Information Systems
College of Business Administration
University of Missouri - St. Louis

IS 6833: Decision Support Systems for Business Intelligence

Individual Assignments

1. "Networking" Activities:

Learning to network, and learning to learn about new topics is an important part of any IS Professional's life. Therefore, you are going to practice that activity this semester by attending at least three external events. These might include the IS Mentoring Program, the IS Programming Club, the Career Services Etiquette Banquet, the Executive Leadership Institute's Lunch Series, ITS' High Performance Computing Day, Student Night Seminars sponsored by the Institute of Internal Auditors and the Information Systems Audit and Control Associations, the local Web Developers Chapter, Saint Louis Visual Basic Users Group, the XPSTL Group, the Wireless SIG or any other IS-related seminar by a campus based or local professional organization (if it is not in this list, be sure to get permission before you go). The base grade will be the percentage of the expected events (3) you attend. So, if you have attended one event, this grade is 33.3, two events, the grade is 66.7, etc. If you attend one additional event, you may get extra credit. A list of campus events, including those that are eligible for networking credit, is available at To get credit for attendance, you must complete the required form and have it signed by some official of the organization or the event.

2. Term Papers

Each student must complete a term paper on a topic of Business Intelligence. These papers must include content that goes beyond what is covered in the book, web references, lectures, etc. Each student will select a topic from a list compiled by the professor.

Each paper must include at least 20 independent references (not recounting the same book, article, etc. across multiple footnotes) such as journal articles, newspapers, short videos, or relevant websites. Be sure to check high-quality but non-refereed publications such as the Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Economist, etc for relevant articles. At least 10 of these references must be from refereed journals. Refereed journals assure some level of validation. The best source to find refereed journal articles is ABI-INFORM, available online to UMSL students. To find refereed articles, simply tick the box for “Scholarly journals, including peer-reviewed ” while in ABI inform.

The papers should be no longer than 15 pages plus citations. The papers must be typed (or word-processed), double-spaced, numbered, with one-inch margins on all sides. All citations must be complete references to the material.

Final papers are due no later than Wednesday, April 19.

Group Assignments

For the group assignments, students will work in groups of 3-5. Students may select their own groups; if people are not chosen the instructor will assign people to the groups. Groups should be submitted no later than February 7.

Data: You will be given data about universities’ use of Twitter over time. You will also receive information about how those universities compare with other universities. More detail about the data and the sources of the data will be distributed later.

3. Visualization Assignment: One of the hardest things about analytics is helping the user to understand the data, and how the user’s organization is working. Part of the solution for that problem can be addressed with creative visualizations. For this assignment, you must use appropriate visualizations to create a dashboard that will help university officials understand what the data mean, and what trends seem to be happening, to help the university respond differently in the future. The dashboard should provide a mechanism to monitor how the factors are changing over time. If you can find it, you may add other data if you wish. You should be ready to explain the contribution of every pixel in the dashboard. We will be using Tableau for the visualization. The presentations will all occur on March 14, and will be scheduled by lottery. Students must turn in their presentation file to Professor Sauter by March 13 so it can be linked on the current page. The dashboard should be informative and attractive.

4. Analytics Assignment: While it is useful to describe the data and the environment, the decision maker needs support from the system. Specifically, the next step of BI is to predict the future. You must show relationships and justify predictions from the data. We will talk about it later in the semester, but you will be supporting university officials and their use of Twitter. Your main deliverable for this assignment is a presentation that describes how you approached the problem, what data you considered, and your predictions. You may use PowerPoint (or equivalent), the web, or a combination for your presentation. The presentations will all occur on May 2, and will be scheduled by lottery. Students must turn in their presentation to Professor Sauter by May 1 so it can be linked on the current page. The presentation should be informative and attractive.


While the entire group generally will receive the same grade on group projects, I reserve the right to assign grades differentially to reflect substantially different levels of work being completed by members of the group. At the end of the semester, group members must evaluate the amount of work done by others in the group using the Group Member Evaluation Form.

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