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FIN5003 Decision Support Tools

Semester 2, 2021 Online
Short Description: Decision Support Tools
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Business
Student contribution band : Band 4
ASCED code : 081101 - Banking and Finance
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 17 April 2021


Examiner: Dom Pensiero

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at


Managers receive vast quantities of data, translate it to information, disseminate this within the organisation, analyse it, and interpret the outcomes in order to make informed and balanced decisions. This course is designed to improve the quality of management decision-making by the introduction of relevant statistical, operations research and operations management techniques. These techniques aim to bridge the gap between the theory and practical application of quantitative techniques as decision support tools.


The course aims to enhance the ability of managers to make decisions by formulating real world problems, often featuring ambiguity, in a manner which allows the application of quantitative management tools. The generalised approach of problem formulation, modelling, solution, interpretation and implementation will be addressed. The course will deal with the issues of data reduction, inference testing, forecasting, decision analysis, scheduling, location and layout decisions, Just-In-Time, project management and quality management. Formerly MGT5001.


On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate problem-solving skills in being able to assess, organise, summarise, present and interpret data for decision-making purposes;
  2. apply problem-solving and academic and professional literacy skills on determining the relevant simple regression and correlation coefficients for a data set reflecting a given business situation and interpret the validity of the results obtained models with respect to ethical issues and validity;
  3. select the forecasting tools applicable to a given situation, choose the most relevant, apply, and then assess the validity and limitations of the outcomes through a combination of problem-solving skills, academic and professional literacy and ethical issues;
  4. analyse and apply appropriate confidence interval and hypothesis testing procedures for given data sets using problem-solving skills, and then assess applications to business problems in the context of ethical issues and enquiry;
  5. understand and describe the relevant tools available in establishing and managing a quality management system in the context of academic and professional literacy (eg ISO9001:2000 and ISO14000); apply these tools to the analysis of organisational systems seeking to control quality through problem-solving skills such as construction of p, c , mean and range charts;
  6. understand and describe the importance of project management in a wider academic and professional literacy context, apply project principles to given cases, interpret the outcomes and use problem-solving skills to construct network diagrams, calculate critical paths, ES,EF.LS and LF activity times, apply CPM/PERT methodology to network problems, undertake crashing and probability of project completion times to project management problems;
  7. apply selected qualitative and quantitative managerial tools to linear programming, scheduling, location, layout problems and simulations in academic and professional literacy applications by using a variety of problem-solving skills and tools such as the graphical method of linear programming; Johnsons rule and scheduling rules such as FCFS,SPT,LPT,EDD and CR.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Data reduction 10.00
2. Use of continuous distributions 15.00
3. Regression and correlation 15.00
4. Business forecasting 20.00
5. Selected management decision tools 40.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

FIN5003 Decision Support Tools custom publication 2nd edn - compiled for the University of Southern Queensland by Dom Pensiero, Pearson Australia. This custom publication comprises readings from two texts; Heizer & Render 2011 and Levine et al 2011. Specifically, the custom publication comprises readings from Heizer, J & Render B 2011 global edition, ‘Operations management’, 10th edn., Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey (readings comprise Chapters 3, 6, 15, Supplement 6, Quantitative Module B, Solutions) AND Levine, DM, Berenson, ML, Stephan, D & Kriehbiel, TC 2011 global edition, ‘Statistics for managers using Microsoft Excel’, 6th edn., Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey (readings comprise Chapters 1 - 4, 6 - 9, 13, 16, 19, Appendices A - C and E).
Students should note that the custom publication is ONLY available through the USQ Bookshop. If you choose not to purchase the custom publication, you may subsequently find you cannot purchase the individual texts from your local supplier/bookstore or you may find that you will have to purchase the FULL version of each text rather than the substantially cheaper and smaller customised version. Further, as texts can be released in differing editions in different countries, to avoid confusion, the study material is specifically written to the editions of the texts shown above and which are used in the custom publication. In sum, the custom publication is strongly recommended for all students.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Berenson, ML, Levine, DM, Szabat, KA, O'Brien, M, Jayne, N & Watson, J 2019, Basic business statistics: concepts and applications, 5th edn, Pearson, Melbourne, Victoria.
Heizer, J & Render, B 2020, Operations management: sustainability and supply chain management, 13th edn, Pearson, Boston, Massachusetts.
(Global edition.)
Keller, G 2016, Statistics for management and economics, 10th edn, South-Western Cengage Learning, Belmont, California.
Krajewski, LJ, Ritzman, LP & Malhotra, MK 2019, Operations management: processes and supply chains, 12th edn, Pearson, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
Levine, DM, Stephan, DF & Szabat, KA 2016, Statistics for managers using Microsoft Excel, 8th edn, Pearson Education Limited, Harlow, Essex.
(Global edition.)

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 52.00
Independent Study 113.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
QUIZ 1 10 10 11 Aug 2021 (see note 1)
QUIZ 2 20 20 14 Sep 2021 (see note 2)
REPORT 10 10 06 Oct 2021 (see note 3)
EXAMINATION 60 60 End S2 (see note 4)

  1. Quiz 1 and Quiz 2 will be available to download from the Study Desk approximately three to four weeks prior to the due date. Students can download the Quiz assessment as many times as they wish as each Quiz is uniquely linked to your student ID. However, students can only submit their Quiz assessment once (on or before the due date). See detailed instructions in your study material.
  2. Quiz 1 and Quiz 2 will be available to download from the Study Desk approximately three to four weeks prior to the due date. Students can download the Quiz assessment as many times as they wish as each Quiz is uniquely linked to your student ID. However, students can only submit their Quiz assessment once (on or before the due date). See detailed instructions in your study material.
  3. A short written report to test students ability to communicate clearly and concisely in presenting relevant knowledge and ideas in the field of operations management applications.
  4. This will be an open examination. The total working time for the examination is 2 hours. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the official examination timetable has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Online: There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

    On-campus: It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the end of semester examination by achieving at least 40% of the weighted marks available for that assessment item.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    This will be an open examination. Candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments:
    Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at

Date printed 17 April 2021