A design-based research approach for developing data-focussed business curricula

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Education and Information Technologies


© 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. Although existing data science educational programmes develop talent and produce graduates, business-focused data science curricula comprising essential skills oriented to business and managerial data with associated analysis, remain underserved. Current pedagogy has focused either on data science or on purely analytic technical aspects. There is therefore, an opportunity to rethink how institutions can develop innovative data-focussed education programmes, addressing both modern industry and community demands. As both academia and industry strive to integrate applied learning, transferable and enterprise skills into business and sciences, this paper proposes a design based research approach (DBR) for designing such a new interdisciplinary data science teaching curriculum as a foundation to deliver business undergraduate degrees in Business Data Science. Adopting a design science method our proposed DBR illustrates effective utilities for conceptualising and evaluating a fully functional new degree programme - Bachelor of Business Data Science. Ten senior business information systems academics and five analytics industry practitioners in Victoria, Australia were interviewed in three iterative prototyping phases followed by a final focus group session with business information systems students that evaluated the proposed structure. The findings suggest that proposed DBR ensures the design of an innovative data science degree that may meet growing industry and interdisciplinary demands. The paper concludes by discussing overall feasibility of the proposal in the Australian higher education sector, particularly for the case context of an Australian University.

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