Sameer Hasija, Associate Professor of Technology and Operations Management
Period 3 | May-June 2018|
Management gurus have implicit incentives of coining new frameworks/buzz words every few years or so. Some of these frameworks radically shape the future of businesses, some become the flavor of the day but die out eventually, and some get relabeled/re-phrased/re-buzzed every now and then but never really go up or out. The latest buzz word that is getting a lot of attention is “big-data”.
What is big-data? I guess the first-order answer is that it is tons of data! And to some extent this answer makes sense — rapid growth in technology has enabled us in collecting, storing, and analyzing large amounts of data with modest investments in computing power. But this answer covers only the tip of the ice-berg. The important question is: other than the usual sources such as RFID, CRM, etc., is there a new source generating loads of data? And the obvious answer to this question is: the Web 2.0 revolution, which has created a platform for end users to communicate back with the internet, creating loads of user-generated-content (UGC) which has provided enterprises with partial access to the minds of their customers creating unprecedented opportunities.
Why do people share their likes/dislikes, where they had dinner, what movie they saw, their relationship status, sometimes their most intimate personal information, etc. is a mystery to many. How long will this phenomenon last? Perhaps with more awareness and concerns of privacy, end users may be less inclined to share their intimate personal information, but may still continue to share their opinions and less intrusive personal details. Maybe with time UGC will diminish significantly taking us back to the days of “regular-data”. I do not know. But no business, small/ big, old/new, can ignore what big-data means for them today. This is a very new field — most organizations today are “data rich” but “knowledge poor”.
Some (very important) clarifications about this course:
- This is not a strategy or marketing course. We will discuss potential strategy and marketing issues every now and then, but that would not be the agenda of the course and would be an outcome of how the discussion in the classroom evolves (I encourage discussion, even if we veer off from the core structure of the class for a bit).
- This is an analytics course. Some basic level of analytical skill is necessary for this course. That said, this is not a statistics class. Your UDJ professor must have repeatedly told you that often simple statistical models outperform the complicated ones. Moreover, with more information/data one should naturally expect less need for complex statistical models (we would not need any statistical model if we knew everything about everything). That said, even simple models may not do well if we do not use the correct metrics or measurements, or if we do not spend time in understanding the data.
- This course is not going to make you a big-data expert. This course is not focused on smart ways of analyzing big-data. This course is focused on UGC (available widely via social media platforms) — more specifically on measurements and metrics that are useful, in a business context, when working with UGC.
Course Sessions, Readings, Assignments, Deliverables
In this mini course, my aim is to share with you some recently developed body of knowledge in the area of social media analytics. The course will comprise of four double sessions, where each session will be a combination of lectures and breakouts. In the breakout sessions, participants of the course will get a chance to get some hands-on experience of doing some basic analytics.
Session 1: Introduction to social networks, metrics, and analysis of customer network value.
Session 2: Email data analysis: Sherlock Holmes and analytics.
Session 3: Text analytics: semantic networks, lift scores, sentiment analysis, trends.
Session 4: Valuation of a social media platform and wrap-up.