Business analysts need to be able to prescribe optimal solution to problems. But analytics courses are often focused on training students in data analysis and visualization, not so much in helping them figure out how to take the available data and pair that with the right mathematical model to formulate a solution. This course is designed to connect data and models to real world decision-making scenarios in manufacturing, supply chain, finance, human resource management, etc. In particular, we understand how linear optimization - a prescriptive analytics method - can be used to formulate decision problems and provide data-based optimal solutions. Throughout this course we will work on applied problems in different industries, such as: (a) Finance Decisions: How should an investment manager create an optimal portfolio that maximizes net returns while not taking too much risks across various investments? (b) Production Decisions: Given projected demand, supply of raw materials, and transportation costs, what would be the optimal volume of products to manufacture at different plant locations? (c) HR Decisions: How many workers need to be hired or terminated over a planning horizon to minimize cost while meeting operational needs of a company? (c) Manufacturing: What would be the profit maximizing product mix that should be produced, given the raw material availability and customer demand? We will learn how to formulate these problems as mathematical models and solve them using Excel spreadsheet.