Business Analytics as a Tool to Transforming Information into an Informing System: The Case of the On-Line Course Registration System

Dimitar Grozdanov Christozov
InSITE 2017  •  2017  •  pp. 931
[This Proceedings paper was revised and published in Informing Science: the International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline (InfoSci)]

Aim/Purpose: Sharing ideas generated in a Business Intelligence (BI) Applications class to upgrade an Information System in to an Informing System.

Background: Course Registration is the essential university’s business process in a university that follows a liberal-arts education model. Almost all categories of users are involved, including students, individual faculties and departments, and administration. A typical Information System, designed to support this process, allows departments to schedule selected courses for a particular time slot and location, and allows students to choose courses to study for the semester.

Methodology: The course project is to design a BI application. Domain knowledge is essential for such projects and course registration was the natural choice for this class. The assignment includes (1) identifying the categories of stakeholders; (2) identifying the information needs of different categories; (3) identifying available information sources; (4) identifying how is possible to acquire the additional data; and (5) designing the Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) process and interface scenarios in a way to inform clients.

Contribution: Contributions are in two directions: (1) pedagogy - involving students in such a project motivates creativity, also enforcing students to think in cost-benefit framework may lead to creation of really effective and efficient solutions; (2) practice - implementation of some of the ideas could be with low cost, but with high impact.

Findings: Exploring BI techniques may increase the informing value of existing Information Systems.

Recommendations for Practitioners: Careful analysis of information needs and the way information is used, combined with deep domain knowledge and understanding the value provided by Data Mining techniques, is the way to initiate a process of transforming an Retrieval Information System to better inform clients.

Recommendation for Researchers: Combining pedagogy with practice allows one to overcome routine thinking and may lead to effective solutions. This needs further structuring and research on outcomes.

Impact on Society: Transforming Information towards Informing Systems has a significant impact by allowing users to make rational data driven decisions in an efficient way.

Future Research: The future of this project is implementation of developed ideas and assessment of the results.
information systems, informing systems, business intelligence, analytics, course registration
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