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Professor Kecheng Liu

Professor of Applied Informatics

Honourary Director, Informatics Research Centre
Programme Director MSc Informatics (Beijing)

Professor kecheng liu 397 3 Kecheng Liu 75e5pfi6i


  • Business Informatics, 
  • Business-IT Strategy, 
  • Strategic Information Systems, 
  • Business Process Modelling, 
  • Organisational Semiotics, 
  • Pervasive Informatics, 
  • Intelligent Information Systems, 
  • Information Services, 
  • Healthcare, 
  • E-Business, 
  • E-Government, 
  • China, 
  • Asia Pacific


LG06, Henley Business School, Whiteknights Campus, University of Reading

Professor Kecheng Liu is a Fellow of the British ComputerSociety, Fellow of the Charted Institute of Management, and Senior Fellow of theHigher Education Academy. He is a full professor and holds a chair of Applied Informatics in Henley Business School, University of Reading. Heis the founding Head of School of Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting(2011 - 2016) which consists of several cognate subject areas: businessinformatics, systems, accounting and financial management. He also founded andis the Honorary Director of Informatics Research Centre. During his academiccareer in British universities for more than 25 years, he has played numerousleadership roles such as director academic programmes at the Masters and PhDlevels, and head of school; and served in the University Senate since 2002. Hehas taught courses in business informatics, information management and systems,and digital strategy and leadership at undergraduate and postgraduate levels,including MBA and EMBA. During his extended sabbatical from 8/2016 to 5/2019, he served as the Executive Vice Chancellor of Wuhan College, a private university of 13,000 students in China sponsored by Charles Yidan Chen, one of the core founders of Tencent.

As an internationally renowned scholar in organisationalsemiotics and business informatics, more than 50 PhD students have graduatedunder his supervision. His research interests and publications span fromorganisational semiotics, digital strategy and architecture, enterpriseinformation systems, business-IT alignment, co-design of business and ITsystems, pervasive informatics, and intelligent spaces for working and living.Kecheng Liu is visiting professor in several universities in China (e.g. RenminUniversity, Beijing Institute of Technology, Shanghai University of Finance andEconomics, and Beijing Jiaotong University).

PhD research opportunity with Professor Kecheng Liu:

  • Visualisation and Data Analytics from a Semiotic Perspective

Please visit the "PhD Opportunity" tab for more information.

New book published in December 2015:

Organisational Semiotics and Business Informatics. Routledge. ISBN 9780415823562. Available for purchasing from Amazon

Informatics in the organisation

Learners develop an understanding of the principles of informatics and effective management of information resource as business competitiveness. This module covers the underpinning theory and methodology of information management and...

Module code: MQM1IIO

Most recent news & media

Teaching Business informatics for MSc in Information Management (with specialisms of Big Data in Business, Business Analysis and Service Design, and Systems Analysis and Design), MSc in Business Technology Consulting, all based in Reading; MSc in Management Information Systems, based in Ghana; and MSc Informatics, based in Beijing.

Visualisation and Data Analytics from a Semiotic Perspective

Digital visualisation is a way of representing data, ranging from a simple form of visual display to a complex interactive animation. The boom in big data has triggered broad use of digital visualization in a variety of domains from, e.g. marketing, finance to healthcare. There are various approaches in realising data visualisation. A well-designed interactive visualisation underpinned by data mining and other analytical capabilities can help the user gain knowledge effectively and support decision-making.

Semiotics is a formal doctrine of signs introduced by Peirce back in the 1930’s. Organisational semiotics places emphasis on the effective use of information in business context. Data, under the study through visualisation, are signs. Organisational semiotics can serve as a theoretical foundation for the research in digital visualisation when pursuing questions such as data availability, access, format (data itself and display format); and particularly meaning (i.e. interpretation), purpose of data presented, and effect of visualised data on the recipients.

