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Unit information: Business Analytics and Responsible Innovation in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Business Analytics and Responsible Innovation
Unit code EFIMM0140
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Lythreatis
Open unit status Not open
Units you must take before you take this one (pre-requisite units)


Units you must take alongside this one (co-requisite units)


Units you may not take alongside this one


School/department School of Management
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Unit Information

Why is this unit important?
This unit is important because it gives students sound knowledge and deep understanding of the implications of business analytics within the frameworks of ethics, sustainability, social responsibility, and responsible innovation. It focuses on both the risks and benefits of the adoption of business analytics for organisations, consumers, society, and the environment. The unit will equip students with the necessary skills and thinking to identify and solve ethical issues in business analytics. The topics covered in the unit offer the knowledge needed to build a more sustainable, ethical, and inclusive future. The unit engages students in in-class discussions of practical and thought-provoking case studies from the academic literature and the news.

How does this unit fit into your programme of study?
This unit is a core unit in the MSc Business Analytics programme which fulfils the purpose of familiarising students with the ethical, organisational, societal, and environmental implications of the adoption of business analytics. Students will learn about the complexity of balancing between the increasing demand for data to competitively innovate and the legal and social obligation to ensure safe and ethical treatment of data. It also complements the group projects in the Business Analytics Consulting Project unit and the final Applied Research Project.

Your learning on this unit

An overview of content
The content of the unit includes identifying ethical dilemmas in business analytics, datafication of the workplace and the marketplace, quantification of the self, fairness in algorithmic decision making, legal frameworks such as GDPR, big data for sustainable development and social and digital responsibility, the responsible innovation framework, surveillance capitalism, and the identification of solutions to ethical implications in business analytics.

How will students, personally, be different as a result of the unit?
Upon completion of the unit, students will have formed a deep understanding of the ethical and societal risks of integrating business analytics in business processes and the delivery of products and services to consumers. They will have acquired knowledge of how to use business analytics for sustainable development and to build better and inclusive futures. Students will have developed the skills to recognise ethical issues in business analytics adoption and provide effective solutions to such issues.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit, students will be able to:
ILO 1 – Recognise the implications of business analytics for productivity, responsible innovation, sustainable development, and environmental and social responsibility.

ILO 2 – Evaluate the ethical and legal issues in the use of personal data in product/service innovation.

ILO 3 – Apply appropriate theoretical frameworks to critically analyse the organisational, ethical, and societal implications of business analytics in the workplace and for the delivery of services to consumers.

ILO 4 – Propose solutions to mitigate risk and safeguard public trust from the adoption and use of business analytics, and to create more sustainable futures.

How you will learn

Teaching will be conducted through ten lectorial sessions of 3 hours (total 10*3 = 30 hours) across TB1 and TB2. These comprise a combination of one-hour lecture talks and two-hour tutorial-style discussions that focus on the aspects taught in the lecture. The latter will involve deep academic conversations, case studies, debates, tasks, as well as interesting talks from people in the industry.

How you will be assessed

Tasks which help you learn and prepare you for summative tasks (formative):
There will be two main formative assessments. The first one will take place at the end of TB1 for two hours and will comprise in-class group presentations based on a case study (ILOs 2 and 3). Both instructor and written peer feedback will be given. This formative assessment helps students prepare for their summative group presentations in TB2. The second formative assessment will take place in the last teaching week of the unit in TB2 and will comprise practising critical writing skills for the summative individual essay due at the end of TB2 (ILOs 1, 2, 3 and 4). Other forms of formative assessment will include readings and tasks preparation before each session (ILOs 1, 2, 3 and 4).

Tasks which count towards your unit mark (summative):
Group project presentation component (20%): This component will assess how students have addressed ethical, legal, and sustainability issues within the group project of the Business Analytics Consulting Project unit. For this part of the presentation, students will have to recognise and analyse the productivity, sustainability, ethical and societal implications of their proposed business analytics solution by applying appropriate theoretical frameworks (ILOs1&3); evaluate the ethical and legal issues in the use of personal data arising from their proposed solution (ILO2); propose solutions to mitigate risk and safeguard public trust from the adoption of their proposed business analytics solution and cover how it fits in ensuring a better future (ILO4).

3,000-word individual assignment (80%): Students will work individually and independently to choose a real-life example where AI has been adopted and discuss the positive impacts and opportunities of the innovation (ILO1). Students are also required to identify and discuss potential issues and implications, such as the ethical, societal, legal, political, and environmental challenges, from the adoption of this technology, drawing on appropriate theories and frameworks learned in the unit (ILOs2&3). Students should also propose solutions to these implications and discuss corrective action to ensure the safety and security of this innovation. Using theoretical and legal concepts learned throughout the unit, students will also have to propose policy recommendations that mitigate risk and safeguard public trust from the adoption and use of the chosen technology in the chosen industry (ILO4).

When assessment does not go to plan

When assessment does not go to plan, there will be a re-assessment in the summer. The re-assessment weightings on the unit will not be the same as the original assessment. This means if the student does not pass the unit overall, then they will be reassessed with a single piece of assessment weighted at 100%, covering all learning outcomes for the unit (ILOs 1-4). If the student passed one of the components but did not reach the overall unit pass mark, the passed component will be disregarded and not included in the reassessment mark. The resit will consist of an individual essay covering the various topics of the unit.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. EFIMM0140).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.