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LBS students analysing data for better health outcomes

It’s one success after another for our Department of Accounting and Data Analytics! Besides being ranked in the top 75 universities in the world with our Master of Business Analytics (2019 QS Masters Rankings),  data analytics students made a huge impact during the Bendigo Health Datathon.

Bendigo Health Datathon

The Bendigo Health Datathon was part of the Bendigo Invention & Innovation Festival and organised by Bendigo Health in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), La Trobe University, University of Wollongong, Be.Bendigo and Australian New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS).

Critical Care Recovery

The Datathon brought together teams of clinicians, statisticians, data scientists and administrators to understand and explore the use of secondary healthcare data for better health outcomes. The theme of the Datathon was Critical Care Recovery, with the aim of exploring the health and community outcomes for patients after their journey through the hospital setting.

The participants developed innovative solutions to real problems by applying data analytics and statistical techniques to never-before-combined disparate data sets. The data sets included were:

  • ANZICS Adult Patient Database (APD
  • Victorian Admitted Episodes Dataset (VAED)
  • Victorian Emergency Minimum Dataset (VEMD)
  • Home and Community Care Program (HACC)
  • Victorian Cancer Registry (VCR)
  • Victorian Death Index (VDI)
  • Victorian Integrated Non-Admitted Health (VINAH)
  • Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Register (AROC)

LBS success

The students worked in different teams and produced some amazing insights. Besides the opportunity for our students to work alongside clinicians, doctors and health researchers, two of them took out the first and second prize at the Datathon. Congratulations to Mahesh Krishnan and Kriti Chhabra!

 

Find out more about our Master of Business Analytics

LBS Innovation Series – Is Australia prepared?

Professor of Practice in economics at LBS, Dr Mark Cloney, asks: what are the key drivers of innovation, disruption and opportunity in the global food production and agribusiness sectors? And why have the Dutch got it so right?

Changing consumer demand, particularly in Asia, corporatisation of farming, automation on farms and in processing, agtech and advances in the Internet of Things (IoT), digitalisation of supply chains, agricultural science advances, and the emergence of vertical farming are just some of the drivers changing the dynamics of the global food production and agribusiness[1].

The Netherlands

Are Australia’s food producers and agribusiness well-informed and placed to understand these challenges and to gain from the opportunities they offer? Countries like The Netherlands certainly are[2]. Despite its relative size, the Dutch are the world’s second largest exporter of agricultural products at $158 billion, or three times Australia’s exports[3]. Together with the USA and Spain, The Netherlands is one of the world’s three leading producers of vegetables and fruit supplying a quarter of the vegetables that are exported from Europe. Why? The Dutch are forward-looking, highly innovative and collaborative and have achieved worldwide recognition for their research, infrastructure and innovation systems. For example, Wageningen University and Research (WUR) is the number 1 agricultural university in the world for the third year in a row according to The National Taiwan Ranking of over 300 universities; while, 5 of the top 26 global agri-food companies have R&D facilities in The Netherlands[4].

Australia

So where does Australia stand in comparison? Nationally, the food and agribusiness sector employed approximately 522,000 persons and there were approximately 178,500 businesses trading in the sector (as at June 2015). According to the Australian Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda[5], food production and agribusiness are areas of competitive strength for Australia. Australia’s food and agribusiness sector includes food-related agricultural production, food processing and the major inputs to these activities. This includes: food products, processing and beverage manufacturing as well as key inputs; and, agribusiness that relates directly to food production and their supply chains.

La Trobe’s AgriBio Centre

La Trobe University has demonstrated a strong commitment to helping Australia create a vibrant future for those involved in the production of food, fibre and agribusiness. La Trobe plays its role in building human capital and undertaking R&D and scientific research that supports the food and agribusiness innovation system. For example, La Trobe’s AgriBio Centre brings together world-class research in the largest agricultural R&D organisation in Victoria. La Trobe recently announced funding of $50 million for its new La Trobe Institute for Agriculture and Food focused on solutions for global food security.  La Trobe is also a founding member and financial contributor to Melbourne’s Northern Food Group a partnership with the Victorian government, 5 local governments, 4 tertiary institutes, Yarra Valley Water, Melbourne Innovation Centre, and the Melbourne Market Authority among others.

