edX: Introduction to Business for Analytics

 with  Alan Flury

This course provides students and professionals in the analytics field with an accelerated introduction to the basics of management and the language of business.

The objective is to enhance an analytics-focused learner's effectiveness in the business world. Designed for students who possess little background in business, the course provides an introduction to the types business issues and problems that challenge management teams today.

The course is taught as a series of business disciplinary modules. The professors who teach the modules represent a diversity of functional areas, including accounting, finance, marketing, international marketing, industry analysis, and business strategy.

Topics covered include:

  • basic accounting principles and theory
  • financial statement formats, usage and analysis
  • cost accounting, variance analysis, and the use of accounting data for decision making
  • capital structure and financial analysis techniques
  • methods of valuating entrepreneurial ventures, sources of entrepreneurial capital
  • the marketing mix (product, price, promotion, and place) and strategic considerations in market planning
  • fundamentals of industry analysis, business strategy formulation, and the use of innovation as a competitive weapon.


Financial and Managerial Accounting:

  • Read, understand, and analyze GAAP Financial Statements – including The Balance Sheet, Income Statement, and Statement of Cash Flows.
  • Learn how to calculate and use key financial and operational ratios.
  • Understand the basic accounting principles that provide the guidelines for developing financial statements and recording business activities.
  • Understand how accounting data is used to determine product costs and to make critical managerial decisions.


  • Understand the differences between accounting profits and economic value added (“EVA”) and the significant of EVA in wealth creation.
  • Learn how to calculate cost of capital and understand how cost of capital factors into investment decisions.
  • Describe the financing issues and choices those confront entrepreneurs.
  • Understand multiple approaches to new venture valuation and important investment criteria.


  • Understand how market research drives customer identification and segmentation.
  • Appreciate the importance of target marketing and product positioning and how overall marketing objectives are set.
  • Understand the significance of the 4 Ps of marketing – Product, Price, Place, and Promotion – and how market plans/tactics for creating demand and a sales pipeline are established.

Business Strategy and Innovation:

  • Develop an understanding of how industry and internal analysis drives strategic planning and how to apply a number analytical techniques to identify opportunities, and threats, and firm strengths and weaknesses.
  • Describe the differences between different levels of strategy: corporate, business unit, and functional.
  • Understand and be able to apply different growth strategies: concentration, vertical and horizontal integration, and diversification.
  • An understanding of strategy implementation issues and change management models and best practices.
0 Student
Cost Free Online Course
Pace Finished
Provider edX
Language English
Hours 14 hours a week
Calendar 8-10 weeks long

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FAQ View All
What are MOOCs?
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These are free online courses from universities around the world (eg. Stanford Harvard MIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
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To register for a course, click on "Go to Class" button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.
How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?
MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you.  They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.

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