Same Ter, a graduate student at Jami’t Alep in Lebanon, needs some help determining his master thesis topic for his information systems and management degree. He posted a discussion in a few of the LinkedIn Business Intelligence groups. He’s received some great feedback, but his idea is rather vague.
So, instead of offering him a blog to digest, we thought we would bring the topic to our insightful audience. Can you help? Post your response in the comments below. Either suggest an idea that is related to his topic or elaborate on some of the feedback he’s already received.
Here is the scope of the thesis straight from Same:
The thesis will include two parts – one focusing on information systems and the second for business management. He is quite interested in the management of data or database management systems.
Read on for a recap of some of the best ideas he’s received so far and our suggestions on narrowing the focus of each.
Suggested Topic No. 1: BI Software Capabilities and Strategic/Competitive Analysis in Real-Time
One LinkedIn user recommended that Same show companies how they can take BI out of the “back office and tactical uses” to grow their businesses by leveraging the “power of BI and analytics to provide the strategic direction that supports sales revenue growth.”
Another LinkedIn commenter suggested that Same study the “cross-organization collaborative culture” that must be in place to take BI to the next level. He says, “BI is a step further in achieving the holistic cross-organizational view. It has the potential to deliver enormous payback, but demands unprecedented collaboration.”
Our take: Same could work with some companies who have developed the “cross-organizational collaborative culture” and some that are still working on it. Then, his thesis could make recommendations for developing this necessary element of BI.
Suggested Topic No. 2: What is an Intelligent Business?
BI’s power is to “get answers to important questions,” says one LinkedIn user. He says that to get questions such as year-over-year sales comparisons and online traffic data conversions answered effectively is the “intelligence” measurement for a company. He also says, “An intelligent business operates based on informed insight.”
Our take: Could Same make a case for self-service BI being the key to an intelligent business?
Suggested Topic No. 3: Could BI Give Businesses a Competitive Edge?
Yet another LinkedIn user suggested a more business-driven topic of “having a clear view of the profitable customers, products and market segments…faster than the competition provides the company a competitive advantage regardless of how small the business is.”
Our take: Could a company benefit more from a social BI platform or do they need a mega deployment to succeed?
Suggested Topic No. 4: BPM Changes for Managers Since the Dawn of BI
One BI developer recommended that Same look at the changes in business processes with the recent advances in BI and how it affects managers. He suggests that “business must drive the initiative.” And he says, “Some managers may have had no exposure to newer technologies and are therefore unsure how BI can help them in their business.”
Our take: This would be an interesting thesis – making the technology business case for managers. Lots of data available on that. Also, it wouldn’t be that hard to gather the interviews for the case study.
Suggested Topic No. 5: How Companies Have Implemented BI to Help Them Grow
The last topic we found related to Same’s request that leaned on the business side of BI was to look at companies such as Amazon and Netflix and study how they “implemented BI to help them grow in this tough market.”
The user suggested that Same study the positive and negatives of BI and how companies are using the analytics to drive customer predictions. One example he gave was when a Netflix user watches an action movie. Netflix feeds the customer suggestions based on the “rating” of that movie.
What are your thoughts? Share your ideas in the comments below.
Spotfire Blogging Team