Analytics for Decision Making

Course 2 of 4:Professional Certificate in Financial Decision-Making for Leaders 4 Weeks 4 - 6 Hours per week
3800

Please select the start dates for your courses below.

Scheduled Start:

About this course

Are financial statements a mystery to you? Do all those terms and metrics make your head spin? Do you avoid conversations with your finance leaders because you are not confident of your finance ability?

Having a solid understanding of financial terms, statements and metrics is critical to becoming a successful entrepreneur or manager. In this finance course, you will learn how to interpret and use the information contained in financial statements to make key operating decisions, evaluate business performance, and create forecasts of profits and cash flow.

This course introduces you to the form, content and definitions included in the primary financial statements: income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. You will learn how to use this information to make key operating decisions, such as how to balance growth with cash constraints. You will learn how to use ratios to diagnose a company’s financial health and apply these concepts and tools to evaluate a company of your own choosing.

Eliminate your fear of accounting! Financial accounting can be fun once the barriers to learning are broken down. Through a series of learning scenarios that take you through the creation of a simple business, you will become comfortable with basic accounting tools and concepts that you need to more effectively manage your business. By the end of the course, you will become a much more confident user of financial information and will be able to effectively engage with your finance leaders.

What you’ll learn

  • How primary financial statements are constructed and what types of information is captured in each statement
  • How cash and profits can differ and how to use that information to effectively manage growth
  • How to calculate key performance ratios and use those metrics to evaluate the performance of your business
  • How to create a financial forecast that you can use to better manage your business and to present to potential investors and creditors

Syllabus

Week 1:Balance Sheet and Transaction Analysis

  • Why do we need financial statements? What purpose do they serve?
  • What kind of information is contained in the balance sheet?
  • How are day-to-day operating decisions captured and recorded?
  • How are start-up activities (e.g., raising capital, investing in your business) reflected in the financial statements?

Week 2:Income Statement and Cash Flows

  • How do sales and operating expenses impact earnings and cash flow?
  • What are the early warning signs that my business may run out of cash?
  • Is all growth the same? What is the difference between good growth and bad growth?

Week 3:Ratio Analysis

  • What are the key ratios for evaluating profitability, return on investment, and liquidity or solvency?
  • How well is my business performing? How are my competitors doing?
  • How do different strategies and business models reveal themselves in the financial statements?

Week 4:Forecasting

  • How do I translate my growth plans into a forecast of profits and cash flow?
  • How can a forecast help me manage my business more effectively?
  • What do potential investors or creditors look for in a forecast?

Meet your instructors

Rick Cleary

Professor Rick Cleary is a statistician and mathematician with research and consulting interests in a variety of fields including sports, biomechanics, and statistical approaches to fraud detection and audit risk. Prior to coming to Babson College in 2013, Professor Cleary taught at St. Michael’s College in Vermont, Cornell University, Bentley University, and Harvard University. He has held many leadership positions in the Mathematical Association of America, including six years on the Executive Committee as Associate Treasurer and a term as chair of the Joint Data Committee. He is currently on the Nominations Committee and the Polya lecturer selection committee. Professor Cleary enjoys working with mathematics teachers at all levels to improve statistics education and he gives frequent talks and workshops on ways to encourage statistical thinking.

Nathan Karst

Dr. Nathan Karst received his B.S. in electrical and computer engineering from Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in 2007 and his doctorate in applied mathematics from Cornell. He is an avid teacher and researcher, having won the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2014 and the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship in 2015. Most recently, his research has focused on the role of nonlinear dynamics in microvascular networks and event-scale streamflow recession variability.

Davit Khachatryan

Dr. Davit Khachatryan is an Assistant Professor of Statistics and Analytics at Babson College. He is an applied statistician with research interests in analyzing intellectual property data to study the formation and diffusion of knowledge in emerging industries. Davit’s current and former research has produced publications in academic, peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of the Royal Statistical Society (Series C), The American Statistician, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management (forthcoming), and Quality and Reliability Engineering International. Prior to joining Babson College, Davit was a Senior Associate at the National Economics and Statistics practice of Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC). In the latter role he consulted in the area of predictive modeling and advanced data analytics, helping clients from financial, healthcare, and government sectors with building automatic predictive models and enhancing business intelligence solutions. Davit has earned his B.S. in Applied Mathematics and Informatics from Yerevan State University, M.S. in Statistics and Ph.D. in Management Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

George Recck

Mr. Recck has taught at Babson College since 1984. He currently serves as the Chair of the Business Analytics/Statistics Education special interest group for the American Statistical Association (ASA). Mr. Recck is also the founder of Total Information, Inc., an consulting firm specializing in providing information service to small businesses.

Babak Zafari

†Dr. Zafari is an Assistant Professor of Analytics and Statistics in the Math & Science Division. His area of interests are Predictive Modeling and Data Mining Methods for Business Applications, Bayesian Statistics, Healthcare Fraud Analytics and Online Auctions. Prior to joining Babson College, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at The George Washington University School of Business teaching courses in Data Analysis and Decisions, Business Analytics and Data Mining. He was also a senior statistician consultant at Integrity Management Services where he was responsible for developing statistical models for fraud detection in Medicare and Medicaid programs. He received his B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Sharif University of Technology, M.S. in Operations Research/Computer Science from Bowling Green State University and Ph.D. in Decision Sciences from The George Washington University School of Business.
3800

Duration

4 Weeks

Experience Level

Introductory

Learning Partner

Babson College

Program Type

Professional Certificate