How to make better decisions faster! PHBS students learn AI Analytics and its application to business

29th February 2020
The UK Campus of PHBS starts a new term this week, at the end of February 2020. In this new term, students from our China Campus will take a new cutting-edge course: Artificial Intelligence (AI) Analytics and its Application to Business.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly changing the decision-making processes in management and finance. With the emergence of big data, the expansion of computational capacity, and the evolution of research in technology, AI has become an integral part of modern-day businesses. At PHBS-UK, we are constantly striving to keep at the forefront of the new developments in technology and adopt these cutting edge developments into our teaching and research.


For the first week, Dr Alastair Moore gave a brief introduction on the latest developments in AI with regards financial applications used in areas like algorithmic trading, risk management and process automation. Dr Moore has a wealth of experience in applied Business Intelligence, Data Mining, Machine Learning and Statistical Analysis in a variety of settings. He was on the founding team on spin-out (Data Science) and venture backed (Real Estate).

In the second part of the lecture, Dr Moore went on to further to discuss with the students the fundamental theories and concepts underpinning AI. This is important because a thorough understanding of the framework would enable the students to have a comprehensive grasp of what is machine learning and how to implement machine learning algorithms such as Decision Tree, Random Forest and Naïve Bayes. As the nature of learning about machine learning algorithms in AI requires a hands-on approach, most of the lecture took place in the computer lab. There, the students can put into practice what they have learnt about the theory and implementation of these algorithms in Python. Dr Moore’s teaching style with a focus on details and hands-on supervision is very much in line with that of Peking University. We are very glad to have Dr Moore share his knowledge and expertise with our students.


This course aims to provide our students with a rigorous, and practical foundation in basic programming skills, classical machine learning, and AI so as to help the students unlock the value of data. By taking this course, our students will be equipped with cutting-edge AI techniques for their future research and career development in the areas of Finance and Management. They will be equipped with sought after skills such as the ability to transform and map big data, to model financial problems and analyse them using machine learning algorithms, and to make predictions based on the model. These modelling, analysis, and prediction skills would make our students an asset to any financial institution.

At the end of the class, an informal survey was conducted to better understand the learning needs of our students and how the course can be improved to suit their needs. Most students were very positive about the course, providing comments like, “This class is perfect for me. I like the way it is organized and the content is very useful”, and “The course is very useful and the professor and his teaching assistant are very attentive towards helping us understand the logic behind coding”. Some constructive comments were also provided, i.e., “the hope for more case studies to be incorporated into the course”, and “slowing down the pace for beginners to coding”. PHBS-UK aims to take all these comments on board and provide a conducive learning environment for all our students to achieve their fullest potential.

Below are the testimonies from students. PHBS-UK aims to continuously develop this course to make sure that it caters to the needs of the students and equip them with the forefront skills for further research and career development.


Testimonials from visiting students (from PHBS Shenzhen Campus)
•I hope that we could look at more case studies during the lecture; For example, cases about different housing categories in US, or more application cases in business areas.
•This class is perfect for me. I like the way it is organised and the content is very useful for me. The only thing that I concerned about is the speed. It is a little bit hard to follow the lecture because I do not have a background in programming.
•The course is useful and the professor and his assistant are very kind. I think it is wonderful that the professor helps us to understand code by explaining the logic behind it. Anyway, brilliant course.
•This class is very interesting and useful. However, it is also a little bit challenging for me because there are a lot of basic knowledge assumed in the first class. It seems to me that the pace of this course is a little too fast for me to follow.

Written by Yuting Hang, Edited by Prof Guy Liu, Dr Carryn Yong and Anabela Santos