In this data-driven world, companies are often interested in knowing what is the “best” course of action, given the data. For example, manufacturers need to decide how many units of a product to produce given the estimated demand and raw material availability? Should they make all the products in-house or buy some from a third-party to meet the demand? Prescriptive Analytics is the branch of analytics that can provide answers to these questions. It is used for prescribing data-based decisions. The most important method in the prescriptive analytics toolbox is optimization. This course will introduce students to the basic principles of linear optimization for decision-making. Using practical examples, this course teaches how to convert a problem scenario into a mathematical model that can be solved to get the best business outcome. We will learn to identify decision variables, objective function, and constraints of a problem, and use them to formulate and solve an optimization problem using Excel solver and spreadsheet.