Data, Information Literacy, and Decision Making

Course number: SUST6140
Faculty: Elizabeth Burke, MS, CPA
What students learn in this course:
  • How to attain, evaluate, and utilize data – both qualitative and quantitative – relevant to addressing contemporary social, political, environmental and business problems/opportunities.
  • How to use of decision analysis tools to characterize decision-making environments that involve risk or uncertainty.
  • How to use software tools to visualize quantitative data and create compelling narratives.
About this course:

We live in a world overwhelmed with information and data. How can we find the information we need, and how might we best make use of the data we have? This course challenges students to discover, evaluate, and utilize information and data to promote social justice and sustainability. We will learn where and how to find valuable data and how critically analyze the information we receive.

Data and information are not merely to inform, but to serve as a basis for action. With that in mind, we will also explore the analytical tools that we can use to analyze risk and make more effective decisions, including probabilistic reasoning and linear programming.

Finally, not only is data powerful because of its ability to help us learn and make better decisions, but also because of its ability to tell stories. We will learn how to use quantitative data to create compelling narratives and tell the stories we need to bring about the changes we want to see in the world.

Units 4
Prerequisites

Statistics

  • Key topics: descriptive statistics, displaying data, linear regression, probability

MS Excel Proficiency

  • Essential skills: data manipulation, chart creation, pivot tables, goal seek, solver

Accounting

  • Key topics: reporting (income statements, balance sheets, financial statements, cash flow), financial ratios, break-even analysis, revenue recognition, inventory, discounted cash flows (npv), equity and valuation
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