Business Information Management

Business Information Management

Research in this section aims to understand the usage and effect of advanced, next-generation information systems on the performances of firms, supply chains and business networks. Next-generation information systems are characterised by taking into account large and detailed real-time data (‘big data’). They incorporate autonomous decision-making, collaboration and learning capabilities – for example by using software agents –  and explore the opportunities of new information technology concepts such as cloud computing, sentiment analysis, semantic web technology and business analytics. Members of the BIM group are very active in research communities around the world, and are responsible for delivering the content of the RSM MSc programme in Business Information Management.

The focus of research is inter-organisational information exchange among firms in supply chains and business networks, and its impact on decision-making and performance.

Research topics

1. Information strategy

To understand the strategic use of information, information systems and information technology, and examine their effects on consumer behaviour and firms’ competitive strategy.

2. Advanced decision-making support systems

The human mind has limited cognitive capacity, so humans tend to make decisions using rules of thumb or heuristics originating from their own experiences. While heuristics may be appropriate for the decision-maker’s environment, they usually result in merely satisfactory rather than optimal decisions so there is ample room for improvement. An important area of study within the overlapping fields of artificial intelligence and cognitive psychology is the design and implementation of artificially intelligent agents (i.e., software) that can effectively assist humans with their decision-making efforts, particularly in information-rich and time-critical environments such as markets. More information: learning Agents centre

3. New ways of working

Advanced technologies will create opportunities to collaborate and communicate in different ways. Research, in collaboration with innovative firms, will focus on their impact on people, planet and profit – or in other words, employee satisfaction and the work-life balance, productivity and performance, and the ecological footprint. More information: Erasmus@Work.

4. Business analytics

Organisations increasingly face the need and the opportunity to develop capabilities in business analytics to take advantage of the ‘big data’ explosion from social media and technologies such as RFID, GPS and sensor-data. This requires the development of new methodologies and statistical techniques to collect and analyse it for business decisions. More information: Erasmus Centre for Data Science and Business analytics.

5. Smart business networks

With the rise of the networked economy and advanced IT, competition is no longer between individual organisations, but rather between networks of organisations. This is because businesses operate in flexible business networks to improve efficiency or to strengthen their strategic position through close and flexible co-operation with network partners. This requires a new way of thinking about competition, about value creation and about value capture, as the locus of competition shifts from the firm towards the business network or the business ecosystem and its IT platform. More information: Smart Business Networks.

6. Next-generation information systems for future energy business

There is growing scientific and societal interest in many aspects of future energy business. An important challenge is how to facilitate the transition from traditional to renewable energy, and how to promote and support the consumption of sustainable energy in markets with dynamic prices. The Erasmus Centre for Future Energy Business aims to develop business foundations for tomorrow’s sustainable energy markets, and to enable robust, intelligent, efficient and sustainable energy networks for the future. It hosts the Power Trading Agent Competition (Power TAC) platform and the annual Erasmus Energy Forum, and collaborates with several industry and research partners around the world.