BSN450 Business Intelligence - Assessment 2 - Business Report

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In Brief

As a team, you are required to undertake a detailed analysis of an organisation situated in a multi-disciplinary rich case study. The team will analyse and synthesise relevant data to deliver valuable insights on the future organisation direction. In this exercise, the team is encouraged to utilise frameworks introduced in the unit as well as apply those from different Business disciplines to propose an overall set of recommendations. The team is required to write-up and submit the analysis in the form of a professional report, which employs digital visualisation techniques to help construct an argumentative narrative.

Task Description

The Organisations and their Missions

Each semester a different real-world organisation is selected for analysis. Some broad information about this organisation and its mission is made available on Canvas and so this is a great starting point to get to know the organisation. From here it is encouraged that your team seeks further, complementary information about the organisation from its direct website or other sources.

The Overarching Task for the BSN450 Teams

To complete this Assessment, teams are encouraged to engage in role-play, and consider themselves as consulting firms recruited by the organisation to conduct a pro bono case analysis of the social enterprise. As a consulting firm, your overarching task is to:

  • understand the value proposition the organisation aims to deliver, and the customer segments it targets with this value proposition
  • understand how the organisation has been delivering its value proposition, hitherto (i.e. its key activities, key resources, key partners, customer relationships, channels, cost structures, and revenue streams)
  • analyse how the organisation has been performing as a result of its implemented business model (as measured by various metrics related to its product/service as well as internal processes – provided by the case organisation in the form of a dataset)
  • tell a compelling story (i.e. story-telling) through impacting visualisations of data (noting the centrality of data visualisation in communication and strategy formulation)
  • provide recommendations of a more effective data-led strategy and overall business model to the case organisation based on data analysis and visualisation, including strategies to overcome existing challenges to becoming evidence-based

The basic task for each team is to analyse the datasets provided by the organisation, and report on emergent findings, in accordance with the organisation’s problem or opportunity statement (see Blackboard). To complete this task, teams will work with Tableau to visualise the data provided by the organisation, and use visualisations to draw findings and conclusions.

A ‘How To’ Guide to Completing the Task

To undertake this task it is recommended that your team starts with a firm understanding of the organisation and its business model. This fundamental understanding will help you in identifying the reasons why the data are so important for the organisation and its value proposition delivery. It is recommended that your team employs different conceptual tools, such as the Business Model Canvas, to plot the core components of the organisation’s existing business model.

Having become familiar with the organisation, the next step is for your team to become familiar with the specific aims of the organisation in relation to the dataset provided. In other words, before commencing work with the data, it is imperative that you understand the ‘problem or opportunity statement’ defined by the organisation. Please note that many organisations, no matter their tenure in the industry, may not have a clear view of the intelligence they ought to capture. Path dependence, bounded rationality, and other factors can easily lock organisations into a particular mode of operation and knowledge-seeking behaviour. Hence, your consulting firm is encouraged to remain open to the possibility that the case organisation’s problem or opportunity statement is not specific enough, or targets only one of several worthwhile questions. As a result, it is totally fine for your consulting firm to provide more insights towards improving the organisation’s Business Intelligence strategy than that requested.

Equipped with the necessary mission objectives, your team can now work with the data using Tableau. It is recommended that the team spends some time to strategise prior to launching into the software analysis. Your Tableau training in tutorial sessions is hoped to help you in this data visualisation and analysis exercise, however, you may additionally refer to the multitude of supporting material (some provided on the unit’s Blackboard site, and many more on Tableau’s website), to skill yourself up further should you need it.

Please note that, in this Assessment, your team is working with real-world data, and not data that have been collated and curated solely for the purpose of implementing a student assessment. It is therefore not unusual to face emergent challenges such as data-cleaning exercises. At the same time, the real-world nature of this Assessment and the dataset means

that there is no single solution to the case analysis, which means that your team should explore a variety of pathways to producing an impacting narrative. Your team should also embrace the potential reality whereby compelling stories are challenging to write from the dataset. This, in itself, can be a discovery worth noting, however, the chances are that by looking at the dataset from different angles, your team will eventually find noteworthy trends to report.

