ACF5320

Business analytics
Unit Guide
Semester 1, 2015

Copyright © Monash University 2014. All rights reserved. Except as provided in the Copyright Act 1968,
this work may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the host Faculty and
School/Department.
The information contained in this unit guide is correct at time of publication. The University has the right
to change any of the elements contained in this document at any time.
Last updated: 16 Feb 2015

Table of Contents

ACF5320 Business analytics - Semester 1, 2015...................................................................................1
Mode of Delivery..............................................................................................................................1
Workload requirements....................................................................................................................1
Additional workload requirements........................................................................................1
Unit Relationships........................................................................................................................................1
Prohibitions......................................................................................................................................1
Chief Examiner(s)........................................................................................................................................1
Campus Lecturer(s).....................................................................................................................................1
Caulfield...........................................................................................................................................2
Tutor(s)........................................................................................................................................................2
Caulfield...........................................................................................................................................2
Your feedback to Us....................................................................................................................................2
Previous Student Evaluations of this Unit....................................................................................................2
Academic Overview...................................................................................................................................3
Learning Outcomes.........................................................................................................................3
Unit Schedule.............................................................................................................................................4
Teaching Approach..........................................................................................................................5
Assessment Summary.....................................................................................................................5
Hurdle Requirements...........................................................................................................6
Second marking...................................................................................................................6
Return of final marks............................................................................................................6
Exam viewing.......................................................................................................................6
Assessment criteria..............................................................................................................7
Assessment Requirements......................................................................................................................8
Assessment Tasks...........................................................................................................................8
Assessment task 1...............................................................................................................8
Assessment task 2.............................................................................................................10
Examination(s)...........................................................................................................................................11
Examination 1................................................................................................................................11
Learning resources....................................................................................................................................12
Feedback to you........................................................................................................................................12
Assignment submission.............................................................................................................................12
Online submission.........................................................................................................................12
Required Resources..................................................................................................................................12
Prescribed text(s) and readings.....................................................................................................12
Recommended text(s) and readings..............................................................................................13
Other Information....................................................................................................................................14
Policies..........................................................................................................................................14
Graduate Attributes Policy.................................................................................................14
Student Charter.........................................................................................................................................14
Student services........................................................................................................................................14
Monash University Library.........................................................................................................................14
Moodle 2....................................................................................................................................................14
Disability Liaison Unit................................................................................................................................15

ACF5320 Business analytics - Semester 1, 2015
Business analytics and their applications to financial and management decision making will be explored
for a range of business situations including: investment; planning; cash flow management; capital
budgeting; contract awards; and risk analysis. Analytics covered include: problem structuring; multiple
criteria decision making; optimisation; simulation; and data mining. Upon completion of this unit, students
are expected to competently use selected analytics, to provide management interpretation of the
solutions and to formulate business analyst's recommendations. The unit utilises advanced computer
modelling tools available in Microsoft Excel and other modelling software packages.

Mode of Delivery
• Caulfield (Day)
• Caulfield (Evening)

Workload requirements
Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per
semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study.
Independent study may include associated readings, assessment and preparation for scheduled
activities. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled
activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online
engagement.
See also Unit timetable information

Additional workload requirements
It is expected that you will spend, on average, nine hours in self-directed study each week, in addition to
the three hours of class contact. Self-directed study for a particular unit may exceed nine hours during
weeks preceding an in-semester test, submission of a major assignment or final examination.

