The title of the class I took with this book was called `Decision Models for Managers'. The book covers basic Excel from organizing spreadsheets to sorting, filtering data, and pivot tables. The introduction to modeling covers how to solve problems. The authors have a method where you structure problems by steps which include diagramming. I had a hard time with the method that they describe, it isn't really elegant. And the exercises for these are not very intuitive to solve. While management science requires high level math like linear algebra and third semester calculus, the math in this book is does not go beyond pre-calculus. The math skills that are needed are statistics, and not the advanced kind. If you understand when the p-value is significant, then there you go. This book is almost all about spreadsheets, but sadly, I did not become an Excel power user by studying the book.
A lot of topics are very amenable to spreadsheets-regression, moving average, exponential smoothing, and optimization. For forecasting methods such as moving average, it is intuitive to use =Average(lag 1, lag 2,....), the same goes for exponential smoothing . A hint on exponential smoothing-you will need to find the parameter alpha (and beta if including trend), you can use Excel's solver to find this by minimizing MSE. The way the authors teach is by doing sensitivity analysis and finding it by trial and error. Excel spits out a regression output for you, clickpath: Data-> Data Analysis-> Regression.
For the rest of the topics, you must use the Risk Solver Platform that comes with the book. There is no CD, there is a code in the front flap that is needed to install a trial version along with a code from the instructor. When my class used Risk Solver Platform, there were a lot of bugs. It is also clunky to use for linear and integer optimization, decision analysis, and Monte Carlo simulations. The explanations and walkthrough written in the book is not very helpful and have lots of gaps. It was frustrating to do the exercises because there are steps needed in solving the problems that were left out of the book. I think it is unfair to give problems that cannot be solved by deduction from the material.
I give this book three stars, and I have not found a better alternative. This book is not suitable for self-study and that is a big part of the deduction in stars. I think you could probably do well in a class if you tough it out and ask a lot of questions from your professor. And if you do have to take a class that uses this book, DO THE PROBLEMS EARLY!! You not only have to solve the problem, you will have to debug because it is very rare that you will get it right the first time. I recall in my class when students would raise questions 24 hours to submission before the midterm and it took me a week to get it all right.