Decision Analysis Assignment
Information Technology (IT) has been playing an important role in decision-making. This assignment gives you an opportunity to develop your skills of using IT tools in decision-making and practice evidence-based decision-making.
Students will form groups with 1 to 2 members to solve a business problem. Each group is responsible for conducting data analysis and writing a business report. You may need to use Excels Pivot Table to help you analyze data. The assignment requires two deliverables: a written business report and an excel spreadsheet with evidence of data analysis.
2. Business Case
You are a manager of a book wholesaler who sells books at about 25% discount (discount may vary from one title to another, see detailed discounts in the dataset). The data file shows the last few months book sales and discounts. You are trying to save cost and must decide on where to purchase the books and a sequence of opening credit accounts with each publisher.
In order to simplify the issue, we assume that the book publisher offers approximately a 50% discount. When an order is 30 or more units (one unit each of thirty titles or 30 units of the same title or any combination), the shipping is free. However, if an order is less than 30 units, then the publisher charges shipping fee that can amount to 15% or even more.
Another factor that must be considered is that one has to establish an account with each publisher. This is a costly process in terms of time and cost. It may take five days, and cost around $200 in labor and administrative cost.
Determine the top five publishers to open an account with, and write a business report that outlines how you have developed it. Make sure that you clearly state any assumptions and provide evidence supporting your decision-making. Due to limited cash reserve, no one order may cover demand of more than one month.
The data file contains the following columns:
Date: The date of the order placement
Polist: The order number
Qty: The quantity ordered from each title (ISBN)
ISBN: The book identifier
Binding: The binding of the book
List Price: The list price according to the publisher or distributer. This is the price before the discount given to the wholesaler
Quote Price: This is the price that the wholesaler gave to the customer before the discount
Discount: The discount given by the wholesaler to the customer
WholeSaler_Price: The price the wholesaler will charge the customer (price after applying the discount)
Publisher: The name of the publisher
Comment: Remember that data may not be clean. One possible source of error is the publisher name. Make sure that all publishers with similar names are grouped together as one. For example Penguin, Penguin Publisher and Penguin for children are the same publisher.
Submit an electronic copy of business report and the related excel spreadsheet to SafeAssign on the Blackboard
Hand in a hard copy of the business report in class
Week 6 by the start of the class
This assignment accounts for 10% of total evaluation, and the maximum score is 20 points.
Recommended report structure
Introduction (3 points)
o Business problem
o A summary of steps taken in decision-making
Data Analysis (10 points)
o Evidence supporting your decision-making, such as tables, figures.
Recommendation (4 points)
Conclusion and Additional Issues (3 points)
o Some issues that a decision maker should consider, such as assumptions, discussions about the factors with might affect your decisions, etc.
This is a business report not an academic paper. As such, your business report must be brief and to the point.
Title page (Name, Class Title, Date, etc.)
No more than 4 pages (not including the title page), 12pt, 1.2 line spacing
Make concrete statement whenever possible
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