Current Projects for Richard J Self


This page presents key aspects of the projects that I am working on.

I am developing a web site to provide resources for education and research in the Big Data, Analytics and Data Science files at this link  . The site will be developed in collaboration with colleagues from around the world.

This page is kept up to date and provides active links lead to pages where some of the most important documents can be found, many of them produced by my best students.

Big Data Analytics

Critical  issues revolve around questions of Ethics, Trust and Governance.

An area of particular interest and importance is how much we can actually trust Big Data and data collected from the Internet of Things (IoT) and whether any data from the IoT and Big Data can be trusted adequately  to deliver Knowledge which can be safely and reliably in to our corporate Knowledge Management processes and repositories. Some of the known inaccuracies have significant forensic and legal implications.

Accuracy of Location Services

This project resulted from observing the variable accuracy of location tagging of photos and the bizarre tracks observed in location  tracking apps whilst the smart device was stationary.

It has resulted in one of the largest data sets comparing measured locations compared to precisely know locations.

The results of this research during spring and summer 2015 by 14 of my final year undergraduate students who have taken location tagged photos at 200 to 400 locations each has resulted in understanding the accuracy of Assisted GPS in a range of smart phones. The initial consolidation of 2460 data points shows an overall accuracy of 85% of all measured locations are within +/- 25 metres. In many circumstances the governance impact for businesses will not be significant. However, the governance impact is with the remaining 15% of measured locations where the error is from 25 metres up to tens of  kilometres. For more details see this page.

Student Success and Achievement

My focus is towards the ways of improving the levels of achievement by students. Current research is focussed on a critical application of some of the HEA UKPSF in the context of treating each student as a unique individual and using scheduled contact time specifically for individual contact for feedback and feed-forward, skills development and encouragement.

This research, supported by the use of Learning Analytics, demonstrates the value of a Socratic approach to Learning, Teaching and Assessment strategies allied to an intensively research based curriculum with high levels of small group and individual tutor interaction. Overall, the approach leads to very high levels of achievement and the elimination of the BMEI grade deficit that affects many modules across the UK in universities.

This research has resulted in Keynote and other conference presentations.

Governance Research Projects

Governance is a critical issue for the development and use of Information Technology Products. I am currently  interested in three aspects of the problems with the Governance of IT, whether in the supply-side of the industry or in the user side of the industry.

TechnoStress: Its causes, consequences and Corporate Governance Implications

This is an on-going project that I have been working on for the last three years, since an MSc student, Conrad Aquilina did his dissertation  project on the topic. Based on that paper, we wrote a joint paper which I presented at the KMO’12 conference in Salamanca, Spain, see my list of publications.

The origin of the concept was developed by Larry Rosen and Michelle Weil in the 1990s. Some research has been carried out over the years since then.

Groups of final year students from the University of Derby have been undertaking research since 2013, with startling results. The first group of 6 students identified that the levels of technostress has risen very dramatically since 2009 (when the levels were of the order of 50%) to the current 2013 levels of between 85% and 99% of the surveyed population show evidence of Technostress. The 2013 group of 12 students is now developing from this to attempt to diagnose some of the most important factors in this dramatic rise as shown below. Most of the work for this chart was provided by Oliver Fox.

TechnoStress Graph 2013

This link connects to a better quality version, TechnoStress Trends 2013


Trust in IT

The rise of Business Intelligence and Big Data Analytics based around enormous volumes of data, together with the endemic fragility of most IT systems raises significant questions around the question of how much do we trust the IT we use, is it reliable and can we trust the data that we are analysing and using for decision making. The link from this section lead to three dissertation projects carried out in 2013.

Governance Failures of IT

Failure rates of IT related projects is far too high and leads to the destruction of stakeholder value. The link from this section leads to three dissertation projects which carried out analyses of the historic records to identify trends in the levels of governance failures across the years.

The Standish Group have published their annual Chaos Reports about the levels of success and failure of IT related projects since 1994. This following chart summarises the overall levels since then.

These links are a semi-random collection of thoughts and ideas.

The next two links relate to value destruction of IT                   $6T per year

Smartphone problems