MIT Sloan Executive Education

innovation@work™ Blog

Tag Archives: Mit Sloan

Will big data go away?

That was just one of the many questions debated during the “Big Data, Analytics and Insights” session at this year’s MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, held in late May 2014. The panel was moderated by Professor Tom Davenport, Fellow with the MIT Center for Digital Business, and included Barry Morris, Founder & CEO of NuoDB; Darrell Fernandes, CIO of the Professional Services Group at Fidelity Investments; Don Taylor, CTO of Benefitfocus; and Puneet Batra, Founder of LevelTrigger.

The short answer to that question is “maybe.” The term “big data,” which Davenport pointed out took off during the last quarter of 2010, means different things to different people. For some, big data refers to unstructured data. But to others, it refers to the variety, velocity, and volume of data that companies can attempt to harness for competitive advantage. In order to bring clarification to the discussion, Don Taylor often refers to it as “unwieldy” data. Other terms that are gaining some traction in the industry are “data-wise,” “data intelligence,” and “e-knowledge.”  Continue reading

What do search, the customer decision process, and NYC taxi cabs have in common?

One would think that searching online, how customers select products to purchase, and NY taxi cabs have very little in common. Or, that it’s the start of a joke. Actually both statements are wrong—a quick look at NY taxi cabs reveals a lot about customer behavior.

As Duncan Simester—NTU Chair in Management Science and Professor of Marketing at MIT Sloan School of Management—pointed out in his MIT Sloan Executive Education webinar, “Understanding the Customer Decision Process: Why Good Products Fail,” “Customers exhibit some basic behaviors when they make purchasing decisions: they search for information, they make inferences, and when they can’t search, they use observable information. But this process invariably means tradeoffs.” Continue reading

Can crowdfunding democratize access to capital?

The answer—as given by a panel sponsored by the MIT Innovation Initiative at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship—is “yes.” But the panel articulated there’s much more to crowdfunding—it is also democratizing investment opportunities for investors of all kinds.  Continue reading

The need for supply chain flexibility

According to David Simchi-Levi, Professor of Engineering Systems at MIT Sloan, “a growing number of U.S. executives are moving some production operations back from overseas.” While there are a great number of factors driving that trend, one is the need for supply chain flexibility. Today’s global supply chain presents a significant amount of risk, mostly due to the combination of geographically diverse supply chains and Just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing that results in low inventory levels.  Continue reading

Clients and their perceptions can prevent successful diversification

Why is it that some organizations can successfully diversify, while others cannot? Some businesses can increase their complexity by expanding into new markets, creating new products or services for new audiences and succeed, while others seek to do so, and fail.

Ezra Zuckerman, Professor of Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management at MIT Sloan, claims that there are identity-based limits to diversification that have more to do with a client’s perception of the organization than the actual integrity of the services delivered by the organization. In other words, an organization can have superior talent, the best operations, and a delivery of new services or products that is top notch, but if somehow this new direction clashes with a client’s perception of the firm, they may lose the client. These factors should be closely examined prior to a company’s diversification.  Continue reading