The Challenge of Business Informatics

Business Informatics and the broader domain of Information Science, concerns the structuring, processing, and communication of information within organizations and society. Information processes with individuals and organizations should be viewed from a technical perspective, and from cognitive, social, and organizational perspectives. Technology in information science is both an enabler and a driver for innovation. As such, business informatics focuses on solving problems with technology, and developing new technologies where computer science and society meet. Information science plays a central part in all technology innovations and is omnipresent. It is multi-disciplinary and can function as a connective field for innovations in highly specific domains.

The programme objective of the two year research Master in Business Informatics is to prepare students to analyse information management issues in organizational environments and to develop innovative ICT solutions in organizations and society. The research methodology that is typically used in MBI projects is multifaceted, and can be quantitative, qualitative, and design science. These three are combined to analyse problems in the domain and formulate, design, and evaluate solutions. The programme focuses on three domains in the field.

  • Complex Software Systems: concerns the design, architecture, production, and implementation of complex software systems that support organizations in achieving their goals. Furthermore, it focuses on entrepreneurship with these systems.
  • Data Science Systems: concerns the role of data, information, and knowledge in society and organizations. Data science deals primarily with the analysis, collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval, movement, dissemination, and protection of information in organizations.
  • Learning and Persuasive Technologies: concerns the adoption and implementation of complex technologies. In particular, the programme focuses on technologies that encourage end-users to learn and to change their behaviour, using relevant techniques, such as persuasive interfaces and behaviour influencing wearable technology.

These three domains are unique to Utrecht University and prepare students to pursue PhD trajectories in the field. As the programme in Utrecht is a two-year research master, fundamental research pillars support the three domains: every course also addresses research methods and highlights academic progress in the domain. With this focus, we tackle the challenge that the information systems domain is multi-disciplinary by nature and covers many disciplines.