Data 4Dx is
a live, online offering of our popular
program. Conducted using
exciting AvayaLive EngageTM technology,
participants experience the on-campus session of Big Data as avatars
in a web
based, “4D” environment, engaging with the same
faculty, content, discussions, and exercises of the on-campus
class—in real time.
program explores how big data changes the way IT interacts with the
rest of the organization, cutting across business units and functions
to create new value, and how it can have a huge impact on business
Big Data 4Dx (online)
Certificate Track: Management and Leadership
Program Days (for certificate credit): 2
There are currently no sessions of Big Data 4Dx scheduled. Please subscribe to the email list (at right), and we will notify you when new session dates are added.
Big Data: Making Complex Things Simpler
"In the past, IT worked primarily with finance to run reports, which were often used to justify decisions leaders had already made. That is changing with big data. Managers are analyzing enormous data sets to discover new patterns and running controlled experiments to test hypothesis. Decision making that was once based on hunches and intuition is now driven by data and knowledge."—Erik Brynjolfsson
Today, businesses can measure their activities and customer relationships with unprecedented precision. As a result, they are awash with data. This is particularly evident in the digital economy, where clickstream data give precisely targeted and real-time insights into consumer behavior, but leading edge companies in every industry are using big data to replace intuition and guesswork.
This program prepares you to understand and lead this revolution in your organizations by:
Collectively, the practices taught in this program constitute a new kind of "R&D" that draws on the strengths of digitization to speed innovation, increase customer loyalty, and improve execution.
Based on research in MIT’s Media Lab and the MIT Center for Digital Business, Professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Sandy Pentland will explore how big data changes the way IT interacts with the rest of the organization, cutting across business units and functions to create new value, and how it can have a huge impact on business results. They draw on the world-leading research that has made the big data revolution possible.
Through examples, case studies, and discussion in buzz groups, participants will learn how organizations are using big data effectively in fields as diverse as marketing, retailing, branches of government and healthcare. The program will encourage participants to apply these concepts in the context of their own organizations—including defining problems that could benefit from the application of big data concepts, brainstorming sources of data, and designing experiments to collect and analyze data in ways that are acceptable to customers—to create new value.
Learn about the online classroom experience.
Participants in this program will learn:
"You should think of data roughly the way you think of money, it’s something you own, it’s something you can loan to people, but you want to get something back in exchange for it, such as a more useful search engine or real time traffic information."—Sandy Pentland
Big Data 4Dx is designed for senior executives and managers interested in learning more about the big data revolution and how they can use big data in their own organizations. Participants include:
This new online offering of the Big Data program will give people who might not otherwise be able to travel to MIT the opportunity to attend online and experience first-hand the value of MIT executive education programs.
Big Data 4Dx will be conducted using AvayaLive EngageTM, a web-based, immersive collaboration environment which goes far beyond the typical one-to-many presentation dynamic of online education. Unlike the passive nature of most online courses whereby participants simply view a pre-recorded lecture, Big Data 4Dx will be a completely engaging, live experience in which participants interact in a “4D” virtual room with the faculty and fellow students via personalized “avatars.” The participants will be able to talk and move around, and they will feel like they, not just their avatars, are present in the classroom at MIT. The online attendees will be participating in the same, live class as the on-campus students. The course faculty, Erik Brynjolfsson and Sandy Pentland, will periodically use their own avatars to pop into the virtual environment to engage with the online participants.
AvayaLive Engage utilizes a unique “4D” technology that allows visitors to the virtual space to not only move about in a 3D environment but also enjoy the added benefit of spatial/positional audio capability. Research shows that the way information is received aurally is critical to conveying a true “being-there” feeling. AvayaLive Engage delivers a genuinely spatial audio experience that enables listeners to become directionally attuned to the location of voices and sounds. As participants move about the room, the voices of other participants will become louder or softer, depending on proximity. This allows for smaller, break-out group discussions within the virtual classroom. In addition to the 4D experience within the online classroom, participants will also be able to view the activity taking place live in the on-campus classroom, getting to know the faculty and participants located at MIT. Similarly, the virtual classroom will be projected in the MIT classroom, allowing the on-campus participants to see the avatars and engage with the online participants.
