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Course 2021-2022 a.y.

20595 - BUSINESS ANALYTICS

DSBA
Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English


Go to class group/s: 23

DSBA (8 credits - I sem. - OB  |  SECS-P/08)
Course Director:
ALFONSO GAMBARDELLA

Classes: 23 (I sem.)
Instructors:
Class 23: ALFONSO GAMBARDELLA


Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

This course focuses on the area of business analytics concerning decision-making processes. Specifically, it focuses on how to make data-driven decisions in a business context by following a Scientific approach. The course is divided in two parts. The first part discusses the basics of managerial theories such that students learn how to formulate their business strategies and actions using a structured framework. This first theoretical block paves the way for the second part of the course in which the students learn how to apply analytical tools to make data-driven decisions based on their theoretical assumptions. In particular, this part of the course focuses on theoretical and practical aspects of data analysis aimed at finding causal relationships that can be useful in directing managerial action. The overarching goal is to provide the students with an analytical framework to make decisions like investment decisions, the launch of an innovation, the creation of a start-up. The approach can be employed both in smaller firms and start-ups, or larger companies. The course follows a practical flavor and involves concrete uses of data and real-world examples from leading companies. Attending students will have the chance to engage in a group project, where real managerial problems have to be tackled. The performance in the projects counts as part of the student’s evaluation for the course.

CONTENT SUMMARY
  • Theory of the firm and of managerial action.
  • The use of theory and data to build analytical frameworks to make managerial decisions: the Scientific Approach.
  • The difference between correlation and causality in making managerial decisions.
  • Methods and instruments to test and predict the results of managerial actions:
    • Prediction and Inference: the role of causality
    • The “Econometric” and “Machine Learning” approaches
    • Collecting data: Survey methods and sampling
    • Linear Models & Limited Dependent Variables
    • Regularized Regressions for Inference
    • Experimental design and analysis
  • The role of cognitive biases in managerial decision-making.
  • Case Studies and Examples from the industry: talks with data-driven startups and companies.
  • Building experiments to make informed managerial decisions.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Learn about the most important theories in management, and their application to practical managerial problems and contexts.
  • Learn how to use theory and data to build analytical frameworks to make practical managerial decisions.
  • Learn methods and instruments to test and predict the results of managerial actions, and make the underlying managerial decisions in more informed ways.
  • Learn to nail down causal relations to make managerial decisions, and build experiments to make such decisions.
  • Learn the different approaches of econometrics and machine learning, together with state-of-the art techniques merging the two approaches.
  • Learn how to tackle cognitive biases in managerial decision-making.
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Master managerial theories to make managerial decisions.
  • Develop business problems as theories in a structured framework.
  • Apply analytical techniques to make data-driven managerial decisions.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)
DETAILS
  • Lectures.
  • Practical activities: formulation of theories about innovation decisions, and test with actual data using relevant software
  • Class project developed by groups of students and discussed at different points in time in class with the instructor and the other students.

Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •     x
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  •     x
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  •     x
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)
  •     x
    ATTENDING STUDENTS

    The grade of attending students (max = 31) depends on three elements:   Group project: max 15 points Final exam: max 10 points Two In-Class Exercises: max 3 points each (max 6 points total).

    To be considered as an attending student, it is mandatory to attend at least 75% of the lectures, attend the Group Project and the two In-Class Exercises. Attendance will be recorded. 

     

    The final examination consists in a written exam, where students have to reply to only one open-ended question at their choice among the three displayed. The written exam tests whether student master the theoretical concepts explained in class, especially those related to decision-making procedures and approaches.

    In-class exercises are sessions where students will have to solve short business problems with the help of data, based on the topics explained in class. In-class exercises are designed to test the econometric and statistical aspect of the course. Students will have to apply the techniques seen in class using statistical software on their own computers.

    The groupwork is a project engaging 3 to 4 students per group, done in cooperation with real companies, where students have the chance to either develop their own business idea or solve a real-life business case, using the framework taught in class. More details about the group project will be given during the first sessions of the course. The groupwork test the practical side of the course, allowing students to apply the learned concepts to an entrepreneurial or innovation problem.

    Attendance is strongly encouraged.

    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    Non - Attending students   Non-attending students engage in a hour-long final written exam, where they must reply to three open-ended questions. The written exam for non-attending student will test the theoretical concepts and practical implications related to the whole course content


    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING STUDENTS
    • Lecture slides & handouts
    • Material referenced in the slides & handouts

     

     

    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    The material for the preparation of the exam as a non-attending student is the course material listed above for attending students.

    Last change 05/08/2021 10:31