//Prescriptive Analytics: Optimization

Prescriptive Analytics: Optimization

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In this foundational, hands-on course, you will use Microsoft Excel to build spreadsheet models for any organization. These models will include key performance indicators linked to variables that are under the decision maker’s control. By identifying variables, you will be able to use software to craft solutions. We will use Excel’s Solver tool to find the solution that optimizes the key performance indicator. We will apply the techniques to applications in various functions of a business. You will walk away with the skills to use this in your company and identify solutions to organizational problems.


  • Fact-Based Decision-Making
  • Analytics Definition and Application Examples
  • Describe the Situation and Problem
  • Identify Decision Variables and Key Performance Indicators
  • Product Mix, Blending, Covering, and Transportation
  • Shortest Path and Maximum Flow Examples
  • Determining Relevant Numbers
  • Application of the Blending problem
  • Brief Introduction to Sensitivity Analysis


This class is designed for anyone who wants to adopt data-driven decision-making.  It can benefit business professionals who want to find key insights for their organizations and make strategic recommendations, using tools that they already have access to. It is especially useful for leaders looking to optimize key performance indicators and identify solutions to organizational issues

Personal Impact

  • Learn valuable career skills and tools

  • Evaluate data independently

  • Approach difficult decisions confidently

Organizational Impact

  • Optimize processes with data-insights

  • Identify hidden risks and opportunities

  • Harness data to solve problems


100% online

12 weeks

5-6 hours


Available On-Demand

Available On-Demand

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Get a Certificate

MBA Foundations Certificate

This course is a part of the MBA Foundations Certificate. Participants who complete the certificate will receive a $1,500 scholarship applicable towards the tuition of any of the four MBA programs at the University of Utah.* Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to meet with one of our directors to discuss career goals.

*To qualify for the scholarship, participants must apply for the MBA program and be admitted. The scholarship is eligible for up to 18 months after completing the MBA Foundations certificate.

Proof of accomplishment

SHRM Recertification Provider 2020

In addition to developing knowledge and skills, you will receive SHRM credits as proof of your accomplishment.

Eccles Executive Education is recognized by SHRM to offer SHRM-CP or SHRMSCP professional development credits (PDCs). This program is valid for 5.5 PDCs. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit SHRMCertification.org.


Don Wardell

Don Wardell, Ph.D.

Dr. Don G. Wardell is Francis A. Madsen Scholar and Professor of Operations and Information Systems (OIS) at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business (DESB). He served for several years as the Chair of the OIS Department and before that the Management Department. He received BS and MS degrees in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Utah, and a Ph.D. degree from Purdue University’s Krannert Graduate School of Management. Dr. Wardell has taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including teaching classes in Spanish at INCAE in Costa Rica. Dr. Wardell was honored with the University of Utah’s Distinguished Teaching Award, the DESB’s Masters Teaching Excellence Award, the Brady Superior Teaching Award, and the Marvin J. Ashton Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. His research interests are mainly in the areas of quality management and Six Sigma, and especially statistical process control. He has served as an associate editor for Technometrics, is a member of the editorial review boards of Production and Operations Management and IIE Transactions on Quality and Reliability and reviews articles for numerous journals.

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