Introduction to Business Analysis

Give yourself an employment advantage by developing analytical skills that are consistently in high demand. This course will teach you powerful quantitative methods that will have you making better, more informed, and more effective business decisions.
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6 Weeks / 24 Course Hrs
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Course code: iba

Give yourself an employment advantage by developing analytical skills that are consistently in high demand. This course will teach you powerful quantitative methods that will have you making better, more informed, and more effective business decisions.

The days of making critical business decisions by instinct or coin toss are long gone. If you are planning a career in business, you cannot afford to miss this course!

What you will learn

  • Learn quantitative methods that will have you making better, more informed, and more effective business decisions
  • Understand probability, sampling and surveys
  • Learn qualitative and quantitative forecasting
  • Understand modeling and how it is used to make better business decisions
  • Learn how financial analysis differs from accounting
  • Examine how to perform a risk analysis

How you will benefit

  • Make better, more informed, and more effective business decisions
  • Give yourself an employment advantage by developing analytical skills that are consistently in high demand

How the course is taught

  • Instructor-led or self-paced online course
  • 6 Weeks or 3 Months access
  • 24 course hours

Decision-making is one of the most important aspects of business, so you'll start things off by exploring a variety of analytical approaches that you can use for making business decisions. You'll also look at the basic steps involved in problem solving.

This lesson will help you understand the probability of events. It will talk about basic probability concepts and how you can assign probabilities to experimental outcomes. You'll also find out how to apply probability concepts to business situations.

In this lesson, you'll delve into the concepts of mean and standard deviation and how they're used in business. You'll also go over survey analysis, the various steps involved in doing a survey, and the most common errors that people make.

This lesson is all about the use of probability in decision-making. You'll explore an analytical approach called Decision Analysis. You'll learn how to structure a problem so that when you decide how to deal with it, you know what result to expect. The lesson will also talk about using an optimistic, conservative, and in-between approach when making decisions. Finally, you'll examine the concept of Expected Value.

What if the decision you want to make isn't the most sensible one from a financial perspective? There are times when you need to base the worth of a decision on its value to you. An example of this would be deciding to buy a lottery ticket. Sometimes it's appropriate to make business decisions this way. This lesson will talk about this approach and where the different decisions can lead.

All businesses need to forecast sales and expenses, and the forecasts need to be accurate. This lesson will cover forecasting as it's done in business analysis. You'll learn about the two types of forecasting: qualitative and quantitative.

In this lesson, you'll discover modeling, which is the application of mathematical constructs to decision making. You'll explore simple, intermediate, and complex types of models and discuss the two approaches to model development: reductionist and holistic.

This lesson is about how models are developed within a business organization. It will talk about what needs to be done and who needs to do it in order to make the modeling effort a success. You'll explore the respective roles of the analyst (modeler) and the client for whom the model is being developed.

The most widely used type of business analysis is financial analysis. This probably doesn't surprise you too much since the point of any business is to make a profit. In this lesson, you'll look at financial analysis and how it differs from accounting. The lesson will discuss cost estimates and various types of business costs. You'll get familiar with the concepts of break-even analysis and cost/benefit analysis, both of which play a vital role in business analysis.

The techniques of PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) and CPM (Critical Path Method) have proven to be extremely valuable to project managers. This lesson will explain the basics of PERT/CPM and how to utilize these techniques in your work. You'll meet a simple technique called a Gantt chart, which works quite well for planning a simple project with a relatively small number of tasks.

Risk is a part of any business situation, which makes it something you need to consider when you do business analysis. Simulation is an excellent method of performing risk analysis, so this lesson will cover step-by-step procedures for creating and using a simulation model.

In the final lesson, you'll look at computer-based information systems. This includes such areas as Decision Support Systems, Optimization Analysis, and Knowledge-Based Systems. You'll learn what each of these areas constitutes and examine many business applications of each.

Matt Crabtree, CFP ®, earned his Bachelor of Science in Business, Information Systems Management, in 1999, a mini MBA certificate from The School of Management at Yale University in 2004, a certificate in Financial Planning from Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business in 2012 and has received the financial industry's most rigorous and prestigious professional designation of Certified Financial Planner ™. After many years in project management, office management, and business sales, Matt began training individuals and organizations in areas of business finance, leadership development, successful negotiations, sales management, and customer service excellence. Matt has trained individuals and various units within the U.S. Department of Defense, as well as corporate organizations including IBM (technology), Accuray (healthcare-technology), and Gen-Probe (molecular diagnostics). Matt's natural aptitude for explaining his material in an easy-to-understand and enjoyable manner allows each student to gain insights into areas that are often considered challenging.

Requirements:

Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.

Other:

  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Prerequisites:

You must be proficient with basic algebra.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.

Instructor-Led: A new session of each course begins each month. Please refer to the session start dates for scheduling.
Self-Paced: You can start this course at any time your schedule permits.

Instructor-Led: Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the 6 week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Self-Paced: You have 3 month access to the course. After enrolling, you can learn and complete the course at your own pace, within the allotted access period.

Instructor-Led: The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you're encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
Self-Paced: There is no time limit to complete each lesson, other than completing all lessons within the allotted access period.

Instructor-Led: The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks plus 10 days (24 days total) to complete the final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Self-Paced: Because this course is self-paced, no extensions will be granted after the start of your enrollment.