Business analytics

The explosion of data can be traced to traditional internet sources, plus social media and new devices like smart phones, GPS, and tablets, but this expansion is equally apparent in everything from manufacturing to retail to health care. In this environment, being able to communicate what the data means can't alone answer the immediate need in business analytics  — there is strong, growing demand for leaders who can turn data into business solutions.

eBay has been one of the biggest and longest lasting success stories of the early dot com era. And a big reason for eBay's success has been its effectiveness at collecting and using data. Michael Goul, chairman of the information systems department, finds that strategic use of data has enabled eBay to dramatically reduce transaction costs for users, enhance the experiences for both buyers and sellers, and save millions of dollars for the company.

2008 will be remembered for the classic battles between Obama and Clinton and McCain and Obama, but political wonks will also note the historical nature of this presidential campaign because of the profound impact that the Internet and social media have had on the dynamics of the race. Here, Professor Kevin J. Dooley, an expert in web communication, writes about the way blogs fit in the panoply of news and information media and the impact they have on politics.

When a big software company releases a new product it often comes with the now ubiquitous "version" number: 1.0, 2.0, etc. In the past few years, a second version of the Web has emerged with the moniker Web 2.0. Not a single technology or product, Web 2.0 is a term meant to encompass many technologies and signifies that the way we use the Internet is evolving. W. P. Carey School professor of supply chain management Kevin Dooley and colleague Raghu Santanam, a professor of information systems, say that the new-and-improved web has very real implications for how we interact with and profit from the web.