Business Decision support system—  BUS215.01

FALL 2011 

Room: VH 216

Dr. Chih-Yang Tsai

Office:  VH 302

Phone:  257-2934


Office Hours

Monday 9:30 – 10:30 AM

Thursday 9:30- 10:30 AM

Other time by appointment. I am available most of time.


Course Description

Introduction to computer-based business decision support systems, emphasizing specific mathematical and database models widely employed in business. Development of research skills required to reach decisions and convey them to others. 


Student Learning Objectives  (and Bloom's Taxonomy classification)

  1. Arrange data for storage and further analysis in computerized Decision Support Systems.  (Knowledge Level, 1st level)  Examples: layout data in rows and columns for a forecasting model in Excel; design Access tables for data storage, 
  2. Identify appropriate data to support decision processes. (Comprehension, 2nd level)  Examples: search information from the internet or library databases; retrieve historical sales data from Access databases.
  3. Express business decision problems using Excel/Access languages.  (Comprehension, 2nd level) Examples: Apply proper Excel functions to produce sales forecasts; Create one-to-many relatiionships based on business rules.
  4. Interpret the output obtained from Decision Support Systems.  (Application, 3rd level) Example: Answer What-If questions under different scenarios; Justitify conclusions according to analytical results.

Program Goal(s) Supported

UDG Goal Critical Thinking Oral Communication Written Communication Teamwork Ethics
Major V        




Required Text & Other Materials

Exploring Microsoft Office 2010 Plus Edition (Exploring) (Spiral-bound) bundled with myitlab access code

                by Robert T. Grauer, Michelle Hulett, Cynthia Krebs, Maurie Lockley, Judy Scheeren 

                Publisher: Pearson

              * myitlab is an online training and assessment program.  Once you obtain the access, you will sign up to the template I built for the course.

This is a bundeled edition where an myitlab access code comes with the printed textbook at a slightly lower price.  [Pearson's web site listed it at $180.]

However, there are a few other options since our bookstore did not order the bundled version.  And I found the bundled version doesn't really save students much.
  1. Buy the textbook and myitlab separately: (1) Buy the printed copy of the textbook from the campus bookstore without the myitlab access at $103.50.  [bookstore web site: and click "The Bookstore" (it is run by].  Or buy a used version or from other sources for a lesser price.  (2) Then purchased the myitlab access either from the bookstore or myitlab web site.
  2. Buy an e-textbook with myitlab access from myitlab site myitlab for Exploring Microsoft Office 2010 (with eText): $110
  3. If you think you have decent knowledge in Excel and Access, you can purchase only the myitlab access: myitlab for Exploring Microsoft Office 2010 (no eText): $80.  The bookstore will also sell the myitlab access but I don't know the price yet.

Myitlab site is located at

You need to register as a new user and then provide your access code to reach my course site with my session ID, CRSABAD-67433.  I will release course ID later.
Under "New User",
there is a link  under "Don't have an access code?" which leads you to the online order site listed earlier.



5%  - Attendance & Participation 

20% - Assignments and Quizes

75% - From three examinations includig the final examination.  The highest scored exam is accounted for 35% and the remaining two exams are accounted for 20% apiece.

Dates to keep in mind

First class: August 25,, 2011; Last class: December 9, 2011

Last day to withdraw from this class:  Novenber 4 (Fri)

No class(es) on: Sep. 5 (Labor day), Sep. 29 (Rosh Hashanah), Oct. 10 (Columbus Day) class moved to Oct. 11, Nov. 24 (Thanksgiving break)

Exam 1: Monday Oct. 6 (the 11th class meeting)

Exam 2: Thursday Nov. 3 (the 19th class meeting)

Final exam:  Monday, Dec. 19, 8:00 - 10:00 a.m.



Treat this class as you would for your job:  prepare by reading the text and doing assigned homework.  Arrive promptly and remain in the classroom for the duration of the class period.  Please do not exit and reenter the room during class time, except in an emergency situation; turn off your pager or cell phone during class.  Be proactive:  if you are having a problem with the material being covered, seek help right away.  [Office Hours: see the top of the page]


Policies  (applicable rules will be relaxed for students with documented health or personal problems)

Textbooks:  Not having textbooks or delay of purchasing the textbooks may significantly damange the chance of successful completion of the course.  It is student's responsiblity to obtain the textbooks in the first week of the semester. 

Make-up exams:  A student who is unable to take an examination at the scheduled time for a legitimate reason must contact the professor prior to the examination to make an alternative arrangement for completing it.  If there is an unexpected emergency situation, the student should contact the professor as soon as possible and provide documentation to justify the situation.

Absences and tardiness:  students who are absent from class should consult Blackboard to view the notes and homework assignments.   Absence beyond three class meetings or repeated tardiness will cost a student's attendance points. 

