Business Information Systems
Projects - Business Information Systems
- Meet-O-Matic Active Groups - knowledge sharing tools for email
- KTP — Marcliffe
- KTP — Commercial Microbiology
- KTP — Hector Russell
- KTP — McCalls
Many organizations use email discussion groups to bring their staff together to share problems and expertise. But mail software is limited in helping people find relevant messages. The Active Groups software uses the concept of genre to overcome these problems. Genres are common document forms that emerge through collaboration, and they usually have immediately recognisable forms that help shape the interpretation of their content. Careful analysis of email genres enables the software to focus on the main points of the messages, improving the effectiveness of the search, and using the genre to determine the intent behind each message.
Active Groups builds on earlier successful research projects: The Virtual Participant funded by EPSRC and BT and Uncle Derek funded by BP. It is being used by BP to scan large email and document archives, and automatically link them into a web-browsable archive that can be used by communities of BP engineers worldwide, to help them identify and address well engineering problems.
• BP Research Team
• Stuart Watt (PI)
- Watt, S. N. K. (In Press). Text categorisation and genre in information retrieval. Information retrieval: Searching in the 21st Century.
- Clark, M., Watt, S. (2007). Classifying XML Documents by Using Genre Features, 4th International Workshop on Text-based Information Retrieval in association with DEXA 2007.
- Malins, J., Watt, S., Liapis, A., & McKillop, C. (2007) Tools and Technology to Support Creativity in Virtual Teams. Chapter XI in Higher Creativity for Virtual Teams: Developing Platforms for Co-Creation, pages 224-245. IGI Global. ISBN 978-1-59904-129-2
- Liu, B., Harper, D. J. and Watt, S. N. K. (2005). Information sharing through rational links and viewpoint retrieval. SIGIR 2005: pp.639-640
- Mulholland, P., & Watt, S. (2004). Cognitive modelling and cognitive architectures. In N. B. A. A. Gellatly (Ed.), Oxford University Press, Oxford (ISSN/ISBN: 0-19-927376-6 )
- Watt, S. (2004). Context in Active Groups. (speaker). SIGIR 2004 workshop on Information Retrieval in Context, on July 2004.
- Moreale, E., & Watt, S. N. K. (2003). An Agent-Based Approach to Mailing List Knowledge Management. Agent Mediated Knowledge Management, International Symposium AMKM 2003Watt, S. (2003).
- E., & Watt, S. N. K. (2002). Organisational information management and knowledge discovery in email within mailing lists. 3rd International Conference on Intelligent Data Engineering and Automated Learning, IDEAL'02, on 12-14 August, 2002.
- Collins, T. D., Mulholland, P., & Watt, S. N. K. (2001). Using genre to support active participation in learning communities. European Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (Euro-CSCL'2001), Maastricht, The Netherlands
- Masterton, S. J., & Watt, S. N. K. (2000). Oracles, bards, and village gossips, or, social roles and meta knowledge management. In Journal of Information Systems Frontiers, Vol 2(3/4)
KTP 1077: Integrated Knowledge Management and Customer Relations Management System.
Aug 2006 — Jan 2009.
Using IT to give a small luxury hotel a competitive advantage in an increasingly competitive global market place market requires a mixture of integrating sophisticated computing technologies, applying skills in graphical design informed by business and international marketing intelligence. The main objective of this two year KTP programme, which is supervised by staff from The School of Computing and Aberdeen Business School, is to develop a content management system (CMS) that manages a set of targeted websites which optimise search engine positioning and maximize market segment exploitation. Using a CMS means that the hotel can respond quickly to new opportunities, targeting emerging markets, and channelling potential customers via web feeds to its integrated booking and property management system. The system will provide integrated data capture linked to executive reporting facilities with appropriate information visualisations, to enable senior executives to make informed decisions about e-marketing strategies.
The integrated CMS and booking system will provide the company with a way of rapidly accessing relevant data and appropriate displays of information and in a context sensitive way, adapting the knowledge and information to suit the requirements of a given situation:
- At an operational level to allocate the most appropriate physical and human resources needed to meet a client's conferencing requirements.
- At the tactical level to manage targeted customer relations management through email, web services and more traditional routes, for marketing and promotional purposes.
- At a strategic level, it will enable the company to respond rapidly to changes in market forces, to expand into new customer bases, maximising its resources and enabling it to plan strategically in an informed way.
