04-611   Strategic Use of Digital Information in Enterprises

Location: Africa

Units: 12

Semester Offered: Fall

Course description

Unprecedented access to real-time and unfiltered world information is providing enterprises with new strategic information assets. This information is characterized by:
  • the large volume of data
  • the diversity of the data, not only structured data typically created by enterprises’ transaction systems but mostly unstructured data found in enterprises (e.g., business documents, emails, reports, customers communication documents, etc.) but also from outside the enterprise (e.g., social media, multimedia (video, audio), Internet, sensors, mobile devices, non-conventional IT devices (GPS, RFID readers,...))
  • the geographical distribution of the sources of information
  • the timeliness value of that information when captured in real-time
This is sometimes called BIG DATA. The ability to pull value from this data is a crucial competitive differentiator. The challenge is to turn this massive amount and a continuous stream of data and information into knowledge and insights in real-time to provide actionable information to assist decision-makers in enterprises in support of the execution of their strategic plan. This requires the use of new technical architectures and analytics to enable insights that unlock new sources of business value.
The data-driven enterprise of tomorrow is one that makes business decisions based on amassing and analyzing that data in real time. It leverages the enormous computational power that can now be delivered by small, abundant, and inexpensive devices. All of these digital devices—soon to number in the trillions—are being connected through the Internet, turning data into intelligence, using their processing power and advanced analytics to make sense of it all. They deliver a new generation of applications that have a material impact on the top line. With this knowledge, enterprises can reduce costs and waste, improve efficiency and productivity, and raise the quality of their products.
This course will cover the new emerging generation of information systems used to manage the explosion of this new real-world real-time information and deliver business analytics. Guest executive speakers from local and global businesses will provide direct insight into the corporate world and the real business application of technologies and concepts reviewed in the course.

Learning objectives

  • How do enterprises extract value from this Big Data?
  • How do they turn this data into decisions, sometimes in real-time, to assist enterprise executives in the execution of their strategic plans?
  • What is the new generation of information systems used in that process?


Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Understand the variety, velocity, and increasing volume of Big Data.
  • Understand how this data is used to make strategic business decisions, and what technologies are used in that process.
  • Apply this knowledge to conceive new innovative data-driven solutions to business problems that are adapted to the African market.
  • Have a critical view of the benefits and dangers of those technologies.

Content details

  • Digital information value in enterprises
  • Business information management
  • Social media and web 2.0
  • Natural language understanding
  • Big Data & real-world aware systems
  • Digital marketing
  • Technology benefits and dangers




Michel Bézy