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Program Overview

Business Analytics for Decision Makers

Certificate in Business Analytics for Decision Makers

Predictive business analytics is a quickly growing field, but many companies struggle trying to tap into the power of available data without being overwhelmed by it. This program is geared to decision makers and leaders who need to understand the strategic value that business analytics can bring to an organization. Students will learn what analytics is and what it can and can’t do; how to build the skills to implement it; how to integrate it into other strategic processes; how to gather data across multiple sources including supply chains, POS systems, customer interactions, and market research activities; and how to make strategic decisions based on results of analysis.

Registration for Spring 2018 is now open:

About the Certificate in Business Analytics for Decision Makers

Business Analytics for Decision Makers Program Goals

Students will learn to:

  • Describe the uses of analytics to drive business success
  • Create roadmaps to get their organization on an analytics track
  • Identify what is needed to build an analytics team
  • Develop an action plan to implement analytics at an organizational level
  • Use the intelligence generated by a company-wide data focus to get results (customers, sales, etc.)

Business Analytics for Decision Makers Audience

All those who want to institute a culture of analytics-based decision making in their organization will benefit from the Business Analytics for Decision Makers certificate program, from small business owners to directors of units within large organizations to corporate leaders. These leaders may come from any industry, and the skills and knowledge acquired can be applied to areas as diverse as marketing, supply chain management, product development, customer service, and more. As a result of this program, students will better understand how to use analytics to make strategic decisions that promote profitability and success. 

Business Analytics for Decision Makers Program Structure

The three-day seminar will be held on Northwestern's Chicago campus at Wieboldt Hall, 339 East Chicago Avenue. The seminar will be led by industry leaders with experience in developing analytic teams for major corporations. Class sessions will include lectures, the review of case studies, small group work and one-on-one consultations with the instructors. At the end of the program, students will know how analytics can be implemented in their company or organization.

Day One: Introduction
The Potential of Big Data and Predictive Analytics
  • What do we mean by analytics and why is it important? 
  • What is “big data” and does it have to be big to be useful?
  • Develop an understanding of historical  vs current state vs forward looking analytics
  • Real-time usage and how it effects the enterprise
  • Harvesting the low hanging fruit of data already in the company’s systems
  • Using analytics methodologies to make better decisions
  • Using the intelligence generated by a company-wide data based decision making focus to get results (customers, sales, etc.)
  • Preparing for day two: Finding the areas where analytics can be a difference maker for your business
Day Two: Challenges and Supportive Tools
Leadership in the Age of Big Data
  • Recognizing and overcoming limits in modeling and analytics and enhancing collaboration beyond the organization
  • Techniques used in analytic organizations:
  • Scenario planning to challenge assumptions, add context and enrich definition of questions;
  • Mindmapping to highlight evolving interrelationships and capture disparate views; and
  • Roadmapping to define roles, identify obstacles and lay out steps incorporating analytic results into action
  • Expectations of big data and analytics, Stakeholder/ecosystem analysis — challenges in data sharing and communication
  • Addressing gaps in common standards critical to collaboration, data collection and analysis; defining types of standards and issues
  • Transition to day three: What issues do you have in your organization today and how can we address them? (participants will apply tools to their own organizations)
Day Three: Application
Planning for and Deploying an Analytics Organization and Infrastructure
  • Building an analytic enterprise
    • People needs
    • Technology needs
    • Process and policy needs
    • Expressing support for analytics from the top down
  • Best practices for communicating the results of your analytics analyses
  • Case Studies
    • Examples of how predictive analytics are being used everyday
  • Develop an action plan to take back to the office
    • What questions can I answer now?
    • What questions do I want to answer but can’t?
    • How do I move toward answering the questions I can’t?
    • What steps do I need to be taking to get where I want to go?
    • How can I measure progress and value?

Business Analytics for Decision Makers Program Courses

Explore all the Business Analytics for Decision Makers Program Courses for detail on the program's offerings.

Business Analytics for Decision Makers Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for the Divorce Mediation Certificate certificate program is $2,750 for the 2016–17 academic year. Complete details can be found on the Business Analytics for Decision Makers Tuition and Financial Aid page.

Business Analytics for Decision Makers Faculty

Find out more about the Certificate in Business Analytics for Decision Makers faculty on the Business Analytics for Decision Makers Faculty page.

Find out more about Northwestern's Certificate in Business Analytics for Decision Makers

Contact an Enrollment Advisor

An Enrollment Advisor at Northwestern University School of Professional Studies can help with any inquiries regarding our certificate programs.

Business Analytics for Decision Makers Course List

Core Courses:Course Detail
Analytics for Decision Makers BUS_DM 501-0

Predictive business analytics is an area growing in importance, applications and complexity. What once was a competitive differentiator is now seen as a requirement, but many companies struggle trying to tap into the power of available data without being overwhelmed by it. In a seminar format, students will learn what analytics is, what it can and can’t do, how to build the skills and organizational structure to implement analytics solutions, and how to integrate it into other strategic processes. The seminar will be led by industry leaders with experience in developing analytic teams for major corporations. Class sessions will include lectures, the review of case studies, small group exercises and discussion, and one-on-one interaction with the instructors.


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