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Want to know how to avoid bad decisions with data?

Making good decisions with data can give you a distinct competitive advantage in business. This statistics and data analysis course will help you understand the fundamental concepts of sound statistical thinking that can be applied in surprisingly wide contexts, sometimes even before there is any data! Key concepts like understanding variation, perceiving relative risk of alternative decisions, and pinpointing sources of variation will be highlighted.

These big picture ideas have motivated the development of quantitative models, but in most traditional statistics courses, these concepts get lost behind a wall of little techniques and computations. In this course we keep the focus on the ideas that really matter, and we illustrate them with lively, practical, accessible examples.

We will explore questions like: How are traditional statistical methods still relevant in modern analytics applications? How can we avoid common fallacies and misconceptions when approaching quantitative problems? How do we apply statistical methods in predictive applications? How do we gain a better understanding of customer engagement through analytics?

This course will be is relevant for anyone eager to have a framework for good decision-making. It will be good preparation for students with a bachelor’s degree contemplating graduate study in a business field.

Opportunities in analytics are abundant at the moment. Specific techniques or software packages may be helpful in landing first jobs, but those techniques and packages may soon be replaced by something newer and trendier. Understanding the ways in which quantitative models really work, however, is a management level skill that is unlikely to go out of style.

This course is part of the Business Principles and Entrepreneurial Thought XSeries.

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  • Variability in the real world and implications for decision making
  • Data types and data quality with appropriate visualizations
  • Apply data analysis to managerial decisions, especially in start-ups
  • Making effective decisions from no data to big data (what should we collect and then what do we do with all this data?)


Rick Cleary
Professor and Chair, Division of Mathematics and Science
Babson College

Nathan Karst
Assistant Professor of Applied Mathematics
Babson College

Davit Khachatryan
Assistant Professor of Statistics and Analytics
Babson College

George Recck
Lecturer & Director of the Math Resource Center
Babson College

Babak Zafari
Assistant Professor of Analytics and Statistics
Babson College



Le Babson College est une école de commerce privée implantée à Wellesley, au Massachusetts, États-Unis.



EdX est une plateforme d'apprentissage en ligne (dite FLOT ou MOOC). Elle héberge et met gratuitement à disposition des cours en ligne de niveau universitaire à travers le monde entier. Elle mène également des recherches sur l'apprentissage en ligne et la façon dont les utilisateurs utilisent celle-ci. Elle est à but non lucratif et la plateforme utilise un logiciel open source.

EdX a été fondée par le Massachusetts Institute of Technology et par l'université Harvard en mai 2012. En 2014, environ 50 écoles, associations et organisations internationales offrent ou projettent d'offrir des cours sur EdX. En juillet 2014, elle avait plus de 2,5 millions d'utilisateurs suivant plus de 200 cours en ligne.

Les deux universités américaines qui financent la plateforme ont investi 60 millions USD dans son développement. La plateforme France Université Numérique utilise la technologie openedX, supportée par Google.

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