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Fisher College of Business

The Ohio State University


(as of August 17, 2015; Subject to Change)

MBA 6273
Data Analysis for Managers
Autumn, 2015
Gerlach 375
Professor: John Gray
e-mail: gray.402@osu.edu
Office: 612 Fisher Hall
Phone: 247-8021

TA1: Matt Herridge


e-mail: herridge.5@osu.edu
TA2: Kevin Espenschied
e-mail: espenschied.13@osu.edu

This course develops the quantitative thinking and skills needed for managerial data analysis.
Large quantities of data are routinely available in all disciplines of business, from direct marketers
analyzing databases to identify target markets for new promotional material and cross-selling
activities, to investment firms that rely on security prices and economic forecasts to identify the
optimal composition of portfolios. When not available, it often makes sense to collect data to aid
in decision-making. The analysis of datafrom large data sets or smallin accounting, finance,
marketing, operations and human resources is based on the same underlying principles, and this
course exposes students to these principles.
Effective learning in this course requires students to both understand how to go about conducting
data analysis, and be able to draw inferences that shed light on specific problems. Students will
develop an intuition about concepts like statistical significance and conditional probability as they
apply to business problems, and will be able to manipulate, graph and learn from data using
software they can bring with them to other classes and into the workplace (the skills learned are
transferable to other software packages) A few key purposes of this class are:

Give students experience with realistic problems and challenge them to develop their
intuition, logic and problem-solving skills.

Expose students to the use of data analysis across business disciplines.

Emphasize practical and marketable skills by developing both data analytic and
spreadsheet skills that will add value in other courses and in their careers.

Given these goals, students will get immediate exposure to graphing and describing the data with
summary measures, including measures of variability and association. Probability and
distributions are then introduced, which are foundational not only to data analysis but also to many
related activities not covered in this class such as simulation. Next, the concept of an estimator is
introduced as a means of making inferences about the broader population. Confidence intervals
and hypothesis tests follow, with the last weeks spent on the very important topic of regression
analysis.
Class Structure
Classes will be a mixture or lecture/discussion, live demonstration of techniques, and
activities/exercises performed by the students. As discussion and exercises will both involve
active learning by students, it is important to have read the assigned material and worked on
problems before class. Exercises will frequently involve the use of Microsoft Excel. If at all
possible, you should bring a laptop to class as we will often work through problems collectively.
These hands-on exercises are an important part of learning the material and honing skills. If you
do not have a laptop, then befriend someone in class who does and see if they will let you work
with them.

Textbook and Software:


The textbook for the course is:
Business Analytics: Data Analysis & Decision Making with Microsoft Excel by Albright,
Winston and Zappe, Cengage Learning, Fifth Edition.
ISBN-13: 978-1-133-62960-3
As noted in the pre-term, there are several ways to buy the book; there is also an ebook option
on cengagebrain.com. Please post any questions r/e the book to Carmens discussion forum (the
Course Organization topic). All analysis in the class will use Excel complemented by the
statistics add-on, StatTools, provided with purchase of the text book (as part of the DecisionTools
Suite). Note that this software is not compatible with Macintosh computers, but Mac users can
install programs such as Parallels to use the software. Students wishing to perform the work in
Minitab, SPSS, or SAS will have that option (including on exams, if we are notified in advance),
but we will not support software questions related to those packages. The software is available in
the computer labs. There is no course packet for this course. Handouts, notes and other materials
will be posted on Carmen, or (less frequently) handed out in class.
Course Web Site
There is a web site set up on Carmen that we will use extensively. It is an important source of
course information (e.g., a copy of this syllabus and the schedule are there). Any changes to the
syllabus or schedule will appear there as well; as well as any other important course
announcements. You should check it regularly (at least once the evening before any class). The
web site will also contain presentation decks, homework sets, homework answers, etc. Also, the
web site will have information regarding your grades in the course. The web site is only accessible
to students registered to this course, and your grades are only accessible to you. The Web site
is available on the Carmen online course page: http://carmen.osu.edu
Getting Help
I realize that this material can be challenging at times for many, so there are several methods to
seek help outside of class:
-

You can post questions on the course web site. I have created several discussion forums
in Carmen. Your question is likely to be one that others have as well, and it can often
answered effectively by one of your fellow learners. Please use this as your primary option.

The TAs and I are available via e-mail (see top of syllabus for e-mail addresses). I am also
available via my office phone (247-8021).

One of the TAs will conduct a recitation on Fridays in Room 375. In Term 1, they will be
offered twice: 8:30-10 and 10:15-11:45. In Term 2, one session will be offered from 10:1511:45. One of the TAs will also be available for office hours from TBD - TBD on TBD in
Room TBD. Both the TA recitations and office hours are strictly optional.

I am available to discuss any issues of concern with you on an individual basis by


appointment. I can sometimes handle quick questions just before class, after class, or
between classes, but please understand that sometimes I may not be able to do so. I will
hold office hours for this class from 1-2:30 on Mondays. Please save face-to-face
meetings with me for this time block, if possible.

Students have found these methods very effective. However, if you ever have difficulty
reaching us or getting any of your needs met, please let me know.

