Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Information Systems

First Advisor



Recently, the interest in the business application of analytics and data science has increased significantly. The popularity of data analytics and data science comes from the clear articulation of business problem solving as an end goal. To address limitations in existing literature, this dissertation provides four novel design artifacts for Knowledge Discovery via Data Analytics (KDDA). The first artifact is a Snail Shell KDDA process model that extends existing knowledge discovery process models, but addresses many existing limitations. At the top level, the KDDA Process model highlights the iterative nature of KDDA projects and adds two new phases, namely Problem Formulation and Maintenance. At the second level, generic tasks of the KDDA process model are presented in a comparative manner, highlighting the differences between the new KDDA process model and the traditional knowledge discovery process models. Two case studies are used to demonstrate how to use KDDA process model to guide real world KDDA projects. The second artifact, a methodology for theory building based on quantitative data is a novel application of KDDA process model. The methodology is evaluated using a theory building case from the public health domain. It is not only an instantiation of the Snail Shell KDDA process model, but also makes theoretical contributions to theory building. It demonstrates how analytical techniques can be used as quantitative gauges to assess important construct relationships during the formative phase of theory building. The third artifact is a data mining ontology, the DM3 ontology, to bridge the semantic gap between business users and KDDA expert and facilitate analytical model maintenance and reuse. The DM3 ontology is evaluated using both criteria-based approach and task-based approach. The fourth artifact is a decision support framework for MCDA software selection. The framework enables users choose relevant MCDA software based on a specific decision making situation (DMS). A DMS modeling framework is developed to structure the DMS based on the decision problem and the users' decision preferences and. The framework is implemented into a decision support system and evaluated using application examples from the real-estate domain.


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