Overview

With computers and global connectivity, everything we do has the potential to affect everyone else-- both negatively and positively.

Computer security is an example of largely negative impacts. Spam floods our inboxes. Crooks attack our computers within minutes of connecting to the Internet. Identity theft is rampant and personal privacy disappears along with our bank accounts. My infected computer makes you buy anti-virus software

But of course it isn't all bad. Mobile phones with email connect us with friends no matter where we or they are. Amazon reviews help us figure out what products to buy. Google and Wikipedia provide instant answers. Facebook connects us with friends-- and Twitter lets us know when they are brushing their teeth.

I like to study the influence of this evolving computer inter-connectivity on business, primarily through large scale data analysis. Here are some questions I am trying to figure out...

Security and Risk

  • Does installing a computer system create a "smoking gun" and make a hospital more likely to get sued? details...
  • Sure "with enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow", but does having open source code make it easier for attackers? details...
  • Does paying people to find bugs in software do more harm than good? details...
  • ...and others

Emerging social, mobile, and grid computing

  • What do businesses like Starbucks gain from using Facebook and Twitter? details...
  • What make some Wikipedia pages more useful than others? details...
  • How are restaurant reviews different if they are fired off from a mobile phone while sitting in the restaurant? details...
  • ...and others

Strategic use of information technology

  • Do online auto auctions hurt or help physical auctions? details...
  • Should companies acquire technology startups early while they are risky but cheap or later when they are known but expensive? details...
  • When do startup biotech companies make more money from being acquired rather going public? details...
  • ...and others

Articles

Deodorizing Your Data Deodorizing Your Data

Problems with data quality come from a lot of sources — short-term solutions, mergers or acquisitions, or even the mundane complications of living in a complex society. The “stench” that develops when data quality declines can create serious issues for data-driven business. If a foul odor is emanating from your data, one solution might lie in refactoring analytics processes.

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Participant Questions From the Recent “Internet of Things” Webinar Participant Questions From the Recent “Internet of Things” Webinar

On July 30th, 2015, we held a webinar on “Managing Data in the Age of the Internet of Things.” At the end of the webinar, many participants asked questions, but we didn’t have time to answer them all during the webinar itself. We’ll answer some of the most popular questions here.

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Better Decision Making with Objective Data is Impossible Better Decision Making with Objective Data is Impossible

“Our world is awash in data, and data is not the same thing as facts,” writes Boston College's Sam Ransbotham. “While data seems to promise objectivity, instead it requires analysis — which is replete with subjective interpretation.” Ransbotham argues that while having data is a necessary step towards making objective decisions, it’s a myth that data is objective. Moreover, findings that counter current thinking provide organizations with opportunity for distinction, differentiation and advantage.

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Marketing In Five Dimensions Marketing In Five Dimensions

Computers, scanners, mobile and wearable technology have made it both easier and harder for companies to find their customers. Easier, because there’s so much more data about consumer behavior; harder, because analyzing that data is a significant challenge (never mind deciding how to act on the analytics). Companies like Epsilon are stepping up to help businesses to figure out what the data tell them about their customers — and what to do with that knowledge. In a Q&A, Epsilon’s CEO Andy Frawley describes some of the challenges his company works through on a daily basis.

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The New Data Republic: Not Quite a Democracy The New Data Republic: Not Quite a Democracy

There are clear signs that the movement to democratize data is making real progress. Barriers such as infrastructure, culture, tools, and governance that once kept data access limited are quickly eroding. But access to data isn’t enough: Data democratization also requires knowing how to work with data and understand data analysis tools and techniques. Without these capabilities, the data democracy is only an illusion — and most people are still unable to participate fully.

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At This Education Nonprofit, A Is for Analytics At This Education Nonprofit, A Is for Analytics

Christopher House is a Chicago-based education nonprofit that prepares children and families from low-income households for success in life, in school and the workplace. Over the last 10 years, says CEO Lori Baas, the organization has focused on high-quality infant school, pre-school, early childhood education, elementary school, afterschool, and parent school programs, college and career readiness, and a commitment to using data at every step in every program along that continuum of education. In 2013, Christopher House opened an elementary school to expand the continuum of learning. Christopher House has an agency-wide database system to track student outcomes — data that’s used to assess programs and make program improvements.

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Commentary: ‘No Pain, No Gain’ in the Transition to Data-Driven Health Care Commentary: ‘No Pain, No Gain’ in the Transition to Data-Driven Health Care

My commentary on the "When Health Care Gets a Healthy Dose of Data" case study.

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On the Care and Feeding of Your Analytics Talent On the Care and Feeding of Your Analytics Talent

A panel of experts discusses the challenges of finding, engaging and organizing data scientists for best results. They talk about how to support your data scientists and keep them engaged in the right kinds of tasks and how to integrate new talent into your existing data and analytics team. They also talk about the skills and traits to look for when recruiting and selecting your data/analytics team, and how to assess existing internal talent for data roles.

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Participant Questions from the Recent Data & Analytics Webinar Participant Questions from the Recent Data & Analytics Webinar

On May 7, 2015, we held a free, live webinar to share the findings and insights from the latest MIT Sloan Management Review Data and Analytics Big Idea Initiative research report, “The Talent Dividend.” The report presents our findings on the role of analytics talent in creating competitive advantage. At the end of the webinar, many participants asked questions. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to answer them all during the webinar itself. So instead, we’ll answer some of the questions this month, and some next month.

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Coca-Cola’s Unique Challenge: Turning 250 Datasets Into One Coca-Cola’s Unique Challenge: Turning 250 Datasets Into One

At The Coca-Cola Company, one of the big challenges is how to understand customers who are a long pipeline away in the inherently intermediated world of hundreds of Coke bottlers. That means moving toward newer technologies to do more forward-looking analytics versus backward-looking analytics, says the company’s Remco Brouwer and Mathew Chacko.

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Upcoming...

2015-09-19

Workshop for ISR special issue on Ubiquitous IT and Digital Vulnerabilities

2015-10-01

Research presentation on corporate innovation contests at the SIM APC meeting

2015-10-01

Business analytics executive education for Bank of America at Georgia Tech

2015-10-02

Research presentation at the University of Minnesota

2015-10-02

Industry-Academia Talk on Digital Transformation at the University of Minnesota

Recent...

2015-07-30

Internet of Things Webinar for MIT Sloan Management Review

2015-06-01

Analytics presentation for Mass Big Data Advisory Committee

2015-05-21

Reserch presentation on innovation contests at MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy

2015-04-21

Business analytics executive education for Bank of America at Georgia Tech

2015-04-10

Mobile marketing presentation at UConn Global Marketing Colloquium

2015-03-10

Business analytics executive education for General Electric at Georgia Tech

2015-01-30

Security research presentation for Temple University

2014-11-05

Panelist for the Digital Analytics Association

2014-10-13

Security research presentation for Northwestern University

2014-09-08

Security analytics presentation at the HIMSS Privacy & Security Forum

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