A new centre of expertise – which will operate as a unique interdisciplinary hub at the centre of a network of academia, corporates and other institutions – opened its doors on 7 November 2018. The Erasmus Centre for Data Analytics (ECDA) was conceived and launched by a group of academic experts at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) as a response to the digital transformation of business. Businesses now have access to so much useful data that can be analysed to refine strategies and aid the decision-making process.


The founding academic experts are Dr Dion Bongaerts; Dr Yashar Ghiassi-Farrokhfal; Prof. Gui LiberaliProf. Ting Li; and Dr Iuliana Sandu. They participate in the Erasmus Centre for Data Analytics to enhance knowledge about all kinds of data collected in every sector in business, and promoting better management of data analytics within organisations. ECDA combines five areas of expertise existing at RSM.

  • Audit, accounting and control;
  • Digital business;
  • Financial Innovation and technology;
  • Marketing analytics;
  • Smart cities and communities.

The Centre will explore business uses for digital applications and technologies, ultimately through joint research programmes between RSM and other universities and academics, and collaborations with businesses.

Enhancing data knowledge

“There is a growing need for interdisciplinary knowledge and methods to manage data and analytics,” said Gerrit Schipper, ECDA’s Executive Director. “The digital transformation is well underway – and that means that all kinds of organisations now base their business decisions and governance on new technologies such as blockchain, AI, the Internet of Things and big data. The digital transformation towards long-term value creation requires a broad set of skills and knowledge.”

New master programme

In response to the clear need from business and governmental organisations for scientific insights, RSM will launch a new master programme, an MSc in data analytics, which will commence in the academic year 2020-2021. In addition, ECDA will provide education to the next generation of managers by contributing to the teaching curriculum in RSM’s bachelor and other master programmes, and will update the skills and knowledge of working executives through RSM’s Executive Education courses.

Collaboration interest

“The Erasmus Centre for Data Analytics is unique because it combines academic knowledge of data from several disciplines and how to analyse it. Taking this interdisciplinary approach sets the scene for new research and programme development,” says RSM Dean Steef van de Velde.  Ideas and experiences coming from the new network established by ECDA are crucial for the centre to be able to produce valuable and sustainable impact, and will enable the tech community to create real value for business and society.

“There is a profound interest in collaborating, from a wide range of companies and organisations as well as from the dedicated group of experts from RSM departments.

“Several corporate partners and RSM experts working in five key research areas have already agreed to work together. They will be the first to experience how this centre will provide a hub for meaningful collaboration between the expertise of academics and insights from business in big data and analytics.”

Collaborative Data Lab

In addition to a gathering of collaborative expertise in the centre itself and within its wider network, ECDA also plans to develop and host a Data Lab, a facility to be built at campus in which expert analysts and students working with corporate organisations will research new methodologies and frameworks in data analytics. The Data Lab would involve adding facilities for analysing big data to be used for business research as well by students of the Erasmus Tech Community and the proposed MSc Data Analytics programme. It would also have live video links to make the most of remote and blended learning for full-time and executive students.

Connect with Erasmus Centre for Data Analytics – be part of it

Companies and organisations interested in sharing ECDA’s important insights in data analytics are invited to join its network. There is more information about its extensive plans on its webpages. Alternatively, email the experts in the ECDA team.


More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers. www.rsm.nl

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Erika Harriford-McLaren, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at harriford@rsm.nl.


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