This mini-site for high school students provides Wharton School-powered videos, readings, and activities to inspire deep thought and discussion around global business issues.


he latest focus of our Explore Business learning materials for high school students is Analytics 

The strategic use of data is transforming business, powered by the machine learning and models that carry out the analysis. Data is a mighty tool that companies large and small are using to make deeper, stronger, more effective decisions with the goal of improving everything from products and innovation, to relationships with customers. With better analytics, which is the analysis of that data to identify patterns, business leaders can discover new insights and draw sharper conclusions.  

High school students need to understand the impact of analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning and how they are altering the approach to problem-solving in every industry.  

This mini-site kicks off Wharton Global Youth’s translation of these cutting-edge analytics concepts for the high school classroom, with the first conversation of the Wharton School’s 2022 Beyond Business Series.  It is an extensive exploration of the Analytics of Finance. More than ever, data is influencing decision making in the field of finance. Whether it’s using machine learning to inform investment banking practices or algorithms to detect white collar crime, analytics is shaping finance in new and nuanced ways.  

In this discussion, Erika James, Dean of the Wharton School, leads a panel of experts to discuss how the financial landscape is evolving with analytics, and what obstacles and opportunities to expect. Dean James is joined in the discussion by Michael Roberts, a Wharton professor of finance, and Daniel Taylor, a Wharton professor of accounting and director of the Wharton Forensic Analytics Lab 

The activities on this page connect to the Analytics of Finance discussion and provide opportunities for high school students to Explore Business. The linked worksheets will help direct students’ exploration of the shorter video segments, with guided questions and defined vocabulary. We encourage students to enjoy discovering new business insights – and contributing their own ideas to this important conversation.  

With our faculty leading trailblazing research and students putting classroom learnings to the test, analytics – and particularly [its] application to solving real-world challenges – is incredibly important to Wharton.

— Wharton Dean Erika James

The Full Discussion:
The Analytics of Finance

Explore the Main Video Themes with These Shorter Segments

1. How Data Analytics Fits with Finance

Following a brief introduction to the Analytics of Finance theme, Wharton professors Michael Roberts and Daniel Taylor discuss the connection between analytics and finance and how the field of analytics is shaping finance in new ways, from capital markets to white collar crime.  

2. Does Analytics Challenge Financial Fairness & Equity?

We don’t all understand algorithms and machine learning. Does that give those who do a financial edge? The panelists address fairness and equity in analytics; bridging the gaps; and striking a balance between human and machine.  

3. Risks, Regulators and Data Privacy 

While more sophisticated data analytics are leading to better financial decisions, technological innovation also introduces new and unexpected challenges. Dr. Michael Roberts and Dr. Daniel Taylor talk about the issues emerging in their specific fields, as well as building guardrails and tripwires to protect businesses, investors and consumers. 

4. The FTX Scandal as a Case Study for Analytics Due Diligence

FTX, a large cryptocurrency exchange, suddenly collapsed in November 2022 around allegations of financial fraud. Professor Dan Taylor, director of the Wharton Forensic Analytics Lab, examines the case and advocates for stronger enforcement.  

5. Analytics and ESG

The panel explores how today’s scrutiny on companies’ commitment to ESG, or Environmental, Social & Governance factors, will benefit from data analytics-driven measuring, monitoring and transparency. 

6. Looking Ahead: Technology Diffusion and Blockchain

Dr. Michael Roberts envisions an analytics-informed financial landscape in 10 years and how it might look different, including increased acceptance of blockchain technology for financial transactions.   

7. Careers in Financial Analytics 

Both experts agree that people starting in analytics should think about how best to use their knowledge in programming, statistics and finance to become effective data translators.  

For Teachers and Students

The Teacher Guide is a resource to help educators understand the purpose of the Explore Business series of mini-sites on Analytics and to provide guidance for using the videos and worksheets on this page with your students.

The Choice Board allows students to select individual projects and activities that help them reflect on Explore Business themes and apply them to their own experiences. The student activity choices are meant to support in-person and remote classroom learning.

Explore Business with Wharton Global Youth

Our Explore Business mini-sites are gateways to conversations, readings and activities that inspire high school students to think more deeply about issues affecting business and society. Dig into these Wharton-powered learning opportunities wherever and whenever you want to explore timely and compelling topics.