Pioneering Curriculum

Our programming spans the spectrum of data analytics, with courses ranging from foundational business to advanced methods and applications.

Foundational Courses

Because many of the interesting applications in data analytics are in the field of marketing, Marketing Research is also a foundational course. While this course is technically an elective, students should be fluent in its material to be prepared for more-advanced courses in data analytics.

This course provides a fundamental understanding of marketing research methods employed by well-managed firms. The course focuses on integrating problem formulation, research design, questionnaire construction, sampling, data collection, and data analysis to yield the most valuable information. The course also examines the proper use of statistical applications as well as qualitative methods, with an emphasis on the interpretation and use of results.

Competitive Advantage Courses

Two-thirds of business and corporate strategies fail not due to poor strategy or flawed logic but poor execution. However smart a new strategy may be, it takes informed managers and strong leadership to make it a successful one. Expanding on the lessons from STRT 431, this course focuses on strategy implementation, with emphasis on the decisions, actions, structures, and conditions that facilitate the successful attainment of strategic objectives. Our guiding framework involves applying principles of social organization to mobilize the necessary resources to pursue a given strategy.

An executive's most prized network contact for crafting new strategies and making evidence-based judgments may no longer be a person, but a machine. Machines help solve complex problems, lessen decision bias, scale human effort, and spot hidden patterns in big data. However, they lack the creativity and insight that top executives possess. Together, executives and machines have the potential to make powerful “thought partnerships.” Using hands-on cases and applications --- including IBM’s Deep Blue and Google’s AlphaGo that beat Chess and Go Grand Masters --- this course shows how to use a critical set of machine learning decision tools, such as natural language processing, sentiment analysis, and pattern recognition to discover new competitive strategies, turn raw numbers into convincing stories, and make less biased judgments. The overarching goal is to enable you to confidently lead data science and design teams, know the expansiveness and limits of machine-learning complex decision support tools, and be capable of applying human+machine thought partnerships to grow businesses or disrupt Grand Masters in any field.

Most strategic decisions businesses make require an assessment of cause and effect. What will happen to prices and sales if I open a new location in a particular geographic area? How will consumers respond if I begin posting the caloric content of my food products at the point of purchase? What is the effect of seasonal bonuses on employee productivity? This course covers in depth the empirical tools that are most valuable for linking cause to effect: regression analysis and field experiments. You will learn how to perform convincing data analyses to answer specific questions, how to evaluate analyses others have done, and how to present data analysis in a clear and accessible way.

Firms are increasingly obtaining data not just about purchase decisions, but also about individual consumers' pre- and post-purchase behavior. But few firms have the managerial and data analytics expertise to act intelligently on such data. For the key marketing problems in customer acquisition, development, and retention, this hands-on course introduces sophisticated data analytics techniques tailored to those problems, including predictive analytics and large-scale testing. Students apply each technique to a large consumer-level database, learning how to target consumers individually and how to derive customer insights

How does a "sale" sign change customer behavior? How has the Internet changed customer price sensitivity? How has the expansion of retail stores, factory stores, and the Internet changed customer behavior? This data- and analytics-driven course seeks to answer these questions and provides a cohesive framework for studying consumer behavior. Most of the data is from real-world managerial problems, and students learn how to make informed pricing and retailing decisions using data.

The objective of this course is to develop a strong conceptual and practical understanding of how to use digital data to improve marketing decisions. Students will gain familiarity with key areas of digital marketing including search and display advertising, search engine optimization, and social media marketing. Working with real data sets, students will practice using quantitative tools to improve campaigns, estimate ROI, and gain customer insights.

Social Dynamics and Network Analytics covers cutting edge research on social media, digital data, and crowdsourcing, and provides you with the tools to practically apply this research in your own career. By the end of the course you will know how to: measure volume and location of Internet search data to understand and forecast trends; measure volume and sentiment of Twitter conversations; collect network data and create meaningful network visualizations; use the wisdom of crowds, including setting up a prediction market, to create better forecasts; and use Amazon Mechanical Turk for crowdsourcing.

This course was formerly known as MGMT 440 Hiring, developing and retaining the right employees is crucial for success in modern firms. Big data is transforming how firms recruit and develop talent. Hiring, training and promotion practices increasingly rely on both economic principles and quantitative analysis. The purpose of this course is to introduce a powerful set of economic concepts for human resource management and to use analytics to make better informed decisions on personnel strategy. For example, we will use statistical software to predict the potential of applicants to improve hiring decisions or we will use experimental designs to evaluate the effectiveness of training and talent development programs. Examples of additional topics covered in the course are productivity estimation, turnover and employee satisfaction, promotions, and discrimination. In modern firms, these topics take up a significant mindshare of CEOs and other senior leaders. This course is designed for MBA students who aspire to start, lead, and build businesses; this is not a course for those interested in careers as administrators of human resource management systems.

