Business Information Systems - Masters by Research Theses

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    Machine Learning and its application in the Portfolio Management industry
    (University College Cork, 2024) Murphy, Conor C; McAvoy, John; Kiely, Gaye Louise
    Machine Learning (ML) is a subdivision of Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is a term used for technology that “enables machines to mimic human thoughts and behaviour” (Xu, 2021). Recently, there has been a significant increase in the use of ML techniques by finance professionals, primarily by the Portfolio Management industry (Perrin, 2019). This thesis reflects on ML’s application in the Portfolio Management industry. To further understand this relationship a literature review is carried out in Chapter 2 to identify the intersection of ML and Portfolio Management and to highlight key criteria required for ML’s application in the Portfolio Management industry. A key finding from Chapter 2 found that the lack of quality data is a critical barrier to ML’s application in the Portfolio Management industry. Chapter 2 examines the use of sentiment from unstructured data, in the main tweets, for stock market prediction in the Portfolio Management industry as alternative data source for ML. There are a variety of ML algorithms that can be applied for Twitter sentiment stock market prediction, Chapter 3 employs the Multilayer-Perceptron (MLP). MLP has been employed successfully in other studies for Twitter sentiment stock market prediction (Livingston, 2019; Turchenko, 2011). Before running the MLP prediction algorithm, EmoLex was employed to identify the underlying sentiment that may be apparent in the tweets. Subsequently, a prediction algorithm MLP Classifier was run to ascertain daily sentiment stock price predictions for the data. For the prediction analysis section the Vader Sentiment Analyser from the Natural Language Tool Kit (NLTK) in python was employed to split the Twitter sentiment into three categories (positive/neutral/negative), while the MLP classifier was run through SickIt-learn package in python. Interestingly, the performance of the MLP in Chapter 3 is not as accurate as other studies including, Kolasani (2020), Usmani (2016) & Khan (2020). Following the same guidelines as Pagolu (2016) and Mittal (2012) incorporating a new algorithm (the Random Forest algorithm) using the same methodology outlined in Chapter 3 may outperform the MLP. Studies such as Bollen (2011) indicate that positive Twitter sentiment will be reflected in the stock market by a positive increase in stock price and negative Twitter sentiment will result in a fall in stock price. The use of the Random Forest regressor in this study found that in the case of Black Swan events, Twitter sentiment has the same predictive power as a chance model. These results are integral to the Portfolio Management industry as it clearly indicates that Twitter sentiment cannot be used to gauge the severity of Black Swan events nor can it be used as a method to predict it. Only one of the Tweets in the database collected referenced that China allowed one of its banks to go into liquidation, indicating that the speed of stock price drop was ahead of the Twitter sentiment.
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    The information needs of prospective postgraduate students: a data placemats approach
    (University College Cork, 2023) Patton, Aaron; Sammon, David; Nagle, Tadhg
    This is an exploratory study into the information needs of final year students when considering a postgraduate offering. There is little academic evidence on such information needs in the Higher Education Institution (HEI) context, yet the challenges that HEIs face to design effective data-driven recruitment and marketing strategies, and the variability in information currently provided to prospective postgraduate students presents a real opportunity for further investigation. For the purposes of this research, we are focusing on final year business school students only (Cork University Business School) and their interest in postgraduate programmes within the business school and beyond. This allows the research to focus on the information needs for recruitment but also retention. Hearing the final year student voice in this research but also comparing it to the HEI recruitment personnel voice will highlight the alignment of the respective positions on information needs. It is expected that this research will lend itself to the prescription of design guidelines for information needs. These design guidelines would be of practical value to HEIs.
