Data Analytics, Academia And Business: Interview With Dr Jamal Ouenniche, Professor & Chair in Business Analytics, University of Edinburgh

Dr. Jamal Ouenniche, Professor & Chair in Business Analytics, University of Edinburgh Business School is the guest speaker in this new interview series for citiesabc. Asked by citiesabc founder Dinis Guarda, both experts discuss from an academic point of view the role of academia and education in today’s business models and how important it is to create links, build relationships and utilize prominent researches in data and business analytics to thrive and drive innovation. And all of that in a convoluted world dominated by a global pandemic and the prospect of an economic recession.

Interview Structure

1. Profile overview: Academic and Professional career
2. Education, PhD and research focus
3. Role in Edinburgh University
4. How does Dr Jamal Ouenniche see business data, AI, machine learning, technology and education
5. The role of Data, smart cities in the present global technological developments
6. How do you see AI, Blockchain, 5G tech and AI working together
7. The role of Edinburgh University and research in innovation and digital transformation
8. The circumstances of COVID-19 and the effects in the world education, economy and tech economies
9. How business data ownership and research can be optimized to avoid a data arms race
10. Highlight some of the case studies of usages of business data for good and best practices

Key Takeaways

· About predictive and data analytics. “Analytics have always been there, especially as Data itself has no value unless someone analyze it. That is why so important to invest in analytics. From an education perspective, universities haven’t done enough to add studies related to data and predictive analytics to their offerings. Furthermore as the demand is growing in the private sector, big and small.”

· Data analytics applied to Financial Industry. “The decision making process in financial industry is crucial. That is why using data to make those decision is so important.”

“The major issue right now for banks is how to deal with this crisis. And we need to look at data, understand it and use it to make the right decisions to avoid closures, bankruptcies, etc.”

· About technology solutions and business. “Companies need to catch up and are still adapting to integrate technological solutions and skilled personnel. Technology allows us to collect immense amount of data. The complicated thing comes when we need to use it and understand it as there are many different factors to take into consideration: privacy, business goals, etc.

A good example of this is the relationship between companies and stock exchanges. We tend to think that stock exchanges have all important data from listing companies but the reality is that most of the times that data is missing.”

· About the Future of Data. “From an innovative perspective, there should be more cooperation and trust when sharing and analyzing data to extract the best insights out of them. However, big companies are reluctant to do so.

· About Rankings and Data Analytics. “Rankings provide valuable information for businesses, people, etc. When you know where you are in the ranking, you know your value and as such, you can improve in the future.

Rankings need to be accurate. For example in cities. If you use data analytics to get insights from crime and there is a global ranking for crimes in cities, that can be important for decision makers and for the population. They are a benchmark from where to improve.”

Dr. Jamal Ouenniche Biography

Dr Ouenniche is Professor and Chair in Business Analytics at the University of Edinburgh Business School (UK), Member of the Business School Executive Board, Head of the Management Science and Business Economics group, and Director of the MSc in Business Analytics. He holds BSc. in Mathematics and MSc. in Operational Research from the University of Montreal (Canada), and PhD in Operations Management from Laval University (Quebec, Canada).

His research portfolio encompasses a broad range of applications and a variety of research methodologies in descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics, and tackles important managerial issues in energy, manufacturing, transport, banking, and public sector policy. Some of his research is concerned with methodological contributions to the fields of optimization, artificial intelligence, data envelopment analysis, risk modelling and analysis, and forecasting.

He acts as a Referee for over 25 academic journals, several international conferences, and several national and foreign research councils (e.g., ESRC – The Economic and Social Research Council of the UK; SSHRC – The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; FCT – The Foundation for Science and Technology – the Portuguese public research funding agency; GACR – The Czech Science Foundation – the main public funding agency in the Czech Republic).

He is also a Member of the Editorial Board of eight academic journals and is an Associate Editor of Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications. His research is published in Operations Research; European Journal of Operational Research; Computers and Operations Research; Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications; Expert Systems with Applications; International Journal of Operational Research; Journal of the Operational Research Society; Annals of Operations Research; International Journal of Production Economics; International Journal of Production Research; Technological Forecasting and Social Change – An International Journal; International Review of Financial Analysis; Applied Financial Economics; Applied Economics Letters; Energy Economics; Applied Energy; and The Journal of Developing Areas, amongst others.

His teaching experience is international and covers a wide range of areas such as Operations, Logistics, and Supply Chain Management; Operational Research, Management Science and Business Analytics; Business Statistics and Methods of Research; and Business Forecasting.

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