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Sample Final Project When Using Introduction to Business Analytics, 2024 Release

A final project is a way for the students to put together everything they’ve learned during the semester.  (Project ideas and specifications are in Chapter 12 in Introduction to Business Analytics). 

I work with the students all semester to carefully specify a research question, form a hypothesis, and find real data to test their hypothesis.  The key is to find a topic/question they want to learn about and are passionate about (it doesn’t have to be about business!).  My wife and I have raised 12 children – the only way to get them to practice piano is if they love what they’re playing.  We know if this generation is passionate about something, it will happen, and if not, well it is a “fight” the whole way through to get their work done. 

After some trial and error, I finally decided that a hands-on course should emphasize a final project, which was even more important than a final exam. So, we have three midterm exams and finish formal class 2-3 weeks before the end of the semester so that they can put all their learning together into a project they are passionate about.  So, in the last few class sessions, I serve as a consultant. 

I provide students with a rubric for their final project that sets the expectations of what needs to be done across 8-10 categories, using the SOAR model as the foundation.  This allows them a frame for their work and allows them to ask me for specific suggestions on what could/should be done.   

Here’s what the students said about my class: 

  • (Student Testimonial) The structure of Professor Richardson's class was amazing. I loved how interactive it was with the projects since it made me not only learn the material but how to analyze and manipulate data as well as transform it into various visual. 

  • (Student Testimonial) I feel as if Mr. Richardson did a great job at explaining all the prerequisites necessary for our final project in which we are to implement just about everything we've learned throughout the year. In doing this, I feel as if I am getting a more "hands on" experience in that I am actually analyzing the data myself versus taking a multiple question exam which we've had two of. 

About the Author

Vernon J. Richardson is a Distinguished Professor of Accounting and the G. William Glezen Chair in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and a visiting professor at Baruch College. He received his BS. Master’s of Accountancy, and MBA from Brigham Young University and a PhD in accounting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has taught students at the University of Arkansas, University of Illinois, Brigham Young University, and University of Kansas and internationally at Chinese University of Hong Kong Shenzhen, Aarhus University, the China Europe International Business School (Shanghai), Xi'an Jiaotong Liverpool University, and the University of Technology Sydney. Dr. Richardson is a member of the American Accounting Association. He has served as president of the American Accounting Association Information Systems section. He previously served as an editor of The Accounting Review and is currently an editor at Accounting Horizons. He has published articles in The Accounting Review, Journal of Information Systems, Journal of Accounting and Economics, Contemporary Accounting Research, MIS Quarterly, International Journal of Accounting Information Systems, Journal of Management Information Systems, Journal of Operations Management, and Journal of Marketing. Dr. Richardson is also a co-author of McGraw-Hill’s Introduction to Data Analytics for Accounting, Data Analytics for Accounting, and Introduction to Business Analytics textbooks.

Profile Photo of Vern Richardson