Katherine Chudoba Karina Hauser David Olsen


Companies rely on business intelligence and business analytics to support organizational decision making.  Application software packages enable data analysis to help companies pursue a competitive advantage.  Learning to use these tools is not trivial, however, and business schools have added assignments and classes to help their students develop rigorous analytical skills.  This paper describes hands-on, data analysis exercises to support strategic decision making used in an Applied Business Research class that is required for MBA students.  The assignment involves analyzing large volumes of data using the tools of Excel, SQL, and SPSS.  We describe the assignment, data, and exercises that the students perform.  They learn the benefit of analyzing a dataset using different tools and methods, and which tools are most appropriate for what type of analysis.  

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