BA Management Science and Information Systems Studies (MSISS) Projects
As part of their final year, MSISS students must undertake a real project for a real client. As MSISS students are taught to be flexible, the range of project types is quite wide, varying from the development of small computer systems to evaluating procedures, developing models or undertaking statistical analysis of client data. The variety of projects is best seen by looking at some of the projects undertaken in recent years. These include:
- Investigation into the value of new games for a leading online gaming company
- Design and development of automated dashboard for fund allocation for a multinational financial institution (Abstract)
- Using data analytic techniques to predict lapsed customer accounts for a large multinational
- Research into emerging mobile payment technologies for a credit card processing company (Abstract)
- Development of a smartphone data collection application (Abstract)
- Development of a programme support system for a large international conference (Abstract)
- Analysis of air passenger rights (APR) complaints for a consumer rights organisation (Abstract)
- Commercial opportunity analysis for a large sports organisation
- An analysis of financial markets for a leading banking organisation (Abstract)
The projects are real and students are expected to provide real solutions which are usable by the clients. The extent to which students achieve this is an important factor in determining their project grades and their final degree class.
The Joint Project Winners of the IBM David Dier Memorial Prize for 2020 are:
Development of an Elicitation Framework for a Health Organisation by Tiernan O'Connor
Visualisation of Vehicle Routing Solutions for a Software Company by Emma-Louise Ruane
Benefits for Clients
As well as providing good experience for the student, an MSISS project should deliver something useful to the client, be it in the form of a new or improved system, useful information or a better process. Over the years, clients have found MSISS projects stimulating, beneficial and on some occasions remarkably rewarding (one company saved over 20,000 euro per annum in production costs after changing its processes as a result of an MSISS project).
At the same time we do not want to oversell. These are student projects. We do not suggest that undergraduates, even very good ones, are a substitute for professional consultants. However we do expect clients to benefit from the work done.
In providing a project, you will also be making an important contribution to the development of the young person concerned. In some instances, students have subsequently returned to work for the company that provided their final year project.
Examples of Clients
AIB, Procter and Gamble, ESB, Irish Life, the GAA, Bank of Ireland, Google, Boylesports, O2 Telefonica, Accenture, PA Consulting, L&P Group and Paddypower as well as many smaller organisations.
The Steps Involved
Projects start in late October and finish in late March of the following year. Work is divided into three phases:
- Stage 1: Defining the terms of reference: Students must present an interim report in early December, which defines the scope and objectives of the project as agreed with the client.
- Stage 2: Undertaking the necessary work: This extends from early December until mid March of the following year.
- Stage 3: Reporting: The student must present a report to the client, reporting findings and recommendations or, in the case of a software development project, they must provide appropriate systems documentation and user manuals.
All students are supervised by an assigned member of staff and may call upon the technical skills of other staff members in the School of Computer Science and Statistics if they need to do so.
How much time do students put in?
The project is intended to account for one third of the student's final year work. Students are expected to work on the project about 1-2 days per week during term and considerably more during vacation, amounting to a total of about 40 working days, including familiarisation and report writing.
How much of the client's time is involved?
The level of involvement of client personnel varies widely with the nature of the project, but students are expected to maintain reasonable contact with their clients and ensure that the client knows what is happening at all times. Supervisors are also expected to contact the clients periodically to ensure that everything is satisfactory.
Is there a cost?
All projects are undertaken free and there are no charges. Clients are asked to pay any additional unusual expenses a student may incur (such as travel outside the Dublin area).
What about confidentiality?
Students (and supervisors) will sign confidentiality or non disclosure agreements if requested. Normally five copies of each report are prepared, one each for the Client, Student, Supervisor, Director of Studies and the Departmental Library. In the case of sensitive projects, arrangements can be made to restrict the number and/or circulation of reports.
Where can I find out more?
More information can be obtained from any staff member or from the project coordinator:
Dr. Aideen Keaney
MSISS Project Coordinator
Tel: (01) 896 2199
E-mail: aideen.keaney at tcd.ie
MSISS Projects - Best Project Winners 2009-2020
Every year an award for best project is presented. Winners for the past ten years are as follows:
- 2020 'Development of an Elicitation Framework for a Health Organisation' by Tiernan O'Connor (Abstract) and 'Visualisation of Vehicle Routing Solutions for a Software Company' by Emma-Louise Ruane (Abstract)
- 2019 'Data Mining of Free Text for a College' by Yitpin Chin and 'Credit Risk Transparency using Distributed Ledger Technology for a Large Bank' by Dylan O'Reilly
- 2018 'Autonomous Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) Outlier Detection Methodology for a Health Organisation' by Blathnaid McDermott
- 2017 'Identification of Mislabelled Products Using Machine Learning for an Online Retail Analytics Company' by Jamie Boylan (Abstract) and 'Development of cost-effectiveness models using R' by Owen Cassidy
- 2016 'Programme Support System for Society of Biblical Literature' by Cian Cronin (Abstract).
- 2015 'Development of an Online Property Listing Web Application for an Agricultural Media Company' by Robert Boland (Abstract) and 'Management of Dashboard for a Health Authority' by Sean Coyle (Abstract) and 'Predicting Customer Recapture in the Banking Industry' by Oshobugie Idogho.
- 2014 'Patient Diagnostic Assistant and Prescription Generation System' by Andrew King (Abstract)
- 2013 'An Economic Analysis of Income Tax Relief for Childcare for an Independent TD' by Lousie Baldwin (Abstract) and 'Web Interface for Data Extraction for Pharmacoeconomic Data' by Aisling O'Sullivan (Abstract)
- 2012 'Programme Support System for a Large International Conference' by Eoin Cooney and Alan O'Brien (Abstract)
- 2011 'A Carrier Performance Survey Tool for a Global Insurance Provider' by Ciaran Tobin (Abstract)
- 2010 'Attitudes towards Family Related Leave in Ireland' by Anna Watters (Abstract)
- 2009 'Probabilistic Sensitivity Analysis in Excel' by Michael Wilson (Abstract)