Prescriptive Analytics

What lies ahead, using data to make better decisions

Prescriptive analytics differs from descriptive and predictive analytics in that prescriptive models yield a course of action to follow. That is, the output from a prescriptive model is a plan for management to follow. By using optimization models and other readily available tools, we can determine the best near-term outcomes and make the best decisions for our organizations.

As we evaluate business objectives, key metrics such as profitability improvement, cost reductions, and client satisfaction can be optimized with prescriptive analytics. During this program, applications in business including production planning, location analysis, supply chain design, transportation, marketing/product design and financial portfolio analysis will be discussed. Additionally, the use and application of rule-based systems and heuristics with an emphasis on optimization modeling of real business problems will be explored and tested. We will utilize hands-on real-world case studies using open-source software (Open Solver) in Microsoft Excel, R for Optimization, and AMPL – algebraic modeling system.

Faculty have designed this program for individuals and analytics teams to gain immediate and practical skills to solve pressing business problems and challenges. We will analyze a business cases and use the tools of business analytics to immediately create value in any organization. This program will be offered virtually with all content delivered online.

This program is part three of a series of three open enrollment analyst-based programs leading to a Certificate in Analytics for Analysts. This certificate program offers a unique multi-day deep dive across the entire analytics ecosystem and culminates in a short Analytics Capstone Project. Please note: each program can be taken individually to gain critical knowledge and skills, or, combined as a certificate.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Analytics techniques in the context of real-world prescriptive applications
  • Improve your ability to view business processes and relationships systematically and analytically.
  • Techniques for using data to generate new ideas, experimenting with solutions, and evaluating alternatives
  • Optimization with Linear, Discrete and Nonlinear Models
  • Practical business applications of optimization models in operations, supply chain, marketing and finance with the free opens source software Excel add-in, Open Solver.

Who Should Attend?

The program is ideal for individuals and teams wishing to advance their careers and organizations. Business analysts, data analysts, financial analysts, analytics managers, program or project managers, and other analytics leaders will be comfortable with the course content, pace, and challenge.

This course assumes only prior knowledge of high-school algebra. It is not about algorithms, but instead focuses on modeling decisions problems mangers face and deriving actionable results using Open Solver in Excel.

What You’ll Need for the Program

  • Students should bring a laptop with Windows 8 or newer on it
  • Excel 2016/2019 or Excel for Office 365
  • Ability to download and save files

Registration and Payment Form

This is an open enrollment program. Application is not required. Course registration is complete when payment is processed. Upon registration, a representative of Wake Forest will contact you to validate the registration information and to assist in fee payment. 

Register Now

Additional Program Information

Jeffrey D. CammJeffrey D. Camm
Associate Dean of Business Analytics
Inmar Presidential Chair of Analytics
Wake Forest University School of Business
Jeffrey Camm is Associate Dean of Business Analytics and the Inmar Presidential Chair in Business Analytics at the Wake Forest University School of Business. His scholarship is on the application of optimization modeling to difficult decision problems in a diverse set of application areas including, operations planning and scheduling, supply chain optimization, product design, and conservation. His research has been featured in Business Week/Financial Times-ranked academic journals such as Management Science and Operations Research as well the renowned journal Science. He is coauthor of seven texts on business statistics, management science, and business analytics.Jeff received his PhD in Management Science from Clemson University and a BS in Mathematics from Xavier University. He previously held the Joseph S. Stern Chair in Business Analytics in the Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati, where he served as department head for twenty years, was awarded the life-time appointment as a Fellow of the Graduate School, and was the founding director of the UC Center for Business Analytics. He has also held positions of visiting professor of business administration at the Tuck school of Business at Dartmouth College and visiting scholar at Stanford University. He has consulted for numerous corporations including Procter and Gamble, Owens Corning, GE, Tyco, Ace Hardware, Boar’s Head, Brooks Running Shoes and Kroger among others. His work with Procter & Gamble is credited with saving P&G over $250M in their North American supply chain and was a finalist for the prestigious Edelman Award.

This is a two day program, participants must attend both sessions in full:

  • February 3, 2021 – 8:00am -12:00pm
  • February 4, 2021 – 8:00am – 12:00pm 

Prescriptive Analytics as a stand-alone program – $800
-or-
Certificate in Analytics for Analysts – $2,100 for all three (3) programs in certificate track.

The cost of the program is due in full at time of registration. Wake Forest University alumni, faculty, and staff receive a 25% tuition discount. If multiple participants are interested in attending from your organization, please contact us for multi-attendee discount information. Please contact execedinfo@wfu.edu for more details.

Prescriptive Analytics is virtual!  Prior to the program date, a Zoom link will be provided to all attendees to access this instructor-led curriculum.

Day 1 – 8:00am – 12:00pm

  • Virtual ice breaker / technology testing / etc.
  • Session 1: What Is Prescriptive Analytics?
    The methods that fall into this area of analytics are rule based systems, heuristics, and optimization. In this session, we will discuss the definitions of these terms, how they relate to data science and explore the ways in which prescriptive analytics can be used to help move your business forward.
  • Session 2: Linear Programming Modeling
    Nothing in the real world is linear right? Wrong! Many business decisions can be effectively modeled using linear programming models. After reviewing the basic concepts of linear programming, you will put this method into practice using Excel Solver.
    Capacity Planning Case Study
  • Session 3: Integer Programming Modeling
    Many business problems involve decisions that are “yes’ or “no”. For example: Should I continue this project? Which distribution centers should be opened, and which should be closed? How should you staff you call center? In this session, we will discuss optimization models with “yes-no” decisions and where they might apply to your business.
    Transportation Case Study

Day 2 – 8:00am – 12:00pm

  • Session 4: Solving Larger Optimization Problems using Open Solver
    We will apply what we have learned about optimization methods to a larger real-life data set. We will show how to extend the basic Excel Solver with open source software called Open Solver to dramatically increase the size of problems you can solve.
    Marketing Case Study – product line optimization using conjoint data
  • Session 5: Nonlinear Optimization Models
    Many business problems are inherently nonlinear. In this session, we will discuss nonlinear optimization models and where they might apply to your business.
    Case Study – Financial Portfolio Optimization
  • Session 6: A Final Use Case: Supply Network Optimization
    How many distribution centers should your company have and where should they be located? Which plants should supply which distribution centers and how should customers be assigned to distribution centers? You will learn how to solve this supply chain design problem with data from a real use case using a hybrid model from linear and integer programming.
  • Session 7: Bringing it all together
    We will discuss ways that you can be better prepared to recognize opportunities to apply optimization within your organization.

Course materials are included in the cost of tuition. Course materials will be distributed electronically in advance of the program start date. Participants must have a laptop or tablet computer to access course materials.

Program Cancellation

This course is offered contingent upon sufficient enrollment. If a course must be cancelled, all registered participants will be notified at least five (5) calendar days before the course’s start date. All registered participants will receive a 100% tuition refund. No fees will be charged for cancelled courses.

Individual Cancellation – Refund Policy

Prospective participants who withdraw at least 10 days prior to the start of a course will receive a full refund of tuition paid.

For More Information

For more information or to speak with a program adviser, please send an email to execedinfo@wfu.edu.