CIS 3367: Sample Course Syllabus

Title Spreadsheet Applications in Business
Description This course is designed for students who will need to construct or use powerful spreadsheets. Its main purpose is to develop proficiency in quantitative modeling to support effective managerial decision-making. This course is mostly project-oriented with a dual focus on spreadsheet engineering and quantitative modelingof financial applications.The goal of spreadsheet engineering is to develop spreadsheets that clearly present information, and that can easily be understood and modified by others. This goal will be accomplished through a series of lectures, tutorials and hands-on exercises covering principles of good spreadsheet design. Specific topics include documentation and commenting of spreadsheets, appropriate use of graphical elements, prevention and correction of spreadsheet errors, facilitating change, and preventing inappropriate change (through data validation and cell and worksheet protection). The second component of this course covers quantitative modeling in framing and analyzing problems in the area of corporate finance. The goal will be to develop spreadsheet models to solve specific financial problems, in order to reach reasonable and justifiable decisions. Several classic quantitative models will be developed and discussed. A set of lectures will introduce and review the fundamental quantitative tools including forecasting, sensitivity analysis, and data analysis using pivot tables. These models will be developed in lab exercises and/or homework assignments.

The course involves a hands-on, in-class learning experience in modeling and analyzing a variety of business decision problems on a common spreadsheet platform. It should, therefore, enhance the students’ problem-solving capabilities as well as spreadsheet skills.

Prerequisites CIS 2200 (or equivalent)
Learning Goals Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Use spreadsheets using an appropriate tool to solve business problems
  • Appropriately format data in spreadsheets
  • Utilize appropriate formulas, functions, charts, macros and external data to address business dilemmas
  • Resolve business problems using Pivot Tables, Solver and Visual Basic advanced Excel features
BBA learning goals addressed:
  • Analytical and Technological skills
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Ethical decision-making
  • Business knowledge integration
  • Class Attendance and Participation                       5%
  • Projects, Quizzes and Homework Submissions      45%
  • Midterm Examination                                          20%
  • Final Examination                                               30%
Textbooks Parsons, Oja, Ageloff, Carey (2006). New Perspectives on Microsoft Office Excel 2003, Comprehensive, Second Edition.Cambridge,MA: Course Technology Inc. ISBN # 0-619-26815-8.
  • Course Introduction – Modeling with Spreadsheets
  • Excel Review I: Managing Data and organizing spreadsheets
  • Working with Formulas and Functions. Absolute and Relative Addresses
  • Excel Review II: Developing professional worksheets and charts
  • Financial Functions: Time Value of Money: Single Cash Flow and Annuity (PV, FV); Net Present Value and Loan Amortization (NPV, PMT)
  • List Manipulation;
  • Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts
  • Date Functions and Logical Functions (IF, SUMIF, COUNTIF)
  • Introduction to Macros and Visual Basic
  • More Financial Functions. Project Analysis. Spin Boxes.
  • Look-up Functions (VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP)
  • *** Midterm Exam ***
  • Working with Multiple Worksheets, 3-D References,
  • Using Templates.
  • Auditing and Editing Spreadsheets and Web Tools
  • Adding Comments, Sharing Workbooks and Tracking Changes
  • Excel: Building an application; data validation, cell protection
  • Financial Applications: Break-Even Analysis
  • Excel: Data Tables and Scenario Management
  • Financial Applications: Sales Forecasting with Scenarios
  • Excel: Using Goal-Seek and Solver
  • Applications: Optimization Problems
  • Excel: Importing Data into Excel
  • Financial Applications: Tracking your Stock Portfolio
  • Macros, Buttons and Form Controls
  • Enhancing Excel with Visual Basic
  • *** Final Exam ***