LBS/NORTHLink Innovation in Food and Agribusiness Forum

So how can Australia’s food producers and agribusiness prepare themselves against ever increasing disruption, and better collaborate with world class researchers and scientists in this field? These are some of the questions being explored at the Innovation in Food and Agribusiness Forum organised by LBS in partnership with NORTHLink. The focus of the Forum is on hearing from industry speakers of successful innovation in the food production and agribusiness sector. It will present industry and government perspectives on how we can continue to improve innovation in this sector, particularly for SMEs and start-ups operating in a global context.

In particular, the Forum offers an opportunity to explore how we create the right collaborative partnerships and environment for food production and agribusiness to succeed globally in an era of increased disruption. Maybe we just need some Dutch courage!

 

References:

 

This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics in the La Trobe Business School. The series was developed after the successful National Innovation Forum organised by La Trobe Business School, NORTH Link and Deloitte Consulting P/L.

More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:

Meet our new adjunct professor Stuart Kells

Prize winning author

Most people know Stuart is a successful author. He wrote the critically acclaimed biography of Kay Craddock, Rare, and Penguin and the Lane Brothers (Black Inc.), which won the Ashurst Australian Business Literature Prize. Stuart’s 2017 book The Library: A Catalogue of Wonders (Text) was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s General History Prize and is being published around the world. He also recently wrote a book with Professor Ian Gow on the history of the ‘Big Four’ accounting and audit firms, published by La Trobe University Press. Stuart’s shorter writings have appeared in a wide range of journals, magazines and newspapers, including The Australian Accounting Review, Economic Record, The Guardian, The Paris Review, The Times of London, The Australian Financial Review, The Australian and National Geographic Traveller Magazine.

Research and industry career

Not everybody might know that before becoming a successful author, Stuart used to be a Research Fellow at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research at the University of Melbourne and a member of the Centre for Regulatory Studies at Monash University. He also had senior roles in the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office, PPB Advisory and KPMG. He has a PhD from Monash University (for which he received the Monash Law Dean’s Award) and a B.Comm and an M.Comm, both with first class honours, from the University of Melbourne.

Besides becoming LBS’ adjunct professor, Stuart is a member of the Abbotsford Convent Foundation Board and the Audit and Risk Committee of Banyule Council.

 

Business Newsroom asked Stuart what brings him to LBS:

“My research and my books have three things in common. First, they are factual but use techniques from literary fiction, such as storytelling, and experiments with language and structure. I also write across disciplines, such as economics, finance, history, bibliography and cultural studies. Second, they are about nostalgia – for lost or threatened values, professions, institutions and objects. And third, they are irreverent and intent on busting myths.

These emphases align well with the work and mission of the La Trobe Business School and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce. I’ve collaborated with a wide range of scholars and I’m eager to collaborate with the faculty and students of the School and the College.”

LBS welcomes Stuart on board!

Bringing together top researchers and leading financial industry practitioners

From the 24th until the 26th of September, the 8th Conference on Behavioural Finance and Capital Markets (BFCM) is taking place at LTU’s City Campus. The conference presents state-of-the-art research in the fields of Behavioural Finance, Experimental Finance & Capital Markets/Market Microstructure.

Its beginnings

The conference started in 2011 with the idea of merging together two fields in finance: capital markets and people’s behaviour. On the one hand, capital markets (or market microstructure) is all about how financial markets are functioning, how liquid, how risky as well as how fair and efficient these markets are. On the other hand, financial markets are driven by people’s emotions and behaviour. Behavioural biases are well documented in the literature. Even financially literate people are prompt to cognitive biases. In other words, investors, traders, bankers and lenders all show such biases while making investment decisions under risk. From the outset, the BFCM Conference bought together top academics such as: Pete Kyle, Avanidhar (Subra) Subrahmanyam, Richard Roll, Peter Bossaerts, Ron Masulis, Terrence Hendershott, Stephen Brown and Tarun Chordia (among others) with industry leaders to discuss relevant topics.

Its aim

The conference merges academic research with the applied work of the finance industry. The conference continuously looks to identify new emerging fields of research and supports better cooperation and collaboration among researchers and between academia and industry.

According to Founder of the BFCM Conference & LBS Professor Petko Kalev it comes down to this:

“The research we do should not only have academic value but also practical application that impacts the finance industry and hence our society. This conference makes that happen.”