Unit Relationships
Prohibitions
ETC2480, ETF2480, ETW2480, AFX5320

Chief Examiner(s)
Associate Professor Ly-Fie Sugianto

Campus Lecturer(s)

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ACF5320 Business analytics - Semester 1, 2015

Caulfield
A/Prof Lyfie Sugianto
Contact hours: Monday 9:30pm -11:00am in Department of Accounting, Building H Level 3 Room 52,
email lyfie.sugianto@monash.edu at other times. Can also be contacted on x32813
Dr Kristian Rotaru
Contact hours: Thursday 4:00pm-5:30pm in Department of Accounting, Building H Level 3 Room 3.19,
email kristian.rotaru@monash.edu at other times. Can also be contacted on x34567

Tutor(s)
Caulfield
Dr Kevin Zhigang Liao
Contact hours: Wednesday: 6:00-7:00pm; Thursday, 11:30-12:30. Email: Zhigang.liao@monash.edu

Your feedback to Us
Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers
and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through the Student
Evaluation of Teaching and Units (SETU) survey. The University’s student evaluation policy requires that
every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The
feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied
and areas for improvement.
For more information on Monash’s educational strategy, see:
www.monash.edu.au/about/monash-directions/ and on student evaluations, see:
www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/quality/student-evaluation-policy.html

Previous Student Evaluations of this Unit
Student feedback has highlighted the following strengths in this unit:
• "The lecturer was very engaging and supportive throughout the whole unit"
• "the unit includes practical topics and skills which are useful for my job (managerial position)"
• "the feedback received from Kristian was very useful and timely and helped me to resolve the
questions I had"
• "Practicality and detailed explanation of the problem solving is what drove me throughout the
unit".
• This unit has a history of high student satisfaction.
If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to
https://emuapps.monash.edu.au/unitevaluations/index.jsp

2

Academic Overview
Learning Outcomes
The learning goals associated with this unit are to:
1. appraise the role of business analytics in organisations, the decision making life cycle in business
and financial management, model building techniques, model solving techniques, interpretation of
results from business models and cutting edge business analytics tools
2. propose modelling and simulation as effective business and financial decision making procedure,
evaluate the risks and benefits of interactive computer-supported business decision making
3. formulate business problem, choose theoretical framework and decide appropriate decision
modelling techniques for given business management situations, assess the limitations of models
and the appropriateness of modelling environments
4. integrate critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills in the assessment of
individual summative tasks and/or group tasks dealing with business analytics topics covered in
ACF5320.

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Unit Schedule
Week

Activities

0

Assessment
No formal assessment or activities are
undertaken in week 0

1

Business analytics in organisations, Model building
and solving techniques, Introduction to Optimization
and Linear Programming, Modelling and Solving
Linear problems using graphical method. Readings:
Chapters 1 & 2. Activities: see Moodle

2

Modelling and Solving Linear Programming problems;
Defining Decision Variables, Objective Function and
Constraints. Readings: Chapter 3. Activities: see
Moodle

3

Applying Spreadsheet Solvers for Make vs Buy
Decision, Investment, Transportation and Blending
problems. Readings: Chapter 3. Activities: see Moodle

4

Applying Spreadsheet Solvers for Production &
Inventory Planning and Cash Flow problems; Integer
Linear Programming: Employee Scheduling & Capital
Budgeting problem. Readings: Chapters 3 & 6.
Activities: see Moodle

5

Integer Linear Programming: Fixed-Charge, Quantity
Discounts, Contact Award. Readings: Chapter 6.
Activities: see Moodle

6

Multiple Objective Optimisation. Readings: Chapter 7. Assignment 1: Friday, 17 April 2015,
Activities: see Moodle
2:00pm

7

Multiple Objective Optimisation; Regression Model.
Readings: Chapters 7 & 9. Activities: see Moodle

8

Making Predictions with Regression Model, Multiple
Regression Analysis. Readings: Chapter 9. Activities:
see Moodle

9

Time Series and Its Application to Forecasting
(Stationary data). Readings: Chapter 11. Activities:
see Moodle

10

Time Series and Its Application to Forecasting
(Non-stationary data). Data Mining. Readings:
Chapters 11 & 10. Activities: see Moodle

11

Implementing and Simulating various business
problems. Readings: Chapter 12. Activities: see
Moodle

12

Decision Analysis, Decision Making Under
Uncertainty. Readings: Chapter 15. Activities: see
Moodle

