A new research centre sitting at the intersection of business and technology aims to improve the use of "big data" in tackling key challenges faced by companies, governments and communities.
The new Centre for Business Intelligence and Data Analytics (BIDA) at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) will bring together leading researchers from multiple fields - including management, marketing, applied economics, statistics, data analytics and product innovation - to work with public, private and not-for profit organisations on real-world problems.
The centre will use innovative research methods such as choice modelling, which aims to simulate consumer behaviour, and machine learning, a type of artificial intelligence (AI) allowing computers to "learn" from new data rather than having to be explicitly programmed.
BIDA's work will have application in areas as diverse as brand strategies and pricing models, wealth management, tourism and transport planning, and the delivery of health, disability and social services.
“There has been an explosion of data, and it is becoming available in many different forms,” says Professor Ashish Sinha, Associate Dean, Research, at UTS Business School, where the centre is based. "If this data is leveraged properly, it can provide insights into many of the key challenges facing business and government today."
One rough estimate is that the volume of data is doubling every three years, as information pours in from our smartphones and the digital platforms we access, along with technology like wireless sensors in buildings and public places.
The question is how to take full advantage of that data - how best to apply the insights from its analysis within a business or in the public sector, says the centre's Director, Professor John Rose.
"Our aim is to improve business systems and practice by harnessing the growing power of data analytics," Professor Rose says. "Part of that involves bringing together people from a truly diverse range of fields to tackle problems like better understanding barriers to employment or enhancing customer loyalty or optimising supply chains."
Professor Sinha says the centre has a deliberately broad remit and is based in the Business School because of its focus on real-world, business problems. “It will use big data but always in a way that provides insights into business-related problems, in areas such as finance, management and marketing.”
For more information, contact Professor John Rose.