The “2nd Information Systems Forum (2018): Business Intelligence and Big Data Analytics” organized by the Information Systems Department of the College of Economics & Political Science at Sultan Qaboos University was held on 22 March at the Al Fahm Hall of the University’s Cultural Centre under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Khalifa bin Abdullah Al Barwani, the CEO of National Centre for Statistics and Information.
With the emergence of new technologies, such as cloud computing, Internet of Things, mobile technologies, and wide applications of social media, organizations generate a huge volume of date in different forms much faster than before. Big data increasingly drives decision-making and changes the landscape of business intelligence (BI). Integrating advanced analytics for big data with BI systems is an important step toward gaining full return on investment.
In his welcome address, Dr. Khamis Al Yahyaee, Dean of the College of Economics & Political Science, said that the forum addresses issues related to Big Data Analytics and Business Intelligence that are of concerns to organizations and individuals. He said that the forum was aimed at creating new opportunities for academics and practitioners in private and governmental sectors to exchange their knowledge and allow for discussion on the problems and solutions in the emerging area, and raising awareness about Big Data Analytics and Business Intelligence issues.
Mr. Mohammed Saleh Al Farsi, Open Data Expert, delivered the first keynote address on data governance and policies. Data is an important element of a wide variety of key policy documents and action plans. In this context, Al Farsi discussed the issues and analyzed the challenges associated with data governance and evaluated practical cases in Oman.
Dr. Beatriz De La Iglesia, Senior Lecturer, University of East Anglia, UK, delivered the international keynote speech on “knowledge discovery in databases (KDD) road map for BI”. KDD is an interdisciplinary area focusing upon methodologies for extracting useful knowledge from data. The ongoing rapid growth of online data due to the Internet and the widespread use of databases have created an immense need for KDD methodologies. The talk of Dr. Beatriz focused on the challenges on extracting knowledge from data and outlined major contributions of KDD field.
Two panel discussions namely “Big data and social media analytics” and “Mobile business intelligence” were also held as part of the forum.
In her closing remarks, Dr. Kamla Al Busaidi, Head of the Information Systems Department at SQU, said that with the transformation toward smart cities and knowledge-based economy, our aim is to stress the importance of business intelligence and big data analytics for governments and organizations and for the information systems major programs and research. “We have integrated in our B.Sc. and M.Sc. programs a set of courses(including data mining, data warehousing , decision support systems and forthcoming big data and social media analytics and data visualization) to ensure that our graduates are gaining the necessary skills that satisfy the increasing BI and data analytics job market demand”, she said. Dr. Kamla hoped that by means of the valuable presentations and discussions, the forum enabled the attendees and participants to get a better understanding of the topic and collectively reach a set of recommendations that add value to the government and industry.