BFCM Conference in the news

The conference topics are always relevant. This relevance is highlighted by an article that was published this week in the Australian Financial Review. Chanticleer Tony Boyd wrote an article titled “The highs and lows of retail investing” based on an academic paper that is being presented at the BFCM Conference next week.

The article starts with a story on Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, buying a big stake in Apple in 2016, when the stock was 10 per cent above its 12-month low. Looking back, the timing was perfect. Apple is now trading about 5 per cent below its record high. The article then discusses the idea that institutional investors often profit at the expense of retail investors who sell at the wrong time. An idea supported by the yet to be released paper by Joshua Della Vedova, Andrew Grant and Joakim Westerholm from the University of Sydney. They found that retail investors often sell at the 52-week high because it is a domain for gains and provides an anchor for the highest past price.

Read the full article by Tony Boyd here.

 

Visit the BFCM Conference website for more information.

LBS Innovation Series: How do companies hold on to their ability to innovate?

This episode in the LBS Innovation Series shows Christine Axton, Director in Monitor Deloitte’s Strategy Practice. Her talk is about how companies hold on to their ability to innovate and how they achieve, and keep, an innovation premium in the market.

Innovator’s method

Christine presents a short overview of the business tool innovator’s method and illustrates its application in a case study. The innovator’s method is designed to help firms create and maintain an innovation premium, and more specifically to manage uncertainty in the innovation process. The approach seeks to manage uncertainty across the key end-to-end innovation process for start-ups i.e. insight; problem; solution; and, business model.

Testing uncertainty

Where innovator’s method differs from other tools such as lean start-up, design thinking, agile software, lean start-up and business canvas etc. is primarily regarding the steps of the innovation process they emphasise. The innovator’s method offers a set of tools and methods to consider and test uncertainty at each of the end-to-end innovation process steps. The power of this approach is to ensure start-ups don’t go to market wasting time and resources on things customers don’t want. Many start-ups make the mistake of leaping straight to solutions without first understanding the real problems and uncertainty associated with their product/service.

 

Watch Christine’s presentation below:

 

This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics in the La Trobe Business School. The series was developed after the successful National Innovation Forum organised by La Trobe Business School, NORTH Link and Deloitte Consulting P/L.

More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:

LBS’ collaboration with the Research Centre for China Industry-University-Research Institute

As part of the La Trobe University China Studies Research Centre program, Professor Alex Maritz from LBS recently visited Wuhan University’s Research Centre for China Industry-University-Research Institute. The collaboration’s aim is to improve the volume and quality of joint research with China-based researchers, and help La Trobe staff better understand China through improved access to China-based scholarship.

Universities’ initiatives

After meeting with Professor Li Yanping, Director of the China Research Centre (CRC) and her staff, a heads of agreement was developed. This included the launch of the Journal of Industry University Collaboration (Emerald Publishing), research studies on Entrepreneurship ecosystems, and ongoing engagement and collaboration between LBS and the CRC.  Professor Yanping is the Editor-In-Chief of the journal, and Professor Maritz the inaugural Honorary Editor. The aim of the journal is to publish research for an international audience covering theory, empirical research and practice in the field of cooperation and innovation between industry and universities. The collaboration will also enhance research initiatives between the institutions, such as PhD student exchange, seminars and online initiatives.

The largest Industry-University-Research Centre

Similar to La Trobe University, Wuhan University is ranked in the Top 300 Universities according to ARWU, QS and THE. Wuhan University’s Research Center for China Industry-University-Research Institute is the largest and most prolific Industry-University-Research Centre in China, and Wuhan University is ranked in the top 8 Universities in the Republic of China (ROC), similar to the Australian Group of Eight (Go8).

 

LBS’ Professor of entrepreneurship, Alex Maritz, and Professor Li Yanping, Director of CRC, celebrating the new collaboration and engagement initiatives between the two institutions.

LBS’ Peer Mentorship Network initiative

The La Trobe Business School Peer Mentorship Network (known as the ‘Cafe Club’), is an intellectual climate initiative funded by the Graduate Research School (GRS). The initiative was started by two PhD candidates – the newly graduated Dr Stephen Sim, and recently-confirmed Mrs Madeleine Kendrick. The idea behind the Peer Mentorship Network is to create a welcoming and supportive environment during the often-isolated experience of a research degree, aimed at Honours, Master’s, and PhD candidates in the La Trobe Business School.

