Everything Academic | Harvard Business School Online: Quantitative Methods


A comprehensive online introduction to quantitative analysis for business originally designed for incoming MBA students at Harvard Business School. The module is presented as if you are a consultant to a multifaceted resort hotel business. A total of 8 units are covered:

Unit 1: Overview and Introduction
Unit 2: Data Description
Unit 3: Sampling and Estimation
Unit 4: Hypothesis Testing
Unit 5: Regression Basics
Unit 6: Multiple Regression
Unit 7: Decision Analysis I
Unit 8: Decision Analysis II

The first four Units provide the basic foundational concepts and techniques that are essential pre-requisites for the 3-week intensive course - INSC 60010 - that you will be taking at the start of the fall semester. Units 1 and 2 cover the basics of Descriptive Statistics.  Units 3 and 4 cover the basics of sample-based statistical inference. The next two units, 5 and 6, provide a managerial overview of regression analysis.  In INSC 60010, regression analysis will be explored rigorously in greater depth at a graduate level. The last two units, Units 7 and 8, provide an introduction to basic decision analysis. Although this topic will not be further explored in INSC 60010 course, it is important that you are familiar with the techniques of decision analysis. These techniques will be useful for managerial decision-making in a variety of courses such as marketing and operations.

Estimated Time to Complete
The amount of time taken to complete the course is heavily dependent upon your previous exposure to the material. Students who have studied most of the concepts previously report that it took them about 20 hours to review the material and check their comprehension by completing the course exercises. Those with little or no exposure to the concepts report that the course took 40 to 50 hours (or more) to go through the material carefully, learn the concepts, and to complete all of the exercises (including practicing the use of Excel for quantitative analysis). You can stop at any point and return later to the point where you left off.

To register for the Quantitative Methods Course:
NOTE: Please be sure to turn off any pop-up blockers because the eLearning programs launch in a new window.
Copy and paste this address into your browser: http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cbmp/access/77866271
Click on “Register Now”
Fill out the required information. Click “Register”
You will be enrolled in the Quantitative Methods Module

To access the Quantitative Methods Module after registration:
After you have completed the registration process you will use
to access the module. Copy and paste this address into your browser. Click Login Now. Enter your username and password in the indicated boxes and click “Log In.” Click “Run Online Course.”

If you experience technical difficulty, you can contact Tech Help: 1-800-810-8858 or techhelp@hbsp.harvard.edu  

If you have any academic or subject matter related questions, you may contact Dr. Ranga Ramasesh at TCU to provide help: r.ramasesh@tcu.edu

There are help functions (glossary, frequently asked questions, etc.) built into the software that should provide answers to most questions and directions on use.

Assessment Examinations
The course includes three comprehensive multiple-choice examinations, which are accessible through the Assessment Tests icon. Each exam offers comprehensive coverage of the topics in the course. These exams will be used to assess your understanding of the material covered in the course.

Each of the three exams has four sections. Listed below are the topics covered by each section of the exams and the corresponding questions for each section for each of the three exams:

Post-Test 1
Post-Test 2
1 Unit 2
Unit 3
(Sections 1-2)
1-10 1-10 1-10
2 Unit 3
(Sections 3-6)
Unit 4
11-23 11-22 11-22
3 Units 5 and 6 24-35 23-36 23-35
4 Units 7 and 8 36-43 37-44 36-43

On the Assessment Tests screen you will find a FAQ link that brings up relevant information on the tests. All of the resources of the course are available at any time during the test. Thus, the exams are “open-book” in the sense that you have access to all course materials and resources while taking the exam. In addition, you can open an Excel workbook, statistical software, or calculator at any time during the test to do additional computations.

You can work through all the material and then take an exam or you can work on each exam section separately and complete the questions for that section before moving on to the next section if you prefer. The sooner you get started the better. For full-time students, this module should be completed prior to START Workshop. Also, be sure to allow time in case you do not pass an exam on the first try and have to take another exam.

Successful Completion of the Course
You can successfully complete this online course by receiving a passing score on at least one of the two post-assessment tests. A passing score is a score of at least 60% on each of the four sections of the tests.

You should first complete the course, then take Post-Assessment Test 1. After completing the last question on a test, your test results appear immediately on the screen. If you do not pass Post-Assessment Test 1, use the report from that test to guide your review of the course. Review explanatory clips, Kahana clips and the exercises in the units of the course for which you had trouble on the exam. When you are confident of your understanding of the materials, take Post-Assessment Test 2. If you do not pass Post-Assessment Test 2, study the course content carefully and then take the Pre-Test. If you do not pass this test, contact Dr. Ramasesh for further advise.

Minimum Technical Requirements

  • Computer with minimum 1024x768 screen resolution
  • High speed internet connection (DSL / cable modem quality)
  • Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7/Macintosh OS 10.x operating system
  • Internet Explorer 6+ / Firefox 3.0+ web browser with javascript and cookies enabled
  •  Microsoft Excel 2003+ (optional but several courses and simulations allow students to export data/files for manipulation in Excel)
  • Flash Player 9+ browser plug-in (Check for Flash version here)
  • Special notes: Known issues with Chrome browser. Safari browser compatibility not fully confirmed - Macintosh users are encouraged to use Firefox 3.0 browser.
  • To check whether the Data Analysis Toolpak is installed in Excel, go to the Tools menu in Excel.  If "Data Analysis" appears in the Tools menu, the Toolpak has already been installed.  If not, select "Add-ins," then select "Analysis Toolpak," and click "Ok".  If the Toolpak is installed, "Data Analysis" will now appear in the Tools menu. 
  • To check whether the Data Analysis Toolpak is installed in Excel 2013, select the data tab and see if Data Analysis is listed in the Analysis box. If not, click on the File Button, click Excel Options, click Add-Ins, click Analysis Tool-Pak and then click Go. Check the Analysis Tool-Pak box on the menu and click OK.
  • If the Toolpak is not installed on your computer, Excel will walk you through an installation process that requires a Microsoft Office Installation CD.  The Toolpak must be installed from a CD or disk and cannot be downloaded online.