Chairperson: Joseph P. Daniels, Ph.D.
Department of Economics website

The curriculum provides students an in-depth look at data preparation, including understanding the business problem, understanding which data to collect, and how to clean and prepare data that is frequently messy and unstructured to make it ready for analysis. Students also learn a variety of descriptive, prescriptive and predictive analytic techniques, data visualization techniques and the methods to effectively communicate insights derived from analysis to senior management. The major concludes with an integrated, cross functional applied industry-based project, with students working in teams on a large real-world data set.

Business Analytics

Required: 15 credits, plus an additional major in the college. Double counting of courses for two majors is not permitted.

BUAN 2060Business Analytics 13
BUAN 2061Business Analytics 23
BUAN 3060Business Analytics and Data Visualization3
BUAN 3061Data Communication: Communicating Actionable Insights3
BUAN 4997Integrative Business Analytics3
Total Credit Hours15

Note:  Student must earn a B- or better in BUAD 1560 to enroll in BUAN 2060.

Courses

BUAN 2060. Business Analytics 1. 3 cr. hrs.

Overview of where business analytics fits into current corporate decision-making support; intro to the three major flavors of business analytics (descriptive, predictive and prescriptive). The program’s emphasis begins with analytics’ use in addressing business problems and opportunities (applications) rather than analytics’ programming and statistical underpinnings. Students are exposed to a comprehensive review of statistics, the use of Excel (e.g. pivot tables and vlookup, etc.), and Relational Databases (and Relational Theory). Also covers a review of the scientific method and Design Thinking. A look is then taken at the process of taking a business problem in a specific business model, defining/profiling the data that is needed to address the problem, accessing the data (using, for example, SQL), and then focusing on the preparation and cleaning of data. Concludes with the application of descriptive statistics to live data sets. Prereq: Enrolled in the College of Business Administration; grade of B- or better in BUAD 1560.

BUAN 2061. Business Analytics 2. 3 cr. hrs.

Addresses the most valuable predictive and descriptive modeling methodologies and how they address sales & marketing, supply chain, finance, accounting and HR business problems/opportunities – classification, regression, behavioral, value and optimization modeling; demand and adoption forecast models; and market basket analysis (association and sequence). Also focusses on developing an understanding which analytical tool can be used for which purpose, and the limitations and benefits of each. Also looks at hypotheses testing, sampling issues, analysis rules and best practices for analysis. Prereq: Enrolled in College of Business Administration; BUAN 2060.

BUAN 3060. Business Analytics and Data Visualization. 3 cr. hrs.

Addresses best practices in communicating information in a visual way to develop an understanding of how to design a visualization, how to design a dashboard, when to choose a specific visualization, e.g. when to choose a scatter plot, a bar chart, etc. Also exposes students to current cutting-edge software that enables senior management to digest and act upon business analytics. Vendors are also positioning visual analytics as employee self-service analytical tools that don’t require the statistical heavy lifting of a SAS. Current market-share leading software for demonstration and hands-on student use includes Tableau, R, SAS Visual Analytics, Lumira (SAP), QlikView and Domo. Prereq: BUAN 2060 and BUAN 2061.

BUAN 3061. Data Communication: Communicating Actionable Insights. 3 cr. hrs.

Takes insights derived from the analytics and focusses on how to communicate these actionable insights to executives for decision-making purposes. Includes presentation and storytelling skills, and the ability to communicate to both technical and managerial audiences. Students also need to be able to measure the outcomes based on the decisions that were made with the data-storytelling. Looks to develop good listening and team building and other communication skills. Prereq: BUAN 2060 and BUAN 2061.

BUAN 4997. Integrative Business Analytics. 3 cr. hrs.

A team-based capstone course that gives students the opportunity to further apply the content learned in prior courses to a company-specific set of business problems/opportunities. Combines course work with a student-team practicum with a local area company that provides a real business problem/opportunity and a real-life/messy data set. Depending on the number of companies involved and the size of the class, there can be multiple companies or a single company involved. For the latter, the project is set up as a competition for the best-fitting solution. Prereq: BUAN 2060, BUAN 2061, BUAN 3060, BUAN 3061.