AvayaLive Engage was successfully used at TEDx Boston 2012 to allow people to attend the event virtually. This article describes what it was like to attend TEDx online.
View images of the online environment.
Big Data 4Dx is an exciting new initiative at MIT, and the first executive education program in the world to use the AvayaLive Engage technology. This program is designed for individuals who value the online nature of the the program experience as well as the Big Data program itself. To participate in the program, applicants must meet the following requirements:
You can visit the MIT Sloan AvayaLive Engage™ classroom before your infomation session (which will be scheduled after your application is received) to confirm that you have the necessary plug-ins installed and ensure that you do not have any firewalls blocking the platform. (If you are unable to enter the classroom without a password, that means that a class or information is currently in session; please try again later.) A USB stereo headset with microphone is highly recommended to allow you to fully experience the revolutionary 4D environment. Please refer to this "cheat sheet" to help you move about in the virtual space.
The virtual classroom space includes a main auditorium where the live lectures can be viewed. Below, the on-site classroom can be seen in the right-hand screen, while documents, presentations, and website are displayed in the other two screens. The entrance marked D on the far right is one of several break-out rooms used for smaller discussions and team projects.
Participants can move around the room, closer to or further from the main stage. They can also approach another participant if they would like to speak with them.
By clicking on any of the screens, the view expands to full-screen on your monitor. Below, the classroom view was expanded to zoom in on the faculty (Erik Brynjolfsson).
Zooming in on one screen also allows the online participants to get a closer view of the on-campus participants.
Sample Schedule - Subject to Change
The new economy is chockablock with contradictions. Entrepreneurs are making fortunes with digital companies existing on a cloud. At the same time, numerous sectors face a marked scarcity of openings, even as existing employees feel more overworked than ever. There may boundless wealth out there, but only the 1-per-centers seem to be making it (or as economists specify, it's more like 1 percent of the 1-per-centers). In short, working life is good, and for some it's great, so long as your job isn't one of those made redundant by technology.
Online learning technologies have been around for years. But can they really be immersive and experiential? The answer, as discovered by the participants of last years Big Data 4Dx class, is yes.VIEW
Surely, you've been hearing about big data. It's all the rage right now, but many companies don't understand how it can affect them. MIT's Andrew McAfee, who studies and lectures on the influence of IT on business, talked about some of the trends he's seeing in big data at the Alfresco Summit in Boston. He explained that most companies don't make decisions based on data. Instead, they follow whatever is the highest paid person's opinion, regardless of whether that makes sense or not.VIEW
he explosion of mobile technologies makes it possible to acquire vast amounts of data about individual behavior and social interactions. The challenge now is to learn how to analyze this Big Data and apply these new understandings to politics, markets, and society.
In the first Faculty Forum Online broadcast of the 2013-14 season, Alex (Sandy) Pentland PhD 82, MITs Toshiba professor of media arts and sciences, discussed these challenges and took questions from the worldwide MIT communityon Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013.
Watch the videoBig Datas Brave New World
By the middle of the 19th century, rapid urban growth spurred by the industrial revolution had created urgent social and environmental problems. Cities responded by building centralized networks to deliver clean water, energy and safe food; to enable commerce, facilitate transportation and maintain order; and to provide access to health care and energy. Today these century-plus-old solutions are increasingly inadequate. Many of our cities are jammed with traffic. Our political institutions are deadlocked. In addition, we face a host of new challengesmost notably, feeding and housing a population set to grow by two billion people while simultaneously preventing the worst impacts of global warming.
