Using transdisciplinary methods to catalyse positive change in an uncertain manufacturing environment

This is a Centre for Decision Research (CDR) Seminar taking place at Leeds University Business School on Wednesday 27 September 2017

Dr Christina Phillips, lecturer at Leeds University Business School, will be delivering the first presentation to launch the Centre for Decision Research's 2017/18 seminar series. 

Applying analytics in organisations to gain maximum effect is a complex task, when there is a high degree of uncertainty. Yet, its effective use can help to improve workflow and enhance job satisfaction. 

In this seminar, Dr Christina Phillips presents a snapshot of her work on the development of Human Centric Analytics: creating analytics applications which have context and meaning for the users and producers of data. Outputs of this research have enabled individuals to augment their working practice and improve personal work flow - there is evidence of users and producers becoming experts themselves (moving toward self-service analytics), whilst active participation in the development of analytics changed perceptions and improved practice. 

To perform this work, a variety of methods were incorporated; from interpretive research (Soft Systems Methodology and Action Research), to quantitative analytical methods (statistics, forecasting and simulation). Studying the coupled use of such methods was aided by examining the dynamic interplay of the soft and the hard, and the ‘dance of agency’, which takes place between the human, computer, algorithmic and procedural agents. In this way, it is possible to examine the changing dynamics of socio-technical systems, such as supply chain forecasting and scheduling\planning, to gain academic insights which feed theoretical development. Due to the inherently practitioner focussed methods, the work provides insights and methods which are of tangible benefit to both the practitioner and academia.


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About the speaker

Dr Christina Phillips

Dr Christina J. Phillips has an eclectic background from tutoring in Physics and Statistics to running her own art and design company. Her specialism has always been in Mathematical Modelling but through recent in-industry research this has been extended to include ways to facilitate and maximise benefit from participative modelling and design. 

Her work has helped to improve operations and promote cultural change in a multinational organisation. Leading to substantial savings across the organisation and moving it toward a more questioning data driven culture.

Christina also worked for four and half years as a Business Analyst and Researcher at Siemens Healthineers, providing senior management and staff with Business Intelligence and improving their data management. In this work she gained an understanding of the analytics needs of businesses and experienced first-hand many of the difficulties faced by organisations in moving toward a data driven culture.