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Business Strategy and Analytics Syllabus

Instructor: Anil Doshi

  • Office: Canary Wharf (Office SW6)
  • Email: anil[dot]doshi[at]ucl[dot]ac[dot]uk
  • Office hours: by appointment

Module Details

  • Module ID: MSIN0093 (UCL Moodle)
  • Offered: Fall 2020, Term 1.
  • TAs:
    • Andrew Montandon (a[dot]montandon[at]ucl[dot]ac[dot]uk)
    • Pavlo Ulianiuk
    • Office Hours (CW): by appointment


  1. Attendance. Attendance is critical. If you have extenuating circumstances that are going to keep you out of class, please inform me in advanced as early as possible.

  2. Class decorum. Treat our time in the classroom as you would meeting with the executive team or board of directors of your company. This means listening to and respecting the perspectives of your peers. It also means speaking up and engaging with the discussion.

  3. Class participation. This module depends on the participation of all the students. Active engagement (i.e. actively discussing and listening to your classmates' points) promotes a more lively discussion and debate. It is in the exchange of ideas that new and interesting ways of thinking about the concepts in the module emerge.

With that in mind, speaking and presenting in class is an important part of the learning model. I understand that some people may find public speaking challenging for a variety of reasons. If this is the case, please get in touch with me.

  1. Technology.

    • Phones. Mute/off and placed in bags or packs i.e. far away from your hands
    • Laptops.
      • During discussions/lectures: no laptops (if you have circumstances requiring an exception, please see me)
      • During lab sessions: OK
    • Tablets. Flat on desk with wifi off i.e. use like a notebook
  2. Class Norms. I would like to make explicit some norms that I hope are embraced in the classroom.

    • Arrive to class on time and prepared to contribute
    • Take risks with your ideas
    • Speak in class if you have a question
    • Embrace failure and the iterative nature of learning and discovery
    • And finally, do not wait until you have the perfect comment to raise your hand and speak in class
  3. Guests. Guests are welcome to attend class. Friends, colleagues who are interested in the program, and family are all invited. Please email me the name of your guest before class. At the start of class I will ask you to introduce the guest to your peers and I encourage the class to make our guests feel welcome. I request that you inform your guests to remain as observers during the class.

  4. Food and Drink. In line with the UCL School of Management norms, please refrain from bringing food or drinks (water bottles are OK) into the class.


Assessment is based on two individual assignments (25%+40%) and a team project (35%). Details of the assignments are provided in Moodle. Deadlines are posted in the schedule.

Honor Code

By taking Business Strategy and Analytics at the UCL School of Management, you are agreeing to maintain a high level of professional integrity. For your work, this means citing sources wherever appropriate and producing work that is your own. Cheating, plagiarizing, or misrepresenting one's work are a violation of our classroom's aspirational norms and the university's code of conduct.

Datasets and Data Repositories

If you want to look for an existing dataset for various assignments, I have assembled an list of data sources you can use as an initial point for your search.

I encourage you to explore these data sources. There are many interesting datasets here that will pull your project ideas in different directions (and move you away from the standard Kaggle dataset).

Recommended Books

There are no required books assigned for class. Here is a selection of books to complement what you will see during the term.

  1. Strategy
  • Grant, R. M. (2016). Contemporary Strategy Analysis. UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd. (UCL access)
  • Puranam, P. and B. Vanneste (2016). Corporate Strategy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. (UCL access)
  • Zenger, T. (2016). Beyond Competitive Advantage. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press. (UCL access)
  1. Analytics
  • Cunningham, S. (2018) Causal Inference: The Mixtape.
  • Diez, D. M., C. D. Barr, and M. Cetinkaya-Rundel (2015). OpenIntro Statistics. OpenIntro.
  • Few, S. (2012). Show Me The Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten. Burlingame, CA: Analytics Press.
  • Gábor, B. and G. Kézdi (2021). Data Analysis for Business Economics and Policy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Gertler, Paul J., Sebastian Martinez, Patrick Premand, Laura B. Rawlings, and Christel M. J. Vermeersch (2016). Impact Evaluation in Practice. World Bank Group.
  • Glennerster, Rachel and K. Takavarasha (2013). Running Randomized Evaluations: A Practical Guide. Princeton: Princeton University Press. (UCL access)


A summary of the schedule and assessments is posted below.

Week Strategy Analytics Deadlines
1 Business models Data wrangling
2 External environment Descriptive analytics
3 Inside the firm Surveys Assignment #1 (25%) due Friday 10:00 UK
4 Organizational design Networks
5 Financial performance Regression
6 Entrepreneurial strategy Experiments
7 Platforms Causal modelling Team project (35%) due Friday 10:00 UK
8 Data-based businesses Observational data I
9 Diversification Observational data II
10 The strategy leader Data ethics Assignment #2 (40%) due Friday 10:00 UK

For most weeks, you will be asked to read and prepare a mini-case. Each week, the mini-cases will serve as the basis of our in-class discussion and exercise. Reading the mini-case in advance and considering the exercise before you come to class are a critical part of your preparation.

Week Mini-Case
1 Homegrown—The (Data) Structure of a Business Model
2 Home Depot's Changing Environment
3 School of Management Cohort Survey
4 IdeaWeb—Understanding Workplace Networks
5 Airbus A380—Data-Driven Decision Making... Under Pressure
6 Opinionistas—One Idea, Multiple Strategies
7 LoveMyPet—Causal Modelling of Platform Strategies
8 ProLinked—Estimating the Effect of Recommendations
9 RevCo's Shopper's Club—Acquisition Synergies

Reading List

Please visit the UCL Reading List to see the readings for this module.


Syllabus for Business Strategy and Analytics in Masters of Business Analytics




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