During meetings, members share tea, coffee and snacks together while discussing whatever’s on their mind – like ‘How do I get that manuscript perfect for a journal?’ and ‘What do more experienced research candidates know about the library that I don’t?’

Why is it important?

Research shows that peer support and a peer network lead to better mental health and wellbeing among junior researchers. Establishing a community of practice, and a network of friendly faces to chat with on-campus, leads to higher rates of research completion. Also, long-term professional relationships are combined with improved academic performance and a higher overall candidate’s experience and satisfaction (e.g. Collings, Swanson & Watkins, 2014; Leidenfrost, Strassnig, Schutz, Carbon & Schabmann, 2014; Phillips, 2009).

A few months into their regular meetings, members of the Cafe Club have begun to generate a sense of camaraderie and increased collaboration with each other.

Peer writing

The Café Club is mainly about meeting like-minded people, talk about the research journey and connecting to more senior candidates. If you like to meet candidates from other schools or think that bi-monthly is not enough, then the GRS is also offering more productivity focused get-togethers. The GRS runs weekly ‘Shut up and Write’ sessions where researchers come together to write using the Pomodoro method of focused writing (25min) interleaved with short breaks. They also organise a weekly online ‘Shut up and Write’ session, every Monday afternoon on Twitter (@LTUresearchers #LTUsuaw)

When is the next meeting?

The next Cafe Club meeting takes place on Wednesday, September 12 at 3pm in the Martin Building 101

For information on how this initiative was started (so you can begin your own network in another department!), or to find out how to join, please contact Mrs Kendrick at 19460000@students.latrobe.edu.au.

– Madeleine

Madeleine is an inter-disciplinary scholar studying governance practices in public health organisations at LTU. In addition to her work combining psychology, public health and management, she engages in community development activities such as the La Trobe Cafe Club, mentoring doctors’ research skills in WA, and engaging in Science Communications on Twitter (@MIKendrick94).

 

References

  • Collings, Swanson & Watkins (2014). The impact of peer mentoring on levels of student wellbeing, integration and retention: a controlled comparative evaluation of residential students in UK higher education. Higher Education. 68(6), pp 927-942.
  • Leidenfrost, Strassnig, Schütz, Carbon, & Schabmann. (2014). The Impact of Peer Mentoring on Mentee Academic Performance: Is Any Mentoring Style Better than No Mentoring at All?. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 26(1), pp 102-111.
  • Phillips (2009). The Impact of Peer Mentoring in UK Higher Education. [THESIS]. Sup: Swanson, V. University of Stirling; Department of Psychology, School of Natural Sciences. Accessed from; https://dspace.stir.ac.uk/handle/1893/2290#.W1As8tIzbIU

Students working together with industry on real-world issues

Every semester, students enrolled in LBS’ Master of Business Information Management and Systems (MBIMS) get the chance to work on live projects for the subject Business Intelligence Project Analysis and Design (BUS5BPD). This semester the students are undertaking a Digital Twin Inspection Tool project for the Australian Marine and Ship Services in collaboration with Deloitte.

What is digital twin technology?

A digital twin is a virtual model of a process, product or service. These ‘digital twins’ are applied to accelerate design, optimise performance and enable predictive maintenance. When delivered effectively, the results are improved product reliability, availability, safety and a reduction in the cost of delivery. Thus, a digital twin could be seen as a bridge between the physical and digital world.

Digital Twin Inspection Tool

Together with Deloitte, a fictional scenario is created; An Australian shipping company is having trouble aligning their digital twin to the physical asset, and they need an improved toolset to enhance their existing audit processes. Even though the Australian shipping company is a fictional company, the HMAS Castlemaine is used as a physical case study. The HMAS Castlemaine is one of the 60 Australian-built Bathurst Class corvettes to serve throughout World War II and is the last such vessel still afloat. The ship provides students with the opportunity to collect data and test their application. Ultimately, students are expected to capture/validate the physical state of the HMAS Castlemaine in a yet to be developed inspection application for Deloitte, compatible with Apple technology.

Students in front of the HMAS Castlemaine

Guest lectures by Deloitte and Apple

Throughout the semester, a series of guest lectures is provided by Deloitte and Apple. These guest lectures help students develop the digital twin inspection tool while using the philosophy of ‘Design Thinking’. Design Thinking is a design methodology that provides a solution-based approach to solving problems. Besides design thinking, these lectures also cover relevant topics such as the digital twins’ concept and designing the  inspection application architecture of digital twins.