This PhD project aims at a key process of scientific inquiry in data visualisation, or a process of knowledge generation from a semiotic perspective. The project can be conducted from several angles, e.g. the conceptualisation as a semiotic process in digital visualisation, and mechanisms for visualisation in a dashboard allowing interactive data analytics and decision-making. High quality, interested applicants are welcome to get in touch with Prof. Liu by sending initial outlines together with CV, transcripts and other supporting documents.

  1. Big Data Driven Innovation and Management of Intelligent Healthcare, funded within the Scheme of Key Projects of National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (2016 – 2021). As the PI for University of Reading, we work with the project partners: Beijing Jiaotong University, Hospital 301 in Beijing, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The project aims to address key issues in health and medical service industry and to provide decision support for management of medical service in China. It involves the development and deployment of medical and health cloud database and platforms, to integrate the information resources of public health, basic medical care, basic medical service quality, measure of drug use, medical insurance and others. The project will reserach into the interconnection, sharing and optimal allocation of information resources in the urban and rural, medical and health institutions, and public health agencies and relevant authorities, to offer sulutions to improve the health service systems at the national, regional and district levels. Emerging technologies such mobile health, cloud computing and big data analytics will be used to build a platform for extending the quality services to provincial and rural areas.

  1. Economic Development, Technology and Entrepreneurship in Kazakhstan’s Energy Value China Competitiveness (2015 – 2017), a project funded by the British Council Newton Fund, based in the Kazakh-British Centre for Competitiveness led by Prof. Yelena Kalyuzhnova, with partnership of Kazakh-British Technical University in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

As the ICT theme leader, I am responsible for leading the team to investigate the use of ICT to enhance the competitiveness of Kazakh energy value network. The team also explores the role of ICT, particularly 3rd platform technologies such as cloud and mobile technologies in developing the resilience and competitiveness of Kazakh business ecosystems through economic diversification and digitization.

  1. E-Leadership skills for SMEs, an EU funded project (2014 – 2015). Through the coordination of Empirica (Germany), 5 top European business schools partnered in this project: Henley Business School (UK), TiasNimbos (NL), Antwerp Management School (Belgium), Aarhus Business School (Denmark), and New Bulgaria University Business School (Bulgaria) work together to investigate the demands, shortage and landscape of digital skills and leadership in European context. The project set the agenda and curricula for professional and executive training as well as academic educational programmes. As the lead from Henley Business School, a team of 5 colleagues successfully delivered a range of outcomes which contribute to the recommendations on policies and implementation guidelines for EU and national policy makers. The end results also include roadmaps and guidance for universities and industrial trainers on leveraging the potential for EU to remain competitive in the digital transformation.
  2. January 2016 – Novermbert 2019, CI (PI Prof. Anupam Nanda), Personalised Urban Living Solutions (PULS), grant value of £120k funded by UK Technology and Strategy Board (TSB), (Grant number TS/N005082/1m UoR Project code H5230800)
  3. April 2015 – March 2017, CI (PI Prof. Yelena Kalyuzhnova), British Council Newton Fund £254k, (Ref 172697816), Kazakh-British Centre for Competitiveness – enhancing competitiveness and prosperity.
  4. January 2014 – June 2015, PI, EU funded project €67k, e-Leadership skills for SMEs, (SI2.ACPROCE061259800)
  5. August 2013 – November 2016, PI, KTP project £142,353, Knowledge management enabling sharing of best practice in a global, distributed and collaborative business environment, with UBSA (KTP009100) (This project is extended with more funding till February 2017)

KTP projects

  1. Knowledge management enabling sharing of best practice in a global, distributed and collaborative business environment. With UBSA (United Bible Society Association, a major charity organization headquartered in the UK), this project aims to examine interoperability and knowledge sharing between large and complex organizational network. The project will deliver a set of business solutions underpinned by technical capabilities. (2013 – 2017).
  2. Semantics and Pragmatics in the new generation of Web 3. Working with System Associate, a consultancy firm serving customers of governments, education, public and other sectors, the project delivers the technology platforms and applications, drawing our research outcomes in semantic and pragmatic web and dynamic ontologies. (2011 – 2014).