Assignment 2: Friday, 15 May, 2:00pm

SWOT VAC

No formal assessment is undertaken
SWOT VAC

Examination period

LINK to Assessment Policy:
http://policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/
academic/education/assessment/
4

Unit Schedule
assessment-in-coursework-policy.html

Teaching Approach
This unit will be taught as a two-hour lecture and a one-hour tutorial each week for 12 weeks. You are
expected to attend all lectures and tutorials.
The lectures will not cover every aspect of each topic listed in the Unit Schedule on page 4 as you are
expected to acquire a comprehensive understanding by undertaking the prescribed and recommended
reading and by completing the week-by-week tutorial activities and other in-semester assessment tasks.
The tutorials provide an opportunity for you and your peers to discuss the current topic(s) and to
compare your completed assessment tasks with other students' work and/or model answers. While
tutorials provide an opportunity for you to demonstrate the application of your knowledge and skills there
is also an opportunity for you to ask the tutor to clarify your understanding of the topics and associated
concepts covered to date.
In general you are expected to spend two to three hours of self-directed study for each hour in class.
Some of this time should be devoted to discussions with other students. The benefit of such discussions
will be enhanced if you have completed relevant prescribed and recommended reading and/or started or
completed the current assessment task(s). The prescribed and recommended readings are listed in this
guide and on the unit's Moodle site. The Moodle site provides access to relevant material including past
examination papers and model answers. These resources will enable you to develop a mastery of the
topics covered by the unit.
To ensure a high probability of successfully completing this unit, you need to manage your time and
studies in a systematic way. At a minimum this should involve:
• reading prescribed and selected recommended material prior to attending lectures;
• completing week-by-week tutorial activities tasks prior to attending tutorials;
• attempting relevant questions from past final examination papers and in-semester tests;
• discussions with past and present students; and
• revision of the semester's work during the SWOT-Vac and prior to the final examination.

Assessment Summary
Within semester assessment: 50%
Examination: 50%
Assessment Task
Group assignment

Value

Due Date

30%

Week 6: Friday, 17 April, before 2:00pm

Individual assignment 20%

Week 10: Friday, 15 May before 2:00pm

Examination 1

To be advised

50%

5

Unit Schedule

Hurdle Requirements
There is a hurdle requirement for this unit.
The learning outcomes of this unit require you to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the
topics covered in the unit. Hence the hurdle requirement for this unit requires that you must attain a mark
of at least 50% in the final examination. If you fail the unit solely because of failure to satisfy the hurdle
requirement, a mark of 48 will be determined by the faculty's Board of Examiners on the
recommendation of the unit's Chief Examiner.
The outcome from application of the hurdle requirement is often misunderstood by students who are
awarded 48N. For example, some students mistakenly believe that 48N means they failed the final
examination by two marks and that a second re-mark of their examination paper might find two extra
marks. Whereas 48N does not provide any indication of the mark attained in the final examination other
than a mark less than 50% was awarded.
The following example should make the application of the hurdle requirement clear. In this unit 50% of
the assessment regime is allocated to in-semester assessment and 50% to the final 3-hour examination.
A student enrolled in this unit might achieve 40 out of 50 for their in-semester assessment and 20 out of
50 for the final examination. While the overall total of these marks is 60C the final examination mark is
five marks below the required 50%. Consequently a mark of 48N will be determined by the faculty's
Board of Examiners on the recommendation of the unit's Chief Examiner.

Second marking
Where an assessment task is given a fail grade by an examiner, that piece of work will be marked again
by a second examiner who will independently evaluate the work, and consult with the first marker. No
student will be awarded a fail grade for an assessment task or unit without a second examiner confirming
the result.
Note: Exceptions to this are individual pieces of assessment contributing 10% or less of the final mark,
unless the total of such pieces exceeds 30% of the final mark.

