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This chapter is from the book

Practice Problems

  1. A good analytics project starts with asking the right business questions. Consider a business organization, probably the one for which you are working, and state business questions whose answers can help improve organizational performance. Then, focusing on a specific business function (such as marketing, operations, finance, accounting, human resources, etc.), explore the sources of data that can be used to answer these questions and discuss the potential use of such data for decision making.
  2. Select an organization (such as Walmart, Amazon, your favorite restaurant, or even the one you work for) and discuss what type of information this organization might store and how data scientists can use that information for descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive purposes.
  3. Create a table with three columns respectively named Descriptive, Predictive, and Prescriptive, and place each skill from the following list in the correct column:

    • Association analysis
    • Causal relationships
    • Cluster analysis
    • Decision tree methods
    • Frequency distributions
    • Goal programming
    • Histogram
    • Integer programming
    • Interquartile range
    • Linear programming
    • Logistic regression
    • Mean
    • Median
    • Mode
    • Multiple regressions
    • Neural networks
    • Nonlinear programming
    • Optimization heuristics
    • Quartiles
    • Range
    • Sampling
    • Sensitivity analysis
    • Simulation modeling
    • Standard deviation
    • Stem and leaf diagram
    • Text mining
    • Time series
    • Variance
  4. The eight-step cycle to implement a business analytics program discussed in this chapter can serve as a template for any organization that is considering implementing a data analytics project. Using a specific organization (for example, from your own company), map a business analytics initiative into these eight steps.

    Supposing you are a business analyst, offer potential specifics and details of each step, making reasonable assumptions.

  5. Business analytics is being implemented by organizations in one or more business functions. Conduct an Internet search to find examples of data analytics projects implemented in specific functions. Place your findings in the respective cells of the following table.

Business Function

Examples of Descriptive Analytics

Examples of Predictive Analytics

Examples of Prescriptive Analytics

Operations

Purchasing

Marketing

Finance

Administration

Human Resources

Public Relations

Add more functions here based on your findings...

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