Course Requirements and Grading


There are three exams. The exams are focused on the material since the last exam. The subject
matter, however, often builds on prior material and thus requires an understanding of it. The
exams will be closed book & notes, and in the computer lab and/or on supplied laptops in the
classroom. The exams cannot be retaken or taken at other than the scheduled time except under
extreme circumstances.
There will be problems assigned for every class. Typically, there will be two problems. One
problem will cover the material from the previous class, one problem will cover the material we
are about to cover. Although this work will not be graded, I cannot emphasize enough how critical
it is for you to do these problems, the practice problems, book example problems, and other
problems throughout the course. Further, you will need to do many more problems than just the
two assigned per class to be prepared for exams. Solutions to these problems, as well as practice
problems, will be posted at appropriate times.
Your grade will be determined mostly by your performance on the three exams, as indicated
below. I do reserve the right to deduct any appropriate amount of points for excessive absence,
tardiness, or any behavior not conducive to the learning environment. Grades will be curved and
cutoffs will be determined by natural breaks. Please note that a grade greater than 93% does not
guarantee an A, and that lower percentages will almost always result in higher grades than the
OSU standard scheme (e.g., a 75% of total will typically be better than a C). The cutoffs for the
final grades are entirely at my discretion.
Exam 1
Exam 2
Exam 3
Super Crunchers
Total Possible Points:

100
100
100
10
310

Super Crunchers: The book Super Crunchers by Ian Ayres provides compelling arguments for
the value of the material learned in this course, particularly hypothesis testing and regression.
For 10 points, complete the following assignment: Read the book, and provide me a 1-page
summary of the key points of the book and a 1-page outline of a Super Crunching opportunity
in your past or desired future workplace.
Grade Appeal Policy: Grades on exams are intended to reflect the overall quality of performance
of the student(s). We will carefully grade the exams, and are as consistent as possible in giving
partial credit where applicable. If you think your grade on an exam does not reflect the quality of
your performance, submit a clear written explanation via e-mail with your reasoning within one
week after the exam grades are posted. The written document need not be long, but must clearly
identify the problem or issue of concern. I will consider all such appeals. There will be no grading
appeals after the one-week deadline has passed.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Academic Misconduct: Material submitted for course grade credit must be your own work. Please be
informed that both you and I must follow Faculty Rule 3335-5-54, which requires that all instances of what
he or she believes may be academic misconduct" be reported to the University Academic Misconduct
Committee. Academic misconduct is a serious threat to the integrity and value of your diploma. The main
concern for this class is cheating on exams. You will not be allowed to, at any time during an exam, have
a calculator, memory stick, jump drive, cell phone, etc. out of your bag. Doing so is a violation of course
policy and may be referred to academic integrity. PLEASE, dont do it!
Disability Accommodation: If you need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability, arrange
an appointment with me as soon as possible. I rely on the Office for Disability Services for assistance in
verifying need and developing accommodation strategies. You should start the verification process as soon
as possible. Accommodation requests made too close to the exam may possibly not be granted.
Inclement Weather: If school is open, class will be held. If school is closed, class will be cancelled. Use
your judgment on whether you choose to attend if school is open but the weather makes travel
problematic for you.

Course ScheduleData Analysis for Managers (subject to change)


Autumn Semester 2015
Mtg

Date

Day

26-Aug

Wed Course Intro / Describing Data

31-Aug

Mon

2-Sep

Wed Describing Data/Probability & Probability


Distributions
Mon Labor Day: No Class

7-Sep
4

9-Sep

Topic

READINGS

Describing Data

1
2-3
4.1-4.3

14-Sep

Wed Probability & Probability Distributions/


Simulation
Super Crunchers Assignments Due
Mon Simulation/Normal Distribution

5.1-5.3

16-Sep

Wed Normal/Binomial Distribution

5.4-5.5

21-Sep

Mon

23-Sep

Wed Binomial Distribution/Review

28-Sep

Mon EXAM 1 Chapters 2,3,4,5

10

30-Sep

Wed Sampling & Sampling Distributions

11

5-Oct

Mon

12

7-Oct

Wed Confidence Interval Estimation

13

12-Oct

Mon

14-Oct

Wed Term 1 Exams/Fall Break: No Class

14

19-Oct

Mon

15

21-Oct

Wed Hypothesis Testing

16

26-Oct

Mon

Hypothesis Testing

17

28-Oct

Mon

Hypothesis Testing

18

2-Nov

Mon EXAM 2 Chapters 7,8,9

19

4-Nov

Wed Regression

10.1-10.5

20

9-Nov

Mon

11.1-11.3,
11.9

11-Nov

Wed Veterans Day: No Class

21

16-Nov

Mon

22

18-Nov

Wed Regression

23

23-Nov

Mon

25-Nov

Wed Thanksgiving Break: No Class

24

30-Nov

Mon

25

2-Dec

Wed Regression

26

7-Dec

Mon

27

9-Dec

Wed Regression

11-Dec

Fri

4.4

Binomial Distribution

Sampling & Sampling Dist/Conf Int


Confidence Interval / Hypothesis Testing
Hypothesis Testing

7
8.1-8.3
8.5; 8.7-8.9
9.1-9.3
9.4
9.5-9.7

Regression

Regression

10.6-10.8

Regression

11.4-11.8

Regression
Regression
EXAM 3 Chapters 10,11
4