Return of final marks
Faculty policy states that 'the final mark that a student receives for a unit will be determined by the Board
of Examiners on the recommendation of the Chief Examiner taking into account all aspects of
assessment'.
The final mark for this unit will be released by the Board of Examiners on the date nominated in the
Faculty Calendar. Student results will be accessible through the my.monash portal.

Exam viewing
Feedback on student performance in examinations and other end-of-semester assessment is required, in
accordance with the University procedures on Unit Assessment. For more information, please see the
following URL: http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/acc/student/exam-view/index.html

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Unit Schedule

Assessment criteria
Assessment Criteria Grading Descriptors available at:
http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/esg/agu/policies/assessment.html.

7

Assessment Requirements
Assessment Tasks
• Assessment

task 1

Title:

Group assignment
Due date:
Week 6: Friday, 17 April, before 2:00pm
Details of task:
Assignment 1 assesses your understanding and practical skills in modelling and solving
Linear Programming and Integer Linear Programming problems. It comprises two
problems to be solved with a partner. The assignment problems can be downloaded from
Moodle. Students are required to use Microsoft Excel and Solver to work on Assignment
1. These software programs are also installed in the Monash computer laboratory.
Students are required to use the Risk Analytics Platform or the Premium Solver (rather
than Frontline Solver) to work on Assignment 1. The password to download these
software programs is available if you purchase the prescribed textbook.
Release dates:
Week 2
Word limit:
A maximum of 250 words for Part 3
Weighting/Value:
30%
Estimated return date:
Marked assignments will be returned to you during tutorials in week 8. If you do not attend
the tutorial in week 8 you may collect your assignment from your tutor during consultation
times from week 8 onwards. You should retain the marked copy of your submission until
the final results for the unit are released.
Criteria for marking:
Overall, the work submitted for assessment will be graded in accord with the table
showing examples of grades and corresponding achievement levels published in the Q
Manual (2012, p. 6). Criteria for assessment include: general description, reading,
knowledge of topics, articulation of argument, analytical and evaluative skills, problem
solving, and expression and presentation appropriate to the discipline.
The assignment document will include the criteria for assessment, detailing:
(i) how the proportions of the mark for the assessment will be allocated to the outcome of
the group work, and to the process followed to obtain the outcome;
(ii) how the contribution of the individual students to group work will be assessed, and who
will determine the criteria to make this assessment (group, teaching staff or both); and
(iii) who will assess the contribution of the individual students (peers, teaching staff or
both).
Learning objectives assessed:
This assessment task is designed to test your achievement of learning objectives 1 to 4.
Submission details:
Students should submit both the hardcopy and softcopy versions of the assignments:

8

Assessment Requirements
®Hardcopy version should be submitted via the department assignment box on
Level 3, Building H. The exact Assignment Box number will be advised closer to
the submission date.
®Softcopy version should be submitted via Moodle. Only one submission per group
is required. It is important that you allow ample time to avoid heavy traffic in
accessing the server, as well as confusion with the online submission procedure. If
you are not familiar with submitting assignments via Moodle, it is your
responsibility to ensure sufficient time to familiarise yourself with the procedure.
Zip all your files (including the cover sheet signed by both group members) and
use the following naming format for the zip file:
X1_Y1_X2_Y2_A1.zip
where
X1 is up to 5 characters of the FAMILYNAME of STUDENT1
Y1 is up to 3 characters of the FIRSTNAME of STUDENT1
X2 is up to 5 characters of the FAMILYNAME of STUDENT2
Y2 is up to 3 characters of the FIRSTNAME of STUDENT2
Email submission will only be accepted with prior approval from the lecturer, for example,
when Moodle is experiencing down time, or when an extension is granted.
Work submitted for assessment must be accompanied by a completed and signed
assignment coversheet.
Penalties for late lodgement:
A penalty of one mark will be deducted for each day the assignment is late.
Extensions of time
Applications for an extension of time allocated to an in-semester assessment task must be
made by completing the application form found
athttp://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/student/exams/speccon.html.
The application form must be submitted to the Chief Examiner for consideration no later
than two university working days after the due date.
Assessment coversheet:
Both students must submit a signed assessment task coversheet.
Additional information:
Group formation and management:
By the end of week 2, you should nominate a student (preferably from your tutorial class)
as your partner for this assignment. Otherwise, your tutor will organise a partner for you.
The information about group members (names, studient IDs and email addresses of the
participants) has to be emailed to the Chief Examiner not later than the end of week 3
(please use the following email subject 'ACF5320: Assignment Group' ). Once formed the
members of the group must assume responsibility for management of the group.
Guidelines on group formation and management have been published by a number of
universities. For example "Guidelines for managing team work processes and meetings"
published by Carleton University's Sprott School of Business.
To ensure the best learning outcomes are obtained from the assignment, it is important
that each member of the group contributes equally to the assignment. For dispute
resolution within the assignment group, the students have to inform the tutor and the
9

