Information Systems Faculty Gives Talk on Big Data & Analytics

Ghazwan Hassna presents at Southern Business Administration Association annual meeting

Assistant Professor of Information Systems Ghazwan Hassna, Ph.D., presented at the Southern Business Administration Association (SBAA) Annual Meeting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Wednesday, Nov. 13, about the role of “Big Data and Analytics in Transforming Higher Education.”

Many universities across the world, particularly business schools, have already realized the need to integrate Big Data and Analytics curriculum into their graduate and undergraduate programs to provide prospective students with the right set of skills for the new data-driven economy (e.g., master degrees or graduate certification, etc.). While the adoption rate of Big Data and Analytics education has increased significantly by many universities across the world, the real adoption/implementation of these technologies and techniques to improve the business functions and procedures of these higher education institutions is still below expectations. In other words, many universities are teaching their students how to utilize Big Data and Analytics to transform business functions and procedures while only a few of them tap into this potential to improve their own business.

Higher education institutions, in general, and business schools, in particular, are operating in an increasingly complex and competitive environment, as Hassna highlighted. Hassna’s presentation identified contemporary challenges facing universities and business schools in particular and explored the potential of Big Data and Analytics in addressing some of these challenges. The focus of his presentation was not on designing Big Data and Analytics educational programs or curriculum, as he thinks that this area has already been addressed sufficiently during the last few years. His presentation focus was rather on how Big Data and Analytics can be utilized by universities to inform policy, administration, programs, teaching, and learning.

Hassna explained that institutions of higher education have relied on traditional marketing, positive word-of-mouth, and alumni networks to attract new students and increase enrolment. They have also relied on traditional teaching and advising methods to improve student success and retention. He demonstrated how Big Data and Analytics could transform these traditional processes to improve student enrollment, retention, learning, success, and alumni giving. He emphasized that universities should not just teach Big Data and Analytics skills but should also utilize their potential to transform how they manage and operate their administrative and academic functions and processes. To demonstrate that, he presented some successful examples of universities utilizing the potential of Big Data and Analytics to improve their core academic and administrative procedures and processes.

The presentation concluded by outlining several opportunities and challenges associated with the implementation of Big Data and Analytics in the context of higher education and outlined future directions relating to the development and implementation of institutional projects on Big Data.

The Southern Business Administration Association (SBAA) is the regional association of collegiate business programs offered by colleges and universities in the southern U.S. SBAA annual meetings invite collegiate business programs leaders to share their experiences, insights, successes, and challenges.

To learn more about professor Hassna, click here. For the fall 2019 and spring 2020 terms, he is teaching IS6041 Business Analytics for Big Data Revolution, IS6281 Data Mining for Big Data Analytics, MIS2000 Information Tools for Business, and IS6006 Information Systems Management.