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The Business Analytics Capstone Project gives you the opportunity to apply what you've learned about how to make data-driven decisions to a real business challenge faced by global technology companies like Yahoo, Google, and Facebook. At the end of this Capstone, you'll be able to ask the right questions of the data, and know how to use data effectively to address business challenges of your own. You’ll understand how cutting-edge businesses use data to optimize marketing, maximize revenue, make operations efficient, and make hiring and management decisions so that you can apply these strategies to your own company or business. Designed with Yahoo to give you invaluable experience in evaluating and creating data-driven decisions, the Business Analytics Capstone Project provides the chance for you to devise a plan of action for optimizing data itself to provide key insights and analysis, and to describe the interaction between key financial and non-financial indicators. Once you complete your analysis, you'll be better prepared to make better data-driven business decisions of your own.
Module 1: Capstone Project Topic - The Problem of Adblocking
The Business Analytics Specialization was designed to help you learn how to think about using data in making big (and small) business decisions. In this Capstone project, you'll be asked to create a strategy for a fictional digital search engine and content provider, GoYaFace, Inc. (often abbreviated as “GYF”). The strategy will be used in responding to the increasing popularity and availability of “adblocking” software, which could have significant negative repercussions for GYF’s business. You are to assume the role of the leader of the Digital Advertising Tactics and Action (“DATA”) Team at GYF, which has been assigned the job of formulating GYF’s strategy in responding to the threat of adblocking. Your task is to develop a strategy that will be recommended to GYF’s senior leadership. Using what you've learned about business analytics, you'll (i) create a detailed problem statement focusing on GYF’s ad-buying customers (Module 2), (ii) develop a strategy (Module 3), (iii) describe the anticipated effects of the strategy (Module 4), and (iv) form a plan for measuring the effects of your strategy (Module 4). You'll then put these four pieces together into a final project (Module 5). First, please read the full description of the project in the “Project Description” link below, and then look at the background information about adblockers and the “GYF Company Profile” link in the content for Module 1. When you are ready to begin the first assignment, please move on to Module 2: Defining the Problem.
Module 2: Defining the Problem
In Module 2, you'll define the problem adblockers poses for GYF. GYF is intended to be a composite of leading internet platform and content providers who derive substantial revenues from mobile advertising like Google, Yahoo, and Facebook, so you should frame your research around the real-world problems these companies have faced and are facing. Defining the problem thoroughly will have a direct impact on how successful your strategy will be received by your peers. The more deeply you consider the effects of adblockers on the companies that buy advertising space from GYF, the more appropriate your overall strategy is likely to be. Please use the resources below to find out more about the problem, and then create your Problem Statement and submit it for peer review below. You can and should draw from all of the Business Analytics Specialization courses, but your Problem Statement should focus on how adblockers might adversely affect GYF’s relationship with the companies that pay GYF to place advertisements on GYF’s mobile applications and content. You should consider the issue of causality in your Problem Statement - we've included some lectures from the underlying courses to refresh you on that topci. And you are strongly encouraged to complete and include a response to Application Exercise 1 (see link below) as part of your Problem Statement.
Module 3: Your Strategy
In Module 3, you will focus on creating your recommended strategy for GYF to address adblockers. Your strategy does not have to be lengthy, but it must be clear, and it must address the problem. (Hint: if you have a clearly defined problem, your strategy is much more likely to be clearly defined as well). You'll be submitting your strategy for peer review, and then also reviewing the work of at least 3 of your peers. It's OK if reviewing the strategies of other learners in this course gives you further ideas for revising your own strategy. One of the primary benefits of peer review is to expand the range of feedback you can get, and we designed this Module around peer review so that you can get as much feedback as possible before moving on to the next phase of the project. You may find the resources and lectures below helpful in formulating your strategy and considering how data can be leveraged and appropriately understood. You are strongly encouraged to complete and include your response to Application Exercise 2 as part of your Strategy.
Module 4: Effects of Your Strategy/Measuring these Effects
Module 4 was designed to give you the opportunity to focus on the effects of your strategy. Effects and Measurement can be often overlooked in strategy development; creating a thoughtful and thorough plan for measuring the effects will improve your final project tremendously. In this part of the project, you will describe two events: what you think will happen and how you will measure it. Look to the courses in the Business Analytics Specialization to see what kind of data companies use to measure effects to create a measurement plan of your own. You are strongly encouraged to complete and include your responses to Application Exercises 3 and 4 as part of your Effects and Measurement components. You may create a scenario (Operations Analytics) to predict some of the intended effects of your strategy, either following the outline of Application Exercise 3, or of your own design. Once you submit your own plan for effects and measurement, please review the work of at least three of your peers. You may find new ideas, or new ways of looking at data and measurement from this exercise. We encourage you to incorporate what you've learned into your final submission!
Module 5: Final Project Submission
In this final Module, you will combine the four revised elements of your presentation (Problem Statement, Strategy, Effects, and Measurement, including any responses to the Application Exercises you've completed) into one presentation and submit it for peer review. You'll then be asked to review the work of at least three of your peers. Once you have gotten feedback on your plan, you may use it as an example of strategic thinking at your current job, or as a work sample when you are applying for a new one. A successful strategic analysis which describes the use of data-driven decision making will make you much more marketable in almost any field. Good luck!