Assessment Requirements
lecturer about the issue as soon as possible.
Plagiarism
In order to ensure the academic integrity of your submission and to deter others from
copying your work, your submission may be processed by a plagiarism checker such as
Turnitin. The University's plagiarism policy can be found
at http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/plagiarism-policy.html
• Assessment

task 2

Title:

Individual assignment
Due date:
Week 10: Friday, 15 May before 2:00pm
Details of task:
This assignment assesses your understanding and practical skills in solving real life
problems using Goal Programming and/or Multiple Objective Optimization, Regression
Analysis and/or Data Mining.
Release dates:
Week 5
Weighting/Value:
20%
Estimated return date:
Marked assignments will be returned to you during tutorials in week 12. If you do not
attend the tutorial in week 12 you may collect your assignment from your tutor during
consultation times from week 12 onwards. You should retain the marked copy of your
submission until the final results for the unit are released.
Criteria for marking:
Overall, the work submitted for assessment will be graded in accord with the table
showing examples of grades and corresponding achievement levels published in the Q
Manual (2012, p. 6).
For the complete break-up marks, see Assignment 2 Sheet.
Learning objectives assessed:
This assessment task is designed to test your group’s achievement of learning objectives
1 to 4.
Submission details:
Students should submit both the hardcopy and softcopy versions of the assignments:
®Hardcopy version should be submitted via the department assignment box on
Level 3, Building H. The exact Assignment Box number will be advised closer to
the submission date.
®Softcopy version should be submitted via Moodle. It is important that you allow
ample time to avoid heavy traffic in accessing the server, as well as confusion with
the online submission procedure. Zip all your files (including signed cover sheet)
and use the following naming format for the zip file:
X_Y_A2.zip
where
X is up to 5 characters of your FAMILYNAME
10

Assessment Requirements
Y is up to 3 characters of your FIRSTNAME.
Email submission will only be accepted with prior approval from the lecturer, for example,
when Moodle is experiencing down time, or when extension is granted.
Work submitted for assessment must be accompanied by a completed and signed
assignment coversheet. Each member of the group must submit a signed assignment
task cover sheet.
Penalties for late lodgement:
A maximum penalty of one mark will be deducted for each day the assignment is late.
Extensions of time
Applications for an extension of time allocated to an in-semester assessment task must be
made by completing the application form found
athttp://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/student/exams/speccon.html.
The application form must be submitted to the Chief Examiner for consideration no later
than two university working days after the due date.
Assessment coversheet:
Individual coversheets need to be used with each asignment submisison. The coversheet
needs to be signed by the participant.
Additional information:
Plagiarism
In order to ensure the academic integrity of your submission and to deter others from
copying your work, your submission may be processed by a plagiarism checker such as
Turnitin. The University's plagiarism policy can be found
at http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/plagiarism-policy.html

Examination(s)
• Examination 1
Weighting:
50%
Length:
3 hours
Type (open/closed book):
Closed book
Hurdle requirements:
There is a hurdle requirement for this unit. The learning outcomes of this unit require you
to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the topics covered in the unit. Hence
the hurdle requirement for this unit requires that you must attain a mark of at least 50% in
the final examination. If you fail the unit solely because of failure to satisfy the hurdle
requirement, a mark of 48 will be determined by the faculty's Board of Examiners on the
recommendation of the unit's Chief Examiner.
Electronic devices allowed in the exam:
SHARP calculator with a Monash logo provided by the Faculty of Business and
Economics or an approved calculator as identified by an “approved for use” faculty label.

