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INFS 5095 | Big Data | Information Technology

INFS 5095 | Big Data | Information Technology


About this Assignment


This assignment is giving you practice in matching business needs to data-technology solutions and being able to communicate that. You could imagine you are a big data consultant who has been asked to give a presentation to a group of organisations who are considering whether to invest in big data. Assume that the audience know little about IoT (Internet of Things) or big data.
However, the assignment is not just a sales pitch – you have to demonstrate that you know what you are talking about, back up your arguments with evidence, communicate new concepts and demonstrate to the audience that you have an understanding of how IoT is used in businesses enough to recommend a specific technology.
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Internet of Things Data

Start with gaining an understanding of IoT data including examples how it has been used in organisations for their benefit. You can refer to these examples in your assignment.
A good starting point is the Harvard Business Review’s article referred to in the ‘Big Data Fundamental’s presentation (week 1).

Technology choice

Technology could be related to any aspect of managing or using big data such as storage, transmission, transformation, encryption, analysis, visualisation, security, self-service, etc. Use this assignment as an opportunity to find out more about a technology you’re interested in. The technology shouldn’t relate to creating big data.
Examples (from the Gartner ‘Hype Cycle for Data Science and Machine Learning’):
Algorithm Marketplaces IoT Edge Analytics
Advanced Anomaly detection Event Stream Processing
Text Analytics Data Lakes
Don’t focus on a specific tool or vendor – it will be more useful in your profession if you are knowledgeable of a range of tools from different vendors.
Some data science technologies will be better suited for managing or exploiting IoT data than others.

Value to Business

You should be able to explain the benefit of the technology to business. So some technologies may primarily benefit the data scientist (eg: Notebooks in Gartner’s ‘Hype Cycle for Data Science and Machine Learning’), but have less obvious value to the business. A key aspect of successful big data implementation is making the value known. The priority matrix and business impact sections in the Gartner’s Hype Cycle will help.
Useful resources
Gartner material – see the ‘Using Gartner’ tip sheet Vendor description of the technology Weekly readings/viewings
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Marking criteria

The assignment will be marked on how well you cover each of the points:
Area Weighting
Your general understanding of the nature of IoT data 20%
Knowledge of your chosen big data technology 20%
The benefits of using this technology for IoT data 10%
The limitations of using this technology for IoT data 10%
Explaining specifically how organisations would find this technology 20%
Referencing 5%
Correct referencing as per UniSA guidelines
Quality of references
How recent references are
Use of formal business or academic language 5%
Correct grammar and spelling 5%
Layout and professional presentation 5%
For each of these you will be given a rating of ‘Excellent’, ‘Good’, ‘Fair’, ‘Poor’ or ‘None’ (if the section is missing). As a guide, if all ratings are ‘Excellent’ you would receive a High Distinction for the assignment (between 85-100%) or if all ratings are ‘Good’ you would receive a Credit (between 65-74%).
The more you can back up your suggestions with research, examples, etc the higher mark you will receive.


One on one individual feedback sessions are available (either face to face or over the phone) to received specific and detailed feedback. These sessions are 10 minutes long.
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The structure should be in a logical format that flows well. As a minimum include a title page and section headings. The title page is separate to the assignment cover page.
A sample template for the assignment is available on the course website. You don’t have to use this template, you can come with your own structure. For instance, the sample template includes a Table of Contents and Executive Summary, you can leave these out if you want.
Note: An Executive Summary is different to an Introduction
Since this is proposal for a business audience, it should be presented in a professional format making it easy to read. The use of diagrams and graphs, particularly to show figures will earn more marks. An efficient layout is also important but don’t spend too much time on making it look good and not enough time on the content.
Using bullet points are OK occasionally but you’ll need sentences for each point (ie. just a bullet point list with no explanation isn’t suitable).

Word limit

1500 words +/- 10%. (1350 – 1650 words)
Marks will be deducted if the assignment is too short or too long. Keeping to a word limit requires a focus on what the audience most needs to know.
These are included in the word count:
The ‘body’ of the assignment: o Headings
o  Direct quotes
o Summary/Executive Summary (if you chose to include one) o Diagram headings and captions
These are excluded:
Title page
Table of contents References
Text within diagrams
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Referencing is important for assignments to: (a) expand your knowledge of the assignment topic and
  • provide evidence to the claims you make and (c) demonstrate you know what you are talking about to make a convincing proposal and (d) provide other examples or case studies
The general rule is if you are using information or data that is not of your own creation then you need to acknowledge it. Not only is this for academic integrity but to add weight to your recommendations – to show they are just not opinions.
This includes the screenshots, data you use and points taken from the presentations.

How many references?

That depends on how many points you are making. Generally, more is better because you have used more sources to understand the topic and reinforce your points.
A minimum of 5 references is required. Just adding as many references as possible without using them in the assignment won’t earn maximum marks.
If you plagiarise (ie. copy from references and don’t include it in quotes or include a reference) you will be penalised – students have failed assignments for doing this!
We want your understanding on the topic, not copied words from experts – this only demonstrates that you can research well, not apply your learning.
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Reference quality

The type (quality) of references makes a difference and this is considered in the marks as well. Feel free to use the readers and links from the lectures and Course Outline.
Avoid marketing/vendor sites and general websites – the quality is not assured because anyone can get a website up regardless of their expertise and marketing material from software companies is usually biased. The exception would be news sites when you want to report an event or where they are the sole vendor of a technology.
Finding references by Googling them is a poor approach – try the library catalogue instead.
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Reference recency

Since this area is a fast-moving area use references from the last 5 years. Consider if you were a senior manager considering a review or proposal – would you trust a report that is using information from 6 years ago? The exception is if the reference is one of the supplied readings/viewings for the course.
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Do not write in the first person (“I”)
Use formal language – this is a report intended for business.
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