Business Analytics- Diving for Pearls?

Efficiency through business analytics was the topic of our most recent Business Soundbites session hosted at the Business School on the Canterbury campus. The session, attended by regional businesses, showcased how expertise from the School’s Management Science Group could support business leaders looking to work smarter when growing their organisations.

The Management Science group covers a wide range of research areas such as logistics, including green and humanitarian logistics, with a special emphasis on the innovative design of heuristic and exact optimisation methods, DEA (data envelopment analysis), operation management, big data analytics, simulation, statistical analysis, multi-methodology and Soft OR/Systems.

At this Soundbites session, Professor Maria Paola Scaparra, Head of the Management Science Group, provided an overview of the group’s analytics expertise and David Williamson, KBS Director of External Services, provided examples of how organisations could access this expertise  from  strategic projects such as a Knowledge Transfer Partnership through to smaller (student consultancy) research projects.

David set the scene by comparing analytics to diving for pearls and the theme of diving for data continued throughout the session – how shallow or how deep does an organisation need to dive to identify, collate and analyse its data? What are data patterns telling us? Which analytics tools and methods do we need to use and how might the data help us to make more accurate predictions, and in turn, smarter strategic decision-making?

Visitors to the event heard real-life examples of where working with the School’s Management Science expertise has helped improve business efficiency and growth; Will Jones, KTP Associate at Eurostar, provided an overview of recent simulation work at Eurostar stations to manage customer flow, and Sam Cliff, Senior Manager for Ethical Trading, at Worldwide Fruits together with KBS Business Analytics alumnus Filippo Maccari, highlighted how the company utilises modelling and data capture to manage risk and ensure quality.

Business Engagement Manager, Simon Barnes, from the University, looked to the future of how technology could be harnessed to develop virtual car parking to assist in alleviating lorry queuing along the road network and the southern ports, such as Dover. Finally, Dr Lina Simeonova,  Lecturer in Operations Management at KBS and former KTP Associate, presented the significant business efficiency savings that have been made by regional business partner, Parker Steel Ltd, which was made possible through KBS expertise and the KTP scheme.

A Q&A session with the panel followed the presentations and opportunities to network.

“The standard of presentations was excellent and the case studies brought the subject to life,’ said Rob Dancy, Operations Director at Church & Dwight UK Ltd, ‘it was very thought-provoking and sparked a number of ideas of how we could benefit by embracing the technology”

To find out more about our Management Science expertise, student projects or a KTP and the funding available please visit our Business page or contact our Business Team on 01227 824068 / 824855


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