Such uniquely 21st-century problems demand 21st-century thinking. Yet many economists and social scientists still think about social systems using Enlightenment-era concepts such as markets and classessimplified models that reduce societal interactions to rules or algorithms while ignoring the behavior of individual human beings. We need to go deeper, to take into account the fine-grained details of societal interactions. The tool known as big data gives us the means to do that.
Published on Aug 15, 2013
Big Data is all the rage, but like most technologies - and the management revolutions they bring with them - it is not the output that makes for disruption, it is how you align your company to gain real value. This all-MIT panel of experts will explore a variety of aspects in Big Data. MIT Sloan Professor Erik Brynjolfsson will play the provocateur, and talk about how Big Data can become the next Management Revolution. Our panelists will take their own slice of the issue. Professor Sandy Pentland of the Media Lab will talk about the variety of disruptive applications of Big Data. MIT Sloan Professor Dimitris Bertsimas will talk about solving Operations Research problems with Big Data. And MIT Sloan Professor Andrew Lo will talk about how Big Data cannot only be used in Financial Markets, but can also (really) cure cancer. Each of these titans of MIT have extensive relationships with industry, and they will put their comments into context for the practitioners in attendance.
Prof. Erik Brynjolfsson, MIT Center for Digital Business - Moderator
Prof. Andrew Lo, MIT Sloan School of Management
Prof. Dimitris Bertsimas, MIT Sloan School of Management
Prof. Sandy Pentland, MIT Media Lab
Machines increasingly communicate among themselves and with people. Mobile devices allow round-the-clock interconnectivity. Computers crunch terabytes of data. Such innovations have convinced economists from GEs Marco Annunziata to Erik Brynjolfsson of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that the stage is set for a wave of productivity gains to rival the 10-year Internet boom that began in 1995.
Im quite optimistic, said Brynjolfsson, a professor at MITs Sloan School of Management in Cambridge. When I look at the technologies coming along, I project some big improvements from productivity.
There are too few data scientists in the world and education needs to change in order to maximise the true potential of data science, one of the leading authorities in the field has told Computing.
"The answer is 'no', there aren't enough data scientists, not even close," Alex Sandy' Pentland, director of the Human Dynamics group and the Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) said, when asked about the pool of data scientist in the world.
We're in the "decade of data" and it will "dwarf the revolution that came from the internet" and change every part of society across the globe.
That's what one of the world's top data scientists, Alex Sandy' Pentland, founder and director of the Human Dynamics group and the Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), told the audience during his keynote at Campus Party Europe, the week-long technology festival at London's O2 Arena.
Webinars are old news at MIT, but the Sloan School of Management is taking online instruction to a new dimension. Last spring, Sloan launched a new Executive Education program called Big Data 4Dx, an online version of its popular program Big Data: Making Complex Things Simpler. Unlike online courses where participants watch lectures, Big Data 4Dx uses AvayaLive EngageTM, a web-based, immersive collaboration environment that allows participants to interact with each other in a virtual classroom.The next two-day sessionboth in person and onlineis set for October.
Online students and faculty participate as avatars in the Big Data 4Dx course.
The online course is offered concurrently with the classroom course, which allows online participants to observe the lecture in real time. In the virtual classroom, the live lecture and presentation materials can be viewed on three screens. Each online participant has a personal avatar that can move around the room to view the screens and engage with other online participants. Professors Erik Brynjolfsson PhD 91 and Sandy Pentland PhD 82 also assume avatars and join the online participants in the virtual auditorium. The virtual auditorium is projected on screen in the campus classroom so participants using both platforms can interact.
Anuj S: An eye-opener on the power of Data Analysis
Nael A: I took this course online. There were lots of technical challenges. I was surprised, the MIT staff did there best to resolve but it was beyond there control. I will never take another course online because you cant get involved like life. I must say that the MIT staff were amazing they followed up after the course and offered some remedies. Thumps up to MIT Staff.
Peerapong A: This class is good to try out the avatar version. It was very interesting tool.
