Module Overview

Strategic Business Analytics

This module will prepare students for a role in accounting so that they can identify areas where current and emerging Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) can be applied to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in organisations.

Module Code

ACCF H4012

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Strategic Business Analytics (semester 8) can be regarded as a capstone module in which all learning outcomes in the pillar are aligned in managing BI frameworks in a professional environment. This module builds on the students' professional accreditation and work practice experience. This will enable students to work effectively in a knowledge environment. Peer to peer learning is also used throughout this pillar with specific examples including:  Strategic Business Analytics - final year students are required to give a public demonstration of their Tableau work package. This allows other students to see the range and quality of data visualisations generated as well as evidence of the depth of self-directed learning carried out by their colleagues.  Accounting in the Digital Age - Students investigate an element of excel not already presented to them by lecturers. They find out how to use it and its relevance to their accounting career. They are then required to draw up a step by step guide for their peers and present it to them in the lab. The length of presentation is 10 minutes, including question time. As part of the exercise, they prepare a file for use during the presentation plus an additional file for students to practice. It is very effective and prepares students for the workplace, giving them the ability to solve their own problems. We contend that big data and management for sustainability are very good bedfellows, in that many of the affordances big data provides are naturally aligned with sustainability concerns (e.g. multidimensional nature, collective actions, smart allocation of resources, efficiency priority). We will endeavour, where relevant, to deliver the message of sustainability throughout the teaching of this pillar.

Introduction to Strategic Analytics

Changing business environments and the need for Decision Support and Analytics. Evolution of Computerised Decision Support to analytics/data science. Framework for Business Intelligence.

Data Analytics

The Nature of Data. Data Processing. Types of analytics e.g. descriptive, predictive, prescriptive and their role in business. Tools and techniques for business analytics such as Data Mining, Data Warehouse etc. Capabilities of Business Reporting and Data Visualisation, Performance measurements; Decision modeling with spreadsheets - multiple goals, sensitivity analysis, data visualisation and data analysis.

Business Intelligence Tools

Consuming and Transforming Data - Connect to data sources ( connect to databases, files, folders; import from Excel; connect toSQL Azure, Big Data, SQL Server Analysis Services ) Perform transformations (design and implement basic and advancedtransformations; apply business rules; change data format to support visualization ) Cleanse data (manage incomplete data; meetdata quality requirements ) Modelling and Visualizing Data - Create and optimize data models (manage relationships; optimizemodels for reporting; manually type in data; use Power Query ) Create calculated columns, calculated tables, and measures(create DAX formulas for calculated columns, calculated tables, and measures; use What If parameters)Measure performance byusing KPIs, gauges and cards (calculate the actual; calculate the target; calculate actual to target; configure values for gauges;use the format settings to manually set values), Create hierarchies (create date hierarchies; create hierarchies based on businessneeds; add columns to tables to support desired hierarchy)Create and format interactive visualizations (select a visualization type;configure page layout and formatting; configure interactions between visual; configure duplicate pages; handle categories thathave no data; configure default summarization and data category of columns; position, align, and sort visuals; enable andintegrate R visuals; format measures; Use bookmarks and themes for reports) Manage custom reporting solutions (enabledevelopers to create and edit reports through custom applications; enable developers to embed reports in applications, enabledevelopers to create custom visuals) Configure Dashboards, Reports and Apps - Configure a dashboard (add text and images;filter dashboards; dashboard settings; customize the URL and title; enable natural language queries), Publish and embed reports(publish to web; publish to a networked server)Configure security for dashboards, reports and apps (configure access todashboards and app workspaces; configure the export and sharing setting of the tenant; configure Row-Level Security),Configure apps and apps workspaces (create and configure an app workspace; publish an app; update a published app; packagedashboards and reports as apps)

Modules delivered in the Data Management and Business Intelligence pillar are designed to underpin and support the accountant. The skills gained in the modules are directly applicable to their future roles in the accounting profession. In assessing the skills levels we will test the students’ abilities to apply the skills and techniques learnt to real world scenarios relevant to the accounting profession. The pillar has been developed to ensure an IT presence through each semester and each module builds on the preceding ones.

In delivery of this pillar we will use applied learning approaches to enable students have a professional level of expertise in the use and application of spreadsheet tools. The student experience in the computer laboratories will reflect, as close as possible, the range of tools, application packages and practices that they will experience in work environment. Joint assessment will be carried out in conjunction with modules from the Decision Making and Risk Analysis, Compliance (Law & Tax), Financial Accounting & Reporting and finally Economics & Finance pillars, where practical. A key tenet of the pillar is the transfer of skill sets developed in the Data Management pillar into all aspects of the student activities and study in other pillars. We will use productivity tools in support of professional communications in the work environment.

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Other Assessment(s)100