Introduction to Decision Analytics

Decision analytics refers to a systematic, quantitative, iterative and interactive approach to addressing and evaluating important decision choices confronted by organisations in the private and public sector. This short course on Introduction to Decision Analytics is designed to provide basic understanding of the principles and practices of decision analytics, to introduce several decision-making tools for analysing complex decision problem environments, and for making appropriate decisions within that environment, and to strengthen the individual’s decision making skills.

The decision-making tools, that would be covered in this short course, are suitable for tactical and operational level decision problems. Typical examples of such problems include project selection, budget allocation, resource allocation and planning, transportation planning, and rostering and scheduling. The course includes hands-on training with spreadsheet based tools for decision making.

Prior Knowledge: Must be familiar with basic operations of Excel, and knowledge of High School level maths would be an advantage. If not, a short course ‘Introduction to Spreadsheet-based Decision Making’ is recommended prior to taking this course.

Duration: 3 days

Delivery mode: Classroom + Lab

Location: Canberra

In-house: All states and neighbouring countries, contact the Professional Education Course Unit for more information. Recommended for groups of 10 or more.

What you will receive:

  • Comprehensive course notes and exercises
  • UNSW Canberra certificate of completion/attendance
  • Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea
  • Masters credit: UNSW Canberra allows students who have successfully completed a minimum of 12 days of approved professional education short courses to use those courses as credit in eligible postgraduate programs. 



The course is valuable for anyone faced with complex and continually changing decision problems in public or private sector organisations or communities.



Introduction to Analytics and the nature of Analytical problems

Data driven analytics, model driven analytics, and decision analytics

Defining and modelling practical decision problems

Spreadsheet based modelling and solution approaches

Interpreting, analysing and validating the solutions

Capability and limitations of decision analytics techniques

Practices of decision analytics



Prof. Charles S Newton obtained his PhD in Nuclear Physics from the ANU in 1975. He is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Engineering and IT, UNSW Canberra. He was the Head of the former School of Computer Science (currently a part of School of Engineering and IT) from 1993 to 2003. He was the President of National Committee of the Australian Society for Operations Research (ASOR) in 1995-96. He is the co-author of the book Optimization Modelling: A Practical Approach, Taylor & Francis /CRC Press, Boca Raton. Prof. Newton is well-known, both nationally and internationally, for his practice in Operations Research specifically for defence related problems.

Prof. Ruhul A Sarker obtained his Ph.D. in Operations Research from Dalhousie University (former TUNS), Halifax, Canada in 1992. He is currently a Professor in the School of Engineering and IT, co-ordinator of the Master of Decision Analytics program in the school, and the Director of Faculty Postgraduate Research at UNSW Canberra (located at ADFA), Australia. He was the Deputy Head of School (Research) from 2011 to 2014. Prof. Sarker’s broad teaching and research interests include decision analytics, computational intelligence, operations research, and applied optimization. He is the lead author of the book Optimization Modelling: A Practical Approach, Taylor & Francis /CRC Press, Boca Raton. Prof. Sarker has successfully obtained more than $1.5million external research grants. He was a member of the national executive committee of the Australian Society for Operations Research (ASOR) and Editor-in-chief of ASOR Bulletin from 2000 to 2011. As recognition of Prof. Sarker’s contributions to ASOR and Operations Research, ASOR awarded him an ASOR Medal (2011) and Special Service Certificate (2009). Currently, he is an associate editor of three international journals.