Management Simulation Tools and Web Development MusingsIn this section, we share a number of ideas, approaches, and our development experiences
THE MOST EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR TEAM-BUILDING TRAINING
Those of us in the business of web application development typically end up gravitating to some form of niche specialty for our most rewarding and profitable applications. For example, some developers may find a particular vertical market to be their forte, e.g.: dental practices, auto dealerships,, colleges, etc.
In my case, I migrated into the web development business after a career in the corporate private sector in analytical disciplines that called for development of strategic simulation models. In some cases, our objective was to provide management with a tool to find optimal solutions to complex, multi-dimensional decisions. In other cases, we were seeking a training tool that facilitated training of a multi-discipline team.
The traditional, commonly-used statistical technique has been regression modeling, or one of its closely-related variations. Also, there is a wide array of more sophisticated methodologies such as neural networks and similar “data mining” algorithms. These more advanced methods are often used for very large data sets by companies who have massive databases, such as retailer scanner data. But for the majority of business applications and more common data set sizes, traditional regression modeling serves well.
The general idea is that analytical business processes typically have many inner-connected moving parts. For example, building an annual marketing plan may involve specialized analytical protocols for marketing budget allocations, product mix decisions, manufacturing and distribution logistics, and financial management implications. Each of these departments may have their own specialized spreadsheet models to do analysis, and the planning process can be overwhelming and dysfunctional if these interdependent components are not easily integrated.
Chapter 2-Wordpress and Google Apps APIs Came to My Rescue
This is the second article in a series about my learning curve in building an online business simulation model in Wordpress. The setup was a new assignment in 2013 to bail out a distressed project for the Department of Defense (Air Force specifically). I got the project through a consultancy attached to The University of Tennessee in Knoxville.