It is important to note that organisations are not bound to particular datasets they accumulate themselves. There are additional, supplementary data sources and datasets that can be acquired by organisations to bolster their business intelligence, and in turn, make more accurate strategic decisions. Teams are therefore encouraged to seek these additional sources of data and incorporate them in their case analyses if possible and relevant. There are many open and easily accessible data sources which the teams can examine (please refer to the unit’s earlier lecture material to see a list of these data sources to begin with). And while the data offered by these open sources will not be specific to the organisation at hand, they may provide valuable insights in light of the environment surrounding the organisation (e.g. demographic, economic, political, and other dimensions).

The data analysis and visualisation exercise provides feedback on how the organisation is performing. After all, the variables presented in the datasets are indications and measures of the different facets of the service delivered by the organisation. The final step in completing the Assessment task is to provide a synthesis of the analysis, and then offer a set of recommendations to the organisation in light of its data-led strategy.

For the former, it is required that your consulting firm reports as to what the data analysis shows (e.g. the strong and weak areas of service, resources that act as barriers to better service delivery, etc.). Please note that where possible, this reporting should take the form of a synthesis, such that there is ‘meaning’ attached to the analysis and ‘emergent’ themes are documented (this is different to a mere summary of the data results). As for the latter, your consulting firm should provide a set of recommendations as to how the organisation could modify its current data-led strategy as well as its overall business model to be more effective.

As you make these recommendations, reflect upon the content covered in the unit with respect to the future of Business Intelligence so that your suggestions align with the latest developments in the field (and also considers any consequences).

At this point your team should observe that the organisation currently has a particular strategy in place to acquire data and analyse these data to derive organisation-level strategies.

However, the organisation’s existing data-led strategy is likely to benefit from improvements. As a consulting firm, think about additional data that the organisation ought to acquire and/or report on to arrive at more wholesome intelligence. In this exercise, consider that the organisation may not only want to use this intelligence to improve its operational performance, but also communicate with stakeholders such as funding bodies. Hence, your team’s data-led strategy recommendation should also take into account the impact metrics that stakeholders would want to see.

As you assess the organisation’s data-led strategy, your consulting firm should consider the challenges that the organisation may be currently experiencing to becoming truly evidence- based, and in turn, what kinds of managerial approaches and internal strategies the organisation can employ to overcome these challenges. In addition to data-centric considerations, your team should also make suggestions as to how the organisation could improve its business model: (i) in terms of its key activities, resources, and partners; (ii) its customer segments, relationships and channels; and (iii) financial matters (cost structure and revenue model).

The Deliverable and Formatting Requirements

As a socially-conscious consulting firm, you are keen to make impact and deliver an equally compelling and insightful document. While a template has been provided to help structure your report, online sources may offer inspiration on how to best present your document.

The report you submit to the organisation will comprise 2 components. The first component is the professionally structured document – hence, the main report. The second component is requested by the client to help grasp the analysis in a snapshot. This is ultimately a 1-page summary of your main report and its findings. Your dashboard creation skills in Tableau is likely to be very helpful for this second component. Please note that the 1-page summary will not count towards the word limit of your Assessment piece.

How you structure the report is up to you, although it must be done professionally, and the provided template may help you to this end. These are some formatting guidelines that can be followed:

  1. Citations and referencing: use the APA style (https://www.citewrite.qut.edu.au/)
  2. Length: adhere to the maximum word count allowed, which is exclusive of Figures and References

Peer Evaluation

This Assessment uses an online peer evaluation system to assess team work processes and each student's individual contribution to their team project. Peer evaluation acts as a 360 degree feedback, please evaluate each dimension for each members honestly.

After the peer evaluations are completed, each student will receive a peer evaluation score out of 10. This score is calculated as the average of your peers’ ratings of you and your rating of yourself across three items describing team process. In this first round your score will be "added" to your 50% group report to make up the 60% for Assessment 2.

If you do not lodge a peer evaluation but your team members have given you an evaluation, your contribution % will be calculated using the scores submitted about you from your team

members. If none of your team lodges a peer evaluation, then the entire team will receive 0 for the CRA item as the score that is recorded in the peer evaluation is 0.

In your comments, please indicate the level of participation from the team member and provide examples of their complete lack of contribution. Where there is a significant discrepancy between an individual's self-rating and the average rating given to them by their team peers, evidence to support the ratings will be required (e.g., weekly to-do lists, attendance in class and at team meetings, active participation in team decision making, evidence of a cooperative and respectful attitude toward the task and team members). Based on this evidence, further corrective action may be taken by the unit coordinator; an outcome of this action may be to allocate 0% to the non-performing team member.

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