11

Assessment Requirements

Learning resources
Monash Library Unit Reading List (if applicable to the unit)
http://readinglists.lib.monash.edu/index.html

Feedback to you
Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:
• Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
• Graded assignments with comments
• Graded assignments without comments
• Quiz results
• Solutions to tutes, labs and assignments

Assignment submission
Online submission
If Electronic Submission has been approved for your unit, please submit your work via the learning
system for this unit, which you can access via links in the my.monash portal.

Required Resources
Virtual learning environment (VLE): Moodle
Material used in class together with other information of importance to you will be published online via
the unit’s Moodle site. In order to access information about this unit in Moodle you must be enrolled in
the unit and have a valid student account with authcate username and password. Access to Moodle is
HERE; or Moodle can be accessed through my.monash portal. When you log in to the portal you access
Moodle in the “home page” by clicking on the Moodle 2 link under “Online Systems”. If you need some
help with Moodle 2 then check out the Moodle 2 Support for Students page.
Q Manual
Work submitted for assessment must be consistent with the guidelines set down in the Q Manual, which
is the faculty's student guide for producing quality work on time. Copies of this manual can be purchased
at the bookshop or accessed online.
Calculators
SHARP calculator with a Monash logo provided by the Faculty of Business and Economics or an
approved calculator as identified by an “approved for use” faculty label.

Prescribed text(s) and readings
Prescribed text available from the University Bookshop
Ragsdale, C. T. (2014). Spreadsheet modelling and decision analysis (7th ed.). South-Western.

12

Assessment Requirements

Recommended text(s) and readings
See Moodle

13

Other Information
Policies
Monash has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and
students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and to provide advice on how they might
uphold them. You can find Monash’s Education Policies at:
www.policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/academic/education/index.html
Key educational policies include:
• Student Academic Integrity Policy and Student Academic Integrity: Managing Plagiarism and
Collusion Procedures ;
• Assessment in Coursework Programs;
• Special Consideration;
• Grading Scale;
• Discipline: Student Policy;
• Academic Calendar and Semesters;
• Orientation and Transition; and
• Academic and Administrative Complaints and Grievances Policy.

Graduate Attributes Policy
http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/
education/management/monash-graduate-attributes-policy.html

Student Charter
www.opq.monash.edu.au/ep/student-charter/monash-university-student-charter.html

Student services
The University provides many different kinds of support services for you. Contact your tutor if you need
advice and see the range of services available at http://www.monash.edu.au/students

Monash University Library
The Monash University Library provides a range of services, resources and programs that enable you to
save time and be more effective in your learning and research. Go to www.lib.monash.edu.au or the
library tab in my.monash portal for more information.

Moodle 2
All unit and lecture materials, plus other information of importance to students, are available through the
virtual learning environment Moodle site. You can access Moodle via the my.monash portal.
Where to go for help
If you're stuck, confused or simply not sure how to approach Moodle, there are a number of Moodle
resources that you can tap into.
14

Other Information

Disability Liaison Unit
Students who have a disability or medical condition are welcome to contact the Disability Liaison Unit to
discuss academic support services. Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) visit all Victorian campuses on a
regular basis.
• Website: http://www.monash.edu/equity-diversity/disability/index.html
• Telephone: 03 9905 5704 to book an appointment with a DLO;
• Email: dlu@monash.edu
• Drop In: Equity and Diversity Centre, Level 1, Building 55, Clayton Campus.

15