Alumni Lecture: Rock Leung - Designing Next-Generation Business Analytics


Date: Thurs., Jan 30, 2014

Time: 6 pm (Networking starts at 6 pm, lecture starts at 6:30 pm

Location: Rm C225, Robson Square

Speaker: Rock Leung, Academic Research Center Manager, SAP

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Analytics help individuals and organizations draw actionable insights from their data. Business Analytics can help, for example, a CFO assess how well the business did the last quarter, a business analyst discover new market opportunities, and a store manager understand which products are selling better than others. According to the IDC, business analytics is an umbrella term for a number of different solutions, including enterprise performance management (e.g., financial, production planning, supply chain), traditional Business Intelligence solutions (e.g., query, reporting, dashboards) and more advanced analytics tools (e.g,. data mining, predictive analytics, unstructured data analysis). Analytics solution vendors are continuously innovating to capture a larger piece of the growing $35 billion/year business analytics market. It’s an exciting time to be a business analytics vendor and consumer.

SAP is the market leader of enterprise application software, and this talk will discuss its vision for the next generation of business analytics. This talk will focus more on user interface design challenges and solutions than on the technology needed to build such solutions (this talk should complement the last industry talk by Geoff Fawkes on Analytics, Big Data and Hadoop).

In this talk, I will briefly cover relevant business and technology trends, and share how we are rethinking the way employees, partners, and customers make use of data and interact with each other. I will describe the various types of users that we are designing for (i.e., Administrator, Designer, Analyst, and Decision Maker). I will also present a concept we call the Network of Truth, a way these different users can work together to access and share knowledge. There will be time for the audience to discuss the presented ideas. This talk is targeted to people interested in using or building analytics. Little technical or user interface design knowledge is needed.


Rock Leung currently runs SAP Canada’s Academic Research Center, which enables SAP researchers and developers to collaborate with Canadian graduate students and professors to research innovative solutions. Past collaborations have focused on visual analytics, business intelligence, collaborative decision making, software engineering and software testing. Rock has 10+ years of industry experience, working for a wide variety of companies.

Rock obtained a PhD in Computer Science at UBC, specializing in Human-Computer Interaction. His PhD research focused on studying user interface design approaches for improving the learnability of smartphone applications for older adults. He has actively contributed to several professional development programs at UBC and has received awards for his service and leadership. He has experience in academic-industry research collaborations as an academic researcher, as well as an industry partner. Rock enjoys sci-fi movies, sushi and playing Lego with his 5-year old daughter. See and for more information.