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Description In this option for the final project you will apply the key concepts, relevant tool suites, analytics frameworks, and emerging digital solutions and strategies covered in the course t

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BTMA-444 Assignment 4: Final Project

Assignment Overview                                                                                          

This assignment is worth 30% of your final grade. You will choose to complete one project from two options. Option A is an applied project that requires working with a company to identify a business problem and provide recommendations; Option B is a research paper where you will explore one topic in depth.

Please note that you must submit Assignment 1: Final Project Proposal and receive approval from your instructor prior to beginning work on this project.

What to Submit

Compile all components of this assignment into one PDF or MS Word (or compatible) file. Include any figures, spreadsheets, or additional data either within the text or as appendices. Your assignment should be formatted professionally and include one APA-compliant reference list at the end.

Academic Integrity

Your work for this assignment must be your own. Where you quote or paraphrase any source, including the textbook, include appropriate citations in APA format that correspond to your reference list.

 

Option A: Applied Project                                                                                    

Description

In this option for the final project you will apply the key concepts, relevant tool suites, analytics frameworks, and emerging digital solutions and strategies covered in the course to help a real business You will select a business to work with, gain their consent to share information, and collaborate with them to identify a way in which they might leverage analytics to improve their performance and strategic positioning.

Instructions

Step 1: Select a business

You will begin by selecting a familiar business—it could be your existing employer, an SME in your community, or another business you are connected with. The selected company may be from any sector or industry. Depending on the size and complexity of the company you are investigating, you may want to focus on only one area, department, or business process.

Contact your instructor with any questions about the appropriateness of your selection.

Step 2: Gain consent

You will then approach the business you have selected and request their cooperation with your project. You should explain your purpose and provide an estimate of the time and information you will require. You will not be accessing sensitive data, but you will need enough information about their current business intelligence solutions and workflow to be able to make informed recommendations.

Step 3: Submit proposal for approval

Once you have consent from the company, prepare and submit Assignment 1: Final Project Proposal. Your instructor will review your proposal, provide feedback, and if appropriate, approve your project plan. You must receive approval from your instructor prior to moving on to the next steps of the project. If your instructor does not approve your proposal, you must revise your proposal to incorporate feedback and resubmit. You may revise and resubmit as often as necessary until you receive approval.

Step 4: Research the company and identify problem

Once you have approval from your instructor, you should thoroughly research the company (or department, etc.). Begin by identifying the company’s context: its position in its market, who its stakeholders are, how it is structured as an organization, and what values and practices define its culture. Your next focus should be on gaining an understanding of the company’s data sources (data types, storage systems, and integration processes) and the types of analytics they currently employ as well as the resources available for these activities.

You will collaborate with the company to identify a problem, challenge, or opportunity that may be addressed by an application of business intelligence or analytics. It is very important that you demonstrate respect for your collaborators’ time—do as much research on your own as possible prior to meeting with them and stick to preestablished meeting times. This will also help you be prepared, ask more informed questions, and focus on priority areas.

Step 5: Analysis and recommendations

Your next step will be to analyze the situation to identify opportunities for business intelligence or analytics applications to create efficiencies or improve the company’s strategic positioning. You will research potential toolkits, vendors, platforms, or process changes and identify how they might be integrated within the company’s current practices.

This portion of the project is very open-ended; the onus is on you to integrate the concepts covered in the course and apply them appropriately to a real-life situation. Your analysis must be grounded in the company’s context (including culture, organizational structure, and available budget). Your recommendations may be ambitious, but they must be realistic. In addition, your recommendations should

–        be detailed enough for the company to actually implement,

–        demonstrate a solid understanding of course concepts,

–        provide a solid rationale for how they will meet the challenge previously identified, and

–        recognize potential challenges for implementation as well as possible legal and ethical implications.

Step 6: Draft and submit report

Finally, you will integrate all your work into a polished and professional report. You may choose how to format the report, but your focus should be on clear communication and maximum impact. There is no strict word or page limit, but you should be concise—your audience will likely loose interest if you go beyond about 3000 words. The marking guidelines below outline the expectations for the project report.

Marking guidelines for Option A: Applied Project


Overall impact—up to 15 marks

Reports should be

       
thorough, thoughtful, and
persuasive.

       
formatted professionally,
with appropriate use of visual elements and appendices.

Company background and problem
identification—up to 30 marks

The company background information should
be thorough and concise, with consideration given to both macro and micro
details. Relevant processes, departments, or other categories should be
highlighted as appropriate. There should be evidence of a clear understanding
of the company’s current analytical framework.

The problem should be described clearly
and with reference to the company’s context. 
The problem should be directly related to business intelligence and
analytics.

