Integrating Business Acumen and Analytics: A Simulation-based Approach


  • James V. Caruso Drexel University


Business analytics curricula can focus on statistics, data management, and business modeling to help students become well-rounded analytics professionals who can translate data into making strategic decisions. However, how do you immerse business analytics students in the business context to make data-driven decisions? How do you enable them to gain an understanding of how executives use business analytics to formulate and solve business problems and to support managerial decision making? This paper will describe how a business analytics simulation was used to integrate descriptive, diagnostic, and predictive analytics with financial, strategic, and business goals at the beginning of a course at the start of a graduate business analytics program. It will discuss the instructional tools and methodologies used throughout the two-class experience including a flipped classroom, articles, case studies, simulation, and reflection. This experiential learning design enables students to develop their critical thinking and decision-making skills.

Keywords: business simulation, business acumen, business analytics, critical thinking, decision making