This will help the company develop a new competitive edge in what is a very fluid and competitive business, and will enable the company to make inroads into new international markets in a timely and cost-effective way. Early prototypes of the CMS have already had a dramatic effect on the number of customer visits to the hotel's main web site, via web feeds.
Collaboration & External Funding Industrial Partner: The Marcliffe Ltd
External Funding: KTP Grant £86.3K
TCS 3518: Laboratory Information Management System.
Aug 2001 — Aug 2003.
Managing information in a Microbiology Laboratory encompasses information about clients, samples, results, billing, and quality assurance standards. The integration of this complex information cannot be achieved using a simple database. Information systems do exist for processing some of this type of data, however they cannot be easily tailored to suit the large variety of report formats required by different company clients. In addition, it is not easy for clients to track the status of their sample analysis during intermediate stages.
The aim of this TCS project was to develop a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) with a Web based portal that allowed secure tracking of samples by the company and clients, the tailoring of reports to client needs, traceability and auditing of samples and their analysis results. The work done during the project significantly improved company efficiency and effectiveness by the application of IT to sample traceability, report generation and internal/external communications and helped the company utilise its existing laboratory instrumentation to its full potential. It also improved the company's web based marketing, allowing customers to securely download reports from the website.
Collaboration & External Funding Industrial Partner: Commercial Microbiology Ltd.
External Funding: TCS Grant £76K.
KTP 4111: Knowledge Management System for Traditional Scottish Products.
Jan 2003 — July 2005.
Hector Russell Ltd, a Scottish company specialising in the sale of traditional Highland produce: whiskey, kilts and souvenirs, has collaborated with the School of Computing to give it a competitive edge. The 2 year KTP Programme developed solutions to assist the company in three key areas that were identified by senior management as having strategic importance for the company:
- Data Communications, Data Capture and Usage
- Management Information Reporting
- E-commerce and web based marketing.
Interfacing modern web-based technologies with the company's legacy Midas database of stock, the system developed also features a specially designed eCommerce website which targets the large North American sector of the market for Hector Russell's products. Two recent graduates from the School's Computing programme worked on the project, funded by the Knowledge Transfer Partnership scheme, and supervised by staff from the School of Computing.
The main work done during the KTP programme was the development of a management information system that integrated and enhanced the company's IT services, providing a web based portal which extends the capabilities and greatly improves the performance of the company's "legacy" stock control system, which is at the heart of the company's operations.
The work done has transformed the way the company operates in terms of stock control, order management, customer relations management and the use of IT in general as the primary way of communicating and disseminating information through out the company.
The system developed is a management information system that handles and tracks stock, orders and customer details, providing a flexible but secure access through a web-based portal. It produces a variety of customised management information reports that are used to make operational, tactical and strategic decisions. In addition, the project provides a secure e-commerce website promoting and marketing Scottish products in an international marketplace.
The project has helped streamline the way the company operates, reducing expensive local stock holding, minimising stock movement between branches and allowing key employees to telework from home. The work undertaken as part of the KTP Programme has resulted in substantial savings and efficiency gains in stock control and sales order management, providing an estimated £166K p.a. gains in profit before tax.
Collaboration & External Funding Industrial Partner: Hector Russell Ltd
External Funding: KTP Grant £99.6K
TCS 2799: The Virtual Shop Project.
Sep 1999 - Sept 2001.
The costly process of storing and managing expensive stockholding can pose problems for companies trying to expand into international markets. This is even more problematic for companies offering hire services as well as retail services on an international basis, and the logistics associated with tracking and managing the dispatch and return of expensive hire goods can be prohibitive. The solution to this problem was to develop a multimedia virtual shop system linked via the Web to a centralised database. This work was undertaken by a recent graduates from the School's Computing programme, funded by the Teaching Company Scheme (TCS), and was supervised by staff from the School of Computing.
This TCS project also developed an interactive e-commerce system which has allowed customers to browse through hundreds of items of Highland dress and place orders electronically, the outfits being dispatched from the stockholder.
The system provides order management and shipping tracking facilities, enabling staff to optimise the handling, storage and movement of expensive stock items. The system is also used to coordinate the different satellite retail outlets and allow a centralise stockholding to efficiently handle the hire and maintenance of stock. Collaboration & External Funding
External Funding: TCS Grant £74K