BM9720 - Analytics for Competitive Advantage

What will I learn on this module?

This module prepares you to develop competitive business strategies by developing key “hard” skills that are essential in a competitive landscape. In this module you will learn how to use marketing and supply chain analytics to progress your skills on enhancing the functional performance of a modern business. This includes specialised approaches, methods, and techniques that complement your learning with R analytics, SPSS, and SAS in the previous modules. You will be introduced to competitiveness techniques that help you automate, inform, and strategize business processes and enhance the overall value chain. You will practice business analytics in key business areas such as logistics, operations, marketing, and decision support systems. This learning-by-doing (action learning) philosophy will enable you to use “passive” and “active” business analytics to enhance your skills for competitiveness and strategizing. Examples of passive analytics software included in this module are KISSmetrics, RetentionGrid, Metrilo, Clicky, and Adobe Marketing Cloud. Each of them will be demonstrated using a practical case study in four functional areas, including procurement/ inbound logistics, operations, marketing, and after sale services.

To strengthen this application of analytics to organisational competitiveness and the pursuit of competitive advantage, you will also participate in a business simulation where you will be exposed to cross-functional business decision making in the pursuit of a competitive business strategy.

A prominent theme throughout this module is to give you experience in contemporary analytics software applications used in the key business functions, and by doing so, this will enhance your employability for graduate-entry analytics roles. In addition to being able to provide critical analysis of data, you will also be able to consider the business implementation and communication skills required. This module emphasises the development of practical skills and techniques required by businesses to help them in strategizing their operations. You will also develop “soft skills” relating to communication and conflict resolution as well as enhancing your knowledge of commercialisation and market positioning strategies.

How will I learn on this module?

You will be supported by a teaching and learning plan (TLP) which outlines the formal sessions (lectures, seminars and IT workshops), together with tutor-directed study, online tutor guidance and independent study/reading.

The module includes two components; the first is learning about different applications, methods, tools of analytics for competitive performance in the key functional activities, including inbound logistics, operations, marketing, and outbound logistics. This part of the module includes 12 hours of lectures and 24 hours of IT workshops. This component of the module will enhance your practical experience of using modern data analytics with an insight from industry experts. Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including your pre-reading, your preparation for interactive and workshop-based activities and use of the discussion board on the e-learning platform. Informative feedback with be provided in writing during and discussed during a face-to-face meeting with your lecturer.

The second component of the module is business simulation that enhances your self-learning and critical reflection on the knowledge, experience and practices gained from the first component. This component of the module includes 7 hours of lectures and 8 hours of seminars. You will be able to develop your analytics competencies and enhance enquiry-based learning and will involve you being an active participant in your learning to develop a research question based on existing data in the business situations. You will receive an induction for business simulation to know how to develop a group report as a piece of summative assessment. Your tutor and peers will give you a weekly feedback on your results to enhance your performance for the final simulation report.
This module will help you to advance your analytics techniques and skills from the previous modules, so you get a full picture of modern analytics software and approaches employed in the market. The knowledge and skills developed in this module will help you in your “capstone” research module (Dissertation/Management Enquiry or Consultancy Project)) where you will need to understand the research context, construct your data analysis and develop feasible findings. It will also help you to draw future empirical recommendations for the stakeholders involved in your research.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by the module tutor in addition to various subject experts. These staff will deliver lectures, workshops and seminars relevant to their areas of expertise. Workshops and seminars will be in small groups so that there is ample opportunity for exploring the issues raised in detail. Additional office hours will be provided by the module tutor to help students arrange their group activities in the business simulation. Formative feedback will be provided throughout the module, particularly in relation to seminar tasks for business simulation where the practical nature of the work will naturally lead to a number of opportunities to give and receive feedback from your tutors and from peers.

Additional support materials will be provided to help your self-motivated and guided study via the e-learning portal - eLP (Blackboard Ultra). The module tutor provides generic module guidance in various formats via the eLP. This includes an introductory video from the module tutor as well as a module handbook, guides to aspects of the module (e.g. analytics tool and technologies, performance dashboard project samples) and a discussion board section of the module site permitting tutor-supported feedback and discussion involving fellow students. The module tutor provides regular updates via the eLP throughout the process of completing this module, alongside interaction through the tutor-supported discussion board, further encouraging student interaction. The Teaching and Learning plan will provide several prompts and guidance to support you academically. Weekly bridging videos will be provided via the eLP to help synthesis between the lectures and seminar activities.

