​Big data, big interest​​​​

​Newly formed Center for Customer Analytics and Big Data holds inaugural event on campus

​Crunching big data, especially unstructured data culled from social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, is one of the hottest areas of study in the marketing world right now. Washington University in St. Louis’ new Center for Customer Analytics and Big Data was organized to ensure Olin Business School students learn best practices when it comes to real-time data collection and analysis. The center also will provide them with hands-on, real-life applications through partnerships with area corporations.


The center will hold its inaugural event on campus Monday, Sept. 28: a free daylong discussion featuring presentations from business leaders and academic experts about how to use the latest analytical tools to gain a competitive advantage in business, and how data can be used to make important, time-sensitive decisions.

“Given the advent of social networks, such as Facebook, ‘real-time’ consumer data now have huge ramifications for managing brands unlike in prior times,” said Seethu Seetharaman, PhD, the W. Patrick McGinnis Professor of Marketing and the center’s director. “A public relations bloodbath can break out for a brand over a few hours unless companies are aware of, and can respond to, such real-time events in short order. Otherwise, they may incur huge dollar and reputational losses. New types of analysis tools and an analytic mindset for decision-making are both needed for the evolving marketplace.”

Speakers at the session, which will be held in Knight Hall’s Emerson Auditorium, include Olin Business School faculty, guest faculty from other universities and corporate leaders. For more information and registration instructions, visit the Olin website​.