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    The analysis, design, and development of a digital contact tracing prototype application for the identification of passengers in the event of a biological threat scenario onboard an airplane
    (University College Cork, 2021-10-31) Gleeson, Michael; Neville, Karen Mary; Pope, Andrew
    With the ever-increasing global aviation network, contagion can spread anywhere in the world within 24 hours. As a result, the potential risk of introduction and spread of infectious disease is on the rise. With over four billion airline passengers in 2017 and over seven billion expected by 2036, the transmission of infectious diseases in-flight, such as influenza A (H1N1), TB, and potentially Ebola, is of the utmost concern to global health. In 2003, the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) showed the potential of a contagion to emerge, spread and affect the health, social and economic life of people globally. Most recently, we have experienced the global spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), its impact on travel, society (individually and as a whole), and on the global economy. The increased mobility of people, facilitated by increased air travel, has resulted in the increased spread of contagion, including the a greater awareness of bioterrorism agents, across geopolitical boundaries of the globe. Many practitioners and researchers agree that contact tracing represents an important factor in mitigating the global spread of a pandemic. This study aims to explore the analysis, design and development of a ‘contact tracing’ prototype application in relation to (but not limited to) airline passengers in the event of a biological threat or pandemic. The current paper-based method of contact tracing, using the passenger locator form, often results in incomplete passenger data and delays in the dissemination of this data. These limitations can lead to delayed identification of passengers at-risk of potential infection and can ultimately result in the increased spread of contagion. From these limitations, the objective of identifying the stakeholders and user requirements of a digital contract tracing application, and to prototype the design stemming from those identified requirements, was developed in this research, from the perspective of Emergency Management (EM). In the event of a biological threat or infectious viral outbreak, it is EM practitioners and public health officials who are responsible for the collection, collation and dissemination of airline passenger data for the purposes of contact tracing. Through engaging with these practitioners from the beginning of this research a clear set of end-user requirements was identified to better inform the design and development of a prototype contact tracing application. An analysis of existing commercial systems in this area also informed this research and by examining the current processes of application development and research methodology, the most appropriate means of application development was chosen. Through employing an agile development methodology coupled with action design research, a prototype contact tracing application was developed, with collaboration from the end-users at each stage of the development process. This study provides for a comprehensive and complete prototype application encompassing information systems technology to facilitate an appropriate means to rapidly collect and analyse passenger data in an efficient and effective manner. Evaluation of the prototype application was two-fold: functional testing was carried out at each iteration of development, and user acceptance testing was conducted at the final iteration ensuring that the prototype application satisfied the needs of the end-user.
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    Exploring the benefit of apps operating under PSD2 to consumers
    (University College Cork, 2021-10-01) Horgan, Conor.; Mcavoy, John; Nagle, Tadhg; State Street
    The financial services industry has undergone major disruption as the evolution of information technology has necessitated an unprecedented change to business models. Regardless of whether financial institutions and consumers have resisted or accepted this change, the second iteration of the European Union’s Payment Services Directive (PSD2) has mandated the industry to adapt. Much has changed since 2015 when the directive was first introduced with financial institutions and third-party providers (TPPs) developing security architecture and optimising the experience for customers. There is time for reflection as PSD2 took effect on December 31st, 2020. The debate over whether the regulation is overzealous or not has continued since its inception. The purpose of this thesis is to determine whom PSD2 has benefited and to what extent. It contains three core chapters, each tackling a separate research question as part of the overarching research objective, examining how PSD2 benefits its stakeholders. The thesis begins with a literature review of the core concepts of PSD2. It investigates each concept to determine whether it benefits the key stakeholders: financial institutions, third-party providers, and consumers. The concepts of PSD2 are found to be improvements in the following: competition, innovation, affordability, customer experience, transparency, and security. The results suggest that PSD2 primarily benefits consumers who have availed of cheaper prices, improved innovation, and improved customer experience. These