Using Data for Business Strategy and Decisions

Learn and discuss the essentials of statistics, “big data” applications and analysis that are vital to making sound business decisions. Explore application examples and case studies. Examine information about scoreboards and dashboards.

Improve your understanding of data essentials by determining bad data and what information needs are necessary to make sound business decisions. Examine ways on how to measure business performance and how to best present data to an audience.

Topics include:

  • Essentials of Data: Bad data = bad decisions; structured data; information needs; communicating with data scientists
  • Analyzing Data: Statistical basics and probability; descriptive statistics; inferential statistics; cluster analysis; predictive analysis; statistical conclusions
  • Making Business Decisions: Application examples; case studies; building your operational data analytics strategy; measuring and monitoring performance; understanding variation as a management tool; scorecards and dashboards.

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Ralph Smith

Ralph Smith

Ralph Smith is Executive Vice President of Strategic Services for Orion Development Group. In this capacity, he is responsible for facilitating the implementation of strategic plans and strategic measurement systems for clients in all sectors. Smith has personally supervised the ... read more

Who Should Attend

  • Business analysts
  • Data analysts
  • Systems analysts
  • Project managers
  • Business team leaders
  • Program managers
  • Supervisors of business analysts/project managers

Benefits and Learning Outcomes

  • Understand bad data and how it leads to bad decisions
  • Communicate your needs to data scientists and architects
  • Understand descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, predictive analytics and converting statistical conclusions to business decisions

Course Outline/Topics

Seminar Outline

I. Introduction and Overview

  • What are business analytics?
  • Key questions
  • Support structure for success – strategy, people, processes, systems
  • Results – what can be achieved?

II. Essentials of Data

  • Bad data = bad decisions; how to get “the right stuff”
  • Data collection principles
  • Avoiding data overload – differentiating “nice to know” from “need to know”
  • Communicating with data scientists
  • Data deception – manipulation and misinterpretation of averages, percentages, rankings and other basic stats

III. Analyzing Data

  • Probability – can we predict the future?
  • Types of stats – understand what has happened (descriptive) versus making estimates about what will happen (inferential)
  • Predictive analytics
  • Understanding variation as a management tool
  • Pitfalls of using histograms/bar graphs
  • Trend/control charts
  • Regression analysis – when and when not to use it
  • Finding patterns in data – cluster analysis, stratification and disaggregation
  • Decision trees
  • Is it all about the data?
  • The role of intuition
  • Understanding your business

IV. Making Business Decisions

  • Converting statistical conclusions to business decisions
  • Case studies from various industries
  • Scorecards and dashboards
  • Application workshops

V. Transforming Classroom into Reality

  • Building your operational data analytics strategy
  • Barriers to success
  • Parting thoughts

Credit Notes

14 CDUs, 14 PDUs, 1.4 CEUs


"I don’t come from a business background and appreciate the description that was given to terms throughout the class. I found the class time to be challenging in a good way: I learned a lot but was not overwhelmed. This was my first course in my certificate and makes me feel confident that I have chosen a good program in which to enroll."  —  Participant, March 2021

"Excellent! Joe is a teacher and this content needs someone who can teach it! The discussions, breakouts and application were excellent. I leave this
class proud that I actually understand what looks terribly difficult on paper! I would love a part 2 of this class."  —  Participant, March 2021

"Joe made the class interesting and engaging. I like his real-world examples. He was good about involving and encouraging all class members."  —  Participant, March 2021

"Excellent course – and very much needed for my role."  —  Participant, March 2021

"Joe was an engaged enthusiastic instructor. He presented the material in a way that relates to real scenarios!"  —  Joe Cedzo, Hatco Corporation

"This class content highly met my expectations!"  —  Sallie Rabe, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Date: Thu-Fri, Mar 6-7, 2025

Delivery Method: Live Online

Time: 9am-4pm CT

Platform: Zoom

Instructor: Ralph Smith


$845 by Feb 21, 2025
$895 after Feb 21, 2025

CEUs: 1.4

Enrollment Limit: 20

Program Number: 5020-16268

Registration Deadline: Mar 5, 2025

Register Now


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