Deep Dive Courses

Be persuasive in presenting your ideas. Learn to convince your clients, customers, and colleagues of the merits of your views, using the latest breakthroughs in cognitive science, computer science, and graphic design. Through interactive exercises, the course will provide hands-on experience and tools for presenting data-based evidence with impact, across images, graphics, and visualizations of big data. Leave this course with expertise in the principles of effective data visualization, as well as a practical toolkit for conveying your ideas in ways that are convincing, catchy, and contagious.

Technology is inextricably linked with the generation and management of data for use in analytics. This course provides an overview of enterprise and cloud computing technology building blocks and how they enable data analytics. We discuss today's technology infrastructure for data analytics and where that technology seems to be headed. Finally, we touch on the different ways of organizing a data analytics function and what you need to know about foundational data management topics such as data privacy and security. The course helps students obtain a high-level view of the technology landscape and to understand how organizational considerations around technology affects the overall performance of data analytics in organizations.

This course introduces fundamental concepts and modeling tools for decision making under uncertainty. The pedagogical approach combines business cases, conceptual frameworks of probability and risk analysis, and spreadsheet modeling of managerial decision problems. The course will also provide you with training in state-of-the-art Palisade's DecisionTools Suite to perform and interpret Monte Carlo simulation and decision tree models. Among the concepts discussed in depth are the value of information, option value, selection bias, herd behavior, risk aversion, and the "flaw of averages.'' The concepts and tools are illustrated using business applications in the areas of economics, strategy, operations and finance.

This course is geared to provide technical literacy for non-programmers who will be founders, employees, or consultants to "tech-enabled" organizations. This is a survey-style course that is very hands-on - students will learn the essentials of coding by creating websites and basic software applications that manipulate data and work across today's platforms and devices.

The ability to quickly and efficiently read, manipulate, and analyze large real-world datasets has become a basic business skill. In this course we use R to explore the basic elements of data management, exploration, and statistical analysis. Specific topics include data acquisition and cleaning; subsetting, filtering, summaries; long and wide formats; data normalization; multi-table operations; accessing SQL data; visualization; basic statistical analysis; the use of simulation in data analysis; machine learning; and reporting.

Experiential Courses

The Analytical Consulting Lab provides real-world learning experiences for students to work with sponsoring companies on business questions that revolve around analytics. Students work in teams to answer current and important business questions using analytics tools learned in other data analytics courses. The course also provides an excellent opportunity to hone consulting skills such as presentation of analytics findings and recommendations, and client-relationship management. Many of the projects will benefit from having taken one or more of the "Competitive Advantage" courses.

Evidence-based decisions are no longer a luxury, as firms are capitalizing on the tremendous value that data analytics can bring to their decision-making. These analytic techniques and tools are widely applicable to myriad industries and business contexts. This course will give students the opportunity to practice their existing data analytics skills to solve diverse real-world cases. Students will also deepen their ability to select the appropriate method to solve each problem, clearly and concisely present results, and clearly articulate the strengths and limitations of their analyses.

The Data Analytics Pathway

Kellogg's data analytics curriculum is built around the observation that managers do not always have a sense of what analytics can do for them, and data scientists do not always understand enough about a manager's problem to be helpful. What is missing are analytics-savvy MBAs who have a passion for business problems and who are so fluent in data analytics that they can easily converse with and manage teams of data scientists.

As a result, our teaching philosophy in data analytics is to be relentlessly problem driven while taking a deep dive into methods and applications.

Foundational Courses: These courses provide the statistical and methodological foundations for data analytics.

Competitive Advantage Courses: These courses teach students how to apply data analytics to different business problems. Students learn new methods as needed to solve the business problems at hand and are required to apply these methods to large real-world datasets.

Deep Dive Courses: These courses provide depth in selected areas. In contrast to “Competitive Advantage” courses, they can be methods as opposed to problem-focused.

Experiential Courses:
These courses allow students to apply their skills from “Competitive Advantage” and Deep Dive” courses to real company situations.

Faculty sponsors: Florian Zettelmeyer (Marketing), Brian Uzzi (MORS), Eric Anderson (Marketing)

data analytics
Pathway
1 Foundational
Business Analytics I
DECS 430-5
Business Analytics II
DECS 431
Marketing Research
MKTG 450
2 Competitive Advantage
Analytics for Strategy
STRT 469
Retail Analytics and Pricing
MKTG 462
Strategy Implementation
MORS 455-5
People Analytics and Strategy
STRT 440

Critical Thinking in Digital & Social Media Marketing
MKTG 479 

Applied Advanced Analytics
OPNS 441

Customer Analytics and AI
MKTG 482

Human and Machine Intelligence
MORS 950-5

Social Dynamics & Network Analytics
MORS 457

Analytical Decision Modeling
OPNS 450


3 Deep Dive
Visualization for Persuasion
LDEV 458-5

Data Exploration
DECS-461-0

Technology in the Age of Analytics
MKTG 930-5

Decision Making and Modeling
MECN 451

Introduction to Software Development
ENTR 451
Experiential
Analytical Consulting Lab
MECN 615
 
Apply your analytics skills to live business problems.

 


Last edited July 13, 2021. For any questions regarding this page, please email kellogg-registrar@kellogg.northwestern.edu

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