Management and Leadership

Big Data: Making Complex Things Simpler

Dates: Jul 09-10, 2014

Certificate Track: Management and Leadership

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tuition: $3,300 (excluding accommodations)

Program Days (for certificate credit): 2

Participant Ratings

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"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

Please note that faculty are subject to change and not all faculty teach in each session of the program.

  • Erik Brynjolfsson

    Schussel Family Professor of Management Science
    Professor of Information Technology
    Director, The MIT Center for Digital Business

    Erik Brynjolfsson explores how advances in information technology contribute to business performance and organizational change. He directs the MIT Center for Digital Business, a research initiative that analyzes the business uses of the Internet and other digital Technologies. His projects include a study of information worker productivity, a valuation method for intangible organizational capital, calibration of increased product variety online (a... ... (more)
  • Tom Davenport

    President’s Distinguished Professor of Information Technology and Management, Babson College
    Co-founder, International Institute for Analytics
    Fellow, MIT Center for Digital Business

    Tom Davenport is the President’s Distinguished Professor of Information Technology and Management at Babson College, the co-founder of the International Institute for Analytics, a Fellow of the MIT Center for Digital Business, and a Senior Advisor to Deloitte Analytics. He was among the first to write about both business process reengineering and knowledge management... ... (more)
  • Alex Pentland

    Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences
    Director, Human Dynamics Lab
    Director, MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program
    School of Architecture and Planning
    School of Engineering

    Alex `Sandy' Pentland directs MIT's Human Dynamics Laboratory and the MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program, and advises the World Economic Forum, Nissan Motor Corporation, and a variety of start-up firms.

    Sandy is among the most-cited computational scientists in the world, and a pioneer in computational social science, organizational engineering, and mobile computing...

    ... (more)
DAY One SAMPLE
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
DAY Two SAMPLE
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

Faculty Spotlight

Alex Pentland

Alex `Sandy' Pentland directs MIT's Human Dynamics Laboratory and the MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program, and advises the World Economic Forum, Nissan Motor Corporation, and a variety of start-up firms... more
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View the MIT Sloan Big Data: Making Complex Things Simpler Interactive Brochure

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