations


Jiawei Zhang

Jiawei Zhang is a Professor of Information, Operations and Management Sciences and Robert Stansky Research Faculty Fellow at New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business. He joined NYU Stern's Operations Management Group in September 2004. Professor Zhang's primary research interest...

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Decision Modeling in Business Analytics at Leonard N. Stern School of Business

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