Analysis and recommendations—up to 40
marks

The analysis should be thorough, with
evidence of the methodology used to arrive at conclusions. The analysis
should be informed by the company’s background while demonstrating a
comprehensive understanding of key issues and options within the field of
business intelligence and analytics.

The recommendations should be practical
and include enough detail to be implemented. They should be explicitly
connected to course concepts and the company’s context (including resource
and budget implications). Potential barriers, complications, and challenges
should be identified along with mitigation strategies. The rationale
explaining how the recommendations will address the problem should be
thorough and persuasive.

Communication and mechanics—up to 15
marks

The report should communicate effectively,
with writing that is focused, clear, and with little redundancy. There should
be evidence of focused attention on editing for clarity and concision
(minimal spelling, typographical, grammatical, or punctuation errors).

The report should cite all sources for
information and include a comprehensive reference list.

Total
marks available: 100

 

Option B: Research Paper                                                                                   

Description

In this option for the final project you will undertake an individual research project to investigate a current trend, development, or issue related to business intelligence and analytics. The objective is to provide you with an opportunity to expand the knowledge and skills you acquired in the course and do a deep dive into one area of interest to you. This option will require you to engage in depth with the academic literature in one area of business intelligence and analytics.

Instructions

Step 1: Identify topic and research question

Select a general topic to explore. Some ideas include current trends in data warehousing, ethical considerations of data mining, challenges and opportunities in Big Data analytics, the intersection of business intelligence and business performance management, trends and issues in machine learning and artificial intelligence, challenges and opportunities in text mining, or issues in data security and governance.

Based on the course material and an initial exploration of your general topic, draft a more focused research question. Your question should be complex (i.e., cannot be answered easily) and provide a contribution to the field.

Step 2: Submit proposal for approval

Once you have landed on a research question, draft and submit Assignment 1: Final Project Proposal. You will need to briefly describe your motivation for researching the general topic, provide a rationale supporting your choice of research question, and make a general plan for how you will conduct your research.

Your instructor will review your proposal, provide feedback, and if appropriate, approve your project plan. You must receive approval from your instructor prior to moving on to the next steps of the project. If your instructor does not approve your proposal, you must revise your proposal to incorporate feedback and resubmit. You may revise and resubmit as often as necessary until you receive approval.

Step 3: Review the literature

When your proposal has been approved, you will need to complete a more thorough review of the existing literature on your topic and research question. While the use of some non-academic sources is acceptable (e.g., opinion or news articles, company reports), the emphasis should be on academic sources (i.e., peer reviewed journal articles). Use the AU Library to conduct your search for relevant sources and keep notes about your search and selection process.  You should look for at least 10 academic sources that together will help you answer your research question.

Step 4: Draft and revise paper

Your next step is to draft your paper to answer your research question. You will integrate evidence, arguments, and critiques of your sources to present a thorough analysis and compelling argument. You should demonstrate that you have considered multiple perspectives and approaches to answering your question. Your paper should be thorough, well reasoned, well organized, and summarized in an abstract.

Remember that revising and editing are essential components of the writing process. AU’s writing coaches are a great resource to help you improve your writing.

Step 5: Submit paper for grading 

Your final paper should be polished and professional. You may choose how to format your paper, but your focus should be on clear communication and logical argumentation. Your paper should not exceed 3000 words and should follow APA guidelines for in-text citations and the reference list. The marking guidelines below outline the expectations for the paper.

Marking guidelines for Option B: Research Paper


Abstract and overall impact—up to 15
marks

Papers should be thorough, thoughtful, and persuasive. They should
be complete and formatted professionally, with effective use of visual
elements and appendices where appropriate. The abstract should effectively
summarize the paper, including the research question and conclusions.

Analysis and discussion—up to 40 marks

The analysis should be thorough, with
evidence of the methodology used to arrive at conclusions. The discussion
should be informed by the academic literature and demonstrate a comprehensive
understanding of associated issues within the field of business intelligence
and analytics. There should be evidence of critical engagement with academic
source, consideration of multiple perspectives, and explicit connection to
course concepts. 

Conclusion and implications—up to 30
marks

The conclusions should directly address
the research question and be well reasoned and supported by the analysis and
discussion. Implications for future research, business practice, or other
considerations should be clearly identified.

Communication and mechanics—up to 15
marks

The paper should communicate effectively,
with writing that is focused, clear, and with little redundancy. There should
be evidence of focused attention on editing for clarity and concision
(minimal spelling, typographical, grammatical, or punctuation errors).

The report should follow APA guidelines
to cite all sources for information and quotes and include a comprehensive
reference list.

Total
marks available: 100

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