Business Analytics and Optimisation


Today, organisations should adapt quickly and constantly to changing business environment and cost limits. Therefore, they need to optimise their business processes to make use of scarce resources effectively and efficiently. In order to deal with complex processes and problems, businesses need to optimise the system in addition to data analysis.

This course is aimed at decision makers in businesses specifically in health and social care arena, local authorities and government services and clinical commissioning groups and primary care trusts. However, the knowledge is transferrable to other fields and services.

The goal of this course is to introduce optimisation models to allow decision makers to analyse and optimise the usage of resources. In computer modelling of business problems, optimisation is achieved by using linear programming techniques of operations research.

This course introduces participants to various quantitative optimisation models which are frequently tackled with in businesses such as scheduling, resource allocation, location problems, assignment problems, transportation problems and routing.

The main focus of the course is to illustrate concepts through examples which are solved interactively with participants. Although examples are taken from the health and social care setting, they are applicable in a wide variety of business environments. The course employs the use of MS Excel for modelling and solving the problems.

This course is designed to introduce quantitative models for decision making, including how to interpret the results and computer solutions to make more informed decisions. Therefore, a basic knowledge of algebra should be sufficient to follow the content of the course.

Aims/Learning objectives

By the end of this course, the participants will be able to:

  • • Appreciate a wide variety of optimisation models for health and social care
  • • Evaluate and analyse different models and their use
  • • Understand the process of mathematical modelling using spreadsheets
  • • Develop and run optimisation models
  • • Demonstrate an awareness of the different applications of business optimisation

Course Outline

This course is held in computer laboratories and paticipants will be able to work on problems with the help of the tutor using MS Excel. The course will cover:

  • • Introduction to modelling and decision analysis
  • • Modelling and solving problems in a Spreadsheet
  • • Scheduling: Ordering tasks and committing resources between them such as staff and work force, operating rooms, etc.
  • • Resource allocation: Distributing products and services in health and social care services such as beds and screening services in a hospital
  • • Location problems: Locating facilities and service centres
  • • Case study on hospital resource allocation

Course delivery

In general each module of the course is associated with one day’s face-to-face training in our Central London premises supported by additional material and resources. Distance learning might be considered in the future depending on need.
We can also deliver customized in-house courses.

Module Format

For face-to-face delivery, a mixed structure is generally adopted. There is a blend of sessions introducing the topics and techniques of interest and use examples to illustrate key themes, and of sessions engaging participants in interactive and hands-on experience of tools and techniques drawing on case material of direct relevance to commissioning or provision of services.


Overall in order to take part in this module, potential participants will need mathematical skills to include simple algebraic manipulation (GCSE grade B or better) and some understanding of basic statistical techniques.
Basic IT skills are required, e.g. use of excel spreadsheet.

Software Support

The software needed for this module is Microsoft Excel 2007/2010.


Prof. Thierry
Tel: 020 7911 5000 (ext. 65099 – ECS School Office)