AMA2162 Developing Your Analytical Skills: How to Research and Present Information

COURSE OUTLINE:

Description

When making decisions, how do you assess the credibility of information? Do you conduct research and gather data methodically, or act on instinct and follow the latest trends? Do you know what key questions to ask? Feel confident you�re making valid decisions?

Whether you are developing a new product or service, presenting findings on a competitor�s product, or deciding how to allocate resources, you need the analytical skills to be able to support your conclusions with valid and credible evidence. In this course, you�ll learn the basics to implement a process for data analysis that ensures you�re focusing on the most critical information, involving the right people, and conveying your message in terms your audiences will understand.

Audience

Business professionals who want to learn basic analytical skills to conduct research and perform analysis to help them make more informed and evidence-based decisions.

Prerequisites

Conducting research is part of this class. Please bring a laptop equipped with MS 2007 (or higher) or other equivalent electronic device.

BONUS: Receive a flash drive containing tools and templates to use at work.

Learning Objectives

  • Apply Techniques to Information to Help Determine What Is Relevant
  • Put Information into a Form That Can Be Analyzed
  • Analyze Information in Order to Identify the �Best� Opportunity for Your
  • Business, and Explain Your Reasoning
  • Recognize Patterns, and Discern What They Can Mean for Your Business
  • Identify a Framework as the Basis for Creating Presentations That Use Information You�ve Derived from Your Analysis

Analytical Skills and Data Analysis

  • Identifying core analytical skills
  • Exploring the challenges of collecting, evaluating, and presenting information
  • Describing the steps in the analytical process: plan, analyze, conclude

The Planning Phase

  • Defining the purpose of the analysis
  • Improving your analytical skills by clarifying relevant issues: Why? Who? What are the options, benefits, and risks?
  • Identifying issues that are essential for comprehensive understanding
  • Deciding on an approach for an analysis project
  • Creating a data collection plan for obtaining information

The Analysis Phase

  • Organizing, collecting, and evaluating data via graphic tools
  • Performing affinity grouping to aggregate unstructured data into categories
  • Using a 2x2 grid and SWOT analysis to evaluate ideas and analyze strategies
  • Determining risks and performing cost-benefit analysis
  • Evaluating data and addressing information gaps

The Conclusion and Reporting Process

  • Understanding the characteristics of valid conclusions
  • Getting from conclusions to recommendations
  • Presenting conclusions graphically

Telling Your Story

  • Utilizing tools, tips, and techniques to present your story to multiple audiences
  • Creating and delivering a brief presentation that inspires and persuades