University of Dayton
School of Business Administration
In-Class Technology Presentation/Discussion
This assignment serves a purpose that is somewhat different from that of the other assignments you will encounter in this class, in that it will be more than a little speculative, and draw upon your imagination as you try to "think out of the box" by looking closely at the possibilities of various database-enabled technologies that are either in production or not far away.
The aim of this assignment is to have your group identify and describe technical trends in database and related technologies that may have a profound effect on organizations and information systems in the future (note that I am defining this rather broadly in this case). You will select a database-related topic (e.g. business intelligence, data mining, data warehousing, or some other emerging database analytics area). Your responsibility is to review the topic area (doing necessary literature searches, etc.) and to present a report on the topic based on the criteria outlined below.
You are expected to assume that you are making a presentation to senior management, who has asked to be brought up to date on a specific technology/entity/area that is thought to be have possibilities for the future competitive position of the firm. You may assume that the senior managers appreciate creativity, as long as they are able to understand the technology you are explaining to them. This does, by the way, mean that you should understand the technology you present and its potential implications.
I am very aware that many (nearly all) of the technologies that are candidates for this assignment have somewhat fuzzy possibilities at this point, because some of them are early in their development cycles. As a consequence, this assignment is as much about possibilities as certainties, and your discussions will therefore be rather speculative in nature. This means that you may have to speculate on how the technology could evolve, and what kinds of business applications might present themselves if the technology you are working with moves in that direction. I realize that you are required by this assignment to "look into your crystal ball", and I ask only that any assumptions you make are reasonable. Do be advised that your topic should represent a relatively clear business application.
Be forewarned that some of the technologies you might investigate all are rather broad as to their application, and hence if you do not aggressively narrow your focus your presentation could easily grow beyond the assignment parameters as to its length.
The following items should be covered, at the minimum, by each individual. The items are sorted in order of importance, from most to least important. It is up to each presenter to provide a logical sequence.
There are two major deliverables: a presentation on the day and time specified to provide an overview and highlight the important aspects of the technology, and a 10-15 (1.5 spaced, 12-point Times New Roman or similar-sized font) page paper providing greater background and depth, and as well source materials for those interested in going further. The paper will be provided to me in electronic format so it can be printed to an Adobe Acrobat .pdf file and posted on the class website. Additional materials are in addition to the 10-15 page length. You are also required to provide a brief outline (absolutely no more than a page) describing what you've found so far, and what you plan to talk about the class period before you make your presentation.
Each presentation will be held on the day of class specified in the syllabus. The presentation should run approximately 20 minutes (after which there may be questions). Please remember that taking excessive time over the presentation will result in your losing points on the assignment. Executives are busy people, and you should be able to identify the key issues within the allotted time.
The presentation will be worth 35% of the mark, and the paper 65%.
The presentation grade will be comprised of a grade component for each of the COVERAGE items detailed above, as well as a component for the professionalism of the presentation (organization, style, etc.). For each of the COVERAGE items, you will be graded on the basis of completeness, accuracy, and understanding.
The presentation grade will be subdivided into two primary components: your ability to communicate the information effectively to the other members of the class, and your professionalism (which includes, but is not restricted to, your ability to avoid reading from a prepared script).
The paper will be marked as to many of the same things as the presentation; I will be looking for coverage, depth, clear and concise writing, and professional formatting (headings, complete references, etc.).
On most topics, considerable information is available electronically. Please get in touch with the library or dig around on the World Wide Web to find out how to access this information.
This assignment is due on the day defined in the course syllabus for the topic you choose.
This assignment is not meant to make your lives miserable; it is intended to force you to think broadly about database technologies and their applications for business. Use your imaginations and try to have some fun with it.