Learning materials are provided via the eLP in relation to the different aspects of the module on a weekly session basis, using a variety of PowerPoint, audio and video methods. Interaction with these module features, as well as directed and independent reading, will develop your understanding of analytics and associated tools and processes relevant to business, which you can then apply to your summative assessment. A term-time access for the analytics software will be provided for individual students to practice the cases delivered in the lectures. A bespoke Business Simulation with appropriate levels of tutor-based and on-line support will be used in the module. The University library provides additional support in terms of module reading list, from which to gather valuable secondary data which supports your independent study and opportunity to engage in research-rich learning.

Your module is also supported by the eLP as indicated above, which houses all the module learning materials, assessment details and various other support facilities which are provided by the University.

There is access to the University’s library facilities, including extensive electronic resources, eBooks and electronic academic journal articles to support your directed and independent study and facilitate your engagement with research-rich learning.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

You will have the opportunity to develop a suite of analytical competencies which will enhance your strategizing, foresights, professionally develop business competitiveness after your graduation. It will also facilitate the development of your critical thinking capability and your knowledge of commercialisation and market positioning.

Knowledge & Understanding:
• Make relevant strategic decisions based on effective teamwork and be able to present this effectively. (MLO1)
• Understand the value associated with developing strategic decisions and how to use this information to develop appropriate strategic plans based on core business theory. (MLO2)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Understand and apply various analytics tool to business in the pursuit of organisational competitive advantage. (MLO3)
• Critically apply these analytical tools in their application to real-life strategy-based scenarios. (MLO4)
• Communicate the outcomes of this analysis and critical evaluation appropriately to a business and management audience. (MLO5)

How will I be assessed?

Please give details of all formative and summative assessment process indicating which MLOs will be addressed and how feedback will be provided.

Summative Assessment
The module will be assessed two pieces of summative assignment. The first, weighted at 60%, is an individual report based on a chosen case study in one of the key functional areas mentioned above. Word count allowed for this assessment is 2000(+/-10%). This will assess MLO3, MLO4 and MLO5.

The second, 40% weighted assessment, will be an individual report related to the business simulation. Word count allowed for this assessment is 2000(+/-10%). This will assess MLO1 and MLO2.

Submission and feedback will be using Electronic Management of Assessment (EMA).

Formative Assessment
Formative assessments will take place weekly in support of your practice-based sessions relating to the application of various analytics tools in the different functional areas of business. You will be asked to discuss the development of your analytical skills and practical assessment output with fellow students both in class and via the tutor-supported discussion board. Formative feedback is provided by the module tutor after these discussions, which will in turn, support the development of your summative assessment.

For the Business Simulation, you will have the chance to discuss your simulation scenarios and results in class and get help from your tutor and peer review from peers and fellow team members. This formative assessment and feedback will involve group presentations based on the organisational results and performance.





Module abstract

Competitive advantage is core for business success. Such advantage requires automating, informing, and strategizing your value chain. In doing so, your modern business, you need business analytics to enhance logistics, operations, marketing, and decision support systems.
This is a learning-by-doing (action learning) module that proposes “passive” and “active” business analytics to enhance your skills for competitiveness and strategizing.
The module will offer different applications of business analytics using passive software such as KISSmetrics, RetentionGrid, Metrilo, Clicky, Adobe Marketing Cloud to automate and inform your business strategies. Industry guest speakers will co-deliver these lectures with your teachers.
You will further participate in a business simulation, where, as teams operating as new-market entrants into an existing market, you will make integrated business decisions across the key business functions, so as to gain practice in implementing a business strategy to achieve competitive advantage.
In this module, research-rich learning is developed through a research-oriented approach where knowledge production process is incorporated alongside an enquiry-based approach where you develop a practical contribution to data analytics based on a case scenario for the summative assessment and evidence-based decision making within a business simulation to achieve competitive advantage in a market-oriented business environment. The core themes of this module bridges both theory and practice by building a portfolio of research debates in top analytics journals and life projects delivered by guest speakers in the lectures.

By the end of the module, your self-study, research-tutored interventions, and peer discussion will enhance your learning experience. Both the research-led and practice-led activities will help you develop a high level of associated knowledge and critical thinking skills that prepares you for your graduation project and future employment. Your learning throughout the module will enable you to apply different methodological approaches to solve issues in real business world.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 Year Full-Time
1 other options available

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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