Course Details

Decision Models & Prescriptive Analytics
OPNS-450-0
1.0 CR
Elective
PASS / NO CREDIT
Yes (may vary by section)
DESCRIPTION

The value of analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) in today's business landscape cannot be overstated. These tools have become integral to the decision-making process for many organizations across a variety of industries, including services, marketing, transportation, online platforms, and finance. AI systems often utilize a range of analytics techniques to make data-driven, evidence-based decisions. The analytics tools can be broadly classified to three types:

  • Descriptive (What happened?): The interpretation of historical data to identify trends and patterns
  • Predictive (What will happen?): The use of statistical and machine learning techniques to forecast future outcomes
  • Prescriptive (What should be done?): The use of data-driven models to prescribe the best action plan.

Prescriptive analytics, in particular, plays a key role in the functionality of AI systems. This type of analytics involves the use of data-driven models to determine the best course of action in a given situation, based on data and analysis of past outcomes and trends. By utilizing prescriptive analytics, organizations can make informed, strategic decisions that optimize outcomes and drive business success. For example, an AI system might use prescriptive analytics to determine the best way to match drivers with riders, recommend the best portfolio of stocks, or to recommend the most effective marketing campaign for a new product. By leveraging the power of advanced analytics techniques, organizations can gain a competitive edge and make more informed, strategic decisions that can drive growth and success.

This course focuses on developing a holistic understanding of prescriptive analytics by introducing the basic principles and techniques of applied mathematical modeling for managerial decision-making. You will learn to use important analytic methods, such as spreadsheet modeling, optimization, and Monte Carlo simulation, to recognize their assumptions and limitations, and to employ them in decision-making. The emphasis will be on model formulation and interpretation of results, rather than on mathematical theory or coding. We will cover a wide range of prescriptive analytics models that are widely used in diverse industries and functional areas, including finance, operations, and marketing.

TRACKS
Data Analytics Pathway
Management Science Major
Operations Major
Technology Management Pathway
SCHEDULE SUMMARY
Spring 2024
Fall 2024
Winter 2025
CH
EV
CH
EV
CH
EV

CH (Chicago)
EV (Evanston)
DayTime
Evening
Saturdays
Popup
PREREQUISITES
None
CONCURRENT
None