Kathryn Caggiano received a B.S. in Mathematics from the College of William and Mary in 1990 and a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Cornell University in 1998. Prior to returning to Cornell in 2007, Professor Caggiano was an Assistant Professor of Operations and Information Management in the School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Outside of academia, she worked for several years in technology and supply chain consulting with Price Waterhouse and PeopleSoft Supply Chain Solutions. In her current role as Director of Master of Engineering Studies, Professor Caggiano is actively involved in the professional preparation and development of ORIE students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Under her leadership, the ORIE MEng program was selected as a finalist for the 2012 UPS George D. Smith Prize, INFORMS’s flagship award for the outstanding practical preparation of OR students.
In this course, you will build spreadsheet-based models that evaluate solutions and decision problems, investigating a number of different methods and built-in tools to optimize decisions and assess tradeoffs. One of the most powerful ways to take an evaluation model to the next level is to build an optimization layer that automates the process of finding the best solution for a given set of input factors. Depending on the scale, scope, and mathematical complexity of the model, you will discover that different kinds of optimization approaches may work better than others.
You will explore some of the most practical ways to layer optimization on top of Excel-based evaluation models. For simpler problems, this involves efficiently listing and examining all the potential solutions; for more complex problems, it entails automating simple heuristics using VBA or by employing Excel's Solver tool. By the end of this course, you will have the skills to confidently use optimization to help improve the decisions you need to make based on your data.
You are required to have completed the following courses or have equivalent experience before taking this course:
- Making Data Usable
- Creating Effective Data-Driven Dashboards
- Developing Robust Models to Evaluate Decisions
Key Course Takeaways
- Optimize decisions using enumeration
- Automate simple and sensible heuristics using VBA to execute a guided search process
- Optimize decisions using built-in tools in Excel
How It Works
Who Should Enroll
- Finance professionals
- Data analysts
- Data scientists
- Business analysts
- Managers and executives
- Students who need in-depth Excel knowledge