Quantitative Anaylsis

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Professor:     Sara Robicheaux
Office Hours: 9:30-11:30am T&TH or by appointment
Office:           Harbert 208 
Phone:          (205) 226-4828                            

Course Description:  BA 311 Quantitative Analysis for Business and Economics is an introductory course on quantitative methods and models used to solve problems and aid decision making for management in business and for economic policy.  Decision-making and problem solving with quantitative methods is often referred to as management science.  The management science approach views decision-making and problem solving as events that can be measured quantitatively.  Through quantitative measurement, relationships can be determined and tested experimentally.

Course Objectives:  The primary objective of this course is to help students develop critical thinking techniques to solve problems and make decisions in marketing, accounting, finance, management, and economics.  Students will study the concept of mathematical models, data evaluation, and deterministic analytical techniques.  Concepts of risk and decision-making under uncertainty will be introduced.  The techniques covered will help managers make decisions regarding inventory management, production scheduling, maximization of profits, and minimization of costs.  Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to:

1)      Identify and classify the various types of problems,

2)      Solve problems using correct quantitative method,

3)      Solve quantitative problems as part if a team, and

4)      Effectively communicate quantitative solutions and recommendations


Required Text:  Quantitative Methods for Business, Anderson, Sweeney & Williams, 9th edition, South-Western Publishing
Optional Text: Study Guide: Quantitative Methods for Business

Supplies:  Bring several IBM compatible high-density 3˝ inch diskettes to each class.

Assignments and Grading:  Students are expected to read and complete all assignments by the due dates, and to actively participate in class, including contributing knowledge and information and asking questions.  You are expected to attend ALL classes.  There will be NO MAKEUP exams, quizzes, or homework assignments.  Your grade will be computed as follows:

Quizzes/Homework/Participation   20%
        Exam 1                                      20%
        Exam 2                                       20%
        Project                                       20%
        Final Exam                                  20%

Mission Linked Goals for Division of Business

In support of the educational goals of the College, each of the majors offered through the Division of Business is based on two layers of student learning goals.  The first set, mission-linked goals, ties the learning outcome of the majors directly to the liberal arts mission of the College.  The mission-linked goals of the Division are:

Teamwork – to work productively with others
Decision-making – to analyze and synthesize the elements of a situation, general alternatives, and recommend a course of action
Critical Thinking – to gather, analyze and synthesize information and to identify misinformation, prejudice and one-sidedness
Communication skills – to make convincing arguments in both written and oral form
Global and cultural awareness – to think outside one’s own local contexts
Professional responsibility – to demonstrate appropriate professional demeanor and ethics
Independent learning – to organize one’s own research and learning
Interdisciplinary thinking – to integrate the breadth of one’s learning
Disciplinary depth – to gain competence in business administration, accounting, or economics
Technology – to gain experience in the use of relevant technology

The second set of student learning goals, disciplinary depth goals, defines the overall contents and skills expectations within each major.  The disciplinary depth goals are:

Students Completing the Accounting Major Should Understand:

The role of accounting in public and private companies and not-for-profit organizations
The language of accounting and its use in description events and transactions
The functions of accountings, including preparing financial, tax, and audit report, interpreting financial and cost data, making marketing decisions, projecting future performance, and consulting on tax strategy
How computer applications are used to improve the efficiency of all accounting work
The impact of taxation on decision-making
Issues, concepts, and application of tax law
Principles, procedures, and tests that are required elements of the audit test function
The importance of cost accounting to the organization and how it is used by management to make decisions

Students Completing the Business Administration Major Should Understand:

The basic functions of the financial manager, including forecasting and planning, evaluating the potential profitability of prospective investment opportunities, and evaluation the overall financial performance of the firm and the link to financial markets
The basic concepts of finance and economic theory and how those concepts support effective financial decision-making
The fundamental structures and use of financial statements in performing the functions of financial management
The political-economic environment effecting business decisions
The general structure and functioning of financial markets and price determination
The time value of money and the use of discounting and compounding tools in assessing intertemporal decisions
The process of capital budgeting as an integral part of strategic management
The underlying realization that successful management is entrepreneurial
The roles and responsibilities of a manager
The wide range of activities which managers undertake, including the steps that should be taken to plan, organize, lead, and control organizations effectively and efficiently
The concepts of strategic managements and what is means to think strategically.
The type of leadership that works best with certain situations and individual personalities
What it means to see change rather than stability as the nature of things
The manager’s responsibility for the creation of a collaborative workplace
The definitions of marketing, marketing management, the marketing concept and its role in the economic system, and its application to both profit and not-for-profit organizations
The “external” marketing environment and its impact on the firm and its marketing strategy
The elements of a marketing strategy
The role and purpose of marketing research and marketing information systems
The basics of consumer behavior
The channels through which products reach market
The marketing of services

Student Completing the Economics major Should Understand:

The fundamental principles and language of economics
The usefulness of economic modeling as a tool of rigorous analysis
The nature of markets and how they function
The role of economic theory in examination of public policy issues
The economic impact of actions taken by individuals, firms, governments, and other groups and organizations

Statement of Professional Responsibility

The faculty of the Division of Business and Graduate Programs, both collectively and as individual professors, feel that students should be accountable for developing the work habits and personal discipline which will be expected of them after graduation as professional members of the business community.  It is just as important that students reach satisfactory standards of written and oral communication skills as it is that they learn a satisfactory amount of accounting or management or marketing or finance.  It is just as important that students learn integrity and professional responsibility as it is that they learn economics or statistics.

Honor Code

Students are responsible for knowing and strictly abiding by the BSC Honor Code contained in the student Handbook.  When in doubt regarding any assignment, clarify instructions with the professor.

Course Schedule/Topics:

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Introduction to Probability

Chapter 3: Probability Distributions

Chapter 4: Decision Analysis

Chapter 5: Utility

Chapter 6: Forecasting

Chapter 7: Introduction to Linear Programming

Chapter 8: Linear Programming: Sensitivity Analysis and Interpretation of Solution

Chapter 9: Linear Programming Applications

Chapter 13&14:  Inventory Management

Time Value of Money

Capital Budgeting

Cash Budgeting

Weighted Average Cost of Capital

Portfolio Statistics

Firm Valuation


Data Analysis Project 









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For problems or questions regarding this web contact [srobiche@bsc.edu].
Last updated: August 29, 2003.