SOBACO provides its affiliated faculty and industry partners a state of the art research infrastructure using a combination of in-house, outsourced and cloud based resources to help facilitate this new breed of data science research.
SOBACO affiliated faculty are actively engaged in the following five broad research areas:
- Professors Gedas Adomavicius, Ravi Bapna, Aaron Sojourner and Akhmed Umyarov have an interest in large-scale randomized experiments in real-world social networks to determine causally, whether peers influence their friends for product adoption, job searching and other important phenomenon. They also look at methods to maximize the spread of social influence.
- Professor Joel Waldfogel is investigating what role do large scale social networks play in shaping how consumers learn about new products and how new information products such as digital music find promotion and distribution via the Internet and social platforms?
- Professors Bapna and Alok Gupta are using the Facebook API to develop apps to take lab-based economic experiments that measure fundamental constructs such as trust and reciprocity to the billion strong social graph.
Digital and Social Marketing
- Professor Akshay Rao is looking at the success of "Pay What You Wish" pricing schemes that rely on web-based fulfillment and social media to the extent these technologies help fans persuade casuals to purchase.
- Professor George John is interested in the use of social media to employ social pressure as a mechanism to promote products with "cause marketing" attributes.
- Professor Mark Bergen is exploring pricing and other data to study the flexibility of exchange relationships in this space; exploring how this space impacts managerial work in organizations, on both selling and buying sides of the exchange relationship, and also looking at the business models firms use (their pricing models) in this space.
Social Technologies, Teams and the Organization
- Professor Yuqing Ren is examining how will social media technologies change the way in which work is organized and coordinated in organizations? In contrast to organizational hierarchies, what new organizational forms may emerge under the influence of the Enterprise 2.0 technologies that connect people and artifacts on an unprecedented scale? How should organizations reshape their culture, policies, and rules and prepare their employees to adapt to these changes?
- Professors Pri Shah and Mary Zellmer-Bruhn are interested in how social media taps into the existing structure an evolution of ties that people form and how they influence attitudes and behaviors.
Next-gen Business Analytics, Personalization and Big-Data Methods
- Professor Adomavicius, along with some graduate students, are working on designing the next generation of recommendation engines that take into account social interactions and other behavioral factors that go beyond accuracy of recommendations
- Professor KK Sinha is looking at how business analytics can be leveraged to predict, sense and respond to the dynamically changing volume, variety and location of the demand for the tens of thousands of SKUs that are being ordered online in retail supply chains?
- Professor Rachna Shah and Sinha are seeking to understand situational and contextual variables that impact social media-performance relationship. Further they have an interest in examining how business analytics be leveraged to enhance the visibility of supply chains and support real-time decision making pertaining the five core supply chain processes: Plan, Source, Make, Deliver and Return?
- Professors Chris Nachtsheim and William Li are interested in the design of experiments in these new contexts, as well as dimension reduction of big data, statistical diagnostics, and large conjoint experiments. They have an interest in detecting influential regions in regression and predictive modeling, as well as in the design of internet-based conjoint experiments and the effects of respondent fatigue and drop out.
Policy, Privacy and System Dynamics
- Professor Jennifer Kuzma and her colleagues from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs are interested in a variety of questions such as:
- Who bears the risk and benefits from Social Media and Business Analytics research? How can these be fairly distributed in policies or programs?
- How can research be designed in this area to take into consideration the social impacts and ethical concerns (privacy, identity, autonomy, etc.)?
- What policies or programs can be designed upstream of deployment of business analytics to govern the implementation? How can societal issues be anticipated in the research phase?
- What do various groups of stakeholders and citizens think about business analytics and its implementation in commercial contexts? How can better communication and understanding among diverse groups be achieved? (transparency and communication issues)
- What are the system dynamics of business analytics with respect to implementation, policies and programs, and stakeholder and citizen feedback? What are the leverage points for better design of business analytics for appropriate and fair use?
- Professor Steve Kelley is interested in the policy, privacy and ethical implications of data gathering and analysis at this scale. In addition, how can data outcomes may be useful in designing effective policy and delivering public services.