2019-2020 / INFO2048-1

Business Analytics


30h Th

Number of credits

 Master in business engineering (120 ECTS)5 crédits 


Michael Schyns

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

No company can survive without a good management information system.  Nowadays, a company must be able to collect, analyze and handle huge volume of data in order to answer managerial questions and/or offer new top value services.  Amazon, Google, Facebook  are obvious successful stories confirming the importance of data management. 
Three keywords to define the course:

  • Management field: Decision Making
  • Approach: Data analysis (Analytics)
  • Theory (basics) and applications
In this course, the main question is:  How to transform raw "stupid" data into valuable "actionable" information?  Common applications in finance are fraud detection, credit risk analysis, risk profile, pricing...  Common applications in eCommerce are recommendation tools, converting clicks into customers...  Other common applications in Supply Chain Management are revenue management (e.g. airline ticketing), capacity management, diagnosis of production faults, forecasting demand, predictive modeling, advanced reporting based on ERP systems...  Common applications in marketing and sales are the analysis of customer loyalty, the analysis of the market basket, the identification of prospective customers)...
This course covers techniques such as:

  • advanced reporting with Excel (DB functions, filters, pivot table...)
  • reporting with advanced visual tools like "Tableau" or Power BI
  • data mining tools: - data preparation - decision trees - neural networks - linear and logistic regression - market basket analysis  - clustering - model analysis
This course includes a SAS certification "Predictive Modeling Using SAS Enterprise Miner".  A nice added value to your degree. See below for details:

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

  • Gaining the knowledge and understanding of the chosen concentration field.
  • Understanding and being able of using modelization methods.
  • Capacity to research autonomously and methodically the information needed to solve a complex, transversal management problem.
  • Integrate autonomously researched information, tools, knowledge and context to build and propose original, creative and viable solutions to concrete complex management problems whether real or simulated.
  • Providing concrete solutions to a management problem, integrating modelization methods and/or a dimension of technology, innovation or production.
  • Developing a critical sense (arguing).
  • Professional capacity for written communication.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Basic computer skills Basic statistical knowledge

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Theory is immediately illustrated by small examples.  Students perform exercises on computer during the lectures.  Real cases are considered (e.g. revenue management, bankruptcy detection, customer choice...)
They will acquire a basic theoretical knowledge but also learn to use professional tools like Excel for basic reporting, Tableau or Power BI for  advanced visual reporting and SAS Enterprise Miner for machine learning.
The students have also to complete an in-depth visual analysis on a provided dataset as a group project.  
A flipped classroom approach is used for the machine learning chapter.  The students have to prepare some topics before the lecture thanks to an online tutorial.  The lecture will focus on the difficulties encountered during the preparation.
The project and the preparations are compulsory.  A student will not be allowed to sit the exam (failure mark) while he has not completed all his/her assignments (including the certification). 

SAS CERTIFICATION: The machine learning chapter is based on a SAS certification program.  The students who obtain a mark large enough (threshold set by SAS: 72% in 2019) also get the SAS external professional certification. The online course is open at the beginning of the year and the exam will be held at the end of the second semester.  You can work at your own pace, when you wish, and from where you want (even from your Erasmus location during the first semester while the offline course starts only in February). The SAS exam can be sit at the end of the year at HEC or before in a SAS certified center.  
The marks obtain at the SAS exam are included in the final mark for the course.  One point over 20 is added if the students obtain the certification.

Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning)

All lectures are given in a computer room. Complementary online training is available for the SAS chapter.

Recommended or required readings

Slides on Lol@ SAS e-course: "Applied Analytics Using SAS Enterprise Miner" (this is the support used for the offline course AND the online SAS version). Online description: Applied Analytics Using SAS Enterprise Miner
SAS certification description: SAS certified predictive modeler using SAS EM

Introduction to Data Mining, Pang-Ning Tan, Michael Steinbach, Vipin Kumar, Pearson Inertnational.

Assessment methods and criteria

Three parts:

  • Tableau project : 25%
  • SAS certification: 55%
  • Excel : 20%
  • A student will obtain a global failure mark if he obtains 0 (or do not complete) for some parts.  
  • The SAS certification exam could be replaced by a local exam if needed.

Work placement(s)

Organizational remarks

The examinations are organized twice a year during the official sessions.  All the students sit the exam in Liège.  Due to the nature of this course, we have never accepted to organize any additional exam at a different date and/or at a different location (even for students from abroad).


M. Schyns, HEC-Liege, N1 M.Schyns@uliege.be
F.Peters, HEC-Liege, N1 fpeters@uliege.be