Case Study 2015 is now available. It is focused on Asociación de Supermercados Independientes: An investigation into Big Data. This case study is the basis for the Paper 3 examinations for both May 2015 and November 2015.

The scenario is fictitious and describes how 300 independent family-owned supermarkets in Mexico have created an association in order to :

  • use “economies of scale” in order to purchase goods and complete with larger supermarket chains
  • analyze the data from customer purchases through a loyalty card system
  • analyze the data collected from store operations
  • make informed decisions about stock management

Some of the challenges faced in the case study include:

  • analyzing big data from customers and from store operations
  • communicating the data analytics approach
  • ethical and social impacts of collecting customer data
  • implementation issues relating to the IT system

As a preliminary approach to secondary research two online services are available:

ITGS teachers and students are welcome to join the Facebook group: 2015 ITGSopedia Case Study where relevant resources are posted by all members so that they can also be bookmarked and displayed on ITGSopedia Wiki: Case Study 2015- Paper 3, It is not necessary to join ITGSopedia wiki because it is an information source and not a collaborative space.

When the school year begins, ITGS teachers may wish to set up a wiki for their own class to collect and analyze their findings. A wiki allows  ITGS students  from different schools to contribute and collaborate. It also provides a broader perspective on how independent supermarkets may operate in real situations. It is also advisable that an ITGS class have access to a social bookmarking group on Diigo and also agree on a set of tags. When information is found it is good if the same set of tags are used by all students in the class.

An approach:

  1. Students will read the article and identify information in the article that relate to the four parts of the ITGS Triangle.
  2. The class will collect all of the ITGS terminology found within the article and at the end of the article. Definitions, explanations and diagrams relating to the terminology will be recorded on the wiki along with the source cited using correct format.
  3. The class will formulate questions for inquiry into the case study. New questions can be added as secondary research progresses. Secondary research will include websites, pdf files, videos, printed magazines and books. Reliable sources must be used.
  4. During the collection of secondary research some primary investigations may be carried out so that the students develop a better understanding of the IT systems used in the scenario. These can include stock management/ordering systems, loyalty card systems, check out systems, systems designed to analyze big data collected from customers and from store operations.
  5. Students will then look to compare findings from primary sources with the findings from secondary research. Primary research could include an organized visit to an association of supermarkets, visit to a local supermarket to analyze the loyalty card system and IT systems, presentation from a manager of a supermarket. Again the sources must be cited.
  6. After students have collected all of the secondary and primary research, they should project what kinds of questions could appear on Paper 3.

Both the secondary and primary research form the foundation for the Mock examination and also for preparing students for the actual examinations. It is important to keep good notes so that information can be reviewed before the exam and the related sources can be provided.