Big & Small Data- The future is here- will you be part of it?

Post by ESADE faculty Esteve Almirall, expert in Smart Cities, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data.  To read more posts by Esteve, check out his blog here.

Where are all your customers gone?

 They used to be there, in front of the desk, making lines in the shops, asking questions, chasing for new items, … It was a time when you could predict the success of any new product by talking to them, watching them and while doing that, getting a sense of what was happening in their minds. Paradoxically now when clients are in the web and we could know more about them than in any other period in human history, many companies know less than ever. You know well what happens when a company stops listening to their clients, when a government stops listening to their citizens, …

Not only customers have gone forever but also markets changed. Markets used to be a place where you could advertise your products, a place where interruption was the norm and getting above the noise the medium. Now markets have become conversations, you are no longer the only one talking anymore; your clients have a voice too and they don’t want to listen to you, they want to talk to you. Can you listen to them? Can you talk to them? Or to you all this is just noise, garbage without a clear meaning?

Even products and services changed. Producing the right product or delivering the right service at the right time & price with the best possible quality is not THE universal formula of success anymore. Google doesn’t produce any information, you do it ! Über doesn’t have a single car neither drives them anywhere, people do it! Airbnb doesn’t own apartments nor do they clean them, you do! Products like Nest incorporate data intelligence, managing your data with the learnings from the data of others; using machine learning algorithms Nest adjusts the temperature of your house cutting your heating-A/C expenses by 15%-30%.

Value is now embedded into platforms and, for the first time in history, it is created at almost zero marginal cost and with total scalability.

This transformation is not limited to the Digital world. What used to be frenetic traders shouting at each other has been replaced by Artificial Intelligence algorithms and quants. Incremental innovation is no longer about market research but A/B testing. Sentiment analysis is the new way of listening to our customers. Supply chains are now information rich and completely transparent while predictive analytics is fast replacing forecasting.

Not only private companies, Cities and Governments are making use of vast quantities of Data – Big Data – to make better decisions, to be more effective and to listen to their citizens. Citizenship and democracy is being redefined into Digital terms.

Technological changes are transformational, not only to the world that we inhabit but also to our personal lives. They ask for new competences, new skills, new understandings and new ways to act. TV changed marketing forever, computers made financial markets global, round the clock and at the speed of light and the Internet, well you know it, the Internet changed all the rest.

Now it is the time of data, BIG and small if you want to understand your customers, listen and engage in the global conversation, create value in digital markets, transform cities, innovate, manage supply chains, perform in the financial market, … you have to talk data, you have to speak Data Science.

Organizations will welcome your opinions but they will listen to your data. Please, bring your data with you.

Our MSc Programmes in Management now offer Big Data skill seminars for all students interested in this area and keeping up with tendencies.  For more information about our MSc programmes visit our website:

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