Research in this area is becoming increasingly important because of the increased ability of companies to monitor both the natural and social world, providing data that can customize products and services. The ability of companies to take advantage of online data and sensor information is creating countless opportunities to better predict customer demand and behavior.
Operations research and management
This area is a key research focus of Professors Gregory Prastacos and Panagiotis Repoussis. Recent work in operations includes vehicle routing and transportation logistics, production economics, resource allocation, innovation and competency management, and the development of models to address operations management and supply chain optimization.
Work in this area aims to optimize supply chain performance in a variety of industries, from biofuels, crude oil, crane and other resource scheduling problems, and inventory management. Researchers here focus on data-driven optimization and risk management frameworks and their role in allowing managers to make better choices all along the supply chain.
Marketing and web analytics
Faculty research in this area aims to help companies make evidence-based decisions about the products and messaging they offer to customers. Professors Gaurav Sabnis, Feng Mai and Theodoros Lappas are the most active in this area, and investigate the impact of competitive interactions in social media, the vulnerability of online reputation studies to fake reviews, and the development of a framework to analyze market structures and free-form consumer product reviews.
Financial analytics and risk management
Researchers in this area work with huge financial data sets — market prices, machine-readable text databases, text messages and so on — to extract meaningful signals from the data, which can improve decision making through the development of new metrics. Many School of Business faculty are working to develop new insights in this area.
Research in this area considers kinds of analytics that demand sustained effort over long periods of time by many subject matter experts. This is a specialty of Professor Jeffrey Nickerson and the Center for Decision Technologies, which is building systems that can support new systems that can help analysts work together in searching for indicators of scientific breakthroughs or product discoveries.
Decision support systems
Research in this area focuses on decision modeling via information systems, as well as the implementation of algorithms to problems in urban transit planning, production scheduling, cruise ship scheduling and recyclable waste collection.
The School of Business is doing pioneering work in this area, under the direction of distinguished faculty like professors David Belanger and Mahmoud Daneshmand, among others. Research areas include information mining, scalable software systems, sensors and the Internet of Things, the development of new statistical theory and analytical tools, and highly scalable algorithms.