Internet analytics was the theme of the Third Annual Business Analytics Workshop, held in Van Munching Hall on Friday, April 19, 2013. Co-sponsored by the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and IBM, the day-long workshop consisted of topics ranging from social media intelligence to mitigating risk in online crowd funding markets and ended with a panel discussion on “How much data is enough?”
Michael Ball, associate dean for faculty and research and Dean's Chair in Management Science, organized the event on behalf of the Smith School. “The Business Analytics Workshop continues to bring together thought leaders in the field of business analytics and this year’s event offered our more than 150 attendees a great look into the power of data on the Internet.”
The keynote speaker was Paul Buckman, director of the Division of Online Communications at the FDA. He discussed the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) website priorities and challenges. The overall mission of the FDA is to protect the public health and the best way to help do that is to go online and get messages out in a way that the public can easily comprehend (video, data visualizations), said Buckman.
Social media intelligence was a theme of the day. Wendy Moe, associate professor of marketing at Smith, asked attendees, “How do we look to social media as a method to gage customer and stakeholder decisions?” She discussed social media monitoring, opinion dynamics and rating trends and how this data can supplement traditional marketing research techniques.
A panel discussion examined the topic "How much data is enough?" The Internet and the digitization of every-day processes have generated a nearly limitless supply of data. Cheap storage of various types, including cloud storage, together with fast and flexible retrieval mechanisms have enabled much of this data to be stored for later examination and analysis. The panel members (David Kirsch, Smith School; Jimmy Lin, iSchool; Wendy Moe, Smith School; Maksim Tsvetovat, DeepMile Networks) examined these trends and considered the benefits that accrue from storing and analyzing this data versus the challenges it might create.
Other topics of discussion included:
- Applications of Machine Learning to Internet Data
Rick Lawrence, Thomas J. Watson Research Center
- Analyzing the Complex Network of Social Media
William Rand, Smith School
- Strategic Information Dissemination in Social Media
Ching-Yung Lin, Thomas J. Watson Research Center
- Mitigating Risk in Online Crowd Funding Markets - The Role of Online Social Networks
Siva Viswanathan, Smith School
- A Real-Time Data-to-Decision Platform for Internet Scale Data
Dakshi Agrawal, Thomas J. Watson Research Center
About Internet Analytics
The Internet has become an indispensable tool and environment of communication and connection in contemporary life. Particularly, with the advent of social media and social networks – such as Facebook, Twitter, and P2P websites – public availability of new information from social interactions and communications increased dramatically. This availability creates unprecedented opportunities to analyze, extract, and utilize large amounts of data to identify patterns, and channel this information to better decision making. Business analytics techniques such as statistical analysis, data mining, and network modeling are uniquely valuable in taking advantage of these new and extremely rich sources information. Potential related applications cover a wide range, including homeland security and intelligence, disaster relief, improved communications with citizenry, disease control, fraud detection, and improving process efficiency both in public and private sectors.
Alissa Arford, Office of Marketing Communications