Assignments submitted after the deadline:  Late submissions without legitimate reasons will not be accepted .

Cheating and plagiarism:  students are expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty in their college work. Cheating, forgery, and plagiarism are serious offenses, and students that engage in any form of academic dishonesty will be subject to disciplinary action. The School of Business Ethics Statement and Policy Regarding Unethical or Dishonest Behavior are appended, and can be viewed online at: and


Tentative Schedule

Excel (Week 1 – Week 8)
Chapter 1: Introduction to Excel: 
Chapter 2: Formulas and Functions
Chapter 3: Charts
Chapter 5: Data to Information
Chapter 6: Data Tables and Amortization Tables
Chapter 7: Data Consolidation, Links, and Formula Auditing

Case Studies: Data Analysis & Decision Making

Access (Week 9– Week 13)
Chapter 1: Introduction to Access
Chapter 2: Relational Databases and Multi-Table Queries
Chapter 3: Customize, Analyze, and Summarize Query Data
Chapter 4: Create, Edit, and Perform Calculations in Reports
Chapter 5: PivotTables and PivotCharts
Chapter 6: Data Protection

Case Studies: Extracting and Analyzing data.

Powerpoint Presentation (Week 14)

* You will use myitlab to review basic Excel and Access skills.

SUNY New Paltz School of Business : Ethics Statement

School of Business students are expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty in their college work. Cheating, forgery, and plagiarism are serious offenses, and students that engage in any form of academic dishonesty will be subject to disciplinary action.  While we prefer to adhere to a code of honor in the School of Business, due to national trends in cheating, forgery, and plagiarism, we are instituting this policy within the school.  Any student found cheating, committing forgery, or plagiarizing may suffer serious consequences ranging from failing a specific piece of work to failing the course.  In some cases, a student may be expelled from the School of Business and the college.

Your business education includes learning ethics and values.  We trust that you have the basic foundation upon which we can build.  You will be judged by your character as well as by your knowledge and skills since the business world increasingly demands ethical behavior of its employees.  Honesty remains an admirable quality.

Cheating is defined as giving or obtaining information by improper means in meeting any academic requirements or in other aspects of your professional conducts. The use for academic credit of the same work in more than one course without knowledge or consent of the instructor(s) is a form of cheating and is a serious violation of academic integrity.

Forgery is defined as the alteration of forms, documents, or records, or the signing of such forms or documents by someone other than the proper designee.

Plagiarism is the representation, intentional or unintentional, of another’s words or ideas as one's own.  When using another person's words in a paper, students must place them within quotation marks or clearly set them off in the text with appropriate citation. When students use another’s ideas, they must clearly identify the source of the ideas. Plagiarism is a violation of the rights of the plagiarized author and of the implied assurance by the students that when they submit academic work it is their own work product.  If students have any issues with respect to the definition of plagiarism, it is their responsibility to clarify the matter by conferring with the instructor.

Cases requiring disciplinary and/or grade appeal action will be adjudicated in accordance with Procedures for Resolving Academic Integrity Cases, a copy of which is available in the office of the Vice President for Students Affairs, the office of the Provost for Academic Affairs, and in the academic Deans' offices.

We, the members of the SUNY New Paltz School of Business community, are committed to practicing the highest standards of ethical behavior and demonstrating integrity in all we do.  We practice these standards and expect them to be demonstrated by others not only in our business dealings, but in all our relationships.  Ours is a culture of integrity.   For us, ethical behavior means adhering to certain standards in both public and private.

School of Business : Policy Regarding Unethical or Dishonest Behavior

The school maintains a system (including software and web-based resources), by which students are well informed, educated and required to acknowledge by electronic signatures, the ethics, honesty and integrity standards of the School of Business, and the consequences of violating those standards.

Instructors who identify any violators should report the incident to the Dean’s office for disciplinary action. The following procedure is followed by the dean’s office for handling such incidents.


The involved students may request an appeal through Academic Appeal Committee (undergraduate) or Graduate Council (graduate students).

First time offenders receive a failing grade for the course, which can only be changed based on a favorable outcome of the appeals process, if applicable. The dean’s office keeps a list of first time offenders. The offenders are also required to recertify their understanding of our ethics, honesty and integrity standards.

A second time undergraduate offender will be referred for possible dismissal to the Office of Student Affairs. A second time graduate student offender will be dismissed from the Master's degree program in which he or she is matriculated, subject to review by the Graduate Council.

Note: Once a student completes the training program, he/she shall be treated equally regardless of their previous educational experience and cultural norms. Instructors are encouraged to remind students of our ethics, honesty and integrity standards at the beginning of each course.