Management and Leadership

Big Data: Making Complex Things Simpler

Dates: Jul 09-10, 2014

Certificate Track: Management and Leadership

Participant Ratings


| 4.3


| 3.8


| 4.2


| 4.2

"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 new executive program prepares you to understand and lead this revolution in your
organizations by:

  • collecting many different forms of information gathered from inside and outside your organization
  • developing new knowledge from that information, for example, discovering patterns of customer behavior
  • using this information in a collaborative way to improve both productivity and strategic
    decision making in real time

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.

Learning Experience

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.

Join the MySloanExecEd Community Group for this program to network with past, present, and future participants.

Participants in this program will learn:

  • How several key technologies and applications are driving the big data revolution.
  • How nanodata and nowcasting can be used to improve forecasts and predictions
  • Common pitfalls in using big data
  • The design of controlled experiments to sort out causality
  • Specific case examples from retailing, marketing, real estate, human resources and other applications
  • How to recognize opportunities in your own industry or function
  • The organizational and cultural complements and inhibitors to the data-driven decision-making.
  • How to use the Matrix of Change tool to plan and executing a transition to a data driven organization
  • The roles of privacy and data ownership
  • Develop a concrete action plan

"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

  • Senior management
  • CTO
  • Chief Marketing Officer
  • Customer relationship people
  • Business Intelligence
  • Government Security
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Web Analytics

07:45 AM - 08:30 AMRegistration and Continental Breakfast
08:30 AM - 09:00 AMWelcome and Introduction
09:00 AM - 10:30 AMOverview: The big data revolution; the payoff from data-driven decision-making; how digitization is transforming innovation
11:00 AM - 12:30 PMInformation flows: within companies; patterns of information; integration of distance workers
12:30 PM - 01:30 PMLuncheon
01:30 PM - 03:30 PMThree case studies: using Google searches to predict the housing market; using email and sociometric badges to understand information worker productivity; using experiments to understand causality in advertising
04:00 PM - 05:15 PMUsing behavior to guide marketing: digital breadcrumbs; stratifying; real estate management; mobile marketing; predicting rate of adoption based on social networks
05:15 PM - 06:00 PMReception
07:45 AM - 08:30 AMContinental Breakfast
08:30 AM - 09:00 AMWelcome Back and Preview of Day 2
09:00 AM - 12:00 PMOrganizational, social and cultural considerations; Matrix of change exercise; How to get access to the right kind of data; Social network data (organic growth); Data design
12:00 PM - 01:00 PMLuncheon
01:00 PM - 03:30 PMSocial network data (organic growth)-social networks and trust networks; the future of big data; a plan for action
03:30 PM - 04:00 PMAdjournment

    The depth and quality of the material provided insights and framework that one can leverage to understand and leverage Big Data maybe in ways that you had not considered before. The Professors were awesome! The incorporation of Avitars for students that attended on-line was a fascinating interaction to observe.

    Great program! A couple of sets of feedback; 1. If the ppts could be uploaded rather than pdfs of presentations, that would be more effective. The ppts that Erik and Sandy had animations on them and the pdfs don't take the animations or build slides so the pdfs were missing info 2. Any way we could be on the MIT campus rather than a hotel? Feel as though the campus experience adds to the learning. Thanks!

    I now have a better grasp on big data and analytics. The calibre of the presentors was superb. There were a number of mind-bending ideas and revelations that I continue to reflect on. The content was predominently B2C oriented (e.g. cases). Some of us are in industriess that have large amounts of data that are more B2B-related. I would have liked to have seen a little more balance in that regard.

    leaned how to use big data influence people's behavior and different volume of idea flow impact on return of investment. Data driven decision making can improve productivity. Predicting of home sale and The matrix of change analysis to evaluate better system.

    The content is relevant and it's reassuring to hear other folks are dealing with the challenges I am tackling at work. I feel the phrase "Big Data" created too much random hype. Some of the topics are basic data analysis, not necessarily "Big Data". It's fine to mix the traditional data topics into this seminar but we should just call it out that way. The session is lively to keep us engaged throughout the day. The virtual session is an interesting experiment.