The course uses Excel to analyse different buisness- and microeconomic decision problems. The course focuses on analyzing real world examples to show how to solve relevant economic decision problems using Excel.
Course description for study year 2023-2024. Please note that changes may occur.
The course uses the spreadsheet program Excel, a powerful and commonly used tool for quantitative analysis. We analyze different examples of business- and microeconomic decision problems. Focus will be on develping spreadsheet models that are logically corret and easy to read, in addition to sensitivity analysis. Mathematical methods for problem solving will not be part of the course. The main topics are optimization models, simulation models, decision trees and data analysis.
The lectures are streamed and available online. Access will be given to university computers at specified computer rooms. The course allows students to use their own computers with the Excel software (add-ins) used in the course. This software is available by purchasing a new course textbook. The software does not work optimally on mac computers, and to practice and follow the lectures with your own computer you need a pc with Windows operating system. If you do not have access to this, you have to use one of the school (stationary) computers.
After completing the course, the student should know:
Linear, integer and non-linear mathematical programming relevant to business decision problems
Conditions under which different models can be used and their limitations
Basic knowledge of solution algorithms
Economic interpretations of model solutions
Sensitivity and robustness analysis of solutions
Analysis of decision under uncertainty, Bayes law
After completing the course, the student should be able to:
Set up a spreadsheet model of a business decision problem in Excel
Solve for the optimal solution of the problem in Excel
Give economic interpretations of the model solutions and what they imply for the costs and constraints facing businesses in decision problems
Analyze decision trees for decision problems under uncertainty
Perform basic simulation analysis in Excel
After completing the course, the student should be able to communicate:
How a business decision problem can be formulated as a mathematical decision problem
The different types of models available and the conditions under which they apply
How the models can be practically implemented and solved
The fundamental economic constraints and trade-offs businesses face in their decision problems
Required prerequisite knowledge
Basic knowledge in business economics, mathematics, micro-economics, statistics and use of spreadsheet
Form of assessment
Two mandatory assignments during the semester. Must be approved in order to take the exam. Can be done in groups of up to four people.
Normally four hours lectures/problem solving on pc per week. Lectures will be given in English. Student will follow the lectures using their own laptops (not mac), or using the university computers.
Decision analysis with Excel (MIN240_1)
Master in Industrial Economics and master in Business and Administration at the UiS Business School
There must be an early dialogue between the course coordinator, the student representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital course evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.