Retail and Supplier Education


VA Approved Program

AR Workforce Approved Program


Certified Retail Analyst Program

 Course Descriptions


Prerequisite CLASSES*

English Comp 1 & College Algebra
(Proof of Completion:  Transcript, Compass Test, CLEP Test)

CRA Introduction to Microsoft Office 2010
Students will learn the most important topics of Microsoft Office 2010.  Students will become familiar with the Windows 7 operating system, file management, the basics of browsers and e-mail, and Microsoft Word, Power Point, Excel and Access through the use of tutorials for hands on learning and assignments that will enable students to expand on what they have learned.

Advanced Excel and Access for Retail
Students will develop a fundamental understanding of Excel through creating, revising and using spreadsheets to perform basic retail analysis.  Students will also gain an understanding of Microsoft Access through creating, revising and utilizing Access databases using retail data.  While the emphasis of this course will be on developing expertise in these tools, the data and learning environment is set to also familiarize students with problems that face retailers and suppliers.  Because of this unique learning environment the student will gain experience using Excel and Access to develop solutions specific to retail.

*Any student that has not completed any of the above prerequisites has an option to "test out".


Core Program Course Descriptions

Students will gain foundational knowledge regarding the retail industry as a whole.  Students will also become familiar with what the job functions are for various jobs offered relating to analytics, including what a day in the life looks like when working with suppliers and Walmart.  An overview of Retail Link and how it is utilized will be provided.  Students will learn how to build their personal brand, networking, resume writing, building a portfolio, preparing for the interviewing process as well as how to communicate effectively in a professional environment.

Students will navigate, comprehend and leverage Wal-Mart's Retail Link system to solve relevant business problems.  Students will solve retail formulas using Excel, design weekly report templates, and pull Retail Link data in multiple orientations.

Students will learn a broad overview of supply chain fundamentals, terminology and replenishment concepts as well as Retail Link applications including CPFR, Scorecards, and MABD applications.  Students will be required to start compiling a program portfolio in this class and will continue to maintain the portfolio throughout the entire program.

Students will integrate MS Access and MS Excel to create and maintain a retail database and automate spreadsheets using recorded Excel macros and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) Macros.

Students will expand upon baseline analytical techniques taught in the first three classes and learn additional facets of analysis: consumer insights, supply chain, pricing and demand elasticity, competitive environment, store tests, and investment analysis.  Students will develop skills to present analysis clearly and effectively.

(CAPSTONE COURSE) Students will learn to integrate Excel and Access skills enabling them to create a database that will perform weekly Retail Link POS item, category and investment analysis.  Students will be provided with real life scenarios that will be utilized to help prepare students for a job either at Walmart or in the supplier community by training them to analyze large amounts of data, understand brand and/or category item drivers, identify regional and seasonal consumer influences and outside data sources that drive item velocity and present/defend strategic fact-based discoveries to affect category, unit sales, gross margin, and GMROI.  Knowing the business and an overview of modular planning are also incorporated.


Students may have the opportunity to participate in an optional internship with a Consumer Goods Packaging company in Northwest Arkansas.  Internships are NOT guaranteed and are based upon availability, may be paid or unpaid and no class credit is given for internships.  If internships are available, the information will be sent to the students in Class 5; Retail Analytical Techniques.  Applying for the internship and all other details will be handled between the employer and the intern with no interference from NWACC.

For any any questions, please refer to the Frequently Asked Question page or send them to