Information Systems

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.

With about one billion computers currently in use, information technology rightfully owns some of the blame for the world's sustainability ills. The lifetime toll for a computer includes substantial resources for manufacture and delivery, then more energy consumed in home offices and companies. And, improper disposal of a computer can cause significant environmental damage. Yet for all this, IT will also take a starring role in sustainability solutions that meet the needs of the present without depriving future generations. IT's beneficial role is the subject of the second in this two-part series.

The dramatic growth of the past half-century has led to higher living standards in much of the world, but has also resulted in urban sprawl, choking pollution and global warming. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse, information technology (IT) has been at the heart of the transformation — driving change, infusing almost every aspect of life. So it's hard to ignore IT's role in sustainability, which is commonly defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In fact, according to experts at the W. P. Carey School of Business, IT is both the hammer and the nail — the problem and the solution. In Part 1 of a two-part series about IT's role in sustainability, Knowledge@W. P. Carey looks at how IT is the problem. In Part 2 we'll explore the solutions IT offers.

Social media, including blogs, discussion boards and networking sites like Facebook have changed the laws of nature for communications and marketing. Kevin Dooley, a professor of supply chain management at the W. P. Carey School of Business, has been observing the behavior of this new medium using a text analysis tool he developed at ASU with communications professor Steven Corman. Using examples from his website, Wonkosphere, which tracks activity on the political blogs, Dooley shows how bloggers have accelerated the flow of information, and because they are early adopters of things new, have become a valuable source of feedback for politicians and marketers alike.