MBA and Master's Programs

Operations and Business Analytics Career Track

Operations Management, Supply Chain and Logistics, and Business Analytics are increasingly important areas of business. Strength in these areas can provide a company with a significant competitive advantage over its competitors.

The Operations and Business Analytics career track is designed to give students the technical training and know-how to excel in these areas while also building the higher-level strategic and managerial mindset needed to lead organizations forward.


Operations and Business Analytics Career Track Courses

  • BUS 640: Strategic Supply Chain Management

    This course introduces students to the fundamentals of Supply Chain Management and how it relates to a firm's competitiveness. Emphasis will be placed on the role of SCM in transforming global business practices and relations. SCM informs how a firm would source, design, produce, and market its products in today's global environment. Topics will include global business trends, current supply chain practices, international procurement, logistics and inventory management, performance assessment, supply management and SCM strategy in a global environment.

  • MGTSC 645: Introduction to Business Analytics

    The merging of massive data-sets with analytical tools from Statistics, Computer Science, and Operations Research has created the emerging field of analytics. Methods are developing rapidly based on statistical platforms such as SAS and R, or more general purpose programming tools such as Python. This course will build from MGT SC 501 to provide an overview of Big Data and analytics and develop programming and methodological skills to acquire, analyze, and present analysis.

  • OM 502: Operations Management

    This course focuses on (1) the competitive advantage that a business unit can derive from innovative and efficient production and delivery of its goods and services and on (2) analytical approaches that are useful in understanding and improving an organization’s operations. Specific modules include process diagramming and analysis; measuring and managing flow times; inventory control and optimization; supply chain coordination and operations strategy. Cases will be used to illustrate the operational efficiency and its significance to the profitability of a firm.

  • OM 620: Predictive Business Analytics

    This course provides an introduction to Business Analytics - the combined use of data analysis techniques and optimization models to make data-driven business decisions. Business Analytics has applications in finance, marketing, and operations, such as insurance risk management, credit risk evaluation, targeted advertising, appointment scheduling, hotel and airline overbooking, and fraud detection. Students will learn how to build basic predictive models using data mining software and how to integrate the predictions into spreadsheet simulation models. The emphasis is on the practical use of analytical tools to maximize organizational objectives rather than on algorithm details.

  • OM 622: Simulation and Computer Modelling Techniques in Management

    This course will discuss computer modelling of management systems in such functional areas as accounting, finance, marketing, and production. Basic concepts of deterministic and probabilistic (Monte Carlo) simulation and their applications will also be covered. Microcomputer implementations of case studies using spreadsheets will be particularly emphasized. A term project will be required.

  • OM 671: Decision Support Systems

    Decision support systems integrated with various management tools in a microcomputer environment. The programming language to be used is Visual Basic for Applications. Different multicriteria decision-making tools such as the Analytic Hierarchy Process, Multiattribute Utility Theory, Goal Programming and Multiobjective Optimization are introduced. Students create decision support systems with graphical user interfaces that use a formal multicriteria decision-making front end as well as optimization, simulation or other appropriate engines for calculations in the background. Student projects in this implementation-oriented course will come from different areas such as employee scheduling, facility location, project/product selection and portfolio optimization.

Complimentary Courses

Consulting Focus

  • SMO 502: Organization Strategy / Managing Organizations

    The first part of this course examines the formation of business strategy. It recognizes the complexities and messiness of strategy formation and explores how organizations develop strategies. The second part examines the evolution, determinants, and relevance of alternative ways of organizing. Contemporary ideas (e.g. re-engineering, the learning organization, virtual organizations) are critically reviewed.

  • SMO 636: Management Consulting

    This course is an introduction to the management consulting industry. It is primarily intended for those considering a possible career as a management consultant and for those looking to pursue an Internship with a consulting firm or a position with VGC. First, the course outlines the history, regulation, business models and competitive structure of the industry. Because the industry is changing quite rapidly, attention will be given to the dynamics of the industry's business models and competitive structure. Second, the course introduces participants to key practices in the consulting process, with specific attention to the analytical and diagnostic approach to the preparation of proposals and management of engagements.

  • SMO 651: Project Management for Consulting Professionals

    This course is an introduction to project management for the management consulting industry. This course is designed for management consulting professionals, current and prospective, and will explore the dynamics of project management fundamentals. The focus will be on managing the constraints faced by a project manager in any project: budgets, human resources, time frames, changing specifications, and quality. This course will examine techniques for establishing project objectives, developing deliverables, managing scope, developing work plans, managing and mitigating risks, issues and challenges as well as explore client management, profitability, and project close-out techniques.

Supply Chain Management Focus

  • BUEC 641: Strategic Procurement

    Increasing competition and globalization of the supply chain have made cost competitiveness and procurement effectiveness key to successful business performance. Best-in-class procurement practices are essential to attaining global supply chain competitiveness today. This course introduces students to the principles of procurement and how they can help enhance cost and supply chain efficiency. Learning outcomes will be both strategic and tactical including topics such as the business function of procurement, the procurement process and organization, trends in organizational design, quality management, make - buy decisions, strategic cost management, strategic and global sourcing, supplier selection and management, inventory strategies, category management, performance measurement and evaluation, RFP (Request for Proposal) and contract management, negotiations and conflict management, and electronic sourcing.

  • OM 604: Bargaining and Negotiations

    This course is a blend of both experiential learning and theory with the objective of making the student more effective in all types of bargaining. A study of positive theories on how to improve negotiation skills will be combined with analytical models of the game-theoretic structure of bargaining. Through this mix of theories and several case studies and bargaining exercises, students will see both the opportunities for mutual gain (win-win) and the constraints which can lead to inferior outcomes.

  • OM 661: Distribution and Logistics Analysis

    Prescriptive analytics modelling of the efficient distribution of goods and services from points of origin to customers. Topics include strategic decisions, such as aggregate distribution plans and warehouse location, as well as operational decisions, such as the selection of delivery routes and dispatching. Formulation and solution of models to prescribe optimal decisions using exact and heuristic methods. The course involves extensive computer modelling and heuristic design.


Career Paths

Already an in-demand sector, careers focused around analytics are expected to increase. The demand for analytics professional spans industries and sectors, with marketing, consulting, finance and healthcare especially popular. As with analytics, operations and supply chain management careers can span a wide range of industries. Graduates may find themselves involved in internal operations, managing supply chains or consulting in logistics.

Recent Positions

Many UAlberta MBA grads find employment across Canada and internationally. Some firms and organizations that have employed our students include:

  • Deloitte
  • Tenaris
  • City of Edmonton
  • Servus Credit Union
  • Alberta Motor Association

Experiential Learning

Courses

OM 686: Quantitative Management Consulting Project

Student Clubs

MBA Analytics Club

Supply Chain and Operations Management Club