Industry-University collaboration

This project is a great example of how university and industry can collaborate to provide students with the opportunity to apply the skills they learn throughout their degree in the real world. Besides developing an actual prototype, this project enhances students’ academic, career, and personal development, increases their understanding of the work place and makes them career ready.

LBS and Deloitte arranged a site visit to the HMAS Castlemaine to give students the opportunity to visualise the challenge.

LBS Innovation Series: University-industry collaboration and Intellectual Property

Dr. Ben Mitra-Kahn, Chief Economist at IP Australia, challenges the established view according to particular OECD statistics and rankings, that Australia is not very good at university-industry collaboration. This also runs contrary to the views of Innovation and Science Australia, the agency charged with developing a plan for Australia’s innovation prosperity through to 2030.

IP data

Ben’s argument is that the OECD’s understanding stands in contrast to the actual experience in Australia, for universities, industry and government when you examine joint patent application data. This IP data (patents, trademarks, design rights etc.) tells you what people are filing for rights protection and with whom they are partnering. This presentation focussed on presenting data from joint patent applications which is reported in the annual National Innovation Systems Report from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

Why is this important?

Ben referenced research that shows firms that collaborate with research institutions are three times more likely to experience productivity growth. Ben argues when compared to universities internationally Australia’s performance compares very well with highly innovative and countries such as South Korea and Israel. Finally, Ben suggests the IP data demonstrates that joint patent applications between universities and industry are actually increasing in Australia.

 

Watch his presentation below:

 

This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics in the La Trobe Business School. The series was developed after the successful National Innovation Forum organised by La Trobe Business School, NORTH Link and Deloitte Consulting P/L.

More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:

Exploring Vietnam

The Tourism and Hospitality International Study Program (THS3ISP) went on another successful Vietnam Study Tour.

About the tour

La Trobe Business School, in cooperation with Hanoi University offers students studying Bachelor of Business (Tourism and Hospitality), Bachelor of Business (Event Management) and Bachelor of Business Event Management/Marketing) an opportunity to visit Vietnam for a period of two weeks as an optional elective.

The objective of the study tour is to examine and observe the cultural, social and environmental aspects as a tourist, the impacts of government policy and the legacy of war. Vietnam has a very ‘dark’ history due to its strategic location between China and western societies and is therefore an ideal case study for political, cultural and tourist industry examination.

The assessment tasks include a case study relating to war and ethics, a daily reflective journal, a formal report evaluating the differences between the hotel and restaurant standards of Australia and Vietnam, and a group presentation based on photo journal on a given topic.

Who participated?

Itinerary

Students flew to Ho Chi Minh and started their trip with a city tour of Old Saigon where they visited the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Reunification Palace and the Opera House. They also visited the Cu Chi Underground Tunnel and the former site of the Australia’s Nui Dat Task Force base.

Visit to the Australian war memorable

 

Besides visiting sites in Ho Chi Minh, the students also attended lectures at the university.

University of Ho Chi Minh City

From Ho Chi Minh, the group travelled to Danang for a walking tour through Hoi An Old Town and a Vietnamese cooking class. Students also experienced a behind the scenes tour of the hotel they were staying in, the Vinh Hung Emerald, by the Resort Manager.

Meeting Mr Han – The General Manager

The trip then continued to Hue, including a boat ride on the Perfume River visiting the Thien Mu Pagoda and a tour of the Imperial City of the former emperor. The last leg of the trip included a guided tour of Hanoi and also an overnight cruise of Ha Long Bay, including a crispy spring roll cooking class.

Overnight Cruise at Halong Bay

Benefits for students

The experiences and benefits students take away from this trip are countless. Some of the benefits for students are: experiencing a different culture from a tourist’s perspective, immersing themselves into the culture including learning some of the language and eating the local cuisine. Students also gain a deep appreciation of the legacy of war, experiencing different religions, visiting World Heritage sites, meeting managers of hotels, supporting charity restaurants, visiting other universities and meeting local students. It provides a great opportunity for students to make new friends as no-one knew each other prior to the trip.

Find out more information about the Tourism and Hospitality International Study Program (THS3ISP)

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