Deriving Business Value from Data Science

Overview and aims

The digital revolution has made data easy to digitally capture and inexpensive to store. The rate at which data is being stored is growing at a phenomenal rate with databases typically doubling in size every 20 months. As a result, businesses are increasingly able to collect data about various aspects of their operation, customers, suppliers and competitors with the hope of finding useful information with which to enhance their business and understand the importance of data science for businesses. However, businesses have simply found themselves data rich yet information poor with a study by IBM showing that one third of business leaders do not trust their data, and poor data quality costs the US economy $3.1 trillion per year.

This module therefore moves you beyond the hype of big data and introduces you to a number of methods and techniques that enable businesses to identify the most strategically important data. You explore how businesses can align their processes, skills sets, and culture to leverage the data to answer strategically important questions and thus link big data to innovation and move into the data science realm.

In addition, a number of key challenges faced by companies exploiting big data are raised, such as those surrounding ethics, privacy and security.

Module content

The module content is designed to develop and structure your understanding of how businesses can derive innovation and thus value from large volumes of data, and is organised as follows:

  • The disruption of big data
    • Emergence of big data
    • Lifecycle of knowledge discovery in databases (KDD)
    • Business roles, processes and technologies involved
    • Opportunities and challenges of big data
  • Growing culture and capability
    • Cultural imperative for functional innovation and revolutionary disruption
    • The intelligent enterprise
  • Deriving business value
    • Organisational and operational design for leveraging big data
    • Innovating with dynamic value
    • Planning ahead with vision, opportunities and responsibilities
    • Marr’s SMART strategy and dashboard
  • Social, legal and ethical issues
    • Quality and security of data
    • Ethics of big data

Learning outcomes

After studying this module you should be able to:

  • critically evaluate the impact of big data and data science associated technologies on business, government and society in both local and global contexts
  • demonstrate a critical understanding of the cultural and operational barriers to deriving innovation and business value from big data
  • investigate the use of methods and tools that enable organisations to identify and secure strategically important data
  • critically appraise the social, legal and ethical issues associated with big data systems

This module will help you gain the skills and qualities to:

  • apply balanced scorecard or similar tools to identify strategically important data taking into account costs, benefits, risks and relevant business goals
  • communicate strategic change proposals professionally, as suited to your identified audience

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