IDC runs the Third Visual Analytics Summer School, VASS 2013.


With sponsorship from the US Office of Naval Research, Boeing, the UKVAC and Middlesex University, VASS 2013 featured 29 invited speakers who are experts in various aspects of visualisation, analytics, and human factors and cognition. Topics included the application of visual analytics to business intelligence, financial systemic risk analysis, advanced analysis and identification of communities, sub-space clustering, text analytics and how it is used in the study of an unfamiliar language such as the quran, and many other advanced topics.  A special feature of this year’s VASS was the cooperation with CANVAS – the Canadian Visual Analytics Summer School held at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and with VIVA (the Vancouver Institute of Visual Analytics) at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver. VASS and CANVAS shared the daily keynote addresses, broadcasted from both Halifax and London via video conference link, enabling question and answering from both sides of the Atlantic. VASS 2013 ran from 15-19 July 2013.

E-customer relationship management readiness in the banking industry: the case of Egypt

This study explores social and technical aspects of the electronic Customer Relationship Management (e-CRM) in Egypt. A pragmatic research approach using mixed methods with a range of stakeholders was employed. A framework is drawn in order to identify the main factors affecting e-CRM readiness in the Egyptian banking industry. In order to better understand the problem at hand, three different structured questionnaires were devised to survey a large number of bank employees and users. Data collected was analysed statistically using SPSS. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with a small number of decision makers at five different banks, which allowed a more penetrating study in Egyptian banking industry. Quantitative method was used through distributing a questionnaire to employees in five banks. Data obtained from the questionnaire was triangulated with data gathered from other sources: interviews with branch managers and observations. Findings of the empirical research were evaluated against the framework suggested in the beginning leading to a final framework that assesses e-CRM readiness in banking industry. Findings revealed that the use of technology, organisational culture, corporate strategy and customer perceptions affect e-CRM readiness while the employees’ perception does not affect e-CRM readiness. The interpretation of the results illustrated that organisational culture and corporate strategy have a strong effect one-CRM readiness, whereas use of technology has a modest effect on it. The investigation was conducted mainly in Alexandria, as the second main city in Egypt. From the data analysis, supported by a review of literature, a revised framework was generated. When results were brought together, similarities and differences between employees, customers and bank managers helped the researcher better understand the problem at hand, derive conclusions and make recommendations to the main stakeholders, which would help promote and enhance the e-CRM in Egypt.

Visit from Dr Vicki Lemieux, University of British Columbia


Dr Vicki Lemieux is Asst Professor at the School of Library, Archival  and Information Studies, and Director of CIFER (Centre for the Investigation of  Financial Electronic Records) and the new Director of MAGIC (Media and Graphics  Interdisciplinary Centre) at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC,  Canada, gave a talk on the use of visual analytics in financial systemic risk  analysis. Taking a Latourian perspective, Dr Lemieux described some of her  work, e.g. using concept maps together with domain ontologies as a means to  study financial system risks, and its intermediate checks.

International Research Scholar fellowship awarded

Dr Vicki Lemieux, with Professor  William Wong, were successful in their application for an International  Research Scholar fellowship at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at  the University of British Columbia. Through a competitive process, the  Institute selects eminent scientists and scholars to work in an  inter-disciplinary environment to foster innovative research. Professor Wong will  spend initially 4 weeks at UBC working with Dr Lemieux to extend on work  started at the November 2011 NATO meeting in Vancouver, and the NSERC and  VACCINE funded May 2012 Banff meeting, on how visual analytics can be used in  financial systemic risk analysis at both a micro- and macro-prudential level.