Jorunn S: The professors were excellent and the content of the course was very good. There were some technical difficulties that needs to be overcome for the next course. Suggestions for improvement: - Change groups for day 2 (to interact with more people) - Release presentations and pre-readings earlier I doo hope you will release other online courses soon. I would very much like to use my avatar again soon.
Constantinos P: excellent program. very detail oriented and professors demonstrated everything straight to the point
Rahul B: It was a good learning experience for me. However, I have following observations for your possible use for such programs: a- More interaction-time per student per faculty after each topic may help in engaging participants in 4DX kind of environments. b- Collaboration environment like shared whiteboard in breakout session of 4DX needs substantial improvement for making it intutive to use. c- Work done by participants currently need to be emailed back to be shared with the physical and virtual screens. These need to be integrated for seamless experience. d- Flash as a technology choice may see a decline. It may be a good idea to make a move towards HTML5. e- Lesser number of participants in the overall environment would improve learning and quality of experience.
Porfirio D: Truly disappointed; the first day was worthwhile, but the second day was a complete waste of my time…I don’t think I’m alone assessing it in this manner. Christine Mansella did a superb job coordinating with MIT’s virtual clients leading to the course, throughout the course, even through all the technical issues. Three years ago when I started taking courses from MIT Sloan, one of the professors downplayed online education; I’m happy to see MIT Sloan trying to break into this market. I understand it’s difficult to connect people throughout the world online and have the same experience you would in person. I will not say MIT Sloan has mastered online instruction, but it’s a good start.
Zahra J: Eric Brynjolfssen and Sandy Pentland conducted an exceptional class with their unique, upbeat and insightful style. I loved the course content, its relevance to the business, and application. Most importantly, this course served as an awareness tool in the Big Data world. Every major organization is focused on structuring their Big Data initiatives, getting consulting firms to support their needs and plan for now and ahead. There was some excellent pre-read material the instructors recommended. Most of the pre-read materials were from different known subscriptions and MIT's research. The 4Dx experience was a unique experience. I had to undergo a few iterations of ensuring that the headset, sound system and my avatar were all functioning well ahead of the actual class. Thanks to MIT's highly responsive and helpful program manager, Christine Mansella, who ensured the experience was positive. If I have to take this course again, I would like to have an in-person experience as the instructors were in the real class room and would be in and out of the 4Dx class-room. Despite that little annoyance, the 4DX world very enthusiastically jumped on attending all breakout and case study discussions. We had some fun along the way - the very experience of connecting, listening and sharing our experiences and insights with distinct avatars from different parts of the world was a very sweet bonding experience. Another interesting factor was that the avatars could share 5-6 different emotions/motions - jump, clap, express excitement, raise hands, nod and so forth. The key take-away from this class was thought-provoking substance that lit all the bulbs of knowledge and awareness and helped the knowledge seekers connect the dots to define the next generation of business transformation. Highly recommended course! Hats off to the faculty for captivating their audience with insightful and relevant content.
Gopi K: I liked the relevance of the material but not a big fan of the learning experience considering there was a online group and an on-site group. The attention was divided between both the groups. Compared to the other courses I have taken at MIT the group was crowded.
Madhu R: 4Dx was a rewarding experience in itself outside of the excellent and well thought out content. Specifically Re; 4DX: 1) Christine and Paul made 4DX a soothing visit with their constant nurturing remarks ;) on what keys to press and interactive feedback on comments in the physical and 4DX world Course Content & Discussions: 2) Sandy simply rocks! His factual and brief comments were thought provoking and broad based. Erik's content was well put together and somewhat deeper. I found myself scribbling notes in 4DX world and am grateful for the opportunity to have soaked in topical content! Given the short duration both Sandy and Erik covered an impressive breadth of topics. Thank you for offering this on 4DX this time as I would have not had an opportunity to attend otherwise.
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Alex 'Sandy' Pentland is among the most-cited computational scientists in the world, and a pioneer in a organizational engineering and mobile computing.
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