Business Analytics is not based on rote memorization of equations or facts, but focuses on honing your understanding of key concepts, your managerial judgment, and your ability to apply course concepts to real business problems.

This course begins with basic descriptive statistics and progresses to regression analysis. You’ll learn course concepts in the context of performing A/B testing on a website, using sampling to check warehouse inventory, predicting home video sales based on box office performance, and forecasting staffing needs for a hotel front desk. Throughout the course, you will receive clear guidance on how to implement analytical techniques in Excel. No matter your job function or career aspirations, this course will demystify data analysis and equip you with concrete skills to apply in your work or further studies.

Participating in Business Analytics will allow you to:

  • Recognize trends, detect outliers, and summarize data sets concisely
  • Analyze relationships between variables
  • Develop and test hypotheses to inform managerial decisions
  • Craft sound survey questions and draw conclusions from samples of a larger population
  • Estimate the accuracy of statistics by calculating confidence intervals
  • Perform single and multiple variable regression analysis using Excel and interpret the output

Course Structure

Business Analytics consists of approximately 40 hours of material developed by Professor Janice H. Hammond and delivered over an eight-week period with a flexible program structure. There is no set time to log in. You complete the coursework, which consists of a highly engaging mix of short videos, multimedia cases, interactive learning exercises, and written reflections, on your own time while meeting regular deadlines. All course material is delivered through the innovative HBX online platform. While there is no direct real-time interaction with the faculty built into the course, current and former participants may be invited to special events, both on and off-line, where HBX faculty are present.

The HBX Learning Model centers around the Harvard Business School case method, featuring interviews with business leaders and executives from companies around the world who candidly discuss challenges they've faced or obstacles they've overcome. We ask you to step into their shoes and engage with your peers to work through these real-world business scenarios.

Topics covered in the program include: 

  • Describing & Summarizing Data
  • Sampling & Estimation
  • Hypothesis Testing
  • Regression

Participants in Business Analytics are eligible for a Certificate of Completion from HBX and Harvard Business School. To earn the certificate, you must successfully complete all coursework by the stated deadlines, including satisfactory performance on quizzes, and actively contribute to the vibrant HBX learning community.

For those interested in learning business fundamentals more broadly, the HBX Credential of Readiness (CORe) program offers Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting taken in tandem at a cost of $1,950. Learn more about the different pathways to earn the CORe credential

Who would benefit from taking Business Analytics?

This course is for anyone who has encountered—or plans to encounter—a data set and has wondered how to make sense of it. There are no prerequisites for the program. Business Analytics is intended for individuals at all stages of their careers—college students and recent graduates without a background in statistics, those considering an MBA or other graduate program who would like to strengthen their analytical skills, or professionals seeking data literacy.

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What are HBX certificate programs?

HBX certificate programs are focused on one essential business topic. They combine the flexibility of online programming with the rigor and quality of a Harvard Business School education to give participants a unique edge in their careers.


Meet The Faculty

Janice Hammond

Janice Hammond

Jesse Philips Professor of Manufacturing

Known on campus for her dedication to helping students learn, Jan is an advocate for pre-MBA education and serves as faculty chair for the HBS MBA Pre-matriculation Analytics Program. She has a long-standing interest in online learning, and has previously developed an online quantitative analysis course and a global supply chain management simulation. Jan is a Professor in the Technology and Operations Management (TOM) Unit, and has previously served as unit head of the TOM unit, course head for the required TOM course, and as a Senior Associate Dean at HBS. She currently teaches Supply Chain Management in the MBA program and is program chair for the HBS Executive Education International Women's Foundation and Women's Leadership Programs.

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