are a by-product of increasing competition in the market. This increase in competition has resulted from PSD2 removing the barriers of entry for TPPs who have naturally benefited from an influx of consumers to their platform. The results of this study also show that financial institutions have not benefited from PSD2 as their oligopoly has dissolved. This study supports the argument that the oligopoly was unsustainable regardless of the effects of PSD2. However, a consolation to financial institutions is that PSD2 at least ensures the emergence of third-party providers is accompanied by security standards that protect financial institutions’ customer data from TPPs with insufficient security. As the study develops, it continues by examining, through a quantitative survey, whether consumers experience the benefits of PSD2 in their interactions with applications operating under the regulation. The direction to study the benefits of PSD2 to its stakeholders through the lens of the consumer impact was influenced by two significant findings from the literature review: • Out of all stakeholders PSD2 benefits consumers the most • Financial intuitions and TPPs are mainly impacted by the uncertainty in devising the most optimised PSD2 strategy to attract more customers. Therefore, a survey which weighs the most impactful PSD2 benefits to consumers is a valuable study in shaping the strategy of financial institutions and TPPS Consequentially, chapters three and four examine both the importance of PSD2 benefits to consumers and the efficacy of producing the benefits in PSD2 enabled services thus far. This presents to what extent TPPs and financial institutions have been exposed to the PSD2 benefits that are only realised when customers adopt their PSD2 enabled services. In the quantitative study, consumers graded each of PSD2’s benefits as “very present” and “important” in their experience using financial services. Security improvements are graded by surveyed consumers as the most important PSD2 benefit. On the other hand, increased competition, improved innovation and improved transparency are graded as the least, second-lest and third-least important PSD2 benefit respectively by consumers. The survey results are further analysed in the final component of this study to understand whether PSD2’s security improvements have a positive or negative effect on the regulation’s other benefits. The effects are found to be positive by this study which suggests that security should be prioritised by applications implementing a strategy for PSD2. Overall, this study identifies aspects of PSD2 which companies should focus on to gain a competitive advantage. Similarly, it also identifies aspects which the European Union Commission should recognise as a success and an avenue to deliver future regulatory improvements.
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    The project management challenges, benefits, risks and limitations of adopting agile methodologies for a multiphase ERP program
    (University College Cork, 2021-10-22) Toomey, Eoghan; O'Reilly, Philip; Sammon, David
    This research presents an insight into the project management challenges, benefits, risks and limitations of adopting an Agile-At-Scale methodology for a multiphase ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) IT Programme. As the researcher, my main motivation for undertaking this study was to gain a deeper understanding of how Agile could be leveraged in an ERP Environment. In my work for Dell Technologies, I have been at the forefront of Dell’s Global IT Transformation initiatives and have been part of pilot programmes to adopt Agile and Agile-At-Scale across the IT function. While working closely with specialist external IT Consultancy firms, I identified a knowledge gap which raised research objectives relating to the project management challenges, benefits, risks and limitations of adopting an Agile-At-Scale methodology for a multiphase ERP programme. This study aims to address and further examine this knowledge gap. This study is aimed primarily at both IT and Business Project leaders engaged in large scale, global, multiphase Transformational ERP Programmes. The primary research method I adopted was that of participant observer. As a fully engaged participant in Dell’s IT Transformation journey, my role provided me with the opportunity to attend professional Agile training, participate in the piloting of Agile Transformation Programs and be part of a Core Team whose role was to implement Agile. The Core Team’s goal was to provide feedback to the Executive Leadership on the Agile adoption and contrast Agile with the more traditional Waterfall methodologies being used over my twenty years working on Global ERP Programs. To compliment the participant observer research method, I also used case studies, surveys and interviews. This thesis uniquely illustrates, through the lens of the Agile ERP Quadrant view (Fig 2.18), a new understanding of the challenges, benefits, risks, limitations and lessons learned of Adopting Agile for an ERP Program. (Fig 4.1), builds on the Agile ERP Quadrant and denotes the positive, negative and neutral impacts by magnitude. The study concludes that the adoption of Agile is not a one size fits all and highlights specific areas associated with ERP Programs that require a more hybrid approach. This research will provide a detailed study of Dell Technologies Agile-At-Scale journey and will present an Agile Framework which can be adopted for a large-scale Global ERP Implementation.